Zlatibor Mountain famous resort and air spa or Golden Pine Tree Mountain is one of the most popular touristic destinations in Serbia. Just 25 kilometers from Uzice make this mountain perfect one day excursion from town.
Owing to the continental and Mediterranean climate and air currents, which can only be found here, the harmonious relationship between wooded areas of firs, pines and spruces and spacious meadows populated with beautiful plants, rivers and streams, the unpolluted air, healthy and clean water, a large number of annual sunny days, the hospitality of the people and the beautiful ski slopes, Zlatibor has become a renowned summer and winter tourist hotspot with the longest tourist tradition of any of Serbia’s mountains. King Aleksandar Obrenović’s 1893 arrival in the town of Kulaševac, which was then renamed Kraljeve Vode (King’s Waters), is considered to be the official beginning of the tourism industry in Zlatibor.
Because Zlatibor’s climate is ideal for people wanting to stay healthy and fit, and also lends itself to the treatment of various respiratory diseases, anaemia, minor heart and blood vessel disorders and, in particular, thyroid disorders, it has been designated a climatic health resort.
Zlatibor is crisscrossed by rivers (Crni Rzav, Veliki Rzav and Sušica) and streams, containing a wide range of fish species, including dace, gudgeon, trout, huchen and grayling. There are two artificial lakes in Zlatibor, the larger located on the Crni Rzav river in Ribnica and the smaller, which was created especially for use by tourists, in the very centre of the Zlatibor tourist village. Surrounded by pleasant paths and benches, guests can bathe and sunbathe during summer and skate on the frozen surface of the lake during winter.
Zlatibor is well-known as a ski centre. Beginner skiers and children will enjoy the gentle slopes of Obudovica (with a 250 m-long ski-lift), while more experienced skiers will opt to go to Tornik and make use of its slopes. Tornik Sports Centre is located between 1110 m and 1490 m above sea-level and is 9 km from the centre of Zlatibor. The four ski slopes (Čigota, Tornik, Ribnica and Zmajevac) are ideal for slalom, giant slalom and super giant slalom skiing and are connected by three ski-lifts. In the central part of Zlatibor there are slopes for cross-country and biathlon skiing, which are considered to be among the most beautiful in Europe owing to their visibility and layout.
Throughout the year, top athletes come to train in Zlatibor and there are also basketball camps and instruction in paragliding, tennis, skiing and swimming.
Zlatibor is one of the largest conference tourism centres in Serbia, with a large number of conferences and seminars being held here all year round.
There is also ample opportunity for leisure activities, with groups or individuals often seen on the many walking paths (which lead to Čigota, Rzav canyon, Gradina, Oko, Crni Vrh and Ribničko Jezero lake) or exploring the beauty of Zlatibor in some other way.
The open-air museum of folk architecture that is the Staro Selo (Old Village) ethnic village in Sirogojno has typical 19th-century Zlatibor farmsteads on display.
Legends about Zlatibor:
There are three legends about the origin of today’s name Zlatibor ( ZLATI-BOR: zlato=gold, bor=pine tree): By the first one Zlatibor is supposed to get its name by white pine trees with yellow conifer (the colour of old gold), which used to cover the rolling slopes of Zlatibor.
There has only one such tree remained (in the village of Negbina) and it was given the scientific name Pinus silvestris variegata Zlatiborica, by eng. Omanovich, who studied those conifer trees. In the second it is said that Zlatibor got its name because it was so rich with pine tree forests, that the immigrants from Montenegro and Hercegovina boasted: “It is really a pine tree made of gold!” The third legend says that it got its name by the mountain pastures, that get a yellow, a golden colour in autumn. Which of these legends is the right one make a decision by yourselves! Or, better come to Zlatibor, maybe you’ll hear a new version in the song of Zlatibor pine trees!
The first inhabitants of Zlatibor region were the Illyrians, namely their tribe Partyiny. The remnants of their culture -ornamental ceramics are being met in the caves and steep hights, where they used to live. Today these places are called “gradine” and there are three on Zlatibor (chajetinska, krivorechka, shljivovichka). In the museum collection of the library in Chajetina we can see some fragments of pottery with the characteristic decorative design engraved into the clay by a finger nail. The culture and life of the Illyrians have been studied exclusively from the “tumulus” (the tombs), which are found on Zlatibor in a great number on various locations (Krivorechka Gradina (the place Vishevina), Kremna, a wider area from Ljubish to Mushvet, Braneshko Polje).
At the beginning of our epoch the Romans dominate in this region with their culture much higher than the previous one.They build new fortreses, a net of new roads (Machkat – Chajetinska Gradina -the river Uvac). The Roman tombstones date the second and the third century A.D. Most of them are in Kremna and there are reliefs inspired by the motives from the nature and sometimes by God Atis – in the figure of a nice youth.
After the 9th century these places are being settled by the Slovenes, who also build fortreses and rebuild “gradine”. There’s a very interesting fortress on Gradac in Dobroselica, where we can see the remnants of a bulwark. There are some remnants of a stone pedestal in the shape of a bench that was probably used for observing. There are also some animal bones found built in the base (probably for religious reasons) and there is a lot of medieval material found on this location (a top of a spear, a knife, a copper ring…).
About the year 1180 Serbian King Stevan Nemanja connects Zlatibor and Uzice town to the independant Serbian state.
In the 16th century The unpreserved monastery Rujno was the cultural and educational centre of the former district (zhupa) Rujno. In that monastery one of the first Serbian printing shops worked. Recently the position of the former monastery Uvac (and maybe also of the Church Janja – being sung about in folk songs) has been discovered in Stublo on the river Uvac. According to traditional stories the monastery was that “Church Janja”, which was the richest far around. The monastery possesed beautiful and good pastures above the valley on Orlic and Orahovica. Milk from there was transported to monastery by boats. The canals in which the boats were placed can still be identified. Thanks to researching and and work of the National museum in Uzice the monastery Uvac has been reestablished and the church with the “konak” (the overnight stay) have been rebuilt and sanctified. The church in Bela Reka is worth being mentioned among the old churches on Zlatibor. It has unusually small dimensions. It has only one nave and one cupola.