Numerous attractive locations in the vicinity of Vrnjačka Banja allow you to enjoy the beauty of numerous monasteries, old churches, and fortresses, cultural and historical monuments, mountain resorts, wonderful rivers, and intoxicating vineyards.
Goč is full of lush vegetation favored by the ideal climate and fertile land. The slopes are covered with dense beech and coniferous forests, plum orchards, vineyards, and numerous raspberry plantations.
It is ideal for walking, picking forest fruits and medicinal herbs (endemic plant species and communities), and a picnic next to the wealthy mountain springs. You can buy cheese and kaymak from kind hosts and try rakija right at the cauldron and the warm smile of a Goč peasant. A unique experience is numerous fishponds with Goč trout, where you can enjoy a delicious barbecue meal on the spot, a beautiful ambience of intact nature, and a pleasant environment.
The West Morava
The West Morava is a real challenge for fishing and refreshment lovers. It is a place for people who enjoy walks with refreshing breezes that bring invigoration and alleviate the heat of the summer months.
This river is a place of contradictions, an experience that takes your breath away, a world that cannot be understood, a miraculous gift that God gave to Serbia. All visitors to Vrnjačka Banja who love rivers and sports fishing can also enjoy the Podunavac ponds along on the West Morava, 10 km from Vrnjačka Banja, where great sports competitions are held.
Popina Memorial Park – Štulac
The Popina Memorial Park was erected in the memory of the Battle of Popin in October 1941, probably the last joint struggle of monarchy and communism supporters (Chetniks and Partisans) against the fascists. The Popina Memorial Park was designed by Bogdan Bogdanović, on a hill next to the Popina River in Štulac, between Vrnjačka Banja and Trstenik.
The memorial park, known among the local population as “Sniper,” stretches over 12 hectares and was built from 1978 to 1980. At that place, on October 13, 1941, the Trstenik partisan detachment and the Dragosinjci troop of the Kraljevo detachment fought five times outnumbered for several hours against parts of the 171st German division. This battle remained known as one of the first frontal fights of partisans and occupying forces and was probably the last joint fight of supporters of communism and the monarchy against the fascists. The epilogue of the operation was the shooting of around 2,300 hostages in Kraljevo from October 15 to 20, 1941.
Bogdanović’s last work in the field of memorial architecture was designed as a three-part composition of stone blocks on a common axis. The monument was built of Jablanica granite. The memorial plaque in front of the monument reads:
“Here, on October 13, 1941, defending the borders of the Republic of Užice, the Vrnjačka-Trstenik NOP detachment fought a fierce battle with five times more powerful German division.”
It comprises two physiognomic units: Donji and Gornji Gračac. It is located in the valley of the West Morava and extends to the slope of Goč Mountain, 10 km away from Vrnjačka Banja.
According to historical and geographical data, the earliest Orthodox religious building, which existed on the site of today’s church, dates from the 12th century. The church is more than 800 years old, and according to legend, it was built by Saint Sava and his father Saint Nemanja.
In addition to the church, the “Gračac” hunting lodge is open for visitors, as well as the museum, whose ethnic display contains a large number of exhibits from the village and its surroundings.
The Gračacje toponym derives from the word Gradac (city, fortress). According to a story, a settlement developed on the territory of today’s village in the time of the Roman Empire, approximately in the 2nd century, right around the military fortification, along the road (via militarus) Belgrade-Niš, which passed through that territory at the time. This theory is to some extent substantiated by the discovery of the building foundation remains on the site of Ćelije, in the upper part of the village, which Felix Kanitz marked as a Roman castrum.
The Gledić Mountains stretch in a northwest-southeast direction for 35 km between Lepenica in the north, Gruža in the west, Lavča in the east, and West Morava in the south. They are among the highest and longest mountains in Šumadija. They are named after the village of Gledić, located in the central part of the mountain, rich in natural beauty, forests, shallow water springs, rivers, pastures, meadows, wild animals and mineral resources. The Gledić Mountains range stretches from the northern side of Vrnjačka Banja.
Stolovi is a mountain southwest of Kraljevo, between the Ibar, Ribnica, and Brezanska rivers. The tributaries of these rivers, with their deep valleys, divided the mountain into long ridges and slopes and gave it a star shape. The mountain is dominated by vast meadows inhabited by several herds of wild horses for years. The horses are taken care of by the locals from the surrounding villages. This mountain is protected by law and enjoys the status of a landscape of exceptional features.
Željin belongs to the Kopaonik massif mountains, along with Kopaonik, Goč, Lepa gora, and Crni vrh. Željin is located in the center of this massif, north of Kopaonik, south of Goč, west of Lepa gora, and east of Crni vrh. The rivers flowing through the Željin area are the Ibar and Studenica in the west, the Rasina in the east and the Jošanica on its southern slopes.
In this area, the first Serbian state was created – Raška. The most important cultural monuments from that period have remained. Old towns, monasteries, and churches preserved to this day testify to the culture of our ancestors. The most significant of the old towns are the remains of Maglič, Koznik, Ras, Brvenik, Jelač, Lazar’s town, and others.
Maglič Fortress is located 40 km from Vrnjačka Banja. It was built to guard the entrance to the Ibar valley on one of the western branches of Stolovi (Kamarište).
Less than an hour ride from Vrnjačka Banja to Aleksandrovac, on the road leading over Goč, is the historical treasure of Serbia, Koznik, today partially preserved and under republic protection as a cultural monument of great importance. It is located at 921 m above sea level above the Rasina River and dominates the surroundings. Historical data relate Koznik with Radič Postupović, the nobleman of Despot Stefan Lazarević.
In this area, there are monuments of the Raška and Moravian schools, the biggest and most respected monasteries of Raška heritage: Studenica Monastery (1196), Žiča (1210), St. Petka Monastery (1970), Ljubostinja Monastery (1405), Đurđevi stupovi (1168), Sopoćani kralja Uroša I…
Alexandrovačka Župa Župa aleksandrovačka, a famous wine-growing region, is located near Vrnjačka. You can try some of the highest quality wines from both imported and indigenous varieties in numerous wineries.