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Extolled in the famous composition by Johann Strauss, Jr. On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Europe's most beautiful river, the Danube, has always been an inspiration to its visitors. With its seemingly infinite blue surface and its cultural and historical significance, the Danube is one of the most popular rivers for a river cruise, not only in Europe, but the whole world. The river flows a total length of 2,700 kilometres, with 588 kilometres in Serbia as it meanders its way through Serbian mountains, plains, cities, villages as well as protected nature reserves and national parks.
The Bačko Podunavlje Biosphere Reserve is one of the best-preserved wetland-marsh areas along the Danube and was officially designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 2017. In the reserve, you can see numerous species of flora and fauna and explore rare natural habitats, such as river islands, by-channels, floodplain forests and sandy riverbanks.
On Serbia’s eastern border, where the Danube is at its deepest, lies the Đerdap National Park. Known for rare species of eagles flying over the Đerdap Gorge, this national park is home to more than 1,000 plant species, as well as to otters, bears and chamois and many other species of mammals and birds.
Towering above the picturesque plains of Vojvodina is the northern region’s only mountain and the oldest national park in Serbia, Fruška Gora Mountain. It is famous for its gentle slopes, centuries-old forests, vineyards and the widely revered Fruška Gora monasteries. Together with the wine regions of Belgrade and Negotin, it is one of the country’s three wine regions interconnected by the Danube. Here you can taste the famous Fruška Gora wines, Bermet and Ausbruch, the traditional recipes of which have been passed from one generation to another. Continue down the Danube and taste wines from the Serbian capital city or the unique white wine of Smedervo, where vine-growing tradition dates back to the times of the ancient Romans. Or go to Eastern Serbia and taste wine made of the traditional variety of Red Tamjanika, which is grown solely in the Negotinska Krajina region near Đerdap. Match the unique Serbian wines with the local delicacies of the regions from which they originate and discover why the Danube river basin is considered a major gastronomical centre and one of the best regions for making wines in Europe.
And if urban centres are more to your liking, you can take a short break at the inland ports of Novi Sad and Belgrade and visit the landmarks of these two big cities, which have been attracting tourists for years and are renowned for their hospitality, cultural sites and rich night life. Or discover the charm of small towns such as Apatin, Donji Milanovac, Kladovo or Veliko Gradište, each with its unique history, tradition and customs that strongly reflect the peculiarities of life on the Danube. As you sail downstream from Bačka to Đerdap, take a step back through history by paying a visit to one of the preserved ancient and medieval fortresses. These fortresses alongside the Danube will transport you back to the times when Romans, Hungarians, Ottoman Turks and Medieval Serbian ruled this area and reinforced their borders, which often followed the course of the river. The archaeological site of Viminacium, with the remains of one of the most important Roman cities between the 1st and the 6th Centuries CE, is situated near the confluence of the Mlava and the Danube, while Lepenski Vir, the “cradle of European civilization”, lies on the bank of the Danube, within the Đerdap National Park.
Navigate the unique Danube-Tisa-Danube canal and discover the landmarks of the Banat and Bačka regions. The canal, which spreads across much of the Vojvodina province and covers a length of almost 1000 km, was man-made for irrigation and flood protection and offers plenty of opportunities for hunting, fishing and rafting.
If your ideal holiday is one which offers both relaxation and enriching experiences, spend it on the river -the pulsating artery of Europe - and discover why, even in the 21st Century, the Danube remains as attractive as ever and retains its international importance.