Surrounded by mountains on the Pešter plateau, Sjenica is a lively town in Serbia’s Zlatibor District. It serves as a gateway to the nearby Uvac Special Nature Reserve and the Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve and is within easy access to the medieval fortress ruins of Stari Ras.
Things to do in SjenicaJust a stone’s throw from Sjenica is the Uvac Special Nature Reserve, which encompasses a snaking river and its surrounding terrain. It has played an important role in preserving Serbia’s population of griffon vultures and is home to badgers, wolves and European pine martens. Soak up the elevated views across the reserve’s karst landscapes from the Great Peak and Prayer viewpoints or venture underground to explore what is one of the largest cave systems in Serbia.
Sprawling to north-east of Sjenica is the Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve, a UNESCO-listed landscape that encompasses the 1,833-metre-high peak of Jankov Kamen. Hiking trails connect its mountainous lakes, cascades and historic sites, such as the 12th-century Studenica Monastery. In the winter months, the reserve provides the setting for downhill skiing and snowboarding.
History buffs shouldn’t miss a visit to Stari Ras, a medieval fortress and the former capital of Raška that was established at the crossroads of several trade routes. Wander between its ruined churches, monuments and marketplaces, then admire the 9th-century Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. Together with the nearby Monastery of Sopocani, Stari Ras is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.