Serbia might be a landlocked country but that certainly does not stop its population from enjoying all the summer perks including sunbathing, swimming and generally relaxing on one of the river or lake beaches.
Of course, you have all heard about Ada Ciganlija in Belgrade, or Lido in Zemun, or Strand in Novi Sad and we will not bore you by regurgitating the same old information about these beaches that you have heard numerous times before. The beaches that we are going to feature in our article today are not advertised so much on tourist sites and info-portals. They are smaller, less crowded, and perhaps even more beautiful than their “big brothers” in Belgrade and Novi Sad.
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And what better way to cool down, chill and soak up the summer than lying on a river or a lake beach, in lieu of the sea one.
Here is our pick:
1. Bela Stena (12km from Belgrade)
Bela Stena, also known as Cakljanac, is a river island located on the right bank of the river Danube, in the town of Pancevo, about 12 km away from the Belgrade centre.
Only a handful of people know about this oasis of peace and its beautiful beach (also called Spic or Sveb by the locals). If you are a fan of wild, unspoiled nature, this will be your haven. The place is ideal for swimming, fishing, camping, one-day trips, or just relaxing in the shadow of the poplar trees, while sipping on your coffee or beer. The nature here is intact, the water is clean and if we didn’t know any better, we would assume that this place is far from any urban dwelling.
There are about 280 cottages on Bela Stena. Only the front part of this river island is inhabited, and this is where the sandy beaches and restaurants are, while the rest is under the forest. The only problem is that there is no drinking water on Bela Stena so you will have to take your own with you before you leave for the island.
There is organized transport by boats to Bela Stena from Visnjica, Pancevo and Capljin during the summer months, with the latter one located on the left bank of the Danube. You can get to Capljin by turning right after the overpass on the Belgrade-Pancevo road.
2. Silver Lake (110km from Belgrade)
Located in the north-eastern part of Serbia, in the Carpathian periphery of the Pannonian Basin, not far from the Pek and Danube rivers estuary, lies the town of Veliko Gradiste and the Silver Lake (Srebrno Jezero).
In the afternoon, when the sun goes down behind the Carpathian Mountains, millions of sparks create a silver tint on the lake, hence its name. Thanks to strong pumps, the lake’s water level is constantly lower than the Danube’s to ensure fresh water flow. Underground, the water is filtered through numerous sand dunes, which makes it impeccably clean and clear.
The Silver Lake is a true paradise for both swimmers and fishermen. The entrance to the beach is free, and you can rent pedal and sailing boats here.
The lake is also known for its tourist complex called the Silver Lake Resort. Here, you can enjoy in sports, tourist and recreational activities. There is also a water park, a tourist boat which will take you around the lake, tennis courts, restaurants, bars and various types of accommodation.
The boat “Silver Star” will take on you on a cruise down the Danube River with the three stops – the Golubac Fortress (dating back to the early 14th century), the Ramska Fortress (12th century) and the estuary of the Pek River.
3. Bosa Noga (120km from Belgrade)
The Bosa Noga beach lies a few kilometres from the centre of Arilje, right on the Rzav River which is dubbed one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. The beach is opened from early May all the way to October.
Here you can find a beach volleyball court, a stage where rock concerts and rave parties are held, a football pitch, and you can play table tennis too.
There are actually eight beaches on the Rzav River, located just three kilometres from Arilje – Žuta Stena, Zelena Plaža, Bosa Noga and Urjak, which are more popular with swimmers, and Uski Vir, Sonjine Čari, Gradska Plaža and Ševelj which are somewhat smaller. All of these beaches have an infrastructure and sports terrains.
The beaches also have maps of 15 regional cycling tours, while fishing (trout and grayling) is allowed on some beaches.
4. Lakes in Bela Crkva (76km from Belgrade)
Bela Crkva Lakes is a group of six larger and several smaller artificial lakes near the town of Bela Crkva in the southern Banat region in the province of Vojvodina.
The lakes were created when deep pits emerged as a result of gravel exploitation, and were subsequently filled by aquifers and rainfall. With clean, unpolluted water suitable for swimming, the lakes are a popular travel destination.
On the Main Lake, the beach is partially paved and partially sandy, while on other lakes, it is completely natural.
The local tourist board organizes day trips in the area surrounding Bela Crkva, with visits to Vrsac, Mesic and Gudurica. There are also hunting tours in the nearby Deliblato Sands, and fishing excursions (carp, Prussian carp, pike) on the Danube-Tisza-Danube (DTD) channel.
The lakes also have showers (on the beach), restaurants, pastry shops, sports facilities, water sports, bikes and boats to rent.