As a frontier between the great empires of east and west, Serbia has weathered centuries of turbulent and dynamic history. Its status as an international crossroads – along with its fortuitous position on transcontinental trade routes – have long brought it diverse cultural influences, forging a distinctive Balkan identity steeped in a love of fine art, music, literature and nature. Today, its urbane and endlessly elegant cities overflow with fine Orthodox churches, palaces, castles, and historic townhouses. Its rural countryside, filled with hospitable villages and handsome stone-built medieval towns, are bastions of folklore and rugged life-styles, all grounded in the ancient rhythms of the seasons.
Bordered by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro, Serbia enjoys a diversity of natural settings. To the north, a rambling network of low river valleys punctuates the landscape, their flood plains fertile ground for fruit orchards, wheat crops, and vineyards. To the south, mountain ranges flank Serbia’s borders on either side, rising skyward with a convoluted network of desolate peaks, vertiginous gorges, enchanted waterfalls, caves, and towering rock formations. Almost a third of the national territory is covered with forests, fine country for hiking and bird-watching. If that all sounds too athletic, bear in mind that over 1000 hot and cold water springs emerge in Serbia, its luxurious and deeply relaxing spa facilities nestled in pristine natural surroundings.