Tara National Park

Tara National Park
Tara National Park is located in westernmost Serbia, bordering Bosnia. Approximately 19,000 hectares in area, it includes Tara Mountain and a large bend of the Drina River, which form dramatic canyons with waterfalls, caves, natural springs and sheer cliffs up to 1000 meters high. The highest peak within the park is 1600 meters above sea level. The park was formed in 1981, and was nominated to UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2002.

Tara Mountain is part of the Outer Dinaric Alps, a rugged range composed of secondary and tertiary sedimentary rocks. The range transverses several countries, running 645 kilometers along the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea. The Drina River, part of the Danube River watershed, flows approximately north from Montenegro through the park area and forms most of the boundary between Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovia.

The park is of importance for several reasons. It has not significantly changed geologically since the Tertiary period. The park is predominantly dense forest with plant species of scientific interest, particularly the Picea omorika, or Serbian Spruce. This relict species has continued to survive in this area since the Tertiary period. Some consider this spruce to be the most beautiful in Europe. Tara National Park is a pristine wilderness area, with many endangered animal species including bears, golden eagles, chamois, lynx and wolves.

Human habitation throughout the ages has been minimal, spanning the Neolithic to the present, with sparse Roman occupation, a Byzantine monastery and occupation by various interlopers including the Turks.

The spectacular canyons and gorges formed by the Drina River are favorite areas for white-water rafting and hiking. Winter sports include skiing and sledding. Accommodations are available in Bajina Basta, park headquarters, and in Kaludjerske Bare and Mitrovac within the park boundaries.