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Feature 18 Jul 17

Serbia's Regattas Offer Fun on the Water

Escape the baking heat and explore some of Serbia’s beautiful rivers by attending one of several summer regattas - either in the countryside or in the capital.

Alexandra Fisher
The Drina Regatta attracts more more than 100,000 visitors every year. Photo: Turisticki Centar Bajina Basta

For almost a quarter of a century, Bajina Basta has organised the Drina regatta, which is the largest water festival in the region - and with its varied attractions, one of the most important tourist events in the country.

Bajina Basta is a small Drina river valley town, near Tara National Park and its regatta combines tradition with modern tourist trends, attracting more than 100,000 visitors every year. The four-day event was awarded the best tourist event in 2016 due to its popularity.

The Drina, famous for its beautiful emerald green waters, will be overtaken by hundreds of rafts and vessels from July 19-22.

The regatta’s festivities include a fish soup cooking competition on July 20, a bridge jump on July 21, while a fair will take place every day of the festival in Bajina Basta’s main square, with home-made goods such as honey and brandy.

As part of the regatta, the Mosh Fest music festival takes place on July 21 and 22, featuring the Serbian artist Zdravko Colic and bands Kerber and Neverne Bebe.

The regatta starts at 11am on July 22, and people swarm to the river to float down the Drina en masse.

The regatta is a huge party, complete with floating bars, all varieties of food, and music rafts with large speakers to blast music as participants enjoy the scenery and lively atmosphere.

Buses run from Belgrade to cities on the Drina river. The bus ride to Loznica takes approximately two and a half hours, and the ride to Bajina Basta or Ljubovija is around four hours. If you bring your own vehicle, you must pay 500 dinars (around 4 euros) per day for parking.

Lodging will be available in Bajina Basta and at a nearby campsite. The campsite, which is close to the concert hall where Mosh Fest is held, is also 500 dinars per person per day.

The camp has showers and bathrooms on the premises, but campers must bring their own tents. For more information visit Regata.rs.

Urban boating

The Belgrade Regatta takes place on August 10 - a three-hour, 6.5-kilometre-long tour on the Sava river starting in Makis and ending at Ada Ciganlija.

It is a great way to experience the city and one of its rivers in a fun and novel way, and boats are available to rent for those without vessels. To join in, you need to apply and register your vessel with the event organisers.

In addition to the regatta, there will also be “head-to-head” raft racing and a beach volleyball tournament. After the race, the merriest crew will be announced and awarded a trophy.

The event is usually fun and relaxed with great music and is a wonderful opportunity to escape the heat without having to travel too far.

For more information, visit Serbia.com.

This article was published in BIRN's bi-weekly newspaper Belgrade Insight. Here is where to find a copy.

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