One of the main reasons why I decided to write about the Spring of Grza is an undeserved anonymity of the place. True, in recent years there have been some attempts to revive it. There were several “Into Grza’s embrace” mountain actions, a couple of mountaineer gatherings, there was even a “Survival race” organized by Wild Serbia in 2013, and yet people are staring at me blank whenever I mention this location. I assume that they are at the same level of intimacy with Grza and Aconcagua, although I assume this is not the case with people from Paraćin, Ćuprija and Zaječar who mostly use the benefits of this natural oasis. It’s a shame that most people are deprived of enjoying this area, due to its anonymity, although it’s quite close and very accessible. The quality of this tour and the level of fulfillment of the soul and the body we’ll be conversation topics for days, with photos as a wonderful reminder for months.
The springs of Grza can be reached very easily. After turning off the highway to Zaječar and passing through three tunnels and 17 km you come across a board for Grza. Slow down after the turn because the road is in pretty bad shape. It seems that these areas are not within reach of pre-election atmosphere: they have not been paved for years. Fortunately, the road is quite short, about 4-5 km, and your attention will be occupied with small cottages, a lake and a renovated “hut”. You will soon come to the mountain lodge “Đorđe Živković”, named after a prominent Paraćin mountaineer.
Mountain lodge “Đorđe Živković”
It is located in the heart of the forest, exudes a call of an extraordinary nature and is an unavoidable starting point and/or inn for hunters, fishermen and hikers. Appearance and offer are modest, but it has everything you need to stay for one or more days and explore both the immediate and wider environment. The lodge holds available 50-60 beds, electricity, and water from wells, toilets, common kitchen with complete equipment for the preparation of food. Price per night is 400 dinars. This is the information I got from the friendly hosts a year and a half, I assume it did not increase a lot in the meantime. The house can be used for rest and refreshment in the form of coffee, brandy, juice, beer, as lodging and base for exploring this beautiful part of Serbia. This is a great point indeed because within only 60 kilometers are Rtanj, Sokobanja, Resavska cave, waterfall Lisa, numerous monasteries, Felix Romuliana …
And, again, if you’re not in the mood to drive, just want to relax and spend a day absorbing the essence of nature, Grza has a lot to offer. This gem is nested in a valley of the southern part of Kučaj mountains, surrounded by gentle mountain peaks that are below 1000m and benign, vast forests. Although it does not provide any special adrenaline adventures, springs of Grza have 50 km of hiking trails, several gazebos, two lakes, bridge of “love”, a small cave and a pair of small waterfall, so it offers really enough material for a great experience.
Directly in front of the mountain home is a board with a map of the surroundings.
Map of hiking trails
All five hiking trails that start from the home are quite clearly marked, as well as the height levels to be achieved. All trails are well marked along the way, and mostly go through a dense forest up to the tops of the surrounding mountains. I will not describe the paths in detail, because there are no special quirks, but just in terms of enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
Staying in the forest is in itself a change, not to say “a shock” to the body. There will be a wonderful response. Completely silently and unannounced begins an exchange between you and the forest. Unconsciously you relieve stress, asphalt, smog, nasty parking, pissed-off boss, dumb colleagues, and in return you take in the birds, smell the forest and mountain flowers, babbling brooks to jump around on the rocks and logs. When you realize how much you have gained in this transaction, you will get the enthusiasm and motivation to win a lot more serious trails than the ones surrounding Grza.
As you walk and breathe deeply observing the flora, the fauna will mainly observe you. But, no need for worry and discomfort because everything you meet in this ecosystem is quite harmless. Rabbits, foxes, mice, squirrels, deer, the occasional wolf, as well as a handful of herbs and mushrooms are the only companions that will complete the atmosphere.
Probably the only bad thing is that I cannot guarantee that on top of each trail you will find a great lookout. Unfortunately, some are completely covered in forest and you won’t be able to enjoy the panorama of the surrounding peaks, home and lakes, so I advise you to inquire in the house about their condition before you start.
The most attractive part of the whole tour is located right at your foot. The way back from any summit takes you to the source again, and if you came to “chill”, fish or barbecue, you are only a few minutes away from the parking lot next to the home. Very quickly you will find out that there is everything you need to enjoy a full lazy day: two lakes, caves, the bridge of “love”, the springs, benches and tables that can be used to eat, especially if you put something to sizzle on the barbecue grid.
The lakes are a story for themselves, completely surrounded by forest, full of trout and with a color that leaves you breathless. Depending on the time of day and year, the point from which you are viewing the lake and the level of cloudiness, color will break from light green through olive to dark green or even from turquoise to blue.
It is totally expected that you will frantically snap cameras in the hope that the next photo will be the right one, let’s say for facebook 🙂 Following the signs you can easily visit all the wealth that Grza has to offer.
Certainly it is most attractive in the spring when everything comes to life and the water is freely coming out of the springs, but you will not be wrong whenever you go, because every season brings its own charms. If you are not in the mood for barbecue, “the dragon in the stomach” can be soothed nearby. I have not tried it, so I would not comment much, but I’ve heard praise about the famous beans prepared in the home, as well as the “sač’, trout, cheese and lamb in the restaurant “Koliba”.
For those who find something inspiring in the text and want to explore new parts of Serbia, here are links where you can get further information, http://www.koliba-grza.co.rs/ http://www.javorakpn.com /dom_na_grzi.html. In the end, a piece of advice and request – wherever you go, not only to Grza, show some manners and take your trash with you. If not for yourself, then for not embarrassing me 🙂