3 Days in Zlatibor: The Ultimate Zlatibor Itinerary for First-Timers

I’m a huge fan of Zlatibor Mountain. I’ve been there dozens of times, and my last visit was in February 2023 for three days with my family, husband, and two kids.

What’s interesting about Zlatibor is that three days are not enough to see everything that can be seen there. This time, I skipped Stopića Cave and Mitrovac, Tara’s famous sightseeing spots.

Simply put, the kids wanted to ski, and it was too crowded for my taste, so we ended up losing too much time in transfers.

11 Wonderful Things to Do on Zlatibor in Winter

If we exclude skiing, most of the activities and experiences on this list can be enjoyed in any season and are probably even better in the summer when it’s not cold. 

1. Gondola

With a 9-kilometer route connecting the center of Zlatibor with Tornik, the highest peak of the mountain, this is the longest panoramic gondola in the world. 

The curiosity to experience it overcomes the fear of heights, even though the cable-suspended cabins smoothly gliding towards the peak might seem a bit daunting. Despite the huge crowds and the queue that had to be waited in, we soon stepped into a cabin that can hold 10 people.

The ride starts a bit bumpy, but after a few meters, the sun-drenched landscape and the golden autumn colors of Zlatibor completely enchant you. As the gondola ascends towards Tornik, any discomfort fades, replaced by excitement for the breathtaking scenery.

The ride lasts about 25 minutes, and the cabin moves at around 16 km/h, allowing you to enjoy the picturesque landscapes of Zlatibor. 

Crossing over Ribničko Lake is particularly attractive; there’s even a midway station where you can get off and enjoy the natural beauty of the mountain. (In the summer months, paragliding is organized at the station near Ribničko Lake). The Gold Gondola is pet-friendly, meaning you can bring a small dog in a carrier.

The cabins are incredibly clean with comfortable benches. Standing is not allowed, but since the cabin is all glass, there’s no need to stand up as everything is visible as if in the palm of your hand.

The final stop is Tornik’s peak at 1,496 meters, offering a panoramic view of the gentle Zlatibor villages and mountain peaks. Tickets for the Gold Gondola ride can be purchased online on the Visit-Serbia platform.

2. Tornik

Tornik isn’t a very big ski center, but it has slopes for all ages and snow cannons.

Renting skis and boots costs 1,500 dinars for adults and 800 dinars per day for kids, classified as those wearing up to size 36. If you reserve equipment for multiple days, you get a discount.

The cheapest ski pass is called “ski kindergarten (beginner’s area) with a conveyor belt.

The daily price for a child is 1600 dinars. Once the child learns to ski, the daily ski pass costs 2000 dinars just like for for adults.

There is no drinking water available at Tornik. When you enter any of the cafés at Tornik and ask for a glass of water with your coffee, they will tell you that only bottled water is available.

3. Adventure Park

Right next to the Zlatibor market and near the starting station of the Gold gondola lies the biggest adventure park in the Balkans, Adventure Park Zlatibor. It’s a perfect spot for all adrenaline junkies and fun lovers.

The park is suitable for kids as young as three years old and offers 7 different levels: baby level, kindergarten level, challenge level, pirate level, Tarzan level, jungle level, and more.

Ticket prices vary depending on the level and age. With a purchased ticket, you can go through each of the designated levels only once.

4. Vodice

The Vodice settlement, located 10 km from the Zlatibor tourist center, belongs to the village of Dobroselica. It is accessible via the main road towards Nova Varoš and Montenegro. 

Divided by the Crni Rzav River, its left bank is a favorite spot for locals and tourists visiting Zlatibor, as nature here remains largely untouched.

Towering white pines, vast expanses, and flower-filled meadows, interspersed with the meandering paths of the Crni Rzav River, form a true oasis in the Zlatibor region. Here, you can enjoy peace and captivating nature.

Vodice is particularly popular during the May Day holidays, where many choose to celebrate dawn here, followed by a day filled with music and fun, lasting until sunset.

The stunning beauty of this area is evident, as the landscape of this settlement is one of the most common motifs on Zlatibor postcards.

Regarding parking, there is no designated parking area, but along the road, there are several widened spaces where you can park and then walk a few steps down to the picnic spot.

5. Sirogojno

The village of Sirogojno is a place where the whole family can learn about Serbian cultural heritage. Your children will be able to see how life used to be, thanks to the Old Village Museum, the Knitters’ Museum, and the ethno village. 

In the Old Village Museum, you will find authentic houses such as cottages, dairies, bakeries, and the Church of Saints Peter and Paul. 

On the other hand, in the Knitters’ Museum, you can see unique clothing items, letters, and photographs of famous personalities, collections of awards, and collections of fashion magazines.

6. Gostilje Waterfalls

In the village of Gostilje, on the Gostilje River, 25 km from Zlatibor, lie the Gostilje waterfalls.

The first in the series is the tallest, about 22 meters high, and downstream, several smaller waterfalls and cascades can be visited along a well-maintained path, all the way to the confluence of the Gostilje River and the Katusnica River. 

Within the waterfall viewing area, there is a children’s playground, and horse riding is also available. During the summer months, it is a real pleasure to walk beside the waterfalls and feel the freshness of the water and air.

In front of the entrance to the waterfall viewing area, there is a spacious free parking lot where you can also purchase tickets.

Nearby, there is a football field and a well-maintained swimming pool, as well as a restaurant, making this beautiful location ideal to spend the entire day.

7. El Paso City

Along the main road to Montenegro, 14 kilometers from Zlatibor, is the theme park “El Paso City”. It is named after the city in the United States.

The park consists of several thematic sections:

  • Replicas of a 19th-century cowboy town in the Wild West, featuring a dominating hotel, and including a post office, jail, bank, sheriff’s office… You will experience the true atmosphere of the Wild West and Texas, with caravans set up in part of the town;
  • Replicas of an Indian village – namely six teepees arranged around a campfire; giving the impression that a real Indian chief might emerge from one of the tents, and
  • A Zlatibor hamlet with a church, representing the tradition of this region from the 19th century, featuring a trout-farming lake and log cabins named after famous Serbian personalities, whose likenesses also appear on the cabins.

“El Paso City” theme park is located right off the main road and has a parking area at the entrance. There is an entrance fee, and you can find out about the prices on their official website.

8. Zlatibor Lake

On Zlatibor, all roads lead to the lake. Right in the center, in the area called Kraljeve Vode, there’s an artificial lake that’s a symbol of Zlatibor. It was made in 1947, is 150 meters long and 50 meters wide.

Around the lake, there’s a paved path for walking and benches to rest on. There are also a couple of restaurants on the lake itself. They offer not just food and drinks, but also a great view of the lake with the sound of water from fountains.

It’s a beautiful experience both in summer, under the sun, with open-air restaurant seating, and in winter, when you can enjoy the view of the frozen lake from the cozy, warm restaurants.

9. Monument 

Zlatibor Monument is dedicated to the memory of executed partisans wounded in World War II.

Accessible by a 2.3 km long, lit “health trail” starting from the “Čigota” Institute and crossing a bridge over the highway, the monument is easy to reach and features an open-air gym on the way. 

At the café near the monument, you can refresh yourself with food and drinks after your walk.

At the base, you can rent horses for riding, and all-terrain vehicles (quad bikes) are also available, though their use raises concerns due to mud and potential danger to pedestrians.

I didn’t check the prices.

10. Drvengrad (Wooden Town)

Drvengrad, or Wooden Town, is an ethno village on Mećavnik, built by film director Emir Kusturica. Located about 40 km from Zlatibor towards Tara Mountain, it features streets and squares named after famous personalities. 

You can stroll down the main street named after Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić, or wander through the streets named after Nikola Tesla, Novak Đoković, until you reach the Diego Armando Maradona Square.

Drvengrad has numerous attractions: a log church dedicated to Saint Sava, a cinema, a pastry shop, a hotel, a souvenir shop, a restaurant, and more.

Since 2008, the international music and film festival “Kustendorf” has been held here, attracting numerous celebrities from around the world.

There’s an entrance fee to Drvengrad, and parking is available outside the entrance. Ticket is 250 dinars which is approx $2,5 or slightly above 2 euros.

11. Hydroelectric Plant on the Đetinja River

The hydroelectric plant on the Đetinja River, located below the old fortress of the city of Užice, was built in 1900. 

It is a symbol of Užice and is significant for being the first electric power plant in Europe built based on Tesla’s principles of polyphase currents.

 It’s the second of its kind in the world, constructed only five years after a similar one on the Niagara River in America.

Where to Eat on Zlatibor

Kafana Pecinar tops the list as the best dining option. ‘Boskova Voda’, located just before Pecinar in Ljubiš, is a fine choice too, essentially mirroring Pecinar’s style. ‘Krcma Gaj’ and ‘Čumićevo Sokače’ are comparable, though a notch below the first two in terms of overall experience. 

Čumićevo Sokače stands out for its more secluded location and the slightly superior view it offers. These places are popular for their ‘komplet lepinja’.

As for ‘Koliba kod Milunke’, it’s decent for a meal, but it doesn’t particularly stand out in terms of ambiance or views, which are significant factors for me.

Where to Stay in Zlatibor

Where to stay in Zlatibor truly depends on what you’re looking for. We went with an Airbnb, which was great for a more home-like feel. 

But if you’re into a bit of pampering, there are numerous hotels with spas.