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7 reasons to visit Fruška gora and Jazak


On the road with us to Fruška gora and Jazak

Where water flows, life awakens. Our vital need for water becomes extremely clear in the stuffy hot summer days when we strive for a drink of cool water and a dip in a refreshing stream. This is why for out visit we chose the region of precious crystal-clear lakes only a 40-minute drive away from the sweltering streets of Belgrade, in the Serbian region of Srem. No, Srem is not all an even plane: towards the north, it gets rowdier, with lush vegetation and steep hills protecting its clear-water treasures. With the Fruška Gora mountains on the horizon one cannot but remember a quote from a prominent nature historian

If there is magic in the world, it is water

Why visit Fruška gora and Jazak?

1. Because the Fruška gora mountain is really an island in the ancient Pannonian sea

The Pannonian sea disappeared from the face of the Earth over 600 thousand years ago, but an island of that sea now remains as a geologically unique mountain complex along the bank of the Danube. Home to a wide variety of plant and animal species, Fruška gora is Serbia’s oldest national park. An oasis of peace and quiet, it includes 17 active monasteries, the legacy of noble Serbian dynasties, wide forests and pastures, lakes and streams, vineyards, and camping spots and is a perfect destination for sports and recreation.

Whatever your heart desires.

On the Srem bank of the Danube, you will find the Jazak village, the Vrdnik thermal spa and the Pavlovačko lake famous as a great fishing spot and as a place where Serbia’s most famous athlete chose to build his impressive home. If you happen to meet Novak Djoković in the area, ask him if it was the fishing that drew him to Pavlovci, or some other hidden treasures only he happens to know about.

2. Beacause you will be able to enjoy „water from the center of the earth“

The famous Jazak water goes from the spring straight to the bottling plant, where it is packaged in convenient bottles just as it is, without any treatment or additives. Before it ends up here, however, the water travels underground through layers of millions-old minerals. The Jazak source is located in the protected ecosystem of the Fruška Gora national park, in a perennial glacier locked in the underground rock. Here, 128 meters below the surface, is where the magic begins. The water is enriched with a variety of chemical elements that together do wonders for human health. Simply speaking, the calcium in the Jazak water makes sure the heart runs like clockwork, the muscles stay flexible, the teeth stay strong, the hair shines, and the brain is always alert. The magnesium in the water is in perfect balance to the calcium, and helps concentration, mood, and metabolism, as well as the entire immune system. Another special ingredient, bicarbonate ions, regulate the acid level in the stomach and protect the digestive tract maintaining a healthy Ph. Further still, the sodium content is very low, so the Jazak water is safe for daily unlimited drinking.

Those who prefer fruit flavors are can enjoy the fruit-infused Jazak water enriched with B vitamins and natural flavorings. Elderflower water with aloe vera immediately refreshes and reinvigorates, raspberry and lemon Jazak contains the daily dose of zinc, sweet clementine and lemon water brings magnesium to the muscles, and peach-flavored water contains biotin beneficial for the nerve system. Water is known to be the fist and the best remedy. This is, however, only true for fresh and clear spring water straight from its natural source.

When drinking water, remember the spring

3. Because this is the place that will get your adrenaline going

After a refreshing drink of spring water, we are ready for further adventures, so it is time to check out the hilly racetrack a bit higher from the Jazak water plant. Here adrenaline lovers of all kinds compete in ATV and motorbike races. Locals say that the wide dirt track remains clean and safe even after long rainy days – that is how special the soil is.

4. Because the local goat cheese is to die for

The Jazak village is nestled in a green lush valley in the Srem region of Serbia, a land or rich pastures, prolific orchards, and happy free-grazing cattle. The people here are known for their hospitality and friendliness, and in 2018, Jazak was named the prettiest village with less than 1000 people in the country. Proud of their rebellious past and free spirit, the village people happily retell the stories of the battles again the Turks, fought in the area over two hundred years ago under the leadership of the local hero Teodor Avramović. Some remember another prominent fellow Jazak citizen, Stevan Kovačević Bačvanin, famous for making world’s best sparkling wines from the local Fruška gora grapes. The wines were enjoyed by Yugoslavia’s first president Tito and many other world leaders. Kovačević’s children did not continue the family business, but thankfully managed to preserve the secret recipe for creating Champagne-style sparkling beverage from the local grapes, so that they can be one day recreated to their former glory.

Even though the fancy bubbly is no longer produced here, the locals proudly carry on the cheese and winemaking traditions of the region. The cheese if made from pure fresh goat milk, without the addition of cow’s milk or any coloring or preservatives. If you have a chance, definitely try the mouth-watering herb-infused cheese preserved in oak leaves. The cheese is, of course, best paired with local wine. Luckily, the village of Jazak is home to several famous vineyards, and almost every local family is making their own wine. Another local specialty is the rich and spicy Srem sausage. The food culture is a prominent feature of the Srem region, with frequent food festivals, where guests can try all the wonderful local specialties, including wild game preparations, a variety of baked goods, and the famous meat stews. No festival is complete without national songs about the beauties of this unique region.

The village of Jazak, but you're in the valley, so you look like jam in a cup.

5. Because here is the resting place of the last of the Nemanjić dinasty

The Jazak monastery, built in the middle of the 18th century, is one of the youngest in Fruška gora. Here you will be greeted by friendly nuns, who will be happy to offer you a refreshing drink of the local elderflower lemonade and tell you the story of the monastery’s tumultuous past. It survived fires and pillaging during several wars and is now one of the jewels of Fruška gora.  During the rule of Maria Theresa, the Habsburg empress, fresco painting was prohibited, so this monastery is uniquely decorated with 58 icons.

Here in the monastery you will see the grave of Emperor Uroš the Weak, the last Serbian ruler from the Nemanjić dynasty. He was canonized, and his remains were transferred to the Jazak monastery in 1705. Now the saint’s grave is where believers of all denominations come to pray, as his relics are believed to have healing powers.

Now after a lecture in history and religion, it is time to take a short break to come back to the here and now.

6. Because the food here is great

After a ten-minute drive among the rolling hills, we arrive to the village of Mala Remeta. It is cozy, filled with flowers and apple orchards, and surrounded by wide green pastures. Here we can settle down in the shade in the local tavern and try the magnificent feast that is the Srem lunch. The host brings out pheasant soup, a platter of assorted cheeses, kaymak, wild boar bacon, and sausage, and some fresh garden salad. While we are waiting for the main dish, we can sip on some fresh homemade wine and enjoy the view of horses grazing on the pasture.

The main dishes arrive: the mouth-watering game-meat paprikash with homemade noodles and stuffed venison rump. The meat is lean, perfectly seasoned and melts in your mouth. After the main dish, let us take a break and walk around the yard to pet the horses, before coming back to the table to finish the feast off with some fresh apple pie.

If you overdo it with the local wine or stay later than planned, there are rooms for rent at the tavern.

7. Because the Bešenovo lake is a hidden turquoise lagoon

Just three kilometers further is the turquoise Bešenovo lake, also known as the Beli Kamen lake. The water is clear and full of fish, and the white stony banks are reminiscent of the far-off tropical beaches. A 50-meter deep former marl pit was abandoned and filled with water to form a lake. The beach is wild, with rocky bottom and no lifeguards, so swimming is officially prohibited.

The banks are still quite crowded – many come to enjoy the view and spend some time in the sun. From here, you can easily reach the Bešenovo monastery that used to belong to the Nemanjić dynasty, or continue your trip around the area. Luckily, wherever you go, there is always something interesting to see.