Vrnjačka Banja is definitely the most beautiful spa in Serbia. Beauty does not change even depending on the season and it is deservedly called the Queen of Serbian tourism. It is known that the Romans used mineral springs for healing. They built the spa Aquae Orcinae, and the hot water source Fons Romanus. Organized tourism started at the end of the 19th century, and from then until today, the profile of visitors has changed significantly. Today, Vrnjačka Banja is visited not only because of the beneficial treatment, but also because of the overall enjoyment it offers. I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with Palić, because a large number of villas were built in the same style – Art Nouveau. This style seems to be becoming my favorite.
Today’s spa core was built by prominent people from Kraljevo, Trstenik and Kruševac. They founded the Founding Society of Sour Hot Water in Vrnjci in 1868. and in just one year they made Vrnjačka Banja the center of interest. For the needs of accommodation, people who were interested in coming for treatment had to build krajnjače by the river. These are the huts that were used for rent. It is mentioned that the key period for Banja was when General Jovan Belimarković built a summer house here, which was later visited by the most important aristocracy of Serbia.
We had the honor and pleasure to be accommodated in the most beautiful and luxurious villa on the Promenade – in Villa Emilia.
Villa Emilia has changed its name over time. It used to be called the villa of Arnovljević, then Nadežda, Sutjeska and San. Today’s appearance of the facade and exterior carpentry faithfully shows the appearance of the villa from 1906. The villa is built in the Art Nouveau style, light blue with wonderful applications, masquerades and floral ornaments on the facade. The complete renovation of the villa will start in 2018. Imagine how wonderful it is to wake up in a place like this full of historical importance. The interior of the villa exudes modern and carefully selected elements. You can dine in Bistro “Luka” or restaurant “Emilia” or try top-quality homemade ice cream made according to an Italian recipe in the gelateria “Mateo”.
In addition to spending the night in the villa, a top-quality breakfast is included, prepared for each guest individually. The villa has at its disposal 13 apartments and luxury rooms with beautiful terraces and views of the promenade or Čajka Hill and beautiful villas. The renovation of the rooms was completed last year and since then the capacities have been filled to the maximum. They are categorized with 4 stars and equipped with beds of domestic production. In the room, we were thrilled by the rotating TV, so you can watch it from both the bedroom and the living room. TV was not the only thing that delighted us, the rooms are spacious, comfortable and modernly equipped with all the necessary facilities for maximum enjoyment.
On the second floor of the villa there is a children’s corner and a wellness center. In the Wellness Center you can use the salt room, tepidarium, saunas and showers, and the construction of a swimming pool is planned, which will complete the wellness story. Use of the center is included in the room price and after a busy and stressful week, nothing helps as staying in a quiet place like this Wellness Center. It is necessary to book your visit, because each of the guests stays alone and has the necessary peace.
Sources of treatment
There are 7 springs of hot and cold water for treatment in the area of the spa: Hot water, Snežnik, Slatina, Jezero, Beli izvor, Borjak and Vrnjačko vrelo. Water from two springs is also bottled – Vrnjci water from the Topla voda spring and Vrnjačko vrelo. Hot water is the first source adapted to spa tourism. As early as 1883, the Kursalon was built, a room for receiving guests. The mineral waters of Vrnjačka Banja are suitable for the treatment of diabetes, diseases of the pancreas, gallbladder, diseases of the digestive organs, rheumatic diseases, post-traumatic conditions and many others. The treatment is carried out by bathing, drinking, inhalation and rinsing with mineral water.
What to visit in Banja?
I was fascinated by the fact that the Vrnjačka Carnival matches the number of visitors and the Trumpet Festival in Guča and Exit. In July, Vrnjacka Banja becomes a big stage with many masquerades, plays, concerts and the most important Great International Carnival Parade. Brazilian dancers, dressed as at the Rio Carnival, attract the most attention.
The younger population is certainly familiar with Lovefest, which takes place on the first weekend in August. The rich festival program is held on as many as 5 stages and a large number of world and domestic faces come to Vrnjača Banja at that time.
During Valentine’s Day, 14.2. There is a competition for the longest kiss in Vrnjačka Banja called Kiss me on the Bridge of Love. Last year, a record of 112 minutes was set. Congratulations.
Along the entire Promenade and Vrnjačka Park, there are a large number of Banja attractions worth visiting, such as the library, named after Dr. Dušan Radić, who, tohether with Moša Marjanović (Moša from Montevideo), is one of the founders of the football club in Vrnjačka Banja, and a cinema. The wonderful thing is that the entire Promenade is closed to traffic, so you can leave the children alone to enjoy the nature and beauty of the Spa. If you are looking for a place to eat and drink, you can find a large number of restaurants and cafes on the Promenade.
The bridges over the Vrnjačka River are also an attraction in themselves. From the Bridge of Love with padlocks that lock eternal love, to the Bridge of Mathematics, the Bridge Who Sings There and the Bridge of the Remote. The Bridge of Love is the most famous, so Desanka Maskimović, a frequent visitor to the Spa, dedicated the song Prayer for Love to unhappy love between teacher Nada and officer Relja. The teacher and the officer gave promisses to each other, but after the outbreak of the First World War, Officer Relja had to go to war and in Greece he met a woman because of whom he forgot about Nada. Teacher Nada dies due to unhappy love. Other girls, upset by her fate, come up with the idea to tie their love on the bridge, the most common meeting place of Nada and Relja, by writing their own and their loved one’s name on the padlock. After locking the padlock, the key would be thrown into the river so that love would never be unlocked. It reminded me of writing a name in Julia’s house in Verona. If you locked yourself up or wrote the name in Julia’s house, I hope you were lucky.
Sparrow Gočko in the middle of the promenade, right next to the Bridge of Love, is the mascot of the Spa. I’m sure every time you walk past him you’ll see someone being photographed. He is dressed in traditional Serbian costume – in sandals and with šajkača.
Driving a Vrnjačka small train is also an attraction of the Spa. The children will especially enjoy the ride through the park, where the English, French and Japanese style of the parks alternate. The vehicle transports passengers between 10 am and 9 pm every day, with departures every 30 minutes. The price of the ride is 100 RSD.
Visit the Homeland Museum, formerly Belimarković Castle, and get acquainted with the history of this place. It is one of the oldest buildings here, right after the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Mother of God. It is located above the hot water spring.
The Japanese garden is another attraction worth visiting. It is a symbol of Banja’s friendship with the people of Japan. You will see different types of plants and trees, an artificial pond, cascading waterfalls, a wooden bridge, paved narrow paths and a wooden house. There are only two Japanese gardens in Serbia, the other is in Belgrade, in the Botanical Garden, and it is smaller than this one in Banja.
From Banja to Goč you do not need more than 45 minutes of driving. The magnificent mountain awaits you, all in luxury and beauty. Goč is the most forested mountain in Serbia. The main settlement is Mitrovo polje and here you can find accommodation in one of the hotels, eco villages or private accommodation. For children, beginner skiers, here is the dream of the Little Prince trail. The ski pass here is significantly cheaper than the price of a ski pass in other ski centers. There is a Roman cemetery on the mountain where most of the Saxon miners were buried. You can also visit the artificial lake Selište. What you must not miss when you come here is a visit to Avlija Erić. There we ate the most delicious trout ever. Another attraction near the Spa is the mountain Stolovi, known for its wild horses.
I hope that after reading this post, you have an even greater desire to enjoy the offer of Vrnjačka Banja and the comfort of Villa Emilia. We enjoyed every moment to the maximum.
* The post was made in cooperation with Villa Emilia.
NOTE: It is forbidden to download content from this blog without my prior permission.
All photos by: Danica i Vlada
Camera used: Samsung S9, Huawei p30 pro
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