Situated in central Serbia, where the Zapadna Morava river has carved a gorge, impressive in scale, between the mountains of Ovčar and Kablar.
The section of the Zapadna Morava valley which connects the Požega and Čačak basins begins 1 km downriver from the confluence of the Đetinje and Moravica rivers, and extends for 27 km, to where the Kamenica flows into the Morava. Its deepest and most striking section – the Ovčar-Kablar Gorge – is 16 km long when measured by the length of the river bed, almost twice as much as when measured in a straight line, a result of the exceptionally winding course of the river and valley floor.
At its deepest point, near its centre, it is 620 m below the peak of Kablar and 710 m below the peak of Ovčar. This section also has the steepest walls, mostly exceeding 300.
The key feature of the gorge is the terrain, first and foremost the striking Ovčar and Kablar massifs from which it got its name. The imposing cliffs and undulating ridge of Kablar create the impression of a massive stone wave about to crash against Ovčar. The southern rocky slopes and peaks of Kablar plunge abruptly into the river. These slopes conceal entrances to caves and rock-shelters. In contrast to the grey slopes of Kablar, the sides of Ovčar descend more gently to the river and are covered in green forest.
The Zapadna Morava which divides them slows here and has carved out three unique meanders, of which the first two are of a striking geological form known as gooseneck meanders.
A series of small falls found along the Banjski Potok stream are especially worth seeing, together with a smaller sinter shelf. It is interesting to note that stalactites and stalagmites continue to be formed today.
The steep, stony slopes of Kablar, with their rocky spurs and stands of woodland, are refuge to numerous, plant species, many of them relict species. Typical species found in the gorge are the European smoketree, hornbeam, oriental hornbeam, small-leaved lime, large-leaved lime, manna ash, Daphne mezereum] and daphne-laurel.
There is also a rich animal population thanks to the well-preserved and diverse habitats found here, such as woodlands, cliffs, crags, water habitats, pastures and meadows. Often seen here are Hermann’s tortoise, the European pond turtle, the fire salamander, European pine marten, beech marten, badger, wildcat, otter, Peregrine Falcon, Golden Eagle, Grey Heron and Rock Partridge.
In the shade of the woods, on the banks of the river, on small plateaus and pressed up against cliffs there lie hidden 11 mediaeval monasteries, unique for their location and the era in which they came into being. To the left of the Zapadna Morava are the monasteries of Blagoveštenje, Ilinje, Savinje, Nikolje, Uspenje and Jovanje, while to the right are Sretenje, Trojica, Preobraženje, Vaznesenje and Vavedenje. In terms of their cultural and spiritual significance, as well as their artistic value, this group of monasteries is second only to the monasteries of Fruška Gora.
Also found in the gorge is the Ovčar Banja spa resort, still not developed or utilised to the full but with the potential to become a lynchpin for the development of tourism in this area in the near future.
INFORMATIONTuristička organizacija Čačka Trg ustanka 4, 32000 Čačak tel: +381 (0)32 342-360 www.to-cacak.com