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The area around the village of Zlot, near Kučaj in Eastern Serbia, is rich in speleological sites - known as Zlot Caves.
Hajdučica Cave, which measures 723 metres in length, is distinctive for its diverse cave formations, while Mandina Cave, which is about half its size, is filled with stalactites and stalagmites. At 180 metres long the Water Cave is the shortest of all, while the nearby karst pit named Stojkova ledenica is known for its horizontal and vertical sections of canals. Hajdučica Cave, the Water Cave, Mandina Cave and Stojkova ledenica are only accessible by speleologists. Lazar’s Cave and Vernjikica, however, are open to visitors.
Lazareva pećina (Lazar’s Cave), also known as Zlotska Cave, lies on the bank of the river Lazareva reka, nearly 300 metres above sea level. The visitors’ entrance provides a first glimpse into the depths of the cave.
These two halls are veritable treasure troves of speleothems of different shapes and colours, which decorate the area and catch visitors’ attention. Stalactites and stalagmites, cave columns, draperies and tufa and calcite pools of all shapes and sizes fill the entire cave.
During their ancient rule the Ottoman Turks bricked up the entrance to the cave to prevent bandits or refugees taking shelter here. Today, the river Lazareva reka and Lazareva pećina cave are protected by law as a natural resource, together with the nearby Vernjikica cave.
At the entrance to Vernjikica, you will be greeted by the majestic “Reception Hall”, from which you will enter the “Cascade Hall” and then “Vilingrad” (“Fairytown”), which boasts the most beautiful cave formations of all. A massive red column at the very entrance to “Vilingrad” stands out for its striking beauty.
After you have passed the “Ponor” (“Abyss”) hall, you will enter the “Coliseum”, the largest hall in the cave, measuring 60 metres across and 59 metres high.
As you continue down the “Mramorje Hall”, you will reach the “Weaponry Hall”, which owes its unusual name to its stalactites shaped like arrows, daggers, spears and swords.
Your adventure doesn’t have to end when you exit the Zlot Caves - you can hike through the nearby forests and hamlets, stop by a rural household and enjoy local food prepared the traditional way.
You can continue your journey on to the city of Bor and Borsko jezero, whose beach provides respite from the heat in the warm summer days. And if you’re in the area during the winter season, visit the nearby Crni vrh mountain, with its maintained ski slopes and crisp mountain climate.