Serbia is a country situated at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the far southern edges of the Pannonian Plain and the central Balkans. It shares borders with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania and Albania. Serbia is landlocked, though it is able to access the Adriatic Sea through Montenegro and inland Europe and the Black Sea via the Danube.
Serbia covers a total area of 88,361 km2 (34,116 sq mi), which places it 111th in the world. Arable land covers 19,194 km2 (7,411 sq mi) (24.8%), and forests cover 19,499 km2 (7,529 sq mi) (25.2%) of the territory of Serbia.
Serbia's total border length amounts to 2,361 km (1,467 mi): with Bosnia and Herzegovina 370.9 km (230.5 mi), with Bulgaria 360.5 km (224.0 mi), with Croatia 261.7 km (162.6 mi), with Hungary 174.7 km (108.6 mi), with North Macedonia 282.9 km (175.8 mi), with Montenegro 249.5 km (155.0 mi), with Romania .546.5 km (339.6 mi)
Serbia's terrain ranges from fertile plains of northern Vojvodina to limestone ranges and basins in the east and ancient mountains and hills in the southeast. The north is dominated by the Danube River. The Morava River, a tributary of the Danube, flows through the more mountainous southern regions of Serbia.
The terrain of central Serbia consists chiefly of hills and low to medium-high mountains, interspersed with numerous rivers and creeks. The main communication and development line stretches southeast of Belgrade towards Niš and Skopje (in North Macedonia), along the valley formed by the Great and South Morava rivers. Most major cities, as well as the main railroad and highway, are located on or around this line. To the east of this line, in an area that is relatively sparsely populated, the terrain rises to the limestone ranges of Stara Planina and the Serbian Carpathians. To the west, mountains slowly rise towards the southwest, but do not form real ridges. Zlatibor and Kopaonik are the highest mountains of this area.
Mountains cover the largest parts of the country.[ citation needed ] Four mountain systems meet in Serbia: the Dinaric Alps in the west cover the greatest territory, stretching from northwest to southeast. The Carpathian and Balkan Mountains stretch in a north-south direction in eastern Serbia, east of the Morava valley. Ancient mountains along the South Morava, the highest one being Besna Kobila, belong to the Rila-Rhodope mountain system.
The most significant mountains in Serbia are:
The highest peak in Serbia is Velika Rudoka in the Šar Mountains 2660m high.
Practically the entire territory (92%) of Serbia belongs to the Danube (Black Sea) drainage basin. Part of Kosovo (5%) belongs to the Adriatic drainage basin, chiefly via the White Drin river. The rest (3%) in Kosovo and southern Serbia belongs to Aegean basin, chiefly via the Vardar river.
The Danube flows 588 km through Serbia or as a border river (with Croatia in the northwest and Romania in the southeast). Other chief rivers in Serbia are tributaries of the Danube including the Sava (flowing from the west), Tisa (flowing from the north), Drina (flowing from the south, forming a natural border with Bosnia and Herzegovina), and Morava. Only the Morava flows nearly entirely through Serbia. Their tributaries form a dense network of smaller rivers and creeks that cover most of the country.
Due to its terrain, natural lakes in Serbia are sparse and small and most are located in Vojvodina, such as the glacial lake Palić and numerous oxbow lakes along rivers. There are, however, numerous artificial lakes, mostly due to the construction of hydroelectric dams, the biggest being Đerdap on the Danube, Perućac on the Drina, and Vlasina Lake.
The abundance of relatively unpolluted surface water and numerous underground water sources of high quality might present opportunities for exportation and economic improvement. Extensive exploitation and production of bottled water has begun only recently. Despite the country's access to these water resources, water supply to many Serbian cities is poor due to mismanagement and a lack of adequate investment in infrastructure. This is complicated by water pollution (e.g., pollution in the Ibar River from Trepča zinc-lead compounds affecting Kraljevo and the presence of natural arsenic in underground waters in Zrenjanin).
The theoretical hydroenergetic potential in Serbia is estimated to be around 17,000 GWh.Roughly 10,000 GWh or 60% of Serbia's hydroenergetic potential is generated by large power plants. The remainder could be generated in small and medium power plants (<25 MW), whose construction by the private sector may improve Serbia's economy and energy reliability.
Serbia also has a huge geothermal potential, but it is only partially and sporadically accessed. Geothermal water is primarily used for balneological purposes: there are around 60 spas in Serbia, which are seen as an opportunity to improve tourism in the country.
Climate of Serbia is moderate continental with a diversity on local level, caused by geographic location, relief, terrain exposition, presence of river and lake systems, vegetation, urbanization etc. Proximity of the mountain ranges of Alps, Carpathians, Rhodopes, as well as Adriatic Sea and Pannonian plain affect the climate. Location of river ravines and plains in the northern area of the country enable occasional deep southward protrusion of polar air masses on winters, while hot Saharan air often intrudes over the Mediterranean Sea on summers.
Average annual air temperature for the period 1961-1990 for the area with the altitude of up to 300 m (980 ft) amounts to 11 °C (51.8 °F ). The areas with the altitudes of 300 to 500 m (984 to 1,640 ft) have average annual temperature of around 10.5 °C (50.9 °F), and over 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of altitude around 6 °C (42.8 °F).
Annual precipitation, generally, rises with altitude. In lower regions, it ranges in the interval from 540 to 820 mm (21.3 to 32.3 in), areas on altitude over 1,000 m (3,281 ft) receive in average 700 to 1,000 mm (27.6 to 39.4 in), and some mountainous summits in southwestern Serbia up to 1,500 mm (59.1 in). Major part of Serbia has continental precipitation regimen, with peak in the earlier summer period, except for southwest, which receives highest precipitation autumn. May–June is the rainiest month, with the average of 12 to 13% of total annual amount. February and October have the least precipitation. Snow cover can occurs from late November to early March, and majority of days with snow cover is in January.
Annual sums of solar radiation are in the interval from 1500 to 2200 hours annually.
Surface air circulation is largely influenced by orographic lift. In warmer part of the year, winds from northwest and west prevail. In Vojvodina and Sumadija, east-southeast wind, Košava, dominates over autumn and winter. Southwestern winds prevail in mountainous part of southwestern Serbia.
Serbia has five national parks and many national nature reserves encompassing 5% of the territory.
Serbia has 6,167 registered settlements: 207 urban and 5,960 rural.
With an area of 238,397 km2 (92,046 sq mi), Romania is the twelfth-largest country in Europe. Located in Central and Southeastern Europe, bordering on the Black Sea, the country is halfway between the equator and the North Pole and equidistant from the westernmost part of Europe—the Atlantic Coast—and the most easterly—the Ural Mountains. Romania has 3,195 kilometres (1,985 mi) of border. Republic of Moldova and Ukraine lie to the east, Bulgaria lies to the south, and Serbia and Hungary to the west. In the southeast, 245 kilometres (152 mi) of sea coastline provide an important outlet to the Black Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ibar, also known as the Ibër and Ibri, is a river that flows through eastern Montenegro, northern Kosovo and central Serbia, with a total length of 272 km (169 mi). The river begins in the Hajla mountain, in Rožaje, eastern Montenegro, and passes through southwestern Serbia and northern Kosovo, where it leads back into Serbia to flow into the West Morava river near Kraljevo, central Serbia.
Đerdap National Park stretches along the right bank of the Danube River from the Golubac Fortress to the dam near Novi Sip, Serbia. It was established in 1974 and spreads on 63,786.5 ha. The park management office is in the town of Donji Milanovac on the Danube. Across the river is the Parcul Natural Porțile de Fier in Romania.
The Nera is a 124-kilometre-long (77-mile) river running through Romania and Serbia. It is a left tributary of the Danube, which it joins near Banatska Palanka. Its length is 143 km (89 mi) and its basin size is 1,380 km2 (530 sq mi). The Nera is not navigable.
The Nišava or Nishava is a river in Bulgaria and Serbia, a right tributary, and with a length of 218 kilometres (135 mi) also the longest one, of the South Morava.
Kopaonik is a mountain range located in Serbia and Kosovo. The highest point is the Pančić's Peak with 2,017 m (6,617 ft). The central part of the Kopaonik plateau was declared a national park in 1981 which today covers an area of 121.06 km2 (46.74 sq mi).
The Rasina is a river in south central Serbia. The 92 km (57 mi) long river flows through the Rasina region, gives its name to the modern Rasina District of Serbia, and flows into the Zapadna Morava near the city of Kruševac.
Temštica or Temska is a river in Serbia, a right tributary of the river Nišava. The Temštica itself is not very long (23 km), but receives a much longer tributary, the Visočica (Височица), flowing from Bulgaria, through Serbia making Visočica and Temštica river system 93.7 km long.
The Morava Valley, is a general term which in its widest sense marks valleys of any of three Morava rivers in Serbia: the West Morava, the South Morava and the Great Morava. In the narrow sense, the term is applied only to the Great Morava Valley. The Serbian term follows the general manner of coining river valley names in Serbian using the prefix po- and suffix -je, meaning literally "(land) along the Morava". Morava valley lies in the central Balkans, at the crossroads which lead eastwards, towards the Black sea and Asia Minor, and further south, down the Vardar river into the Aegean sea.
Golija is a mountain in southwestern Serbia, between towns of Ivanjica and Novi Pazar. It is part of the Dinaric mountain range. The mountain is heavily forested with significant biodiversity. It contains the Golija-Studenica Biosphere Reserve, the first UNESCO-MAB registered biosphere reserve in Serbia. It is also a small ski resort, with several historical monuments and monasteries. The highest peak is Jankov Kamen at 1,833 metres (6,014 ft).
Besna Kobila is a mountain in southeastern Serbia and small ski center. Its eponymous highest peak has an elevation of 1,923 m. It lies 35 km to the east from the city of Vranje. There is a mountain chalet Besna Kobila from where it takes an hour to hour and a half to reach the summit on foot. It is known for its stormy weather, so the best months for climbing are during the warmer part of the year.
The Vršac Mountains, also known as Vršac Hill, are located in the Banat region near the city of Vršac, Serbia and partially also in Romania. They represent an independent and distinct massif, 19 kilometers long and spreading on an area of 170 square kilometers, of which 122 belong to Serbia and 48 to Romania.
Kučaj is a mountain range in eastern Serbia. Its highest peak, Velika Tresta has an elevation of 1,284 meters above sea level. They belong to the Serbian extension of Carpathians, which separate the valleys of Great Morava and Timok.
The regional geology of Serbia describes the geologic structure and history inside the borders of Serbia.
Miroč is a mountain in eastern Serbia, between the towns of Donji Milanovac and Tekija. Its highest peak Štrbac has an elevation of 768 meters (2,520 ft) above sea level. Along with Liškovac, it is part of the Iron Gate gorge of the Danube river. It is located in the Đerdap national park.
Kopren Waterfall is the second highest waterfall in Serbia. It is located on Stara Planina mountain in southeast Serbia and 103.5 m (340 ft) high. Between 16 June 2011, when it was measured, and 9 June 2012, when the waterfall Kaluđerski Skokovi was measured, Kopren was considered the highest waterfall in Serbia.
Kopaonik ski resort or Kopaonik ski center is a mountain resort and the largest center of winter tourism in Serbia. Located on the slopes of Kopaonik Mountain, it is mainly a destination for skiing and snowboarding, but also offers various other activities like tennis. In the area, there are several hotels and hostels, cafes, bars and night clubs.
Kaluđerski Skokovi is the highest waterfall in Serbia. It is located on the Stara Planina mountain in southeast Serbia. Only discovered in 2012, it is 232 m (761 ft) high, which is over twice more than the Kopren Waterfall, previously the highest waterfall in Serbia, which itself was discovered only a year earlier.