If you get tired of the bustling city atmosphere, noisy streets and tall buildings, you can relax and enjoy the beautiful nature in Belgrade. Belgrade is specific because it is one of the few cities that has a natural oasis with protected flora and fauna in its center. One of the most famous places where nature lovers gather is Great War Island, also known as Belgrade’s Amazonia. Locals describe it as an intact jungle in the heart of the city. The Great War Island is a large river island that is protected as a land of exceptional qualities. It also represents the Important Bird Area and Emerald Area.
Great War Island has often changed shape, and this process continues today. Based on historical data and descriptions of battles on the Danube, it is believed that the island was formed in the second half of the 15th century. Due to its significant strategic position, it always played an important role in war operations in this area.
It is located at the confluence of the rivers Sava and Danube. About two-thirds of the island is used as a natural reserve with 196 bird species. Many of them are endangered. The island is the only location in Serbia for the bird’s little nest fungi, which is used for antioxidant extraction. It is not advisable to deeply explore the island alone, as you may encounter angry wild boars. A safer option is to visit this attraction with someone who knows the terrain well.
Vegetation is also very diverse. A swamp cypress that inhabits the marshes and river flows of southeast North America also grows on the Great War Island. There are also rare species of white water lily, which is on the natural rarity list.
On the northern part of the island is sandy beach “Lido”, which gathers a large number of visitors during the summer months. They have a barbecue here, play beach volleyball or swim in the Danube. From this beach, visitors can see the panorama of Zemun and the famous Gardoš tower.
During July and August, you can reach the Great War Island by a pontoon bridge, while in the other months, you can be transported by locals in their little boats. We think that visiting Great War Island during the winter is not the best option, as the vegetation is not diverse, the temperature is very low and there are no sports activities.
After visiting the Great War Island, you can enjoy a sunset and a refreshing drink from one of the many bars along the Danube coast, overlooking the island’s greenery.