Sokobanja is a place that offers many possibilities for vacation, so its visitors can choose between enjoying and relaxing in Sokobanja baths or trying themselves out in extreme sports or combine the two activities, just to use all the advantages of the most beautiful and the oldest Serbian spa. Besides picturesque landscapes, the longest tourist tradition in Serbia and hospitable locals, Sokobanja is best known for its thermal springs, clean air, gourmet dishes and sounds of accordion. What makes Sokobanja stand out from other tourist towns is its magnificent and unique nature - many mountains, thick forests, rivers, lakes, caves, clean air rich with negative ions, so it is rightfully been named the “Green Heart of Serbia”. Mystic landscapes of Rtanj, glacier pit, hidden passages of Seselačka and Ozrenska cave, God’s Doors, wild terrains of Devica, are just some of the attractions that you shouldn’t miss out on. Sokobanja is known for its water attractions, that are so refreshing and fun during the hot summer days. Waterpark “Podina” offers a combination of family relaxation and fun, with many tempting water slides and pools, just 1.5 km from the city centre. Besides the waterpark, tourists may also enjoy some of the many beaches on Moravica river and Bovansko lake.
Sokobanja has many valuable cultural and historical monuments and buildings, which have been withstanding the test of time for centuries. Medieval town of Sokograd was built in late 13th and early 14th century on the foundations of Roman fortress from the 6th century. Evidence was found that the fortress existed there from the times of Stevan Nemanja, at the time of expulsion of Bogumil, when it was first destroyed. It is later mentioned in the biography of Despot Stefan Lazarević. It was destroyed in 1413 during the struggle for Ottoman throne between Bayezid’s son - Sultan Musa and rebels of Hamuz Bey. It is located 2 km southeast from the centre of Sokobanja, on the rocks above the Moravica river canyon. Turkish Bath “Amam” is located in the central park of the spa and was built by Ottomans on the foundations of Roman baths in 15th century. It was reconstructed for the first time in 1834 at the orders of Prince Miloš Obrenović and the last time it was reconstructed was in 2005. This is only functional authentic Turkish bath in the territory of Serbia. Serbian (Latin) translation. It is also known as a filming location of a scene from the film “Zona Zamfirova”, directed by Zdravko Šotra.
Bovansko Lake is located in Sokobanjska Moravica near Bovan village, between Sokobanja and Aleksinac. The lake was artificially created by building a dam in 1978, within works on regulation of Morava river basin and construction of hydropower plant Đerdap. The lake is 8 km long, 500m wide at its widest point, and more than 50m deep. It is rich in fish and is the most visited lake in this part of Serbia. Coastline is very accessible and suitable for raising a tent, so this is where the most campers, holidaymakers and swimmers gather. This lake has several beaches, ant the largest and the most popular of them is called the Red Beach.
Vrmdža is a rural settlement in the base of Rtanj Mountain, which was built on top of a settlement that is mentioned in written documents as early as in 3rd century. The village centre is dominated by Latin - grad, roman fortification used to defend the imperial road leading to Near and Middle East, built in the 6th century. The town later expanded, as the Byzantine Empire defended from the invasion of Slavic tribes. It is mentioned in a written document from the 14th century as a place of residence of rich landowners who used to trade with Dubrovnik. It was destroyed in 15th century (1413). Today it is a rural settlement, attracting tourists and having several restaurants built on the location of old mills.
Church of the Holy Trinity in Vrmdža, was built from hard materials in 1818 and expanded in 1892. Milisav Marković from Knjaževac painted the iconostasis of the house of warship in 1894. According to a popular story the church was first built in the 13th century and burnt to the ground on three occasions, so today’s church was built on the old foundations within a monastery. The story also tells that it was saved during the Ottoman rule by “ferman” (royal decree) of Ottoman officer from Sokobanja, issued as an appreciation for healing of his mentally ill son.
The Ethno Museum in Vrmdža was opened in 2010 in the building of the parish house. There is a permanent exhibition of folk costumes, pottery, fabrics and tools. Exhibits were collected by residents of the villages Vrmdža, Mužinac i Trgovište. Visitors can witness the entire process of traditional making of folk costumes.
Vrmdžansko Lake is located at the base of Rtanj mountain, 15 km from Sokobanja and 3 km from village Vrmdža. It is one of the rare karst lakes in Serbia, listed as the geo-heritage of Serbia. According to the old people, Vrmdžansko lake, was a terrible storm hit the area in 1892. Torrents pushed a heap of hay to the valley and closed a deep hole in the ground. Now, the water in the lake is renewed by a small, inexhaustible nearby spring, and by rain and melted snow. It is an ideal place for vacation, fishing and picking of wild berries and herbs.