Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

Kukavica Mountain stretches in the southeast of Serbia, on the left bank of the South Morava, in the Pčinja and Jablanica district, located among the Vranje basin and Leskovac basin and the gorge of Grdelica. 

In the west, it is bordered by the river Veternica. It is located 16 km from the city of Leskovac. 

Kukavica mountain is a part of the Rhodopes mountains, with the highest peak Vlaina (1,442m) which is located on the northern slopes, while there are several peaks on the southern slopes that go up to 1,400 m.

The mountain is rich in pine and oak trees, medicinal herbs and spices, mushrooms, wild raspberries and blackberries, an autochthonous type of potato – “goljak,” but in game animals as well – wild boar, deer, foxes and others. A part of the mountain was protected in 1980 at the proposal of the Republic Institute for Nature Protection. Golden beech is a part of the natural reserve and is considered to be the best quality type of wood in Serbia.

Other species of game animals and birds, as well as the presence of predators, dominate these areas that are in the possession of the public company “Srbija šume” and are run by the established ‘’Kukavica” hunting ground which is located at 1360 m above sea level. In front of the peak, there is a ski track that is 600 m long, and 100 m wide, with an average slope of 22%. 

Kukavica is rich in water because there are many springs, streams and rivers that flow from the top of the mountain, the most attractive being the river Vučjanka.


Kukavica Mountain is known as an attractive hiking destination with several significant climbs, and there is also “Preka Voda” mountain lodge, which is in poor condition and is not in operation. Kukavica mountain is also suitable for cycling, and thanks to the Moto Club Borovik, it is well known for its motorcycle route.

Mountain home “Preka voda”
Hunting lodge “Kukavica”

The potential of Kukavica can also be seen in the existence of additional attractive contents on the site itself or in nearby locations: the town of Skobajić, the Vučjanka river, the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in Vučje, the St. Nicholas Church and Vlajko’s monument in the village of Čukljenik, Lake Barje, the Vučje hydroelectric power plant, Teokarević’s house as architectural building, the former Vlajina Hotel and the Eagle’s Nest Hotel, which is no longer in operation.

The apartments Sunčev breg and the Jovanović household stand out for the quality of their accommodation and are located in the Slatina village on Kukavica mountain, categorized as 4-star accommodation with 17 beds.

The Support for the development and preservation of the Kukavica locality is provided by Kukavica Mountain Ski Association. Kukavica mountain is an ideal place for sports camps, hiking and walking in nature, rural tourism, and picking medicinal herbs. Jovačka lakes at the bottom of the mountain are huge potential and are suitable for fishing and camping.