Kukavica Mountain

Kukavica Mountain

Kukavica Mountain entered the national song long time ago and became the part of the legend, although it is still nowadays mysterious. Kukavica Mountain is located in the very southeast of Serbia, north from town of Vranje and south of Leskovac. Kukavica Mountain belongs to the Rhodope Mountains chain. The highest peak of Kukavica Mountain is Vlaina /1442 meters high/ and the other peaks are Valjovska čuka /1207 m/, Tumba /1192/, Furnište /1370 m/ i Bukovska čuka /1386 meters/.

Special feature of Kukavica Mountain is the fact that it is only 16 km away from town of Leskovac, the generator of dispersive and excursion movements. Kukavica Mountain is connected with town of Leskovac with regular bus lines that go often and with the modern paved road. The Kukavica mountain range divides the mountain into the northern steeper side that is densely populated and the southern side with several villages. Kukavica Mountain is almost entirely covered with dense pine and oak forests and the centuries old beech forests and medicinal herbs. Through unique steep sides and rocks of Kukavica Mountain flows the Vucjanka River, rich in trout because of its clear fresh waters. Vucjanka River is 18 km long together with the Golema Reka River. Vucjanka river origins from Golema and Mala river that join by the point of Jasicka ravniste at the altitude of 600 meters. 3 km downstream from the confluence, the Vucjanka River forms the 300 meters deep canyon on the right side and 150 meters deep on the left side. Vucjanka River Canyon is 2 km long which is intersected between the mountain peaks of Kitka /988 meters/ and Samaric /619 meters/. The entrance to the Vucjanka River Canyon is located at the altitude of 500 meters and the exit is on the elevation of 340 meters. Canyon of Vucjanka River is rich in numerous waterfalls /70 waterfalls!/ and whirl-pools suitable for bathing or refreshment in summer. The most popular are Devkazan, Jaz, Donji Djokin vir, Srednji Djokin vir, Crni vir which is 10 meters deep and heavy accessible. On one of the steep side of the Vucjanka River canyon, at the 150 meters above the river level, there is the Skobaljic Town Tower which is partially covered with bushes. On the exit from the Vucjanka River canyon on its left side there is the HE Vucje, one of the oldest Hydro-Power plants in Serbia built in 1903, built on the principles of Nikola Tesla. The HE Vucje is still in function with all its old machines and turbines – 100 years old. It was always working during its long history which was interrupted only during the Second Word War because of diversion.

At the foothill of Kukavica Mountain there are numerous cultural and historical monuments. The most significant historical site is the Skobeljic Grad, situated on one of the peaks of the rocky range, on the left bank of Vucjanka River. Skobeljic Grad was built by Byzantine rulers and was proclaimed the cultural site of special importance. The Skobaljic grad was named after the local mythical hero of Nikola Skobaljić. The old town of Skobaljic grad dates from the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century, and nowadays remains in runs. Archaeological excavations carried out in the 80-ties of the 20th century in this area, have discovered that this site is multi-layer. Thanks to features of the waters of the Vucjanka River, there were numerous textile factories working during the 19th and the 20th centuries, that made Leskovac area well known worldwide. Today there is the very interesting Textile Museum in Vucje village, the department of the Leskovac Museum. The founders of the first textile factory in Vucje were the members of the Teokarević family, who recognized advantages and quality of the Vucjanka river waters and produced fabrics of extraordinary quality. The Teokarević family has built in the 30-ies of the 20th century their endowment on the banks of the Vucjanka river, on the slopes of Kukavica mountain – the church dedicated to the Birth of Saint John the Baptist. This patron is celebrated on 7 July, which is the feast of the Vučje village. The church court yard and the village itself are visited with numerous guests and locals.

Limited potential for receiving visitors in the Vucjanka destination and larger number of visitors enabled direct need for investments. On the upstream proximity of 7 km from the first receipt point by “Vucjanka” fruit factory, in the very heart of the Kukavica mountain, on the new erosion extension, a modern “Vlaina” hotel has been built. It is B category with 77 beds and 590 seats in two restaurants, cafe and the terrace and modern kitchen of 1000 meals capacity. The new structure with 100 beds is to be built on this location which will feature indoor swimming pool, small sauna, fitness room for recreation and rehabilitation. The newly built paved road that connects “Vučjanka” point with “Vlaina” hotel make excellent conditions for attracting visitors to new re-creative terrains beside the Vucjanka river. It is the 25 km macadam road that takes you from “Vlaina” hotel up to the peak of Kukavica Mountain which is 1441 meters high and to the refurbished mountain lodge. The mountain lodge on Kukavica Mountain has 45 beds and is very well booked throughout the year. From this point the road goes further to Vladicin Han, where it joins the highway. It is possible to get to the beautiful Vlasina Lake from here, via Vladicin Han. This allows the circle road excellent for excursions which includes the road via Crna Trava and Vlasotince villages towards Leskovac that is convenient for exchange of visitors.

This used to the cattle-breeding region while present flocks are seen rarely. The mountain hut and meteorologic station sit on the peak of the Kukavica Mountain. The Mountain Hut has 45 beds and welcome numerous hunters and mountaineers. Kukavica Mountain is a pearl of the southern Serbia. There is neither factory on the Kukavica Mountain nor in its surrounding, making it habitat of numerous animal and floral species. Nature lovers regard Kukavica Mountain the Air-spa. Those who visit Kukavica Mountain remain excited with the scene experienced, that inspires eternity and mediation….