Building 47 Kilometres of Hiking Trails along Vlasina Begins

Coca-Cola System and UNDP support development of sustainable tourism in Serbia

October 26, 2022
UNDP Serbia

Vlasina, 24 October 2022 – Coca-Cola System and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today that, together, they will enrich the tourist potential of Lake Vlasina by building and landscaping 47 kilometres of hiking trails, within the joint initiative titled “Vlasina – Pure Love”. The initiative is implemented in partnership with the Municipality of Surdulica and its Tourist Organisation, with the aim of improving the economic, tourist and social development of Vlasina area, along with preservation of the environment.

“The area of Lake Vlasina is our second home, the home to our Rosa water, and the last year, it became our first zone of pure love. After helping local entrepreneurs last year through education, now we invest in infrastructure, together with UNDP, spreading pure love along this beautiful mountain landscape that overlooks Lake Vlasina. For us in Coca-Cola System, the priority is to realise activities, while simultaneously protecting the unique ecosystem of Vlasina, thereby securing economic benefits for the local community and population.  I believe that, come next spring, with its new and renovated hiking trails, Vlasina would become an unavoidable point of interest on the maps of all nature lovers,” said Nataša Najdanović, Supply Chain Director of Coca-Cola HBC Serbia.

The hiking trails in the vicinity of Lake Vlasina would be built and landscaped in cooperation with the Mountaineering Association of Serbia. A new tourist-educational trail, 7km long, would be made and marked so as to be family- and child-friendly and would lead from the Tourist Info-Centre of Mountain House towards the Čemernik mountaintop. The already exiting 40km of hiking trails leading to the mountaintops of Čemernik and Vrtop, would also be renovated and landscaped.

“In partnership with Coca-Cola and the local self-government, UNDP supports economic growth of the area surrounding Lake Vlasina, through improvements of the tourist offer. We do this in a sustainable way which contributes to the preservation of the environment and enables citizens in the local community to improve and develop their business, while also facilitating tourists in seeing the natural beauty and accessing other tourist attractions,” said Yakup Beris, Resident Representative of UNDP in Serbia.

Preparation works for these trail building efforts have begun, and it is expected that the trails would be ready for mountaineers and tourists in spring 2023. All 47 kilometres of the trails will be digitised, so their future visitors would be able to become acquainted with them via online platform “Staze Srbije“ (Serbian Trails), developed with the support by UNDP.

“It is my utmost pleasure that we have participated from the very beginning in the “Vlasina – Pure Love” project, initiated by Coca-Cola System last year. Our common goal is the promotion of Vlasina as a jewel of not only Serbia, but indeed the entire Balkans. Vlasina is a place that you simply must experience, and this can be made possible only by cooperating with all partners. Therefore, I thank everyone for choosing Surdulica and Vlasina as the location of their future activities, that we would more easily identify through joint effort,” said Dr Aleksandra Popović, Mayor of the Municipality of Surdulica.

She added that the announced investments in tourist infrastructure of Vlasina area represented a chance for further economic development of the local community, as well as for distinct inscription of Vlasina in the tourist maps of Serbia and the region.