The new decade is bringing a new approach and a multitude of fresh wellness trends. If you are in Belgrade or plan to visit Belgrade and want to apply the forest therapy, you will not be disappointed. The capital is green enough for you to be able to change destinations and bathe in woods by lakes, rivers, in Belgrade parks etc.
Forest bathing is among the latest wellness trends. If you're thinking this means real bathing, with swimming suits and water, you are mistaken. It is enough to take off your shoes and walk barefoot in the woods. The inspiration, of course, came from Japanese culture, where this ritual is called shinrin-yoku. It is not difficult, while it is medicinal. Turn off your phone, shutdown your gadgets, head to the forest and step barefoot into the forest atmosphere. This will help you focus on your senses and feel pleasure in small, simple, often free things. If you still doubt that this new ritual can catch on, remember that the Duchess of Cambridge participated in the creation of the Chelsea Flower Show Garden with the idea of people practising shinrin-yoka, which she has been a fan of for some time. It is recommended that this technique, which some also refer to as forest therapy, be performed barefoot, in order to improve your contact with nature as much as possible.
If you are in Belgrade and want to apply forest therapy, you won't be disappointed. The Serbian capital has sufficient greenery, and you can even change destinations and 'bathe' in woods by a lake, on the outskirts of the city or on the nearest mountains of Avala or Kosmaj. Most of the woods located within the area of the city are places where Belgraders frequently gather, making them perfect for excursions, walks and taking breaks from the hustle and bustle of the city. This is especially so during the hot summer days, when Koštutnjak, Topčider, the Banjica forest and particularly Ada Ciganlija become places where you will breathe with the full capacity of your lungs.
As one of Belgrade's most famous woods, Košutnjak was first mentioned in records in 1831, only to become a hunting grounds in 19th century, where Prince Miloš Obrenović brought foreign consuls. Košutnjak is today a carefully landscaped, large green area, with walking and running trails, making ideal for "bathing".
Timothy John Byford, among other things, put Banjica Wood on the map of the city and managed to initiate a campaign to convert it into a haven for walkers. It is a genuine bird sanctuary and proof that Belgrade has nature to enjoy.
Topčider Park is one of the oldest bespoke green areas on the territory of Belgrade, while this oldest landscaped park in Serbia is still a favourite spot for excursions today. Also known as the "Central Park of Belgrade", Topčider is one of the largest and most beautiful green areas in the city, situated close to the city centre, yet completely nestled away and representing an oasis of tranquillity that you mustn't miss.
Zvezdara Forest occupies the right bank of the Danube and covers part of the hill of the same name. The forestation and landscaping of this area began in 1933, primarily due to the need to preserve ecosystems in the urban part of the city, but also in order to protect Belgrade from the Košava wind. The park is traversed by beautifully landscaped walking and cycling trails, making it wonderful for walking.
Ada Ciganlija is undoubtedly an unavoidable stop, because it has a specific microclimate thanks to the beneficial combination of the influence of water surfaces and wooded complexes. The vegetation consists of oak and elm woods, while it was also enriched in the middle of the last century with American poplar and green ash. Here you can definitely bathe in all possible ways – swim in the lake or bathe in the woods in the Japanese style. Ada certainly won't disappoint you.