Position, relief and climate

Serbia is located in the central part of the Balkan Peninsula, on the most important route linking Europe and Asia, occupying an area of 88,361 square kilometres. It is divided into 29 administrative districts, with 194 municipalities, 6,169 settlements, 207 city settlements and 5,962 other settlements.

Serbia is in the Central European Time zone (one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time). Its climate is temperate continental, with a gradual transition between the four seasons of the year.

Serbia is referred to as the cross-roads of Europe. The international roads and railways passing down its river valleys make up the shortest link between Western and Central Europe, on the one side, and the Middle East, Asia and Africa, on the other. Hence the geopolitical importance of its territory. These roads follow the course of the valley of the river Morava, splitting in two near the city of Nis. One route follows the valleys of the rivers Juzna Morava and Vardar to Thessaloniki; the other, the Nisava River to Sofia and Istanbul.

Serbian rivers belong to the basins of the Black, Adriatic and Aegean Seas. Three of them, the Danube, Sava and Tisa, are navigable. The longest river is the Danube, which flows for 588 of its 2,857 kilometre course through Serbia. The Danube basin has always been important for Serbia. With the commissioning of the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal in September 1992, the Black Sea and the Near and Far Eastern ports have come much nearer to Europe. Serbia is linked to the Adriatic Sea and Montenegro via the Belgrade-Bar railway.

Northern Serbia is mainly flat, while its central and southern areas consist of highlands and mountains. The flatlands are mainly in Vojvodina (the Pannonian Plain and its rim: Macva, the Sava Valley, the Morava Valley, Stig and the Negotin Marches in Eastern Serbia). 55% of Serbia is arable land, and 27% is forested. Of its mountains 15 reach heights of over 2,000 metres, the highest being Djeravica in the Prokletije range (2,656 metres).

The length of Serbia’s border is 2,114.2 kilometres. Serbia borders Bulgaria to the east, Romania to the north-east, Hungary to the north, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the west, Montenegro to the south-west and Albania and Macedonia to the south.

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