Soko Banja is a small, picturesque town in a valley surrounded by four mountains: Rtanj (1560m), Ozren (1117m), Devica and Bukovik. River Moravica flows through the town, under one of the mountains, and confluences with a beautiful Bovan lake, some 10 km to the west. For all of the nature lovers, there's a lot this place can offer.
Ruins of the medieval city and fortress 2 km east of Sokobanja. The fortress was founded in the 6th century by the Roman emperor Justinian I, who wanted to stop Avars and Slavs into the Balkan region. In 12th century, it was occupied by Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja, who included it into the medieval Serbian state. The town was destroyed by the Ottomans during their occupation in 14th century, the only remains of the town are the gate, walls, and watchtowers. There is an incredible view over the whole valley from the upper walls. You can get here by trekking through the forest from the town.
Situated in the town center, it was built by the Ottomans in 15th century on the foundations of the Roman thermae. Besides its historical and architectural value, the bath is still in use. It has natural inhalers with radon gas which is used in the treatment of various respiratory diseases. Besides use for healing, it's also a place where you can relax having underwater massages.
Situated in an early XIX century style building just in the town center, the museum exhibits artifacts from archaeology, ethnology and local history, starting from Roman period till the modern times. In front of the museum, there's an amphitheater used in the summer for many of the cultural events.
One of the highest waterfalls in Serbia (around 40 meters) is situated in the town outskirts on the slopes of Ozren mountain. The best time to come here is spring, after the snow melts.
19 km from the town, in a village Seselac, there's a large cave. It is enlightened for the first 200 meters. There's a small lake near the cave, with some basic tourist facilities.
Around 10 km to the west, following a gorge, there's a large beautiful lake named Bovan. It's a great area for camping, fishing, swimming or trekking in the hills around the lake.
For everyone interested to climb mountain Rtanj (4-6 hours walking), the place to start hiking is from the village of Bovan, situated next to the Bovan lake. This mountain is famous for its underground springs, tunnels, caves and healthy plants. On the highest peak of this mountain, there are ruins of a small stone church, built in 1935. and in honor of Julius Minh, founder of the Rtanj mine. All of the stones for building this church was brought by many workers on their donkeys.
Restaurant Pecina - On the half way trek from the town to the medieval ruins of Soko Grad, there's a restaurant built inside the cave. They serve typical Serbian meals (cevapi with pita bread, sopska salad, etc.)
There are regular buses to the nearby towns of Aleksinac and Nis, but also to Belgrade. For more adventurous travelers, it's really easy to hitchhike out from Sokobanja.