Ada Ciganlija is probably one of the places you will visit during your Belgrade tour, especially if you are visiting Belgrade in the summer time. Ada is the favorite recreational area of Belgrade residents that offers wide range of activities.
Ada Ciganlija is a river island built on the fourth kilometer from the confluence of the Sava and Danube rivers. Name Ciganlija is a toponym from Celtic word "Singla " and " Lia " , which are denoting the island and underwater land . Name conveyed the variability of water levels of the Sava River. When the water were low it was called “Singa”, and when the waters were high it was called “Lia”. " Singalija " eventually turned into Ciganlija in Serbian language.
With the rearrangement of the right coast of the river Sava in 1967, Ada becomes a peninsula, surrounded by an embankment between the Sava River and the Sava. Today, along with Ada Medjica (island), the lake and part of the Makiš fields, Ada occupies an area of 800 hectares. Sava Lake is a reservoir of drinking water for Belgrade water supply and it is a protection zone because it is of strategic importance for Belgrade.
Ada has preserved its natural resources, which make it a dynamic ecosystem and an ecological oasis. The thick deciduous forest, dominated by oaks and elms threes is the natural habitat for numerous bird species, certain rodents, insects, amphibians and reptiles. In the mid 20th century, the island was forested with the American poplar trees and green ash trees. When at Ada it is not unusual to spot the roebuck, rabbit, fox and all kinds of wild animals, even a wild boar.
In the natural symbiosis of flora and fauna, islands, rivers and two large lakes and with the features of the unique ecosystem a pleasant micro-climate is created, different from the city heat. There are still parts of “untouched nature" covered in wild vegetation.
Sava Lake, which is 4.2 kilometers long with the average width of 200 meters and the depth of between four and six meters, is stocked with a diverse fish, mostly carp. The large catfish also live in the lake, which are not a danger to humans. The water grass is naturally purifying Sava Lake, by feeding with its water and absorbing phosphorus, nitrogen and dirt. The water grass is being cut several times per year.
The creation of the largest city beach at Ada Ciganlija, made Sava Lake become the multipurpose area. It is used for sport and recreation. More than 300,000 people were gathered at the “Belgrade’s sea” in many occasions, and it is a place where hundreds of national and international competitions in water sports were held. Many sport clubs are located on the Island. Between the lake and the walking trail that is 7,5 km long and it is encircling the lake is a wide pebble beach. The swimming area is one of the largest and safest in Europe, according to official statistics. It is equipped with complete infrastructure, public baths, showers and fountains, free of charge. It has professional rescue services, a number of medical clinics, police and utility workers.
With more than 50 sport fields, Ada is the largest sports center in Belgrade, with unique content. Landscaped picnic area is intended for barbecues, and vacationers use it free of charge.
The catering offer of the island consists of 70 restaurants in rustic style, distributed around the lake and dozens of “floating” restaurant on the rafts on the Sava River. A special magic experience is for the owners and visitors of rafts the “floating” vacation homes and there are hundreds of these rafts distributed along the coast of the Sava River.