An unmarked dusty detour from the highway, the fabled village of Donja Lokosnica casts a crimson hue, glistening in the afternoon sun. The air is thick with a distinct smoky paprika aroma, enticing you into this magical village. Not many would have heard of this self proclaimed paprika capital of the world, nor did we until two days before we landed in Serbia.
Finding Donja Lokošnica- A Day trip from Belgrade
Many locals we enquired with were not fully aware of this village’s existence. As Serbia is still at its onset of tourism, many locals are puzzled when we ask them for their favorite spots in the country.
FACT: Serbians love their country but they do not understand what foreigners find fascinating in their country.
The best way to visit this village is to drive yourself or hire a tour guide. The direction signs are not always translated in English so ensure you have a trusted navigation system in place.The village is located 265 kilometers away from the capital city of Belgrade. Roads are in excellent condition and it will take approx. 3 hours to reach the village. There are 2-3 toll gates along the way.
Just type in Donja Lokošnica on Google Maps or copy this link- https://goo.gl/maps/qUR7XmtH52q
Best time to visit Donja Lokošnica
The paprika seeds are planted in March and the harvest happens around Autumn when the paprika is put to dry in the October sun. This is when the whole village turns a deep shade of crimson with red peppers strung together and hung to dry in front of every house.
The harvest season ends with the Pepper Days festival when the villagers mingle with visitors and various competitions are held such the fastest pepper stringer and so on.
The fascinating thing about this village are its inhabitants, the Babushka’s and the Dedushka’s. The population in this village has dwindled over time to only about 800 people living here at the moment, majority being elderly people. The young have left the village in search of better employment prospects leaving this age old trade in the hands of the older generation. What does this mean for the pepper trade in the coming years? Only time can tell!
This village is not much of a touristy hotspot yet. Being the only two tourists present, we could feel eyes on us from every corner. Nevertheless, they couldn’t be more friendlier. From posing for our camera to sharing the tricks of the trade to offering us shots of Rakija, we had an afterglow of warmth and love as we left this village. It was here that we experienced Serbian hospitality at its best!