THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA, commonly known as Serbia, sits on a crossroads between Southeast and Central Europe. The nation is surrounded by Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Croatia, Bosnia, and Montenegro. Ranked high on the Peace Index, Serbia is a military-neutral state and is currently a candidate for joining the EU. 29.1% of the landscape is covered in forest. The capital, Belgrade, is home to great museums, the Sava and Danube rivers, and is famous for its laid-back bohemian restaurants in the old quarter of Skadarlija.

Serbia provides a welcome introduction to the Balkans. Here are 10 unexpected images of the nation.

1. Morning hikes through the Highland

2. Panorama over The Sićevo Gorge, Nišava District

3. House on the Drina river

4. Peak Šiljak, Mt Rtanj

5. Springtime in Vojvodina

6. Lake view on the rolling plateau of Mt. Zlatibor

7. Full moon hanging over Belgrade

8. Hills flanking Mt. Zlatidor

9. Sun hiding behind Mt. Rtanj

10. Kalemegdan Fortress, Belgrade