The dreamy slopes and long, winding rivers of Serbia are a real treat for hikers, offering vast stretches of unspoiled landscapes to explore on foot. There are trails to suit the more seasoned adventurers, with steep ramps and ‘electrifying’ canyon landscapes. For the calmer, there are less demanding paths that pass next to monasteries, vineyards and waterfalls.
Whatever your pace, you will never forget the sights, sounds and smells that the nature of this country offers.
1) Best for waterfalls: Babin Zub
The Stara Planina mountain range in eastern Serbia is a favorite of savvy hikers because, despite being dotted with beautiful waterfalls, cold streams and picturesque villages, it is still not overcrowded by tourists. Babin Zub, on the southwest side, is called “grandmother’s tooth” because of the eroded surface of the rocks at the top. It can be climbed during the spring and summer months (transforming into a ski resort in winter) and offers some of the best views of the mountain range.
2) Best for hiking around a tale: Mount Rtanj
The whirlwind of myths and legends that surrounds Mount Rtanj has been attracting visitors for decades: it is said to be an alien base, a pyramid camouflaged with the forest, and the home of a powerful wizard. The herbs that grow on the slopes of the mountain are believed to have healing properties and are used to make the famous Rtanj tea. So take the opportunity to try a restorative cup while you’re there. There is little shade, so many hikers leave at midnight for a night hike that ends with some incredible sunrise views at the top.
3) Best for natural phenomena: The Gates of Vratna
The Vratna Gates are an intriguing sight for walkers in eastern Serbia. From the Vratna Monastery, there are marked forest trails that lead to three huge stone arches that were created naturally. Access to the first two, called Puerta Pequena and Puerta Grande, is easy. But, the way to the third, known as the Dry Gate, is much more difficult. These routes are often seen ‘wild sheep’ and deer, so keep your eyes peeled.
4) Best for a big challenge: the Svrljig Mountains
One of the most demanding hiking spots in Serbia is the Svrljig mountain range, which requires a good level of fitness to hike most of its trails. However, the payoff is enormous: peace and quiet while enjoying its endless horizons and wide forest landscapes.
There are some routes that can be done in a single day, but for the more experienced hikers, there is a wonderful long distance hike, about five days of walking, that passes near fortresses, springs and villages, and where you can camp by the road.
5) The best for visiting monasteries: The Ovčar-Kablar gorge
The Ovčar-Kablar Gorge is a place of spectacular beauty for hiking, with sheer limestone cliffs stretching skyward above the winding West Morava River. This quiet part of the world is also known as the Sacred Mountain of Serbia, since there are ten monasteries in the region, which are a good place to stop and rest during a day of excursion. In the nearby town of Ovčar Banja there is a beautiful spa that has a remarkable offer of massages, treatments and where it is possible to enjoy a restorative bath in thermal pools.
6) Best for caving: Lazar Canyon
Eastern Serbia is home to the dizzying Lazar Canyon, the deepest and longest in the country. There are countless routes to explore, from some easy to some more difficult, so ask for advice before embarking on the adventure.
The highlight of any excursion in this area is the possibility of exploring the ancient caves. There are more than 200 caves near the town of Zlot, the largest of which is Lazar’s cave, at 9,407 m in length. Dare to explore the section that has been conditioned for tourists, where you can visit a series of imposing ‘rooms’ riddled with huge stalagmites and stalactites.
7) The best for a relaxing walk: Fruška Gora
Just over half an hour’s drive south of Novi Sad, the lush green hills and forest trails of the Fruška Gora National Park are a popular choice for city folks who need a filling nature walk. of energy. The trails are well marked and for the most part not very demanding.
Wine has been grown in this region since Roman times. And, there are a number of pretty vineyards where you can make a stop to sample the local produce. Try the Bermet. Sweet, strong and aromatic, it is one of the best-regarded wines in this region.
8) Best to see historical monuments: Djerdap National Park
One of the most beautiful stretches of the Danube passes through the Djerdap National Park. A walk along the banks of the river is an easy and pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Continue the journey to see the famous ‘Iron Gates’. This gorge is part of the border between Serbia and Romania, with the river running between the Carpathians and the Balkans.
The park is also home to the fascinating archaeological site of Lepenski Vir, displaying sculptures and prehistoric remains dating back 8,000 years.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.