What better way to enjoy the stunning Balkans country of Serbia than by walking through it? Divided into two rough halves, one dominated by the flat lands around the mighty Danube and the other a mountainous landscape with stunning views, a Serbia trekking holiday comes highly recommended.
However, if you’re planning a trekking holiday in Serbia then there are few things you need to know first. That’s why we’ve compiled this handy guide to help you out.
So much of northern Serbia and its capital Belgrade are dominated by this colossal river. Rising in the Black Forest and running out to the Black Sea in Romania, this river was once the lifeblood of the country.
Set out from the unique city of Belgrade (definitely worth spending a couple of nights here if you can) and follow the river east towards the Romanian border. Following the Danube path on the north bank, cross the river on the ferry (in the loosest sense of the word) to Ram and continue on the south bank towards the Iron Gates, a vast gorge carved out by the river over millions of years. Pass the impressive Golubac castle and into the wild mountains all around you.
City to city
An alternative Danube walk that will take a couple of days is between the second city, Novi Sad, and the capital Belgrade. The river meanders through a flat landscape but watch out for the changing architecture as you pass from what was once Austro-Hungary into the historically Ottoman dominated part of Serbia.
Dominated by its two main rivers, the South Morava and Nisava, southern Serbia is characterised by vast impassable ravines and wide fertile valleys. It’s bordered by huge mountains on three sides, which makes for some spectacular views. This region has stood at the crossroads of history, forming the border between the Islamic, Catholic and Orthodox religions, and was the birthplace of Roman emperor Constantine the Great. In terms of history, it’s an unrivaled and endlessly fascinating place to discover.
From the plains of Macva to the high Zlatar mountains, this is perfect country for a Serbia trekking holiday. Monuments and tombs scatter the landscape of this strategically important place, and given the beauty of everything around you, it’s little wonder so many people have fought and died for it over the years.
Guided or going alone
There are a number of guided Serbia trekking holidays available, with week-long English language tours available in central Serbia in the Sumadija mountains, and other parts too. However, going alone is not a problem and in fact is often the best way to explore the country. Although many young people speak English, in more rural parts explaining that you’re lost or reading road signs in Cyrillic might be problematic. So make sure you have a good map.
Serbia trekking holiday: Advice
Many people are occasionally put off Serbia due to its recent history. The fact it was bombed just over a decade ago by NATO has meant that many people have stayed away. This is a huge shame as it is without question one of the most beautiful and friendly parts of Europe.
While there is still some definite tension in Kosovo to the south (it’s advisable to give this area a miss) the rest of the country is incredibly safe. Everywhere you go people will show a warmth and kindness that is lacking from many ‘more developed’ countries across Europe.
A Serbia trekking holiday will give you the chance to explore this unique, beautiful and vastly underrated country. Spectacular views, unbeatable hospitality and great walking make Serbia a top trekking destination. Oh, and if you’re taking a train anywhere, don’t expect too much. The buses are more regular and certainly more reliable, although that really isn’t saying much.