In the east of Serbia there is a mountain called Rtanj, famously called the Serbian pyramid. Simply because it’s shaped like one. Naturally, because of this, local folks attach magical and supernatural qualities to it. We will explore this magical Rtanj in an easy way, climbing to its peak while enjoying its surroundings. We’ll proceed to our next stop where we’ll explore an old medieval fortress and enjoy the thermal waters of Sokobanja.
Then we’ll continue our adventure heading east. Where at the very border with Bulgaria, lies Stara planina (Old Mountain). Two thirds of Stara planina is in Serbia and one in Bulgaria.
The highest peak of this beauty in the Serbian part is called Midžor (2168m), representing the highest peak of central Serbia, and our goal.
Apart from our climb where spectacular views await us, we’ll also explore famous waterfalls of this region and go on kayaking along the hidden coves of Lake Zavoj. And during our down time, we’ll recuperate our strength with food specialties of Eastern Serbia.
- Landing and arrival
- Transfer to Soko banja (1,5h)
- Accommodation in the hotel
- Free time for walking through the city
- Overnight stay
After landing and a brief welcome, we’ll take a short ride to our accommodation in Sokobanja. (90 min drive).
After that, you’ll have free time to relax at the SPA center and afterwards dinner made up of specialties of this region. So, you’ll be well prepared for our adventure that starts tomorrow.
- Transfer to Rtanj (30 min)
- Climb to Rtanj (6h)
- A tour of the Soko city and the Moravice gorge (2h)
- Free time for SPA or walking
- Overnight stay
After a relaxing, good sleep and strong, hearty breakfast, we finally start our adventure.
In front of us, a climb to Rtanj and its highest peak – Šiljak (pronounced [ʃǐːʎak]) (1,565 m), a natural phenomenon of karst terrain.
On its peak Šiljak, there are ruins of a little stone chapel dedicated to St. George. It was built in 1932. by the wife of a then, local miner. Today, the chapel is in ruins, mostly because of treasure hunters who tried using dynamite to find the supposedly hidden gold there. There is an initiative to reconstruct the chapel.
For some New Age believers, the pyramidal shape of the mountain is due to it containing alien pyramid power, capable of emitting mystical energies. Many people have flocked here prior to the predicted Mayan Doomsday, believing it will protect them.
After our successful ascent and safe descent, we’ll head for much needed lunch. We’ll use this break to get to know our next activity.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit the Soko city. The fortress was founded in the 6th century during the reign of Roman Emperor Justinian I. In 1172, it was occupied by Stefan Nemanja and became part of the medieval Serbian state. The town was destroyed in a violent Ottoman attack, and today the only thing visible is the remains of the upper town with a gate, walls, and three towers. Soko Grad translates as “hawk city”. It got its name because there were many falconers in the town, who paid taxes for their trained falcons.
After completing our first proper day, tired and happy, we go to our accommodation, where dinner and SPA awaits us.
- Transfer to Bovan Lake (30 min)
- Trekking adventure on Bovan Lake (2-3 hours)
- Transfer to eco village Vrmdža (30 min)
- Tour of the village
- Free time
- Overnight in our accommodation in Soko Banja
After breakfast, we leave our hotel and take a short drive to Bovan Lake. Here, we’ll take a light trek around the lake, exploring its surroundings.
Our next stop is the ethnic village of Vrmdža, a few kilometers away from the lake. Here, we’ll have our lunch, prepared fresh and on the spot, from its own garden and freshly caught from the lake. Within the village there are remains of an old fortress, as well as a small lake, full of fish.
In the evening, we return to our accommodation in Sokobanja.
- Trekking to Midžor (2.168 m.n.v ) – approx. 6 h
- Transfer to accommodation in Pirot (1.5h)
- Free time
After relaxing, good sleep and a hearty breakfast, we are ready to start with our adventure. After a 2-hour drive, we arrive at the foot of the mountain.
In front of us, Midžor (2186 m). This particular trek is approx. 8 km long, not technically demanding and after reaching the top it gives you a real viewing pleasure. In front of us lies an amazing view of surrounding peaks and hills. During our trek, we’ll be literally walking on the border between Serbia and Bulgaria.
After our ascent and descent from the top, we’ll restore our energy in a form of a light lunch in nature.
We go back to our hotel to pack and descent to our next location, located in the foot of the mountain in the vicinity of city Pirot. Tired and satisfied, we proceed to our dinner and a deserving rest.
- Waterfalls exploration – jeep riding and trekking (4h)
- Transfer to accommodation (90 min)
- Free time
After breakfast, we leave our hotel and after a brief ride we arrive at the starting point of today’s adventure. Here we take a ride on off-road jeeps, which will take us deeper into the mountain. Under the wheels lies a macadam path, leading us into the hidden corners of this marvelous mountain.
We disembark, deep into the mountain and start our trek of several hours, exploring its famous natural wonders. On our way, we’ll find several waterfalls, of which this mountain is known. What’s more, a third of all waterfalls in Serbia are located on the Old Mountain. The highest are the 42 m Uppsala waterfall and 64 m high waterfall called Pilj. There are also Krmolski, Kurtulski and accessible by foot, Toplodolski waterfall.
Of course, there are numerous river flows in the Old Mountain, which are rich in flora and fauna. Most importantly, it has a large number of endemic plants used in local, traditional medicine.
After our whole day adventure, we descend with our jeeps to our hotel. There you have some free time to relax and prepare for our next day.
- Transfer to Zavojsko lake (30 min)
- Kayak adventure on Zavojsko lake (3 h)
- Trek to stone village (1,5 h)
- Transfer to accommodation (30 min)
- Free time
We’re going to our guided adventure. Half an hour drive away from our accommodation, there lies Zavojsko Lake.
Today we start our kayak adventure. Half an hour drive away from our accommodation, there lies Zavojsko Lake. Here, we’ll paddle with our kayaks and explore Zavojsko lake and its meanders. Zavojsko lake is an artificial lake created when the “Zavoj” hydroelectric power plant was erected in 1969. The lake is about 16 km long with its depth at around 60 meters. The lake is located at an altitude of 612m.
After equipping our gear, we’ll take a short training with a kayaking instructor, and after we’ll be ready to enter into our two-seater kayaks and glide through the lake water.
After an all-day adventure, we return to our accommodation. We dine in a proper mountain environment, sitting by the campfire with a drink, or two, summarizing our impressions of the day.
- Transfer to Niš (1.5h)
- Tour of the city of Niš (fortresses, towers, streets, …)
- Free time
- Dinner – party
- Overnight stay
Niš was an administrative, military and trade center of various states and empires, during its long history. In the area of today’s Nis, Roman Emperors Constantine the Great and Constantius III were born in the ancient city called Naissus. The geographical position of Niš has made it a strategically important and thus an inviting city for many conquerors.
During our stay, we’ll visit the Niš Fortress as well as the famous “Ćele kula”. “Ćele kula” is a unique monument on a worldwide scale. The tower was erected solely from the skulls of fallen Serbian warriors, killed on Ceger, near Nis, in a battle that took place on May 31, 1809. It was built very soon after the battle, according to the orders of Hursid Pasha, then Turksih commander of Nis.
After visiting the city, we’ll stop by the famous Bohemian street in Nis, where we’ll have our lunch. After, you’ll have free time for sightseeing or gift shopping, or even both.
And for our last night, we celebrate our adventure in one of the most famous taverns in Niš, accompanied with good music and even better people.
- Transfer to Airport (15 min)
Today, sadly, we transfer you to the airport, where we’ll say our goodbyes and wish for a safe flight home.