Hiking,  Recent,  Serbia

Hiking Midzor: An Adventure to the Serbian Countryside

Midzor is Serbia’s highest peak. Despite being 2,169 m high, it’s an accessible goal for most people, as the whole route from Hotel Babin Zub and back is only around 14km, with just 700m ascent. A popular route in summer, you can expect to have some company on the trail. Gentle grassy slopes with uninterrupted views to the surrounding landscape comprise the majority of the route.

After completing the extremely challenging Moldoveanu, Romania’s highest mountain, I realised that, in the following weekends, we had the opportunity to attempt two more of the Balkans’ highest peaks. Our return route to Skopje took us through Serbia and it just made sense to have a break there for the weekend. Midzor happened to be almost halfway on our route. A friend was coming to stay with us in Macedonia, so why not try to conquer it’s highest peak as well!

We’d passed through Serbia on our overland trip to Macedonia, visiting the cities of Novi Sad, Belgrade and Nis. However, the countryside was not something we’d had the opportunity to witness, as we were using public transport. Another reason we were looking forward to the trip!

Where to Stay to Hike Midzor

The best place to stay in order to hike Midzor is somewhere in the region of Stara Planina ski resort. There are a number of villages nearby and you can find accommodation easily online. We stayed at this lovely little chalet (35 euro for two nights) in Crni Vrh (please don’t ask me to pronounce this!).

A one=story wooden chalet, surrounded by fir trees with pink coloured flowers hanging in pots from the gable.

It is perfect for a weekend and the outside space is really beautiful. It even has a kitchen that, despite the mini size, is better equipped than most of the Airbnbs we’ve stayed in!

It’s worth noting that there is very little in the area. We didn’t see a shop nearby at all, I believe the closest is in Knjazevac, 51 minutes away. There is a cool little pizza restaurant/bar, Shumski, which serves amazingly good pizza (right)! However, out of the other two restaurants in Crni Vrh which marked on the map, both are guesthouses. One had no free tables when were there and the other doesn’t seem to have a restaurant. The area caters more for the winter season and is quite dead in summer. Make sure you bring cash as well as supplies.

This part of the Serbian countryside is both beautiful and incredibly rural. You pass tumbledown farm houses covered in grapevines, fields of sunflowers and overflowing vegetable patches. Every now and again there’s a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, although we didn’t see any buses. The roads aren’t great, although we managed fine in our rental Fiat Punto (even if we had to resort to second gear for some hills!) but it does take a while to get around.

Midzor Hike: the details

  • Length: 14.79 km
  • Ascent: 720m
  • Difficulty: easy/moderate
  • Time to Complete: 4 hours
  • How to get there: by car (from Belgrade, 3.5 hour; from Crni Vrh, 20 minutes)
  • Season: possible year-round. Ski season runs December to April so expect snow around this time.

There’s a good parking spot at Hotel Babin Zub which also has a viewpoint and restaurant, so I’d recommend starting here. The first half a kilometer leads through forest before you arrive at the top of the ski lift. Here you will find a spot for coffee; they don’t offer anything to eat though, just drinks.

The walk is signposted quite clearly however it’s also straightforward as you can see the direction you need to walk in. We also saw plenty of other people doing the hike as well. The majority of the way is exposed, so bring sun cream and cover up.

It’s possible to make the route a semi-loop; the path splits off before the final ascent to the summit. I’d recommend walking on the lower path for the ascent and then descending on the ridge side to enjoy the views.

From the peak of Midzor, you can stand with a foot in two countries at once and see three different countries… The summit is the natural border to Bulgaria, and in the distance you can see the Danube river with Romania on the far side.

If you feel like more of a challenge, it’s possible to also extend the hike to include Dupljak to the north and/or Orlov Kamen eastward.

Last thoughts

From a hiking standpoint, it’s more of a walk. It’s a good one to do that doesn’t require training beforehand, or if you simply fancy a more relaxed hike. We certainly appreciated the respite after the previous weekend!

The area nearby is naturally very beautiful and there are a number of waterfalls and viewpoints to check out. Further southeast in the Stara Planina National Park there is also a lake with some monasteries and other points of interest nearby. From a quick look on Google, it also seems pretty undeveloped; although I can’t be sure without having been there myself! If planning a visit, I would bring plenty of supplies just to be on the safe side.

If you enjoyed reading this post, or have any questions, get in touch via the comments below or write to me on Facebook (Hopelessly Nomantic), Instagram (Hopelessly_Nomantic) or Twitter (HopelesNomantic).

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