East Serbia Exploration
Est Adventure - 8 days
- East Serbia Exploration
- 8 days / 7 nights
- Max. group: 10 Persons
- Difficulty: Easy
> Conquer the Serbian pyramid
> Climb Midzor, the highest peak in of central Serbia
> Go kayaking along the hidden coves of Lake Zavoj
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 Midzor (2168m), representing the highest peak of central Serbia, and our goal.
Apart from our climb where spectacular views await us, we’ll also explore the famous waterfalls of this region and go on kayaking along the hidden coves of Lake Zavoj. And during our downtime, we’ll recuperate our strength with food specialties of Eastern Serbia.
Note: For this trek, the minimum number of trekkers to open a new group is 6. If you are alone or less than 6 people, get in touch with our trekking experts to find a group to join!
Day 1: Sunday
- 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 then you will enjoy dinner made up of specialties of this region. That way, 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 (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 a 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 await us.
- Transfer to Bovan Lake (30 min)
- Trekking adventure on Bovan Lake (2-3 hours)
- Transfer to eco-village Vrmdza (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 Vrmdza, 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 Midzor (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, Midzor (2186 m). This particular trek is approx. 8 km long, not technically demanding and after reaching the top it gives you 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 the 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 the 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 of 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 “Cele Kula”. “Cele 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, the Turkish 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 by 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.
Airport transfers and all local transfers during the trek are included. On the first day of the trek we will pick you up at Niš Airport and we will take you to Sokobanja. On the last day of the trek, you will be driven back to Niš Airport, where you’ll catch your flight home. All other transfers needed during the trek are included.
During this trek, you will spend 7 nights in a 3-star accommodation or 3-star ethno chalets (based on sharing a twin or double room). Your trekking company will take care of all the arrangements.
The meals detailed in the itinerary are included in the price of the trek. The meals included are as follows:
Days 2-6: 5-day Full Board
Day 7: 1-day Half Board
Day 8: 1-day Bed & Breakfast
The food is local, fresh, home-cooked and hearty. Common food items include domestic cheeses and other dairy products, dry meats, fish, freshly baked bread and pastries, and local fruits and veggies. The drinks are not included. Let us know if you have any dietary needs we should meet.
You will be accompanied by a professional, local, English-speaking, guide during the whole trek.
All necessary equipment such as kayak, paddle, safety vest, short neoprene suit and neoprene socks, ropes, harnesses, helmets, etc will be provided by the trekking company.
√ Off-road jeep riding
On day 5 you will take an off-road jeep ride and you will dive deep into the mountain through a macadam path.
√ Kayak adventure
On day 6 of this trekking tour, you will enjoy a 3-hour kayak adventure on Zavojsko lake. The trekking company will provide all the equipment necessary for this activity.
× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Niš Airport. The total amount is exclusive of flights. Some trekkers may need a visa to enter Serbia. This visa is not included in the price of the trek.
× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
× Single supplement
If you want to stay in a single room, you will have to pay an additional fee.
× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.
× Extra drinks
Your trekking company will provide all meals during the trek. Drinks, however, are not included.
Tipps for the guide are not included in the price of the trek. You decide how much to tip, but if you got a good service from your guide, be generous.
During this trek, you will spend 7 nights in a 3-star accommodation or 3-star ethno chalet. You will share twin, spacious rooms with another trekker. If you prefer a single room, you can have one at an extra cost. Your trekking company will take care of all the arrangements.
What’s the kayaking like?
The kayaking is a relaxed, scenic 25 km paddle downstream, in one of the cleanest rivers in Europe. It will take around 4 hours on predominantly calm water, with a few fun rapids. You will be in stable, two-person kayaks. Large enough to bring additional equipment and big enough to feel comfortable. You do not need previous knowledge about kayaking.
Spring, summer and early autumn are the best periods to visit this region (from the beginning of May to the end of September). In spring average temperature is around 22; In the summer the average temperature is around 26 – 28, but it can be more than 30 degrees. Autumn is slightly chillier but still really pleasant and the colors are stunning.
Tipping is not so common in the Balkans and it is by no means a mandatory requirement. However, if you got a good service from your guide and you want to thank him, it will always be much appreciated. How much to tip your guide is up to you.
A basic level of fitness is required for all activities. You need to be able to handle approx. 3 – 4 hours of activity per day. Being fit for this trek is not only important for your own safety but also for the whole team's. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the trek. If you are in good shape, this trek shouldn't be a problem for you. However, if you are worried that it might be too much, you can always train in advance, walking a few hours a day and climbing some stairs. But don’t worry, your guide will be with you at all times and help you if needed, to complete your adventure securely and safely.
Packing ListPacking List
There are many things to take into account when getting ready for a trek. Packing the right stuff should be at the top of the list: the right clothes and equipment can make the difference when spending several days in the mountains. This is the reason why we always ask our partners to recommend a packing list for their trekkers. Here is EST Adventure's packing list:
- Hiking shoes
- Hiking pants
- swimming suit
- Hat (for the summer)
- Rain jacket
- Clothes in layers – for hot and cold parts of the night
- Some pocket money
Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment.
EST Adventure is one man’s dream come true. No achievement in life, no peak climbed and no journey to the remotest part of the world can be fully appreciated if there is no friend with you to share the joy. It is for this very reason that EST Adventure was established – to share with you the wide experience gained by a small group of people in expeditions, explorations and adventures over the past fifteen years.
We believe that deep down in every one of us lies a little explorer, who, if given proper support, could climb even the highest peaks of the world. It only takes a little persistence to regain lost confidence and everything is possible. The people who have joined us and achieved their dreams, the dreams they could not even say loudly before are undeniable proof. Under our guidance over 250 mountaineers have successfully climbed the peaks over 6000 m high, and over 20 of them have had opportunity to view the world from summits over 8000 m high, the youngest of them was 18 years of age when he reached the top of Aconcagua (6962 m), while the oldest celebrated his 70th birthday on the same peak.
We shall not forget to mention those to whom objectives and major achievements do not represent the essence of their efforts, but it is the path they follow and the vastness they explore that they cherish. With them, we have travelled around areas seen by only a very few, met people whose simplicity of life and purity of soul changed our views of the world.
Our basic principle is unus pro omnibus et omnes pro uno – one for all and all for one, because we believe that good team spirit creates an atmosphere where everyone can express their value. We can thank this approach for the fact that our expeditions, treks and adventures represent true schools, where we all learn something new
Climbing to the top of a mountain is not just about testing your abilities; the experience that slowly penetrates your mind during the expedition, continuous questioning of yourself, insight into and discovering of your own inner self. It is a permanent process of self-knowledge in communication with Nature, and with other people in extreme conditions of life. It is also the communication with the people you meet there that will make you reconsider some of your own beliefs and prejudices. The encounter with another culture and way of life helps us gain a better perception of ourselves when we return home. What is important is not whether their or our views are right, but the broader viewing angle we gain by considering their points of view, either inward or outward.
In everyday life we are witnessing a great alienation between people, flourishing of individualism and egocentrism, fear of straightforward and honest communication, loss of confidence, which are all occurring before our own eyes… To travel together with like-minded people and sharing an experience can mark the beginning of a new chapter in your life. So, I am inviting you to join us on our adventures, to change together and go back home feeling completely renewed after each trip, with a secretive smile at the corners of your mouth, the meaning of which will remain unknown to all but a few. Life is wonderful.
How to Book
How does it work?
On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company.
Bookatrekking.com uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.
After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org
The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.
You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.
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