We love Belgrade and we hope you do too but, however much you love it, city life has a way of getting you down from time to time. For all those looking to escape, even if it’s just for the weekend, there’s a new guidebook to outdoor hiking & biking in Serbia. The guide has been written by Katharina Häberli Harker and is published by Komshe. It has been available since November in all major bookstores across Serbia.
Check out the mini-gallery on the right to see what the book looks like inside.
Escape from Belgrade
The urge to head outside, enjoy fresh air and nature, relax and explore is an important part of our lives that should not be neglected, instead, it should be nurtured and grown. Serbia, a center of European biodiversity, offers not only a rich and colorful history but also beautiful and diverse landscapes that can be enjoyed and explored all year around. Hiking and cycling are among the best ways to get to know a country, its history, nature and people – simply by going out and exploring.
Katharina came to Serbia as a diplomat and fell in love with the country. She and her family are steadfast hiking and cycling enthusiasts and, during their stay in Serbia, they decided to explore the country by discovering hundreds of different routes. Over a period of four years, Katharina documented their journeys of exploration, describing them based on her and her family’s personal experiences. In a way, this guide book is a gift to anybody coming to Serbia to get to know the country that she grew to love so much.
The first impressions of people who read Hiking & Biking in Serbia are that it is a very practical guide, a genuine manual for the adventurous. The book invites you to get out there and find those mountains, valleys, woodlands or flatland paths as well as the sights, sounds and flavors that Katharina describes.
This is the first comprehensive outdoor hiking & biking guide book for Serbia and is the perfect companion for the easy to medium level hiker and biker, birdwatcher, wildlife and outdoor enthusiast. It contains more than 30 routes through forests, mountains, plains, villages and towns – all personally checked out by the author herself. The routes are accompanied by detailed maps, trail descriptions and durations, beautiful photos and carefully researched background information on what can be seen along the way. Katharina worked closely with expert map-makers to ensure the maps reflect her experience of the routes included in this book. Additionally, the book includes QR codes that can be read with a smart device and can help the user to establish their exact location along the route.
Here’s a selection of just a few of the routes from Katharina’s book:
1. Fruška Gora – The low mountain range covering an area 75km long and 10-15km wide, the Fruška Gora National Park is a region of unique cultural and historical value to Serbia, partly thanks to the 16 Serbian Orthodox monasteries located here.
2. The Valjevo Mountains (including the area around Divčibare) – Because of the beauty and diversity of its flora and fauna, the canyon of the Gradac river has been declared a landscape of exceptional importance. The Gradac has the cleanest river water in Serbia and its rapids abound with freshwater fish.
3. Đerdap National Park – with its Iron Gate Gorge, within the summits of Miroč and Trem Mountains, offers stunning views. Located on the Danube River in eastern Serbia, along the border with Romania, the Đerdap National Park contains some of the country’s most impressive natural beauty and archeological sites. The main feature of the national park is the Đerdap Gorge, known as the Iron Gate. The gorge stretches nearly 100 kilometers alongside the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, creating a wide and deep section of the Danube.
4. Stara Planina – Stara Planina is the largest mountain range in eastern Serbia and a massif which forms a natural border with Bulgaria. It is a natural treasure of exceptional importance and is a protected nature park. Midžor is the highest peak on Stara Planina and in Serbia, standing 2,169m above sea level.
5. Pešter High-altitude Plateau – The Pešter plateau of is located between seven mountains which are magnificent to observe from here. This is an area of untouched nature, meadows, rivers disappearing underground and the hospitable highlanders of Pešter.
6. Griffon Vultures in Uvac – Observing griffon vultures in their natural habitat, in the canyons of the Uvac River, is something that must not be missed. The Uvac Special Nature Reserve is distinguished by the presence of 104 bird species. Most important of all is the griffon vulture, one of two vulture species still nesting in Serbia.
7. Tara National Park is known for its beautiful peaks, dense forests, and deep caves. The park’s highlight is the massive Drina River Gorge. The park is home to the rare Pančić Spruce (Picea omorica), found only in the Drina River valley. Its forests also abound in many varieties of wild animals. Waterfalls along the course of mountain rivers and streams are also part of its impressive beauty.
From historical monuments to miracles of nature, from mountain tops to waterfalls, from unique trees, birds and animals to the traditional hospitality of Serbian villagers, this book will be your personal guide to the beauties of Serbia simply waiting to be explored.
Getting the Book
The book is available in the following bookstores:
Belgrade – Apropo, Zepter, Dereta, Srpski kutak, Papirna krila, Giunti
Serbia – Delfi, Vulkan
Or directly from Komshe Publishers.