Even though Serbia does not have very high mountains (all of them are under 3000 meters), it most certainly has unique, beautiful places made of unspoiled nature and attractive landscapes.
Come with me as we explore some of the greatest hikes in Serbia, starting from the safest and least physically demanding ones to the most challenging trails… All of them are equally stunning!
This, by no means, want to be an extensive list of hikes in Serbia, so keep in mind that there are many more trails you can find and explore when you visit the country!
Can’t read now? Pin for later!
Where to Stay in Belgrade
Here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Belgrade. If you’ll also be in Novi Sad, you can see our recommendations at the bottom of this post.
Budget: If you want a cozy feeling hostel, Hostel Home Sweet Home in the Savamala neighborhood of Belgrade is a fantastic choice. Its central location close to Knez Mihailova Street and other Belgrade must-sees makes staying here ultra-convenient. It’s sunny and open, with options for dorm rooms as well as affordable single and double rooms for travelers who want a little more privacy without paying a fortune. It’s one of the best-rated options in town, so we recommend you check out availability and book in advance here.
Mid-Range: If you want a more traditional accommodation option, we recommend the affordable four-star Zepter Hotel on Terazije, one of our favorite streets in all of Belgrade. It has all the amenities you’d expect from a 4-star hotel, like a gym room, in-room coffee machine, and a fantastic daily breakfast. Rooms sell out often, so check out availability and book in advance.
Luxury: We’d be remiss if we didn’t suggest the classic luxury option in Belgrade, Hotel Moskva– one of our favorite buildings in the city and a classic haunt of famous politicians, musicians, actors, and other celebrities who pass through Belgrade. It’s also surprisingly affordable for its caliber! With a renowned spa, delicious restaurant, and beautifully designed rooms, it’s one of our favorite places in Belgrade and the location is unbeatable. However, it’s almost always sold out, so be sure to check availability and book well in advance, and hope you get lucky!
Still looking? Check out our full guide to Belgrade Hotels and Hostels.
The Most Awe-Inspiring Hikes in Serbia
In no particular order, these are some of the most spectacular hiking trails in Serbia…
(The Upper Danube Nature Reserve)
This hidden jewel is located in the far northwest part of Vojvodina, on the border with Croatia. It has recently received major recognition from UNESCO due to its ecological significance and biodiversity.
The plain landscape presents an extremely small altitude range (80 – 88 m) which makes it one of the easiest hikes in Serbia. And it still remains truly rewarding and unique. Along with the wetlands of the Drava and Mura rivers, this place can be considered the Amazon of Europe.
The best thing about this natural reserve is the interconnection of aquatic, wetland, meadow, and forest ecosystems, characterized by an endless network of backwaters and channels flowing through the forests of willows, poplars, and oaks.
There are occasionally flooded wet meadows as wells as numerous branches and ponds that sustain the exceptional diversity of flora and fauna.
This area is home to more than 20,000 wetland birds, which belong to 248 different species. Rare ones include the white-tailed eagle, the black stork, and the great cormorant. While hiking, you can encounter seagulls, wild geese, terns, cormorants, herons, and ducks.
The Danube backwaters, ponds, meanders, and marshes host numerous freshwater fish and endangered mammals such as otters and wild cats. This area also provides a home to one of the last populations of European deer in its natural habitat.
If you are lucky or visiting during the right time, you can hear them roaring in the distance which creates quite an amazing atmosphere. There are over 1000 plant species represented, along with characteristic white and yellow water lilies and large reeds.
Getting here is quite easy. If you are visiting Subotica or Novi Sad, you can go to Sombor by train or bus. I would also recommend checking out Bla Bla Car, as many people commute on this route daily.
Also check some of the taxi firms offering daily van rides which are frequent, reliable, but also faster and more comfortable than trains and buses. However, they should be booked in advance.
From Sombor, you can take a bus to Bački Monoštor, village, which should take around 20 minutes. Karapandza Eco-Center, the point from where you can start your trails, is accessible by road as well, if you are using your own transportation.
Bački Monoštor features comfy accommodation options, as well as homes to rent for the weekend, all of them with a rich cultural heritage. In the place, you can sample delicious fish specialties and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
The care of the Upper Danube region is in the hands of the forestry organization (Vojvodina Sume) and visitors are required to seek permission to enter the area. Fees are 100 dinars per adult and 50 dinars for kids (8-18 years old).
For a group of fewer than 10 people, it’s 250 dinars per visitor and for more than 10 people, 150 dinars. For more information, you can check out their website
The easiest trail starts at the Karapandza Eco-Center and it is circular. Guides propose an educational tour which lasts around 2 hours and is 4 km long, and therefore it’s suitable even for children and the elderly.
You can also choose one of the longer trails too, such as the southern trail (23.5 km) and the northern one (26 km). Take some insect repellant with you in warmer months as mosquitos, ticks and other insects are present due to the low elevation and humidity of the terrain.
The first national park in Serbia, Fruska Gora, is full of beautiful forests and meadows. The highest peak is Red Cot (539 m), and the mountain itself is 80 km long and only 15 km wide.
There are 16 lakes, over 200 springs, a couple of waterfalls, and plenty of cozy, hidden ponds.
Located in the Vojvodina plain, it is surrounded by flat terrain so the view from various peaks offers an amazing morphological contrast.
Apart from the pristine nature, you can also find various cultural and historical sites. There are around 30 monasteries, 17 of which are active. The best-known ones are Vrdnik, Hopovo, Jazak, and Beocin Monastery.
You can stumble upon old ruins, castles, and towers, tombs and monuments, natural chapels, and various man-made objects from the past. Even a simple sight of a mysterious table in the middle of the forest, completely covered in moss, can be enchanting.
Fruska Gora features a huge number of trails and a unique, low-risk opportunity for a great adventure. There are over 400 km of hiking trails and many more forest paths.
Most of the trails are marked (a white circle with a red heart in the middle can be found on the trees along trails), and even those which are not marked will lead you to the ones that are, or to some village, mountain lodges, or other monasteries.
If you have some hiking experience, it’s impossible to get completely lost and it’s safe in terms of wildlife: there are no dangerous mammals or venomous snakes in the area.
The easiest way to reach Fruska Gora is from Novi Sad which is just 10 km away. When you are in the city, all you need to do is catch a bus. Remember, all buses which number starts with 7 and contain double digits, go someplace on Fruska Gora.
You can catch the bus at the main bus station, or at one of the bus stops down the same boulevard. The ticket is bought from the driver, but you have to say where are you going as the price varies.
For example, Bus 74 leads to Popovica which is a safe bet as many of the trails start there, plus it has several mountain lodges if you are interested in sleeping over, having a drink, or a meal.
Bust 72 goes to Paragovo near which you can find various hiking trails as well. If you want to go to the Red Cot, you can take Bus number 78 which leads to Beocin.
If you are an experienced hiker and you are up for an adventure, you can play a “bus roulette” and improvise. Here you can check the weekly bus schedule
Marked trails are circular, from Popovica you can choose the east and the west variants of each trail. You can improvise along the way and cut the circle, making the total length shorter. Trails vary from just a few kilometers to more than 80 km, with altitudes ranging from 300 to 500 m.
Therefore, although the mountain is not high and it’s safe, if you pick a long trail you can face the same high total altitude that you would face if you were climbing the hardest mountains in Serbia!
You can join the Fruska Gora Marathon, which takes place during May and it has a 30-year long tradition.
If you want to stay for more days, there are many mountain huts, lodges, and hotels available, some with affordable accommodation.
Rtanj is quite an interesting and unique mountain due to the distinctive geometry of karst terrain expressed in its symmetrically shaped top, resembling a pyramid. The mountain is challenging for hikers, especially in the winter.
It consists of dense forests and rocky landscapes which can be quite bumpy. There are many underground springs, caves, and pits in the area. The highest peak is Siljakwith (1565 m). Its flora is known for a variety of endemic, medicinal herbs (such as the famous Rtanj tea) which are protected by the law.
Rtanjis located at the center of the triangle made by Paracin, Sokobanjaand, and Zajecar, and it is around 200 km away from Belgrade. The mountain and the underlying settlement share the same name.
You can travel by bus from Paracin to Boljevac or from Belgrade to Boljevac and then take another bus to Rtanj or a taxi, which is quite cheap (around €7).
You can climb the top from the northern side, which is the harder way due to the total altitude total, and it is around 12 km long. Be aware that this trail lacks markings at the beginning and in some other spots, so we suggest the use of proper navigation.
Another option to ascend from the south side, which is easier, properly marked, and 13 km long. For a more complete experience, you can ascend with the north trail and descend hiking the south one. You can check the links here: North Trail – South Trail
What makes the mountain really challenging to climb is the changing weather conditions. Therefore, you should be aware of the possibility of strong wind and dense fog when you exit the forest and prepare accordingly. If you want to stay longer, there is a hotel and numerous vacation homes with affordable prices in settlements below the mountain.
Stara Planina, located in southeast Serbia, is the western part of the Balkan Mountain range which spreads across Serbia and Bulgaria. The highest peak is Botev (2378 m) in Bulgaria, while the tallest one on the Serbian side is Midzor (2169 m).
Vast landscapes of untouched nature perfectly combine dense forests and open meadows, providing a home to over 1190 plant species and a diverse population of fungi. As far as the animal world is concerned, you can come across deer, wolves, boars, foxes, rabbits, and some venomous snakes. Therefore, good footwear is recommended.
The mountain is rich in water, small canyons, springs, and waterfalls. As a matter of fact, around a third of all waterfalls, in Serbia can be found here.
The safest and most comfortable way to hike this mountain starts at Babin Zub (Gramma’s Tooth), a ski complex and a mountain refuge named after the iconic, naturally formed rock located nearby.
You can get to the area from the more accessible village Crni Vrh. In both places, there are hotels and guesthouses for a comfortable stay.
To better endure the cold temperatures in winter, you can find organized transportation, offered by tourist agencies, from Belgrade (330 km), Novi Sad (410 km), and Niš (70km).
There is no regular public transportation all-year-round, but you can combine some buses from Pirot and Knjazevac with a bit of hiking. There is also an option of booking a van ride according to the number of people in the group.
From Babin Zub there’re several route options. You can go to the highest peak, Midzor, which is on the border with Bulgaria. The view is amazing and if the weather is clear you can see several peaks and the vast landscape across Bulgaria.
The trail is around 15 km long and well defined with multiple peaks along the way. Therefore, you can improvise and visit more at the same time, prolonging the hike by few kilometers.
This option will leave you exposed due to the lack of forest so we strongly recommend applying sunscreen. Another option, is the one to Topli Do, an area that is especially rich in waterfalls. The better-known ones are Cungulj Waterfall (42 m) and Pilj Waterfall (64 m).
You can combine a few trails around here, but camping at Topli Do, or staying at some of the locals’ homes is what we suggest for more fun! For a more intense hike, combine Babin Zub – Topli Do – Midzor – Babin Zub (27km), and skip the waterfalls.
Be aware that the mountain receives heavy snow above the 1100 m in wintertime, which requires a more extensive hiking experience in comparison to other seasons.
If something goes wrong, or you need a rest, check the various villages you’ll come across. There, you’ll meet kind locals along the way.
Finally, keep in mind that these are just a few examples of top hikes in Serbia, so be encouraged to explore and find out more as the Serbian mountains have much more to offer.
What to Pack for Serbia
We have a full Serbia packing list, but in case you just want the quick version, here are a few essentials you shouldn’t forget to pack!
A good guidebook: While travel blogs are great, we still think a good guidebook is always handy. Lonely Planet Western Balkans is the main guidebook we recommend for Serbia, as it covers the country well plus others in the region.
Pacsafe Citysafe or Other Anti-Theft Bag: This is the bag both Stephanie and I use. It has a pouch with RFID technology so our credit cards can’t get scanned from afar, interlocking zippers to make it harder to pickpocket, and it’s roomy enough to be a perfect sightseeing day bag. If you’d rather bring something smaller, you can pack a money belt instead.
We feel quite safe in Belgrade, which is not overly touristic and full of pickpockets, but we wear it and suggest it all the same.
Unlocked Cell Phone: Stephanie and I both have unlocked cell phones that we bought in Europe (She uses a Samsung and I use an iPhone). This allows up to get sim cards when we travel so that we always have the internet. We wrote a guide to pick up SIM cards in Serbia, as it’s really quite simple!
Being able to pick up a Serbian SIM card is a great way to stay in touch while on the road. If you don’t have an unlocked cell phone that can use a Serbian SIM card, you can buy a cheaper unlocked phone online and bring it with you!
Travel Insurance: We recommend it everywhere we go! We suggest World Nomads and go into more detail about why at the end of the post.
More Serbia Travel Resources
Most people also allocate some time for Belgrade – where we have tons of resources. We have this mega-guide to 101 things to do in Belgrade, the most Instagrammable spots in Belgrade, what to do in Belgrade in winter, and the best Belgrade street art. We also have a Serbian souvenir guide and a Serbian wine guide if you want to do some shopping.
Headed to nearby Novi Sad? Start with our guide to the best things to do in Novi Sad and our 2-day Novi Sad itinerary. We also have a guide of the best Instagram spots in Novi Sad as well as what to do in Novi Sad in winter and how to visit the Novi Sad Christmas Market.
If you love guided tours, here are eleven great Belgrade tours to pick from. If you want to get out of the city for a day, here are our guide to Belgrade day trips and what you should know before renting a car in Serbia. We also have lists of our favorite places to visit in Serbia and the best Serbian towns and cities if you need more day trip inspiration.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
If you’re planning a trip to Serbia, it’s a good idea to travel with a valid travel insurance policy, so that you will be covered in case of an emergency. Travel insurance covers you in case of theft or an accident, which can save your trip if there’s an incident, or cancellation, or trip interruption.
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads. I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.