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iron gates and djerdap national park, serbia walking holiday, serbia self guided

The Natural Adventure Company

Self Guided Walking Holidays and Cycling Holidays

Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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iron gates and djerdap national park, serbia walking holiday, serbia self guided
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Country
Serbia
Activity type
Self Guided Walking
Duration
8 days & 7 nights
Difficulty
Moderate
Accomodation
Comfortable
Availability
April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Smederevo
Day 2: Viminacium
Day 3: Golubac Fortress 
Day 4: Sokolovac
Day 5: Dobra
Day 6: Mali and Veliki Strbac
Day 7: Vratna Monastery / Belgrade
Day 8: Departure

Overview for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

This self guided walking holiday in Serbia will bring you to the impressive Djerdap Gorge (also known as the Iron Gates) where the Danube River flows surrounded by steep ridges. You will hike along the crest offering breathtaking views over the meandering Danube, make an optional boat tour on the Danube and visit some great natural attractions and historical monuments in the area.

Highlights

  • Iron Gates Gorge
  • National Park Djerdap
  • Mount Avala
  • Smederevo Fortress
  • Deliblato Sands – one of the few sand deserts in Europe
  • Ram fortress
  • Viminacium archaeological site
  • Silver Lake
  • Golubac Fortress
  • Lepenski Vir archaeological site
  • Vrata nature protected area
  • Rajacke Pimnice


Itinerary for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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Day 1: Belgrade / Smederevo

Short transfer from your Belgrade hotel (transfer included, you can book extra nights in Belgrade before the holiday through us or independently) or from Belgrade Airport (not included, available at an extra charge). Depending on arrival time, today’s short walking tour starts at the foot of Mt Avala, the closest mountain to the capital Belgrade. It is a circular walk including the monument to the Unknown Hero and Avala Tower. Transfer to Smederevo fortress, accommodation and overnight in Smederevo. Optional visit to Winery Jeremic in Smederevo or Milosev Konak, one of the summer residences of King Miloš Obrenović.

  • Accommodation: Villa Graf, a 4-star boutique hotel on the Danube bank in Smederevo, or similar
  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 2-3 hours, 300 m elevation gain

Day 2: Deliblato Sands, Ram Fortress, Viminacium

Short 50-minute transfer to nature protected reserve Deliblato Sands, one of the last deserts of Europe. Easy going circular tour among picturesque hills, sandy dunes and rich flora and fauna. After hiking, optional boat transfer over the Danube to Ram Fortress and Viminacium archaeological park dating back to Roman age (75 minutes). Transfer to the hotel at Srebrno Jezero (45 minutes).

Day 3: Golubac Fortress Walk

30-minute transfer to Golubac Fortress which is the starting place of today’s hiking tour. An easy to moderate 14-km hike follows with views of the Fortress and the entrance of the Danube gorge – Iron Gate. The long and flat ridge provides many views of the Brnjica River canyon. Hike ends at Brnjica village, then there is a short transfer (10 minutes) to your accommodation at village Dobra.

  • Accommodation: Guesthouse in Dobra
  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 4-5 hours, 650 m elevation gain

Day 4: Sokolovac

10 minutes drive to the starting point. The picturesque trail goes high above the Danube Gorge with numerous viewpoints over the gorge. Highest point of is Sokolovac a 626-metre high rocky peak offering breathtaking views over the Danube. Hike can be optionally extended to the Lepenski Vir archaeological site.

  • Accommodation: Guesthouse in Dobra
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4-5 hours, 650 m elevation gain or 16 km, 5-6 hours, 800 m elevation gain (optional extension)

Day 5: Rest Day or Boat Trip

Today you can relax in Dobra or you can book an optional Danube boat trip through the Iron Gates gorge to the famous Tabula Traiana (60 km from Dobra) and the Decebalus Rock Sculpture (120 km from Dobra) (highly recommended!).

Tabula Traiana is Roman memorial plaque 4 metres wide and 1.75 metres high, built into the vertical cliffs overlooking the Danube and commemorating the completion of Emperor Trajan’s Bridge. The bridge was constructed in 105 AD; it was the first bridge to be built over the lower Danube and one of the greatest achievements in Roman architecture. For more than 1,000 years it was the longest arch bridge in both total and span length.

The rock sculpture of Decebalus is a 42.9 m in height and 31.6 m in width carving in rock of the face of Decebalus, the last king of Dacia, who fought against the Roman emperors Domitian and Trajan to preserve the independence of his country, which corresponded to modern Romania. The sculpture was made between 1994 and 2004, on a rocky outcrop on the Danube.

  • Accommodation: Guesthouse in Dobra
  • Walking for the day: no walking, optional 4-6 hour boat trip

Day 6: Mali and Veliki Strbac

45-minute transfer to the starting point. The most picturesque hiking route in our tour – reaching some the most stunning viewpoints hanging over the Iron Gates. Afternoon transfer to Kladovo (40 minutes).

  • Accommodation: Kladovo Aquastar Spa Hotel (4 stars)
  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 7 hours, 1,200 m elevation gain or 15 km, 6 hours, 930 m elevation gain (shorter option)

Day 7: Vratna Monastery Circular Walk / Belgrade

Transfer to Vratna Monastery built in the XIV century (50 minutes). Vratna is also a beautiful river with natural stone bridges. A circular walk trough lush nature will enable you to see all of the natural stone bridges. Optional wine testing in the afternoon including visits to the cellars of Rogljevo, Smedovo and Rajac and then transfer to Belgrade.

  • Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Belgrade’s old town
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 3 hours

Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel

Hotels for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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Family run guesthouses, 3 and 4-star hotels as indicated in the itinerary. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants in the village near your hotel.

Travel for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Belgrade.

Flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

Private Transfers

Private transfer from Belgrade downtown to Smederevo on Day 1 as well as all transfers on walking days are included as listed in the itinerary. Optional airport transfers can be booked.

Baggage Transfers

All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included as listed in the itinerary.

Country Info

Language: Serbian. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are in either Cyrillic or Latin alphabet; you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.

Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.

Currency: We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.

Up-to-date travel advice on Serbia is available here.

Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Trip Info for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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Difficulty Grade: Moderate

Appropriate for experienced walkers. Requires a sound level of fitness. Total walking is 74 km, on average 15 km per walking day. Overall elevation gain is 3,000 m, average elevation gain per walking day is 600 m (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from April until October. Late spring, the whole summer and early autumn are beautiful in the Serbia. The best months for walking are May-June and September.The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Weather

The climate in the region is continental and temperate. Depending on location and altitude, temperatures vary, but in the May-September period, the daily averages are 20 – 25C. Spring and autumn are cooler with occasional rain.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included for Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park

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  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and 1:25,000 topo maps
  • GPS tracks
  • 7 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels and guesthouses including breakfast
  • Private transfer from Belgrade downtown to Smederevo on Day 1 as well as all transfers on walking days as listed in the itinerary
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative in Belgrade

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.

Please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options, extras and supplements for your desired dates.

Options and Extras

  • Private airport transfers from/to Belgrade Airport
  • Extra nights in Belgrade before or after the holiday

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums
  • Optional boat trip on Day 5 (around EUR 120 per boat, up to 8 persons, payable locally)

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

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