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Hidden Gems
Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park 9

Iron Gates and Djerdap National Park on Foot

Overview

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.

  • Iron Gates Gorge
  • National Park Djerdap
  • Mount Avala
  • Smederevo Fortress
  • Deliblato Sands – one of the few sand deserts in Europe

Click to view map

Itinerary

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

Day 2: Deliblato Sands, Ram Fortress, Viminacium | 15 km

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 | 14 km

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 the village Dobra.

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

Day 4: Sokolovac | 12 km

10 minutes drive to the starting point. The picturesque trail goes high above the Danube Gorge with numerous viewpoints over the gorge. The highest point 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
  • Walking for the day (including optional extension): 16 km, 5-6 hours, 800 m

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
  • No walking, optional 4-6 hour boat trip

Day 6: Mali and Veliki Strbac | 18 km

45-minute transfer to the starting point. The most picturesque hiking route in our tour – reaching some of 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, 1200 m
  • Walking for the day (shorter option): 15 km, 6 hours, 930 m

Day 7: Vratna Monastery Circular Walk / Belgrade | 9 km

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

  • Accommodation: Capital Hotel or similar
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 3 hours

Day 8: Departure

Departure on your own after breakfast.

What to Expect

Accommodation

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.

Click to view default hotels

Villa Graf, Danubia Park Spa Hotel, Prenociste na dunavu Guesthouse, Kladovo Aquastar Spa Hotel, Capital Hotel

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.

Difficulty & terrain

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 3000 m, average elevation gain per walking day is 600 m (read more about difficulty grades). 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. The best time for walking is between June and mid-September when the wildflowers are in bloom, and the weather is generally good. Earlier in the season, there may be some residual snow patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Belgrade.

By train or bus

Inclusions

Included

  • 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

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers from/to Belgrade Airport
  • Extra nights in Belgrade before or after the holiday

Gallery

Reviews

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Rating

     

Michael T

Yes we really enjoyed the tour and ready for another adventure next year!