Balkan Winter Trails

January 13th to 18th 2025

Duration – 6 days
Hotel accomodation (6 nights, HB)
Estimated length – 500 km
Technical difficulty – 1-4/10
Scratching rate – 2-6/10 (occasional medium intense scratching)
Good quality AT or MT tyres (no snow chains necessary)

990 € per vehicle for guidance + 490 € per person for accomodation (HB) in double rooms or 690 € in single rooms

What is better than to enjoy the winter exploration of the snow covered Carpathian mountains in Serbia, and then after the cold day in the snow bask in the thermal hot waters of first class 3 and 4 star spa hotels?

For 2025 we return the winter tour to mid-january, as we want to avoid the possibility of a pre-snow, muddy tour that we’ve had for New Year 2024. Although the Carpathian forest trails can also be very enjoyable in deep mud, winter simply looks nices when it’s all-white. And doing the tour in the third week of January simply guarantees us at least a certain amount of snow in the higher altitudes. So lets enjoy the snowflakes in eastern Serbia together!

Kučaj mountains, which make up most of our itinerary, are wild, completely desolate and unpredictable during the winter. They are the largest completely uninhabited piece of land in Serbia. Nothing is certain at this time when nature is deeply asleep. Reaching any place in the wilderness of these majestic mountains is an adventureous achievement! But, at the end of every day a cozy room at a little mountain hotel is waiting for you, with thermal pools of natural hot water to relax in…

Video from the Balkans Snow Trails 2023


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Tour start

Tour participants will be arriving on day one to the Ždrelo Spa resort and get their hotel rooms, after which they can immediately start relaxing in the hot pools of the spa area. We will have an introductory meeting in the hotel lobby in the afternoon to get to know each other, distribute welcome packages and discuss what awaits us in the following days. Precise instructions for reaching the starting point and other data important for conducting the tour will be emailed to the participants one month prior to the tour start.

Ždrelo Spa hotel aquapark

On day one of the tour we’ll make a nice introductory roundtrip of the Homolje mountains, returning to the Ždrelo spa hotel for another night. Day two will take us in the direction of the highest peak in the area, Beljanica, which we may be able to reach if there isn’t too much snow, which cannot be guaranteed due to the unpredictable snowdrifts during the winter in that area. Further on, we will continue across the Kučaj mountains eastwards, ending the day at Bor lake. Third day of driving takes us on a diagonal trip through the heart of the Kučaj mountains, visiting some of it’s most notable points of interest such as the Vinatovača rainforest, Valkaluci hunting area and Prskalo waterfall, before we settle in the marvelous Biogor 4 star hotel in Sisevac for the next two nights.

The 4 star Biogor hotel

Moving on

Day four brings us a very nice roundtrip, featuring several highlights – the Grza springs, an abandoned, 2 km long tunnel through the Samanjac mountain, and the Crnica river gorge, with it’s ancient ruins, as well as a few attractive river crossings at the very end of the day.

On day five we leave Sisevac to take another cross Kučaj track, but a little more south compared to what we have done on day three, visiting the most remote monastery in Serbia under the Mikulj peak, and reaching the Mustecić family ranch on Kovej for a late lunch. Kovej is the place with the most spectacular scenic viewpoints over Lazar’s canyon. The day will end in the Balašević hotel under Rtanj mountain.

The final, sixth day of driving is optional. Those who want to head straight home in order to arrive on time can start right after breakfast, and those who still haven’t had enough of the winter trails of Serbia can take a half day roundtrip around Rtanj mountain to an interesting cave and the Vrmdža lake, before we say our goodbyes as we reach the main road heading for the highway around 13:00.

The roads and trails that we will travel on are mostly unmaintained during the winter, as Kučaj is the largest completely uninhabited area in Serbia. Therefore, there is very little to no activity at this time of year (it’s usually visited only by hunters during the winter). The biggest part of Kučaj is a gigantic highland plateau, situated between 800 and 1000 m of altitude, so it’s not very high. But due to being isolated from the surrounding valleys, it has specific microclimate with very harsh winters, averaging a daily temperature of about -15 degrees in the central parts.

Video from the 2017 tour

Having all this in mind, every venture into this territory during the winter is a considerably adventurous and bold move, offering no guarantees of success. The fact that most of this area also doesn’t have any mobile phone coverage makes the situation even harder, as there are no means to call for outside help. You can rely only on your own skill, and your team mates.

Our daily trails will be around 80 km long, exceeding that range only in cases we need to make a significant detour due to a direct connection to our goal being undrivable because of the snow.


All four hotels that we stay in will feature 3 or 4 star standards, and will have natural thermal water, or heated pools, as well as a sauna.

We plan to leave our accomodation right after breakfast every morning, between 9 and 9:30, and to arrive to the next accomodation point before dark, if possible (around 16:00). However, delays may be possible in case of struggle with the unfavourable trail conditions. Dinner will be planned every evening at 19:00. Due to short winter days, we will not make any lunchbreaks during the day, but we will have shorter breaks that can be used for a snack, so you’re advised to have something with you in your vehicle for the snacks if you think breakfast and dinner are too far apart.

We will get a chance to refuel twice during the tour, so you shouldn’t have a problem with the range of your vehicle (you don’t need any spare fuel cans), unless you drive a petrol vehicle instead of diesel (in that case an extra 20 l fuel can is a good measure of precaution).

Tour requirements

Equipment of your vehicle for Balkans Snow Trails should include

  • AT tyres as required minimum, MT optional
  • a snow shovel + basic tools for your car maintenance
  • at least one kinetic rope for recovery

You should also consider

  • Silicone protective foil over your paint, as almost all offroad trails in Serbia are narrow, and therefore you will have contact with vegetation on daily basis
  • Winch is also strongly advised for winter tours (the incidence of getting stuck is at least 5x higher than in our summer tours)

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Unlike some other tour operators, we do not require that you have a set of 4 snow chains for the tour. In our experience, the extra traction provided by snowchains will get you slightly further, but only slightly. When snow becomes too deep, even snow chains don’t help any longer. On the other hand, mounting (and dismounting) the snow chains in freezing weather conditions is a great inconvenience, and snowchains themselves are a serious hazard, as they add considerable weight to your wheels, easily damaging your wheel bearings and other components in extreme use conditions. And, in case of breaking chains, they can inflict considerable damage on hoses and other sensitive components too. So the potential damage from snow chains is greater than benefit.

After all, we do not regard our tours as extreme. That means that we’re not trying to push you and the vehicle to the very limit. We just want you to have a good, pleasent time in the Balkan winter, without crawling around your vehicle putting the chains on and taking them off all the time!

Tour price coverage

Tour price covers

  • our guide in his own vehicle, and tour guidance during 6 days
  • all fuel and other expenses for the guide vehicle
  • personal counceling before and during the tour
  • appropriate GPS data, that can be made available to the participants, if they have compatible hardware to upload the GPX files
  • a handheld radio with recharger for your vehicle

Tour price does not cover

  • individual fuel and toll costs
  • individual food and drink expenses outside the HB service in hotels
  • mechanical servicing expenses by third parties
  • individual accomodation expenses before and after the tour (on your way to Serbia and back)
  • other individual expenses

What else you should know about the tour?

As mentioned, final details about how to reach the tour starting point from your home country, in the form of a Google maps link or GPX/KML file (as well as other details important for the tour), will be emailed to you approximately one month before the tour start. Please secure that you have your travel insurance before starting the tour. We expect you to arrive with a vehicle in good technical conditon, which can endure a week of winter overlanding. This tour will require average offroad experience and skills, but winter driving conditions can often be more demanding than driving in other seasons. During the tour a chance to refuel will be available fairly often (petrol, diesel, LPG) so range is no issue in this tour. All major credit cards (Visa, Master, etc.) work in Serbia (both on ATM machines and for paying goods).

Tour booking form

If you have any more questions,
ask your guide!

Invoice and payment instructions will be e-mailed to you upon filling out and sending this registration form

Image gallery from the tour area

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