May 19th – 29th (25th) 2024
Type – standard offroad tour
Duration – 6 or 10 days
Wild camping tour (your camping gear)
Approximate length – 500-750 km
Technical difficulty – 3-6/10
Scratching rate – 4-7/10 (occasional stronger scratching)
MT tyres recommended, good quality AT tyres minimum
990 € per vehicle for 6 days
1390 € per vehicle for 10 days
(regardless of number of passengers)
Make the most out of the blooming spring in May! At this time of year the higher mountains are still cold and partially covered with snow, but the endless vistas of the lower serbian Carpathians (northeastern Serbia) are already strikingly green and warm, ideal to open the camping season in a joyful and empowering way. This is a complete chillout tour, where you will make your way through undisturbed wilderness between some of the most beautiful, well hidden secret campsites of the Homolje and Kučaj mountains. Riding the ridges full of colourful spring flowers, plunging into the misty forests through which you will miraculously always emerge in front of a new natural wonder every time, you’ll have a hard time deciding which of the campsites you like most – either those in deep forest, those at river and lakesides, or those at scenic viewpoints, giving you an open view of the skyline, with miraculous sunsets. Eastern Serbia is full of incredible features, such as the natural stone arches (of which we will also visit several during the tour), canyons, waterfalls and lakes. Treat yourself with a spring journey to remember!
With this tour we reintroduce the 6 or 10 day options, in order to accomodate the expectations of both participants that can spare either one or two weeks on exploring this beautiful scenery.
The tour will start in the afternoon of day one (Sunday, May 14th) in the west of the Homolje mountains, near Despotovac (you will get a waypoint to navigate to). From our gathering point we will drive about 30 minutes to our first deep forest campsite, where we will set up our camp under the high, towering beech trees, with plenty of firewood for our campfire and a pleasent introductory evening, well hidden from curious onlookers.
On Monday we will continue along the ridges of Homolje mountains in a north-easterly direction. Passing through an entire maze of long forgotten, overgrown forest trails, we will reach several attractive scenic viewpoints and drive along river valleys, before we settle for the night in a very secretive cave. If the weather conditions permit, we might change this camp for one on a scenic viewpoint, offering one of the most spectacular sunsets in eastern Serbia.
In the next several days, we will visit a really beautiful waterfall, as well as the Vratna valley, which is unique in the world for it’s three natural stone arches on the same river! From there we will continue our journey southwards, reaching the lake on Stol mountain, and passing through, perhaps, the most spectacular 360 degree vista in eastern Serbia, surrounded by imposing rocky mountain ridges on all sides.
From there we will be continuing further south, finally taking on the Kučaj mountains, the largest piece of uninhabited wilderness in Serbia. Of course, a camp at Kovej, the most impressive scenic viewpoint above the magnificent Lazar’s canyon, will be a must on this tour.
From Kovej we will continue on a southerly direction through Kučaj, until we reach the Vrmdža lake, on the southwest side of Rtanj mountain, the highest one in the area of northern serbian Carpathians (1565 m). After Vrmdža lake, we will settle at our secret forest hideout in the middle of one of the biggest continuous forest areas in Serbia.
The grand finale
We will slowly be closing our circle through the serbian Carpthians by tackling the Kučaj mountains on a more westerly to central direction, visiting all of the remaining attractions, if condition permit – the spring of Grza, the ruins of Petrus and Crnica canyon, Prskalo waterfall, until we setup camp for the last night in a fairy-tale like forest in the very geographical centre of Kučaj. Our final, half day itinerary on Saturday will take us from there toward the Beljanica plateau, which will at the same time be the highest point that we will reach in the tour (1339 m).
For those who opt for the shorter, 6-day tour, a point at a major tarmac road will be provided for safely leaving the group.
Many of the trails that we will be travelling on have been long abandoned, because depopulation in eastern Serbia is advancing at a frightening scale, as the nomadic mountain life of people living in the rural areas is only rudimentary present now, and those tracks are being unused and forgotten. As they have mostly been used by ox-carts and small, narrow tracktors, those trails have never been wide, and are especially not wide now when they’re being overgrown by vegetation. That is why you will have to count on vegetation contact on a daily base – if you’re not used to it, please think about wheather or not this will be acceptable to you. It’s a great adventure of driving those forgotten forest ways, but if you and your car aren’t accustomed to that, you better prepare psychologically, or cover your paint by sillicone transparent protective foil. The frequent visitors to the Balkans already know what I’m speaking about, and have no problem with understanding why that is so – this explanation is only to prepare the newcomers.
Weather in Serbia in May is usually already pleasently warm (it can even be hot sometimes), but May is a time of year when you should be ready for some frequent, heavy rainshowers. There are exceptions (like the completely dry May in 2022), but statistically speaking May is the month of year with most precipitation. That is why we are recommending MT tyres for this tour, as, if the weather turns out to be rainy, on some sections of those muddy forest trails you will need all the bits of traction that you can get.
Our average daily tracks will be around 70-80 km long, which can be completed in a relaxed manner in a long spring day, with more than 2 hours left to setup the camp before dark.
Our campsites will be deep in the wilderness, sometimes featuring mountain streams and rivers, in most cases ideal for full comfort far away from any signs of civilization. We will have firewood in abundance, so we will have an opportunity to light campfires every evening, which can also be used for grilling. We will attempt to arrive at the campsite every day no later than 17:00, so that you have plenty of time to setup your little nomadic haven and prepare for the night, enjoying the beautiful surroundings to the fullest. We usually leave the campsite at 9:00, leaving us enough time for a relaxed breakfast and packing up all the equipment afterwards.
Altitudes of the campsites will vary from 400 m to 900 m of altitude, which means that, although it’s still quite early in the season, we should have pleasent night temperatures. But do take your warm sleeping bags, just in case you need them!
Replenishing our food supplies will be possible once or twice during the tour. Preferably once, so that we wouldn’t need to pass through towns too frequently. Therefore we recommend that you equip your vehicle with large capacity / good quality refrigerator, so that you can keep your food fresh over several days. At the occasion when we visit the supermarket, we will also have an opportunity to refuel (you should count on being able to complete about 250 km on one fuel tank).
Every day we will make a lunchbreak sometime between 12:30 and 14:00 lasting for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, so there will be plenty of time to prepare a decent lunch.
Equipment of your vehicle for Green Hideouts of Serbia should include
- MT tyres a preferred, good quality AT tyres are minimum
- basic tools for your vehicle and camping
- a kinetic rope for recovery and some shackles
You should also consider
- Sillicone protective cover over your paint is strongly advised, as almost all offroad trails in Serbia are narrow, and therefore have contact with vegetation on daily basis
- winch (we’re not planning to get stuck on the trails, but having your own winch can dramatically expedite recovery in case needed)
Tour price coverage
Tour price covers
- our guide in his own vehicle, and tour guidance during 6 or 10 days
- all fuel and other expenses for the guide vehicle
- personal counceling before and during the tour
- appropriate GPS tour data in GPX format
- handheld dualband communication radio with charger
- camping at private camping spots which require payment (without meals)
Tour price does not cover
- individual fuel and toll costs
- individual food and drink expenses
- 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?
Final details will be mailed to you one month before the tour. 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 6 (or 10) days of moderate overlanding. This tour will require average offroad experience and skills, but in case of rain it can require a bit more concentration. During the tour a chance to refuel will be available each 200-250 km (petrol, diesel, LPG). All major credit cards (Visa, Master, Maestro, etc.) work in Serbia (both on ATM machines and for paying goods), but it’s advisable to have a small amount of cash for small expenses in the mountainous areas (up to 20 Euros converted to RSD overall for the entire tour).
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