There are many natural phenomena to discover in Serbia. Let me introduce you to the small but exquisite river of Vratna - hidden in the slopes of Miroc mountain of Eastern Serbia. Although long only 20 km, Vratna river offers nice hiking opportunities, wonderful views and potential for wildlife sightings.
Canyon of Vratna is situated 30km from Negotin and is easily reachable from the main road Negotin - Kladovo. The marked hiking trail starts right next to the women-only monastery of the same name - Vratna. Although well hidden from the eyes of tourists, two out of three so-called gates of Vratna are accessible with short and easy trail just 15 minutes away from the monastery.
Gates of Vratna actually represent three naturally formed stone arches. First one is called “Small Gate” and it reaches up to 34 meters in height, 30 meters in width and 15 meters in length. The second one, called “Big Gate” is 45 meters in length, 23 meters wide and around 30 meters high.
The real challenge arises in reaching the third gate, also called “The Dry Gate”. It is the smallest of the three, but at the same time the most attractive one for explorers and adventurists, due to a cut off position. To reach the third gate you will have to follow the river and its attractive path. Although it’s only 3.5km long, the hike will take around 2 hours, and trust me, you will sweat! The trail is very varied and you will be jumping across the river, climbing over the rocks, hiking through the woods.
This area has a huge potential for adventure seekers. Close to the third gate of Vratna, explorers recently discovered two caves, only briefly explored. One is around 400 meters in length, while the other one is especially attractive due to the ice-cold lake that it hides.
A day trip to Vratna river will enhance your senses, as it is very wild area and you will enjoy the birds singing, the tiny river creeking and the general feel of untouched nature. There are reported sightings of mouflons and deer herds in the area.
Gates carry cultural and symbolic message as well, specific to this part of Serbia. If you talk to the locals you can hear some legends on how the arches were formed, some even giving all the credit to magic and mythical creatures.
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