The natural wonders of nature reserve Mt. Stara Planina in Southeastern Serbia are an endless source of inspiration. Whenever someone longs for unspoiled nature, I recommend visiting this oasis of wilderness, where the smell of forests triggers the inner raw survival instincts, and it’s possible to stumble upon the trees older than your grandparents. One of those places is Midzor, the highest peak in Serbia. Luckily, you can easily touch the clouds at the rooftop of Serbia, as the place is easily accessible from the cities of Nis and Belgrade.
At 2169 meters of altitude, Midzor is the highest peak in Serbia. It’s located at the very border with Bulgaria, and the rock that marks the summit is at the same time a marker for the country border. Here, at the top, you could literally step one foot in Bulgaria and the other one in Serbia, while observing the clouds beneath you and their boundless shift across the ridge. Right there, beneath the cloudy roof of Serbia, springs out the fascinating 232-meters-long waterfall Kaludjerski Skok.
Following the well-marked path seems like an easy and a short hike, as you can see a peak at the horizon the whole time. Local hiking organizations from across the country come here regularly, and there is a spectacular night hike organized at least once a year in summer. Here, at the rooftop of Serbia, you can enjoy the starry sky like nowhere else, kilometers away from the city light pollution.
The trail usually starts from the mountain hut at Babin Zub at 1550 m and slowly curves through what seems to be the endless meadow for the length of 8 kilometers.
There is a well-maintained road from Knjazevac and Pirot to reach the mountain hut at Babin Zub. This peak’s name translates to “grandmother’s tooth” due to the peculiar tooth shape of the rocks. The place is a famous ski center in winter, much favored for the beautiful scenery, excellent paths, and a small crowd. During the summer months, it’s also possible to hike to the peak of Babin Zub at 1780 m for another perspective on the Mt. Stara Planina wilderness.
For those more adventurous, there is another way to reach Midzor, from the village Topli Do, nestled beneath the massive. The circular route Topli Do-Midzor-Babin Zub-Topli Do is 27 kilometres long, and it's more physically demanding. As expected, it is also more rewarding. It includes conquering the altitude difference of 1440 meters in one day, which can be tough even for the experienced hikers. The village of Topli Do is a lovely rustic place, ideal for exploring the remote part of the mountain that hides most of the dazzling waterfalls.
Touching the clouds at Midzor, the highest peak of Serbia, is just an aperitif for the natural treasures of Mt. Stara Planina, and once you get a sip of it, it won't be easy to stop exploring!
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