Djerdap National Park rests on the northeast border of Serbia and Romania. It encompasses the Danube River's deeps channel and is home to beautiful canyons and views from both countries. Michelle and I spent several nights outside of Bor, Serbia in hopes of finding a beautiful day to explore this park. Lucky for us, we got one!
We had scoped out a few different options online before heading the hour north to Donji Milanovac, but wanted to stop by the visitor's center anyway. It's a good thing we did because the majority of hikes in Djerdap fall under a special level of protection and conservation which requires hikers to be accompanied by a guide. Not only that, but guides are supposed to be booked in advance by email and cost about $2.50/person. Thankfully, us and another family were able to connect with a guide after he returned from showing a school group around. Our hike of choice: Strbac Lookout (or the beautiful overlook halfway up)
I must admit that even finding the trail head for this hike might have been worth our $5 because it was several kilometers east of the visitors center and several turnouts that I would have stopped at were incorrect. Note: the guide will join you in your vehicle and you'll have to bring him back to the center after the hike. Once we parked on the other side of the locked gate, we started up the trail.
Now, I also must admit that from this point onward, the guide was also basically a rent-a-buddy or a glorified babysitter because the path up to the first lookout was a dirt road passable by vehicles. That said, our guide was very friendly and we really enjoyed learning about Serbian life through our conversations with him. The trails ascended quickly about 2 kilometers and branched off to the left to the small, rocky lookout.
The trail continues back at the fork, past a cabin and up to the significantly higher lookout on top of the peak. Given our time constraints and lacking desire for more exercise, we called it a day and returned back down the path to our car.
While the logistics of contacting and securing a guide are rather cumbersome, this beautiful hike is well worth your time and provides striking and unique views of the Danube River.