This summer I went cycling along the Danube cycle path EuroVelo 6 through eight countries in Eastern-Europe in four months. Two of them I spent only in Serbia. Of course, that was not planned. So, this might give you an idea about how unique and beautiful this country and its people really are. Here are my highlights in case you want to cycle this route, too:
1. Sombor – Welcome to Serbia
Sombor is the first big city that you will go through. A great place! I recommend you stay with Ivana and Predrag in BikeCamp LongTour right on the Danube Cycling Path. Not too far away you will find the so-called beach at the Backa Canal where you can fish, swim, cycle, walk, relax and eat good food. For example at the Andric fish restaurant or at the Café del Sol. I was also very surprised about how well people are able to speak English in Serbia.
2. Bač & Bačka Palanka
You should stop by in Bac and visit the fortress, very impressive. If you would like to stay overnight, I recommend warmshowers.org – also for the whole route. Contact Zoran, a very nice bicycle enthusiast. In Backa Palanka you can camp for free at the scenic spot between the Danube and Lake Tikvara. A day trip to Croatia is only one bridge-length away.
3. Novi Sad
I stayed in the Varad Inn Hostel run by Tijana and Neven. The hostel is located directly on the Danube Cycling Path as well as near the UNESCO fortress Pedrovaradin. Here, every June, Europe’s biggest medium-sized festival the EXIT takes place – a must see for every electro and rock fan. Novi Sad’s place to be is the city beach. Here you can relax, sunbathe, go for a swim and look out for all Novi Sad´s beautiful people. To end your perfect beach day you should go on Sanja’s catamaran from DunavskiRafting and sail into the most beautiful sunset.
Europe’s underdog! For me this city offers a mixture of Berlin in the 90s and Sydney. Contact the guys from Wild Serbia and go on a canoe tour to see old ship wrecks, the Great War Island and its beach as well as the eco-tourism project ‘Supernatural’. Stay in Arkabarka or San Art Floating Hostel at the Bulevar Nikole Tesle in New Belgrade which is located directly on the Danube Cycling Path EuroVelo 6. Make sure you visit Ada Ciganlija by bike or bus. This is a beautiful lake with a beach, cafés, restaurants and a guaranteed Mediterranean holiday feeling. I have never experienced anything like this in a big city before. Same goes for the communist tour by Zeljko from BelgradeWalkingTours – a must if you want to understand the interesting and touching history of former Yugoslavia.
5. Kovin & Kajtasovo – Taste Serbia
Directly on the Danube in an idyllic location you will find Dunavski Plicak Guest House run by Dragana and Alesandro. We spent two nights here, fixed our bikes, swam in the warm water of the Danube, fished and simply enjoyed the beautiful nature and silence. From here we went on to Sneza and Sava who live a nomadic life in the woods not far from the small village of Kajtasovo. Rarely have I eaten such good organic tasty food and felt a strong connection to someone in such a short time.
6. Silver Lake, Veliko Gradiste
In total we spent three weeks at the Silver Lake near Veliko Gradiste. Well, do I need to say more? I recommend you rent a self-catering apartment – if you are two people, it should be around 10 Euro per person per night. Sitting on the promenade enjoying a delicious corncob and playing with numerous dogs and cats. Other activities to enjoy here include: swimming, fishing, renting a boat, visiting the Aqua Park and partying and dancing to Serbian music in the Copacabana night club.
7. Djerdap Nationalpark
By bike you go through breath taking landscapes in Vinci and Golubac into Djerdap National Park. Do not visit one of the shabby restaurants along the seemingly endless street. Instead visit the small village Dobra and look for the guest house Prenociste Stanojevic. Here you will find traditional homemade food for very little money. An interesting film as well as excavations of the site of the first settlers on the banks of the Danube are on show in the Lepenski Vir museum. You can also camp for free in the museum garden. The next day you will reach Donji Milanovic a small rustic fishing village with an amazing view of the mountains from the Danube beach. Again, a Mediterranean holiday feeling guaranteed! Along the more than 100-km-long Iron Gate you should look out for ‘Tabula Trajana’ as well as the impressive rock sculpture of King Decebal.
8. Tekija, Kladovo, Brza Palancka and Negotin
At the end of Djerdap National Park in the town of Tekija there is free camping right on the Danube beach in an awesomely idyllic spot. Another Danube beach with free camping is to be found in Brza Palancka where I saw the most beautiful sunrise of my whole trip. Kladovo and Negotin were my last two highlights along the Danube Cycling Path in Serbia. Both cities have a picturesque inner city where you can take a rest in one of the cafés before you say goodbye to #myserbia and cycle further to Bulgaria or Romania.
More: Here are all stories and images from my time cycling through Serbia :-)