Stara planina, Pirot, and Jelasnica Gorge (September 2017)

 

DAY 1
  • Morning departure from ISB along the beautiful scenery of South-east Serbia, via Knjazevac to the tiny beautiful village of Balta Berilovac and the Babin zub Villa, at the foot of the Stara Planina Mountain. Welcome by hospitable hosts and accommodation. 
  • Lunch. 
  • Hike to one of the surrounding peaks, for orientation and getting to know the area. 
  • Preparation for culinary workshop, conducted by experienced host. Students will be guided on how to collect organically grown vegetables other locally produced ingredients – nettles, sheep and cow milk and cheese. 
  • Traditional dinner and campfire. 
  • Lights out.
 
DAY 2
  • Breakfast. 
  • Transfer to Pirot. Visit to the rug weaving workshop and presentation of preserved tradition of rug weaving, with hands on experience of weaving, under supervision of experienced local artisans. Drive via picturesque villages of Rsovci, Visočka Ržana, Brlog to the Dojkinci village, from where starts the demanding trek along the Dojkinačka river valley. The whole trek is 8 km long, and includes the gorgeous Tupavica waterfalls, one of the most beautiful in this part of the Stara Planina Mountain. Return along the same route and continue to the Rsovci village. 
  • Break for outdoor lunch. 
  • Continuation of hike passing by the tiny medieval cave church of SS Peter and Paul, 12th century. Visit to the unique natural rarity of the Rosomacko grlo Canyon, whose waters form spectacular cascades. This hike also includes visit to the Jelovicko vrelo spring and optional visit to the authentic producer of the famous Stara Planina kashkavalj cheese. 
  • Return to the Villa Babin zub.
  • Homemade dinner.
  • Lights out.
 
DAY 3
  • Breakfast. 
  • Transfer to one of the starting points of the hike to the Babin zub peak of the Stara Planina, 1780 meters. This is one of the most beautiful hikes along the Stara Planina Mountain, from where spreads a magic panorama. Return hike along the northern side of the mountain.
  • Outdoor lunch. 
  • Transfer to the village of Ćuštica, at the elevation of 860 meters, known as the air spa. 
  • Return to the Villa Babin zub. Sheep shearing and visit producer of natural honey. 
  • Dinner.
  • Lights out.
 
DAY 4
  • Breakfast. 
  • Departure from the Villa Babin zub. Drive through small villages and via Bela Palanka to the Sicevo Gorge created by the Nisava River, which provides memorable hike. 
  • Visit to the Balanica Cave where remarkable fragment of a lower Neanderthal jaw, complete with three teeth, and the Neanderthal settlement and the remains of hominids were found. Preparation for sport climbing – abseil, under supervision of experienced instructors. 
  • Homemade lunch. 
  • Arrive at ISB.