Hiking in Serbia – the Fruška Gora Mountains
November 13, 2018
We had a small Slovenian holiday planned for the end of October, but since the weather forecaster didn’t promise anything tempting for us, we looked around in the neighboring countries for things to do and see. It seemed that in Serbia we can catch a sunny weekend, so we headed south.
Because we like to wander in the nature while listening to the trees rustling, there was no question that we will look for a place for a small walk in the forest. We found the perfect location just south of Novi Sad, the hills of the Fruška Gora mountains. Novi Sad is the second largest city in Serbia, and it is a very important economic, scientific and cultural center. The landscape itself is also called the “Jewel of Vojvodina”, and a small part of the mountain extends into Croatia. From the North it is bordered by the Danube river. The highest peak of the mountain is Crveni čot which is 539 meters above sea level, so do not expect a huge mountain range. Nevertheless, it is a beautifully sprawling landscape, and the trees that turn into the colors of fall make it even more charming.
There are plenty of hiking trails in the mountains. We approached Fruška Gora from the south, from the direction of the village Irig as we were driving from Belgrade. We drove all the way through Hopovo to the main junction, where there is an info center and a few restaurants, and we parked the car here (parking was free). During our hike we met many local families who like to have picnics and barbecues at this nature reserve area.
Recommended hiking trail
We walked along the hiking trail following the sign of the heart, and during our walk we had a few sights to see – except the wonderful nature of course. Actually the “heart” sign marks the trail of the Fruška Gora marathon (from 40 km up to 133 km). The picture below shows only a small section of the whole trail. This can be comfortably done within a few hours and this is what we signed up for.
- Parking lot – Novo Hopovo Monastery: 3,5 km 50 mins
- Novo Hopovo Monastery – Staro Hopovo Monastery: 2,0 km 25 mins
- Staro Hopovo Monastery – NOB monument: 4,5 km cca 1 hour
- NOB monument – parking lot: 1,5 km 20 mins
In total, this circle is about 11 km long and with the stops and sightseeing it takes approximately 4 hours to walk. If we take a little detour to the TV tower, we need to count with some extra time (30 minutes) and distance (2.5 km) – we did not make it.
Returning to the parking lot, a cozy restaurant, the Arena welcomes the hungry and thirsty hikers. Perhaps I don’t have to point out that the cevap, the pljeskavica and the shopska salad are all super delicious. Expect a longer waiting time, specially when it’s packed with guests. You can pay with cash and they accept credit- or debit cards.
Address: Arena Restaurant, Iriški Venac Irig Serbia RS, 22406, Serbia
Things to see:
Serbia as a whole, including Vojvodina, is characterized by great religious and cultural diversity. These are the two monasteries (Novo Hopovo and Staro Hopovo) out of the 16 in the whole area, that can be found on the route I have chosen.
This high obelisk was raised in 1951 to honor the martyrs of World War II. and it symbolises the national battles for freedom and liberation. It is not a coincidence that it’s standing at the top of Iriški Venac hill, perhaps the most difficult fights were held in this area.
This part of the Vojvodina (especially the region of Sremia) has been vitally important for viticulture and thus for wine production for hundreds of years. In fact, it was for many years the most important Hungarian wine region. Thanks to the continental climate, the volcanic, sandy, sedimentary soil, the proximity of the Danube and the centuries-old traditions, everything is given to produce high quality wines. The wines from this region are very similar to Hungarian wines. So we can admire not only the beautiful forests during our hike, but we can spot endless vineyards and fruit gardens as well.