Stara planina

Stara planina

Welcome to Stara planina

We present you one of the most developed ski centers in Serbia and a mountain that has a beautiful natural environment. The old mountain and its surroundings improve their capacities and tourist offer from season to season. Our site contains all the necessary information about this space. Here you will find the best accommodation, the highest quality restaurants, the most famous attractions, localities and facilities. Choose the one that best fits your version of the perfect vacation and spend wonderful moments.

Stara planina Apartments

Kućica za odmor Balkan

Stara planina · Stara Planina - mountain · Crni Vrh
120m² · 3 Bedrooms · 7 Guests

Triton 1

Stara planina · Stara Planina - mountain · Crni Vrh
50m² · 1 Bedroom · 6 Guests

Triton 2

Stara planina · Stara Planina - mountain · Crni Vrh
40m² · 1 Bedroom · 6 Guests

StaroplaninSki Apartmani 1

Stara planina · Stara Planina - mountain · Crni Vrh
32m² · 1 Bedroom · 5 Guests

When to visit Stara Planina?

There are many reasons that can attract you to visit this beautiful mountain. Depending on the reason for your visit, we can list the ideal time to visit this mountain.
  • Winter on Stara Planina - Although it is well known that Kopaonik and Zlatibor are the largest ski centers in our country, Stara Planina threatens to remove them from that throne. Stara Planina is a ski center that is in the greatest expansion and the prices are much cheaper than other ski centers. Ski lovers can visit one of the famous trails on Stara and can take the first gondola ride in Serbia.
  • Summer on Stara Planina - Stara Planina has long been not only popular as a ski resort. Fantastic lookouts, the most beautiful waterfalls in the entire country, unexplored landscapes are just a part of the offer that attracts an increasing number of tourists. You can find snow on the peaks near Midzor even in June, and a hundred meters away you will see spacious meadows full of flowers.
To get to know Stara Planina, you must visit it during the winter, as well as in the spring or during the summer. This is one of the tourist locations that can rightly be said to be attractive throughout the year.

How to get to Stara Planina?

Stara planina or Balkan mountain stretches on the territory of the municipalities of Knjaževac, Pirot and Dimitrovgrad and further towards Bulgaria, where most of the mountain spreads. The distance of Stara Planina from large centers is as follows: Belgrade 312 kilometers, Novi Sad 402 kilometers, Nis 76 kilometers, Zajecar 83 kilometers, Sofia 142 kilometers. From Belgrade to the tourist center Stara Planina will take you a little less than four hours, and you can get there in two ways:
  • By road to the turn-off for Zaječar, then Knjaževac - Kalna - Babin Zub. This is the shortest route, but there is one part where the section is quite opaque.
  • By car to Nis (to the toll ramp Malča) after that Svrljig - J. source - Kalna - Babin Zub. After Nis, a lot of curves await you, but the road is perfect and the fastest way to get to Stara Planina is this road.
Bus transport to and from Stara Planina
Supernova Travel Agency organizes both bus and van transport from Belgrade and Nis to Stara Planina. Every Saturday, the bus from Belgrade departs at 08:00 and arrives in Nis at 11:00, while it returns from Stara Planina at 14:00. The price of a ticket from Belgrade to Stara Planina is 19 euros one way, while a return ticket is 25 euros. The price of a ticket from Nis to Stara Planina is 10 euros one way, while a return ticket is 13 euros. You can rent a van to Stara Planina every day. The van drives tours for up to seven people. For more detailed information, contact the Supernova agency: (011) 33 73 183.

Activities for tourists on the Stara Planina

Stara Planina offers its visitors a large number of activities both in summer and in winter. Depending on the period during which you stay on the mountain and your affinities, we recommend:
  • Summer on Stara Planina - If you like nature walks, Stara Planina will delight you. Beautiful waterfalls are something you will not be able to see anywhere except on Stara Planina. Unique pastures, fantastic landscapes and wilderness that this mountain brings with it. During the summer and spring, you can enjoy cycling, you can ride quads on inaccessible terrains or try paragliding. Hunting and fishing are extremely developed, so a large number of tourists come only for this type of entertainment. A large number of quality events are held during the summer, so they will fulfill these contents in your time in a very high quality way
  • Winter on Stara Planina - One of the rising ski centers will offer you irresistible fun on the snow. The old mountain has over 13,000 meters of ski trails, six cable cars and ski lifts. The ski trails are divided into: easy, medium and difficult. The lakes are marked in blue, medium red, and the heavy ones in black. The price of a one-day ski dog for adults is 2090 RSD, while for children it is 1540 RSD. For a seven-day ski dog, it is necessary to set aside 8970 RSD for adults and 5830 RSD for children. The first installed gondola in Serbia is located on Stara Planina, and an individual gondola ticket is 400 RSD. You will also have access to the gondola within the ski passes.
  • Extreme sports - Free ride cycling and snowboarding are becoming increasingly popular on Stara Planina. Mountain biking competitions are held regularly, and races within the Euro-Balkan Cycling Cup have been held several times. Mountaineering is another extreme sport that is very popular on Stara Planina. It is up to you to choose which type of activity you prefer and to indulge in this irresistible mountain.

Events and festivals on Stara Planina

Stara planina can boast of a large number of events and festivals, many of which are dedicated to preserving the traditions of this area. The most famous are:
  • Prayer under Midzor - On St. George's Day, every year in the villages of Vrtovac and Balta Berilovac, the manifestation Prayer under Midzor is organized. In Vrtovac, a liturgy is organized on St. George's Day itself, cheese is consecrated, wreaths of flowers from the Old Mountain are woven, lambs are sacrificed because it is believed that it brings success and prosperity. On the first Saturday after St. George's Day, the event moves to Balta Berilovac, where a competition in making antique dishes is organized, the most delicious cheese and belmuz (traditional Stara Planina dish) are chosen. During this event, old crafts and the use of medicinal herbs are shown. Prayer under Midjor is a combination of pagan and Christian customs.
  • Panadžur Festival - In the village of Jelovik at the foot of the Old Mountain, a Panadžur Festival is organized, an event dedicated to the original dance and song. Flutists, bagpipers, trumpeters, singers and accordionists take part in this event, and the beauty of the Parliament is also chosen. In the end, a round of 1000 players is played.
  • Parliament at Kadibogaz - This festival is organized between the two twinned municipalities of Knjazevac from Serbia and Belogradchik from Bulgaria. For three days, you cross the border without a passport, enjoy the company, sing and play. This festival is organized in the village of Novo Korito near Knjazevac and the village of Salash on the Bulgarian side and is the largest cross-border festival in the Balkans. A monument of friendship between the Serbian and Bulgarian people was erected at this place.
  • Stara planina trails - Mountaineering club "Babin Zub" is the organizer of the action on Stara planina trails. The climb with all the breaks lasts about six hours and you will have the opportunity to see herds of wild horses and unique plants from nature reserves. When you climb the Midjor you will be delighted with the sight, and on clear days the view extends all the way to the Danube.
  • ATV adventure - ATV club "Stara planina" organizes a gathering of quad drivers from all over Serbia. Apart from adventures across the Stara Planina mountain, you will have the opportunity to enjoy tasting traditional dishes from this part of Serbia. After an adrenaline-fueled quad ride, traditional Stara Planina food will come in handy.
  • Ultra Trail Stara Planina - Organized by the Sky Running Association, celestial runners compete in a kind of endurance race at 2000 meters above sea level. Every year, the organizers change the routes, so that the participants can get to know the entire Old Mountain as well as possible.
  • Moon Fest - During the summer, on the night of the full moon, a climb to Midjor is organized. If you want to get to know Stara Planina in a different way, this is the right choice for you. In addition to the ascent, this festival will give you the opportunity to watch the sun rise from Midjor, and educational lectures on celestial phenomena will be organized.
  • Festival of Stara Planina dishes Temska - Famous Stara Planina lamb, sarmica in linden leaves, lamb, bean pie, cheeses, mushrooms and various types of pies are just some of the Stara Planina specialties that you can try at this festival. This festival is organized by the Tourist Organization of Pirot and the local community of the village of Temska.
  • Scientific research camp Stara planina - Every year in July, students of biology, tourism, geography and chemistry from all universities in Serbia gather. This research camp is also visited by participants from over 20 countries around the world. The aim of this project is to educate about ecotourism, rural traditions and come up with new ideas related to rural households.

Facilities for children on the Stara Planina

Stara planina is a mountain in the highest development in Serbia. Accordingly, there is no lack of content for the youngest visitors. Here we will highlight a few activities that your children will enjoy on Stara Planina:
  • Skiing and Hotel Stara planina - The mountain offers a large number of easy trails and ski trails that are ideal for beginners. Hotel Stara planina offers its visitors a free ski school and a ski pass for your children. In addition, there are animators who take care of the children on a daily basis, both on the mountain and within the hotel. A swimming school, an 8D cinema and a children's playroom have recently opened at the hotel.
  • Horseback riding - In the village of Crni Vrh at the foot of the Old Mountain, the Stojanović family opened the first riding school. This family has had a horse kennel for years, so your children will be able to enjoy both riding and visiting a horse kennel.
  • Excursions - A visit to the magical waterfalls and viewpoints of the Old Mountain will enchant both you and your children. Waterfalls on the Senokoška river, Bigar waterfall, Toplodolska rivers, Arbinje are part of the locations that you must see with your children if you find yourself on this mountain beauty in the spring or during the summer.

What to see on Stara Planina?

Waterfalls, caves, lookouts, beautiful mountain peaks, tireless and clear rivers, historical and cultural monuments, religious buildings - Stara Planina is rich in the most diverse content.
  • Waterfalls - Stara planina is a place where you can see the most beautiful waterfalls in Serbia. The waterfalls are located in both the Pirot and Knjaževac parts of this mountain, and we will list only a few whose scenes will leave you speechless. You must visit: Bigar waterfall near Kalna, Tupavica waterfall, as well as Chunguljski, Piljski and Kaluđerski Skok waterfalls.
  • Monasteries and churches - There are a large number of monasteries and churches in the vicinity of Stara Planina, and some of them were built during the Middle Ages. The Church of the Most Holy Mother of God in the village of Donja kamenica was built in the 14th century. You can visit the Monastery of St. Trojice as well as the Sukovo Monastery in the Pirot part of the Stara Planina.
  • Caves, lookouts, gorges - As we have mentioned countless times, if you love nature, Stara Planina is an ideal tourist destination for you. A large number of lookouts, gorges and caves testify in favor of the stated fact. We will list only some that you must not miss if the road takes you to Stara Planina: Ždrelo Gorge, Tumba and Smilovica lookouts, Krivi Vir picnic area, Velika pećina.
  • Zavojsko Lake - Only 17 kilometers from Pirot is probably the most visited lake in this part of Serbia, Zavojsko Lake. There are several picnic areas and camping sites in this place. A large number of tourists come to this lake both for swimming and water skiing, and a large number of fishermen visit Zaovinsko Lake. From this lake you will have a beautiful view of Midzor and Babin Zub.

Accommodation in Stara Planina

Depending on your wishes and needs, accommodation capacities on Stara Planina can be divided into several categories:
  • Hotel accommodation - If you want to enjoy the complete atmosphere of Stara Planina and use all the potential of the hotel in the vicinity, the price of full board in Stara Planina hotels ranges from 70 euros per day and up. Hotel Stara planina and hotel Babin Zub are at your disposal.
  • Accommodation in the city - On the territory of Pirot and Knjaževac, there are several hotels, hostels and private accommodation at your disposal. The price of a two-bed apartment ranges from 30 euros and up. You have a warm recommendation to visit the following accommodation facilities: Hotel Timok, Hotel Ana Lux, private accommodation Lea, konak Barka and Markov konak.
  • Accommodation in rural households - Accommodation in rural households can be found on the territory of all three cities through which the Stara Planina extends: Pirot, Knjaževac, Dimitrovgrad. You can find accommodation for 10 euros, while the price of half board per day is 18 euros. We recommend: ethno-village Stara Planina and accommodation Bogdanović in Kalna, villa Biljana on Crni Vrh, accommodation Najda Jandrić in Topli Do, household Cvetkov in Lukavica.

Important telephones and information

We have selected a few important phones that you may need during your stay on Stara Planina:

Important telephones on the territory of Knjaževac
  • Ambulance Knjaževac 019/733 124
  • City pharmacy 019/731 603
  • Pharmacy Health Center 019/731 775
  • Hospital 019/731 326
  • Gas station Nis 019/733 006
  • Exchange office Markoni 019/730 070
  • Exchange office Status 019/733 214
  • Timas Bus Station 019/733 027
  • Tire service SZTR Zebra 019/734 542
  • Auto Service Maki 019/732 181
  • Stara planina Ski resort 019/730 911
  • Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia 063/466 461
  • Tourist organization Knjaževac 019/735 230
Important telephones in the territory of Pirot
  • Mountaineering Association Vidlič 010/311 724
  • Ambulance 194
  • AMSS Pirot 010/333 982
  • Bus station 010/333 548
  • Pharmacy Pirot 010/312 030
  • Gas station Lukoil 010/322 264
  • Pirot Police Department 010/342 122

Where to eat on Stara Planina?

When you get tired of the beautiful peaks of Stara Planina, you need to find a restaurant that will bring you new energy for the goals that await you in your further adventure. We will suggest you a few places that are best rated on this mountain:
  • Ski Resorts - There are two beautiful restaurants on the popular ski resorts. These are the Gondola restaurant and the Plaža restaurant. In these restaurants you can dine in the charms of national cuisine and in snacks that will come in handy in the breaks between the descents to the tops of the Stara Planina.
  • Restaurants in the area - In the villages around Stara Planina you will have the opportunity to enjoy the traditional dishes of this area but also the well-known dishes of national cuisine. We will suggest you a few places that you must visit if you are on Stara Planina: Konak Zdrma, Kafana Dojkinci, Kafana Romansa and Kafana Mali Pevac.

Where to go out on Stara Planina?

There are several places that tourists visit and they gladly return whenever they visit this part of Serbia. The most famous are:
  • Tavern Stara Barutana - If you are a fan of good skiing and good fun, this is definitely a place not to be missed. Stara Barutana is a well-known place for having a good time, and from here many tourists carry fond memories and, for some, new loves.
  • Cafes and pubs - In the vicinity of Stara Planina there are a large number of cafes and pubs that you can enjoy. We warmly recommend you to visit Guinsess Pub, Cafe Park and Cafe Hugos in the Knjaževac part, as well as the cafe bar Euphoria, the dancing bar Odeon and Houstor in the Pirot part of the Stara Planina.

Transportation and taxis on the Stara Planina

If you are not an experienced driver and you did not come to Stara Planina with your own car, the best type of transport that you can use in this tourist center is taxi transport. We will list several taxi carriers that operate on the Stara Planina from both the Pirot and Knjaževac sides:
Boom taxi 019/734 734, Giga Taxi 019/9701, Best Taxi 019/732 732, In taxi 019/730 000, Fox Taxi 010/321 111, Maxi Taxi 010/313 110

Parking and public garages

When we talk about the parking space on Stara Planina, it is one of the things that is perfectly resolved. Within all accommodation capacities you will have a secured parking space. Visitors to the Babin Zub Hotel and the Stara Planina Hotel will also not have to worry about their parking space. In addition, the mountain has a large parking space.

Parking lot Jabučko Ravnište - Only 300 meters from the hotel Stara planina there is a parking space for over 500 vehicles. Parking is free and you won't have to worry about going skiing or hiking.

Surroundings of the Stara planina

In the vicinity of Stara Planina there are several other tourist locations that you should visit and enjoy their charms. We will mention only some of the locations and attractions that attract many tourists:
  • Days of Lilac - Mountaineering Association of Serbia and mountaineering club šiljak from Boljevac organize the ascent to Tupižnica every May. The ascent is about 15 kilometers long and when you reach the finish line, the intoxicating scent of lilac will delight you.
  • Gorges - If you find yourself in the vicinity of Pirot, visit some of the famous gorges whose landscapes will leave you breathless. You inevitably have to see the canyon of the river Visocica, the gorge of Temstica, and the gorge of Gradasnica. These landscapes are a feast for the eyes that will relax you and bring you much needed peace.
  • Pirot - Have you ever visited the Pirot? Have you tried the famous ironed sausage? If not, correct that mistake at the first opportunity. In addition, Pirot is the site of many events such as the Pirot Cultural Summer and the famous Pirot Lamb Festival.
  • Knjaževac - The most beautiful part of this magical city is certainly the Old Bazaar. This place symbolizes idyllic life in a small town and that is why many films were made in this part of Knjaževac. Due to the large number of bridges, this city was once called "Serbian Venice". Knjaževac bridges often ended in paintings and photographs, and the most common inspiration for artists was the stone bridge in the city center.
  • Timacum Minus - In the village of Ravna near Beli Timok, the Romans built a military fortification known as Timacum Minus. These tombstones of the Romans belong to the period from the first to the third century AD.
  • Rgoška Banja - On the coast of Svrljiški Timok, in the village of Rgošta, there is Rgoška Banja. This spa is rich in mineral water that springs at 28 degrees Celsius and is rich in selenium, magnesium, radon and fluorine. Tourists visit this spa mostly because of problems with the respiratory organs, sciatica and rheumatism.

History of the Stara planina

Name - During the Romans, this mountain was called Hemus, which in Thracian means mountain range. The Turks called this mountain Kodza Balkan, while the Slavs called it Matorni Gori. The name Balkans originates from Persia and means hilly region. In Bulgaria, this mountain is still called the Balkans, and the entire Balkan peninsula was named after it.

Uranium mine - As part of the then nuclear program of the SFRY in the 1960s, a uranium mine was opened in Kalna, at the foot of the Stara Planina. In 1963, Leka Ranković opened works on the Gabrovnica mine. At that time, 285 million dollars were spent on the work on the nuclear program. Despite large investments, the uranium mine was closed overnight at the moment when Leka Ranković left the project. Legends of this area tell about how the United States ordered Tito to suspend the nuclear project. Others say that the Slovenes have proven that it is more profitable to extract uranium from the mine in Žirovski vrh. We will probably never know the exact information.

Geography and climate on the Stara Planina

The Balkans or Stara Planina is a mountain massif that stretches from the Black Sea in the east to Vrška Čuka in the west on more than 140,000 hectares. The length of this mountain is 530 kilometers. The highest peak is Botev in Bulgaria with 2376 meters, while in Serbia the highest peak is Midzor 2169. In Serbia, Stara Planina is bordered by the valley of Beli and Trgoviški Timok and Visocica, while in the east it stretches along the border of Serbia with Bulgaria. Administratively in Serbia, it covers the territory of four municipalities: Pirot, Zajecar, Knjaževac and Dimitrovgrad.

Climate - Stara Planina is in the continental climate zone, summers are warm and dry, and winters are cold and with a lot of precipitation. Depending on which part of the Stara Planina you are in, the average temperature goes from 0 to 2 degrees in the high mountain climate region to 13 degrees in the Lower Timok part. The most common winds are košava and edesija.

Demographics

  • The average age of the inhabitants of the old mountain is 49.4 years, and the average number of members per household is 2.24.
  • The number of permanent residents in the rural parts of Stara Planina has significantly decreased during the last 30 years.
  • The settlement of Kalna, which had a population of 629 in the 1991 census, now has only 301 inhabitants.


Tradition and culture of the Stara planina

Economy in the vicinity of Stara Planina - If there is anything that makes Stara Planina and this part of Serbia recognizable, then it is certainly the Pirot carpets and pottery. Pirot has always been the center of pottery in our country, and during the 19th century it had over 40 pottery workshops. Containers for brandy, wine, pipes, food containers were made, and these products were sold at fairs all over Serbia. Pirot pottery is known throughout Europe. Another branch for which Pirot is known all over the world is carpet weaving. The Pirot carpet was one of the most appreciated gifts during the 19th century. This product was protected in 2003 by the Intellectual Property Office.

Traditional gastronomic products from Stara Planina - In the area of ​​Knjaževac, Svrljig, Kalna, traditional Stara Planina dish Belmuž is produced. Belmuž is a specialty made from young sheep's and cow's cheese and projin flour. If you find yourself on Stara Planina, be sure to try this specialty, because you can find it exclusively in this area. Belmuž is a traditional dish around which the manifestation Prayer under Midžor was created. Pirot cheese and ironed sausage are also recognizable products of this region that no one has resisted so far. If you haven't tried the specialties yet, here's an additional reason to visit Stara Planina.

Frequently asked questions of tourists about Stara Planina

Why visit Stara Planina?

When is the best time to visit Stara Planina?

What are the most famous festivals and events?

How to find accommodation on Stara Planina?

What is the average price of accommodation on Stara Planina?

What is the most famous tourist attraction in Stara Planina?

How many tourists stay on Stara Planina on average?