Last Updated on January 30, 2024 by Joanne
Serbia’s highest point Midžor lies on the border with Bulgaria in the Stara Planina mountains near the ski resort Babin Zub. The mountains are known for grassy plains and therefore offer wonderful views. The hike to the top of Midžor isn’t particularly steep, and that’s why it’s great not only for summer but also winter ascents on snowshoes or back-country skis with a minimal risk of avalanches. This article will give you all necessary information about Midžor including a map, my personal experience and tips.
Important information for climbing Midžor from Babin Zub hut
Short description of the ascent: Short hike Essential equipment: General hiking gear Best time to visit: All year around Fees or restrictions: No Camping allowed: No Nearest accommodation/food supply: Babin Zub hut Height of the peak: 2,170 m Hiking distance: 7.4 km Time to ascend to Midžor: 2-4 hours up, 1,5-2,5 hours down Elevation climbed: 618 m Water availability on the mountain: Only at the start of the hike Difficulty level: *** (6 stars maximum) Personal rating of the mountain: *** (6 stars maximum) Beer on the peak: Zaječarsko Pšenično *** (6 stars maximum)
What is the best hiking route to Midžor?
There are three different routes to Midžor. The most common one is very easy and there are also two long and challenging hikes. Which one will you choose?
- From Babin Zub: The most common and most popular route to Midžor starts at the Babin Zub hut. The beginning of the path passes a ski resort with iconic rocks resembling teeth (that’s why they are called Babin Zub – Grandma’s tooth) and the path is relatively easy until the peak of Midžor. We’ll take a closer look at this route in the article below.
- From Topli Do: Alternatively, you can also reach the peak of Midžor from the Topli Do village. This route is longer and steeper than from Babin Zub. You can expect elevation gain around 1,400 m. This route requires more time but offers great views as it follows a mountain ridge all the way to the peak after the initial ascent.
- Bulgarian route: There is also an option to reach Midžor from Bulgaria. This route starts at the Midzhur hut and this route is similarly demanding as from Topli Do. Take a look at the route here.
Map of the climb to Midžor from the Babin Zub hut
My story of climbing Midžor in winter conditions with personal experience and tips
I climbed Midžor as a part of my project European Peaks during which I climbed the highest peak of every European country. Since Balkans belong to my favourite European region for climbing mountains I was very much looking forward to it. How did it go?
This time I was traveling with my mum. Our previous summit in Romania wasn’t completely successful so we wanted to improve our reputation. My mother picked me up by car at the Vienna airport where I landed after my flight from another adventure in Moldova and we drove through Hungary to Serbia. We passed the large Pannonian Basin after the city Niš, which is by the way the birthplace of Constantine the Great, and headed to the mountains.
Amazing Balkan hospitality
In the evening we reached the mountain village Babin Zub, the starting point of the hike to Midžor. We were welcomed by a pleasant receptionist waiting at the door of the hotel Babin Zub. She quickly earned the nickname Nema Problema (In Serbian: No problem). We had a lot of questions and we always got this answer. At first we suspected that she did not understand our questions at all. But she really fixed everything. I must admit our stay was very pleasant.
We didn’t get up early in the morning because the weather forecast was bad. We rather enjoyed a great local breakfast in the form of a buffet full of all possible salads, cheese, sausages, eggs and other local delicacies.
Long winter in the Balkans
It was a good decision because it started to snow heavily during our breakfast. Who would expect that from the Balkans at the end of April? In the end there was 10 cm of new snow outside before we finished our breakfast. That will be a hike!
The snowfall passed but instead a thick fog covered the Serbian mountains. My mum and I would have liked to postpone the hike to the following day but it wasn’t an option. We had to save extra days for more challenging mountains. We had to conquer Midžor even in these bad conditions.
Most of the route was along an off-road path so it was easy to follow it even in the current fog. The hike was a bit boring in this weather but we soon got lucky. After an hour of walking the fog disappeared and we could finally see the beauty of the Serbian mountains. We also found out why the local village and our hotel are called Babin Zub (Grandma’s tooth). A large rock in the shape of a tooth rises above the village.
This weather wasn’t supposed to stay good for a long time. We saw dark clouds approaching us. When we reached the summit the clouds just arrived. We again found ourselves in a dense fog, this time accompanied by strong winds and heavy snowfall. The snowflakes were even mixed with hail. The icy particles were big and frozen. They were hitting our faces so hard that we had to cover them with our scarves. These were the harshest conditions I had ever experienced on any mountain. That’s how I imagine conditions when conquering the North Pole. Who would expect this from Serbia at the end of April? If similar weather would have met me in Iceland, Mont Blanc or on another difficult mountain, I think it would have been a fight for life or death.
My tips for climbing the mountain Midžor:
- In winter, take snowshoes or back-country skis with you to summit Modžor. After the successful summit you can also enjoy skiing in the ski resort Babin Zub.
- Don’t forget to enjoy local food and drinks in Serbian restaurants or mountain huts. The food is delicious and cheap.