Serbia Route

Our route through Serbia (in red)

Serbia (Part 1)

Our first stint in Serbia we cycled from the Backa Palanka border, through Novi Sad and Belgrade, then exited to Romania by ferry from Usije. The cycle routes were often unpaved, and a mix of gravel, dirt or just tracks through grass. We personally don’t enjoy long stretches of off-road cycling, if there are quiet roads as alternatives, although the surfaces were mostly okay in the dry, but a nightmare in the wet. The roads were in really good condition, but usually quite narrow. Novi Sad is enormous, but there were bike routes the whole way. Belgrade on the other hand…

Route into Belgrade

We cycled to Belgrade from the North on route 13, and it was busy but not too bad until the huge junction just south of Kovilovo. Every option looked like a motorway, and it was one of the more terrifying sections of cycling I’ve ever done. We eventually just kept following route 13, and after a couple of kilometres of terror, there is a path. It’s in very poor condition, and it was slow going, but better than riding on the road. We crossed the bridge on the road labelled E-70, which is the motorway, but has a footpath and a sign that cyclists should use this. The Eurovelo route crosses here also, so this is almost certainly the best of the 2 Danube crossings for cyclists to use. The bridge is in 3 parts – the actual river crossing, and then 2 further crossings of industrial space. It’s about a kilometre in total. It’s not the best maintained bridge, with uneven paving and blistering to the surface. It’s enough space to cycle comfortably, but not enough space for a pedestrian and a cyclist to pass on the same side, and certainly not for 2 bikes. To get out of the city, we crossed the bridge back to the North (probably in worse condition this side,) and there is a Eurovelo sign to the right just after, which gets you onto small roads.

After Belgrade

We elected to follow roads the rest of the way rather than the longer tracks of the official cycling routes, apart from the river track which leads to the ferry crossing between Stara Palanka and Ram. The ferry cost 500 dinars for 1 person with 1 bike, which is insanely expensive and caught us out. It’s unavoidable though if you want to stay in Serbia at this point.

There’s a bit of an incline straight off the ferry, but otherwise this bit of the route was glorious. Immediately the scenery is beautiful, the roads are great and there is barely a car on them. It’s one of my favourite sections of riding so far.

If you are following the EuroVelo Black Sea route, you can ride either side of the Danube here (Romania or Serbia.) We opted to cross to Romania by ferry at Usije (just North West of Golubac) to Moldova Veche. That ferry cost 700 dinar per person with a bike, and the border controls were tedious. There are also only 2 crossings per day, one around 9.15am (though fat chance of it leaving on time) and another after 5pm, so this needs some planning.

Serbia (Part 2)

We crossed back to Serbia over the Iron Gates bridge, and left at the Bulgarian crossing near Bregovo. Scenery was great all the way, traffic was light and the roads were excellent with 2 exceptions – The section near the village of Mihajlovac and Camping Mokranjac is utterly horrendous and barely rideable. Then there are major roadworks from Negotin all the way to the border, which wasn’t too bad and will be sorted soon.

Other observations

For gross misogynistic reasons, shops sold sanitary towels/pads, but not tampons. It’s possible they are sold in international chain Supermarkets such as Lidl, but I didn’t see any.

Serbia is really cheap. Food, beer, campsites, other accommodation is all noticeably cheaper than its neighbours.