19 Sep The Sicevo Gorge // Adventuring near Nis
Home to ancient roads, prehistoric artefacts and commanding views, the Sicevo Gorge is 17 km of unmissable adventure. Here lovers of untouched nature may enjoy a range of activities, including hiking, rafting, paragliding and mountaineering. The best part? The two-part gorge is located just a stone’s throw away from Serbia’s third-largest city.
The imposing Sicevo Gorge is located just 14 km east of Nis and is nestled between the Svrljig Mountain and Dry Mountain. Within its vicinity you may find the medieval Sveta Petka Monastery as well as the Monastery of the Holy Virgin. The former is located in the village of Ostrovica while the latter can be found on the road to Sofija. You may also find two hydroelectric power plants in the area, one of which was notably co-designed by Nikola Tesla. Though, if you’re after more adventure, then a trek to Trem atop the Dry Mountain should be on your to-do list as well.
Formed by the constant flow of the Nisa River, the Sicevo Gorge is a two-part formation. It is made up of the steeper and narrower Crncansko-Gradistanska canyon (upper) and the gently sloping and wider Ostrovička gorge (lower). The area has been home to settlements dating back to the Paleolithic era. Though, archeologists have found remains that scientist claim are between 130,000 and 250,000 years old. Namely, a neanderthal jaw with three teeth. Furthermore, here you may find the remains of Via militaris, the ancient road leading to Constantinople.
Once you reach village of Sicevo you will be treated to unbroken views of unspoilt nature. To your right, a soaring exposed cliff covered in a carpet of greenery dominates your view, reaching a height of 400 m. On the other side, sloping hills also covered in greenery stretch into the distance in perfect contrast to its neighbouring cliff. In the centre of all this, the Nisava River slowly makes its way out of sight as it hugs the aforementioned cliff.
Tips & Essentials:
- Bring plenty of water and some food.
- Should you wish to visit the hydroelectric power plant co-designed by Nikola Tesla, call +381 64 831 3353 to book a tour.
- Camping in the Sicevo Gorge area is prohibited.
How to get to the Sicevo Gorge:
Nis is your gateway to seeing the Sicevo Gorge. If you’re travelling with public transport then most services travel here (there is even a bus travelling from Subotica to Nis). Once you’re here go to the main bus station and take bus number 18 (Nis – Sicevo).
If you’re travelling here using your own transport then using the E75 and E80 highways will get you to this attraction. Heading south from the Belgrade – Nis toll gate, turn off onto the E80 highway toward Pirot and Sofija. Follow the road for some 20 km, at which point it will become an ordinary road with one lane for each direction of travel.
Travelling along the two-lane road for 2.2 km, you should reach an Inn on your left-hand side. The Inn will have a large red stop sign, which reads “KAFANA STOP”. You should also notice cars parked out front. The road will then veer left and after 1 km you being to enter the Sicevo Gorge area.
To get to the Sicevo Gorge you will want to look for the parking lot P2, from which a path leading to the gorge begins. It is located 10.3 km from the Inn, between tunnels 3 and 4. There are two other parking lots nearby, each named P3. One is one the opposite side of the road closer to tunnel 3 while the other is on the same side of the road closer to tunnel 4.