Hiking adventure to Pilj waterfall- enter the hidden world of the Balkans

Pilj waterfall?! Come on guys! How is this word even pronounced? Well, I guess it’s something you will have to hear from some Serbian native speakers who, I am sure, will be more than happy to explain it to you. This time we are bringing you a story about one of the most recent discoveries from the Balkan Mountains. How come? Not until 2002 did only a few privileged locals know about this place. Nevertheless, Pilj Waterfall (or “Piljski Waterfall”) is the third highest waterfall in Serbia. It is 64 meters high and is located at the altitude of 1400 meters above the sea level.

Pilj Waterfall.

The adventure begins.

Our hiking story begins in the village of Topli Do. That’s our starting point. From there we have about 4. 5 kilometers of breathtaking views, picturesque landscape, and numerous stimuluses for all our senses, along the way to our final destination.

Signs by the road.

It is early morning and we have just had our breakfast. Needless to say it is a homemade cheese pie called gibanica with soured milk. A very delicious and popular combination here!

Homemade cheese pie called “gibanica”

Yet some among us are quite impatient and eager to go. The sun rays spread over the slopes of nearby hills. It is still a bit chilly and we can feel a fresh breeze in our face.

Following red macadam road.

From there we are taking a macadam road and soon after that there is the first mild ascent which is about 1- 1. 2 kilometers long. Along the road there are clearly visible markings which help us follow the right way. Although, we suggest you a experienced guide, because last segment of a hike goes through the forest and markings are not visible on all locations.

Visible markings along the path.

On our left side we are looking at the Pilj stream canyon. The nature around us is stunning. We are amazed by the richness of flora and fauna. The abundance of grass, flowers, ferns, various bushes, berries, and trees.

On our left side we are looking at the Pilj stream canyon.

And a huge diversity of butterflies, grasshoppers, and different flies. All around us there is a plenty of tracks witnessing often presence of wild animals crossing by (footprints and animal organic waste :)).

From red road to forest path.

The macadam road that we are following is of intensely red color, which is typical of this region. The crossroads we are passing are clearly marked by the road signs and directions.

Signs and directions are placed on crossroads along the macadam road.

The sun is high above us now and we are more than happy to stay in shades of trees and have a short break.

Going to the forest after red macadam road.

Approximately 2.5 kilometers and the macadam road continues into a forest path.

Path through forest is a bit more intense.

This part of the path through the forest is a bit more intense, as the road is slightly steeper and there is a plenty of bushes, trees and rocks.

Forest path is more intensive and we recommend a experienced guide.

On our left side there is still the Pilj Stream following us and we know we are on the right path. We are refilling our water supplies directly from the stream.

Refilling water on Pilj stream in the forest.

Finally! The beautiful Pilj Waterfall.

After two and a half hours’ walk we come to the Lower Pilj Waterfall. We enjoy a pleasant forest shade and the very humming sound of the waterfall. The words are powerless to explain the ultimate pleasure that we feel in this surrounding. The water is chilly, somewhere just above 10℃.

Lower Pilj Waterfall with water of just above 10℃

The bravest ones among us dare to take a swim, which is definitely a unique experience.

The bravest dare to take a bath 🙂

Having been refreshed and re-energized we are heading up the Higher Pilj Waterfall. We need roughly about 10 minutes of a bit more intensive hiking.

Pilj Waterfall

And this is it! This is our reward, our final destination. The cascades of the Pilj Waterfall, the red rocks and the rich fragrance of untouched nature that you can feel in the air assure us that we are in a special place where a man’s foot has rarely stepped. A truly amazing experience. We take out our lunch packs and have a lunch break. And we don’t speak much. We are trying to absorb as much vibes of this place as we can.

Streams of Pilj Waterfall.

After one hour of pure hedonism we have to go back. For us, it is just the right measure. The whole tour, along with one hour break for lunch and relaxation, took about six hours. A total distance we walked is approximately nine kilometers in both directions.

Pure hedonism in untouched nature surroundings.

We are ready to go back to Najda’s place, and make preparation for next adventure.

Accommodation at Najda’s place, in Topli Do village.

What’s next?

To sum up, this is just a small part of what you can find in eastern Serbia. A hiking tour that we recommend includes Pilj waterfall as well as several others from this region and each of them is unique in its own way. Taking into account distances among them and the intensity of the routes we recommend that you spend not fewer than four days with us. In addition, you will have a chance to experience some traditional Serbian hospitality, try authentic local food and drinks and stay in cozy, ethno houses.

If you are interested do not hesitate to contact us. We will send you more details about hiking tours that we carefully planned for you. Furthermore, we offer you: pickups from airport on the first day and drive offs on the last day of your stay, accommodation in rustic ethno houses, and professional licensed hiking guides. Additionally, there is a degustation of traditional local specialties and drinks (the rakia, wine, juice). In case you would like to plan your tour for yourself we suggest you to visit our SELF GUIDED HIKING TOURS section.

Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Welcome to Eastern Serbia 🙂