Serbia Upside Down - A Gravel View of Serbia's Remote Mountains

Discover the story behind a gravel cycling adventure across Serbia's remote mountain roads.

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Serbia Upside Down is the story of eight adventurers from Serbia and Germany who traversed over the most stunning mountain ranges of western Serbia.

Serbia Upside Down bikepacking adventure

The goal: reveal and film preserved natural landscapes and send a different image of Serbia to the world.

Back at Grinduro Switzerland 2021, I managed to meet Pedja. Originally from Serbia, he now lives in Germany and, obviously, is really into gravel riding and bikepacking.

The best part of events like these are the people you end up meeting. After the ride and during some extra beers (probably too many, one might say), we started talking about a project he and a bunch of his friends came up with.

Serbia Upside Down is meant to show Serbia in a completely different way. That part of Europe is still highly unexplored on bikepacking adventures, so it feels obvious to head out there. I had a look over the photos on the Serbia Upside Down Instagram Account and based on the way he was talking about the project, it seems like THE next big thing. Not even joking. The people are amazing, mountains are wild and untouched, and you get to ride some of the best gravel roads in Europe.

However, the best person to talk about it are the guys behind the Serbia Upside Down project.

How did Serbia Upside Down come to life?

From all places we have ever been to and people we’ve met, most of them have never been to Serbia. Not only have they never been there, they somehow never got an idea and made a plan to do so.

gravel bikepacking route serbia

People all over the world know very little about Serbian culture, heritage, people, and values. And even less about quite a special vibe that can be experienced on the streets of large cities such as Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, or on tiny rural roads. Yet, the most intriguing element in the entire story are well kept natural wonders, chains of mountain peaks connected by curvy gravel paths and picturesque villages underneath. Something you would easily see on the cover of Lonely Planet. However, Serbia until now remains a hidden gem and an alternative destination for many.

serbia upside down

Thoughts that follow may sound like a cliche, but you are thinking about it every morning during your coffee ritual while you are scrolling pages and piling up ideas where you want to ride next. Cycling is giving us the absolute freedom of movement. For us it represents the purest and the most honest form of transportation that has the power to erase country borders and teach you how to blend in with nature.

Exactly those were the thoughts and the values behind when we loudly asked ourselves the question:

Why hasn’t anybody visited this goddamn country yet? What can we as individuals, as cyclists who are familiar with digital media do to change that?

bikepacking route serbia

It sounds impossible at first sight. Without travel organizations, NGOs, mass media, ministries, nationwide celebrities, funding, whatever… How can you possibly create that reach?
If we bring the powers of friendship, cycling and nature somehow together! And, this was the turning point indeed. Hence, we brought together buddies from Serbia and Germany and said: Why don’t we ride our bikes across the most beautiful landscapes in Serbia together, and film a documentary to tell the world about it? Let’s turn Serbia upside down and send a new image to the world! They loved the idea, and in August 2019 we started working on something we today call - Serbia Upside Down.

Watch the full movie of their Serbia Upside Down 2019 adventure here:

What was the plan for Serbia Upside Down 2021?

In the blink of an eye, two years have passed since our first discovery tour over the mountains of Western Serbia. Despite all the challenges, this time we, Serbian and German members of the crew, managed to reunite in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, preparing for the start of the very harsh but epic tour in warm days of July.

We aimed to have a 5 day adventure across signature mountains of Western Serbia, covering 500km and 11000 meters of elevation in 5 days. 8 friends, from Serbia and Germany, together around the vast expanse of Serbia's mountain ranges.

The Serbia Upside Down Route on komoot

gravel in Serbia

The route is split up in 5 days, but of course you can adapt it to any schedule that fits you.
The start of the Tour is near the town of Valjevo und it finishes near the town of Kopaonik.
Gravel roads and roads less traveled only. Tarmac and traffic are not for us. Together in that combination, they don’t let our mind and soul break free.
You can find the whole collection with all tours below.

You can find a detailed description and more info to plan your own ride on the Serbia Upside Down Route.

Any new plans for 2022?

Absolutely. Make sure to get the latest updates on Upside Down's socials! Follow Upside Down on Instagram for more updates.