Picture taken from the Serbian side
|Elevation||2,169 m (7,116 ft)|
|Prominence||1,478 m (4,849 ft)|
Midžor (Serbian Cyrillic: Миџор, pronounced [mîdʒɔr], Bulgarian: Миджур, Midzhur) is a peak in the Balkan Mountains, situated on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia. At 2,169 metres (7,116 ft), it is the highest peak of the Western Balkan Mountains, as well as the highest of Serbia outside Kosovo.[note 1] Midžor is the 12th highest peak in the Balkan Mountains.
Since the early 1990s, Midžor has been accessible to tourists from both sides; previously, access was forbidden due to the peak being in the border area. Due to those restrictions, the nature around the peak has been preserved untouched. On the Bulgarian side, the peak is reachable from the villages of Chuprene and Gorni Lom in Vidin Province.
From Chuprene there are two possibilities for climbing. There is a 17 km dirt road following the river Chprenska to the Gorski Ray refuge (1,450 m) or a 9 km foot track following the river Manastirska.
From the refuge there is a marked track which passes through the Chuprene biosphere reserve and leads to the main summit on a saddle between the peaks Replyanska Tsarkva (1,969 m) and Ostra Chuka (1967 m). To the south east through the peaks Ostra Chuka and Oba (2,033 m) the track reaches a saddle from where the Lom River and the Timok flow out at border stone 336. From there Midžor can be climbed from the north-western slope.
At 7 km from the village of Gorni Lom is located the Gorni Lom refuge (840 m). There is also another refuge upstream called Midžor. There are steep tracks from there leading to the saddle between Oba and Midžor at border stone 336 from where the both tracks from the two villages merge.
The source of the Lom River is at the foot of the peak. A cascade of small hydroelectric power plants is in operation on the river near Midžor and four more are under construction. Chuprene biosphere reserve which is under the protection of UNESCO is situated to the west of the peak. It is one of the last sanctuaries in Bulgaria where the Capercaillie nests.
A special permission from border police Sofia is required in order to ascend to the peak.
The extreme peak of the western mountain is north of the village of Topli Dol, located in the centre of Serbian Stara Planina, between Tri Čuke (1936 m) on the SE side and Babin Zub (1758 m) on the SW side. The massif of the Midžor peak is substantial. Its western, eastern, and southern slopes are grassy and not so steep, while its northern side is rocky and very steep. This side is also the most attractive and very popular among rock climbers.
There is a hotel called "Babin Zub" on the slopes. There are no fees or permits needed to enter the Serbian Stara Planina.
- The highest peak of Serbia is officially Đeravica in the Prokletije mountain range at 2,656 metres (8,714 ft), but is located in Kosovo. If Kosovo is not included, than Midžor is the highest peak of Serbia.
Kosovo is the subject of a territorial dispute between the Republic of Serbia and the Republic of Kosovo. The latter declared independence on 17 February 2008, but Serbia continues to claim it as part of its own sovereign territory. Kosovo's independence has been recognised by 108 out of 193 United Nations member states.
- See: List of mountains in Serbia#Peaks over 2000 meters
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