If you haven’t seen the end of the world, you haven’t caught sight of the most delightful and fascinating place to explore the canyon of the river Jerma! Located at the south-east of Serbia, just a short distance from Dimitrovgrad (Caribrod), the canyon is a hidden treasure, the natural beauty of which makes a lasting impression on all who visit it. The experience of spending some time in its vicinity is compelling and precious, yet highly individualistic. But no one who has enjoyed its sublime beauty goes away untouched.
Emerging from between the artificial Lake Vlasina and the Bulgarian border, this tranquil river flows 74 km, passing the Serbian-Bulgarian border twice. After passing through the village of Klisura , the Jerma crosses the border for the first time, at the border crossing of Strezimirovci.
The river, called Erma in Bulgaria , receives its major tributary, the Yablanitsa, right before it re-enters Serbia after 26 km of flow in Bulgaria . The river crosses the border for the second time at the villages of Bankya ( Bulgaria ) and Petačinci ( Serbia ). The Jerma continues to flow generally to the north, passing next to the village of Iskrovci and the picturesque spa of Zvonačka Banja. Proceeding between the mountains of Greben and Vlaška planina, it runs close to the villages of Trnsko-Odorovce and Vlasi, and the monasteries of Sveti Jovan, Sveti Nikolaj and Sveta Bogorodica, before it empties into the Nišava, southeast of Pirot after a total of 48 km in Serbia .
The river, containing alternating sections of rapids and calm sections, snakes down its canyon, spreading the magic feeling of tranquility and peace of mind. Walking along the river banks, visitors are often fascinated by the Jerma’s air of mystery, as if it was telling a story of the past and a bygone age. Occasionally, they come across old, dilapidated cottages made of mud and built atop the steep, rocky hillsides overlooking the idyllic landscape of this shy river.
One cannot help but be impressed by the natural beauty of the region. Sheltered from the outside world by the hills that surround it, this most beautiful river’s canyon in Serbia seems untouched by the technological age and the hustle and bustle of modern towns. For anyone who wants to leave behind, for a moment, the cares of the modern world, it is well worth a visit. Even the unsuspecting are forever changed by the canyon’s awe-inspiring beauty, the river’s song and the self-discovery that comes from new experiences in powerful places.
Author: Ana Todorović Radetić