Special nature reserve Jerma is located in the extreme southeast of Serbia. The river Jerma springs from the eastern side of Vlasina Lake. Total length of the river Jerma is 72.1 km, and to Serbia belongs 45.1 km, in the upper flow, from wellspring to the entrance to Bulgaria 17.1 km, and from the re-entry to Serbia (at the Petačinci village) to river mouth of Nišava 28 km.
The highest mountains of the Jerme River area are Greben and Vlaška Mountain. Vlaška Mountain reaches the river Jerma end with a steep rocky section. It was built from dolomite.
A part of the Jerma River gorge area in 2014 by Decree of Government of Republic of Serbia was proclaimed the Special Nature Reserve Jerma on an area of 6.994,41 ha. The protected area is rated and classified in the first category of national importance.
The special nature reserve Jerma makes a unique complex of valleys and limestone cliffs with imposing cliffs, which have exceptional floristic and phytocenological diversity.
There are recorded 887 plant taxa in the protected area. The special value of this area is the presence of relict species, that is, the species of old age. Tertiary relics that are found: Turkish hazel (Corylus colurna), spurge-laurel (Daphne laureola), walnut (Juglans regia), European bladdernut (Staphyllea pinnata), Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris), English yew (Taxus baccata).
There are recorded next animal species in protected area, 110 species of birds, and 25 mammal species, 11 species of amphibians and reptiles, 9 species of fish, and 181 species of butterflies. Particularly significant is the presence of large number of rare or endangered protected species of birds and mammals. The most important bird breeding birds from the aspect of protection are: golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), Long-legged buzzard (Buteo rufinus), Rock partridge (Alectoris graeca), corn crake (Crex Crex), Eurasian eagle-owl (Bubo bubo), and others. Among the protected mammals, the most important is the presence of endangered species of bats (Rhinolophus ferrumequinum, R. hipoposideros, Myotis myotis), otters (Lutra lutra) and Eurasian lynx (Lynx lynx).
The river Jerme gorge - imposing canyon valley with steep rocky cliffs of 600-700 m high, rich in numerous karstic terrain forms;
In the special nature reserve Jerma the most valuable cultural monument is the monastery St. Jovan Bogoslov, better known as the Poganovo monastery. The monastery was erected at the end of the 14th century founded and raised by the Serbian nobleman Konstantin Dejanović Dragaš, nephew of the Emperor Dušan and it was dedicated to St. Jovan Bogoslov. With the art connoisseurs and Byzanthologists, this monastery is well known for its frescoes.
The most important speleological objects in this area are:
For adrenaline sports lovers, Nature Reserve Jerma provides to tourists free climbing trails and wild rowing in search of Martin's treasure through an unregulated cavern of the Vetrena dupka in a length of 4 km.
For visitors who like active holidays, but with less adrenaline, is available paths to sightseeing Greben and Vlaška Mountains, staying in authentic houses with a recognizably good local cuisine in Poganovo village. Apart from the rural households, the accommodation is possible even in Poganovo monastery, or in two inns on the river bank at the entrance to the canyon. In the vicinity of Jerma canyon there are thermal springs and pools of Zvonačka Spa. The spa is beneficial for modern managerial diseases.
JP „Srbija šume – Beograd
Bulevar Mihajla Pupina br. 113, 11070 Novi Beograd
Phone +38111 711 27 70; +38111 711 34 10, faks +381 11 711 85 13
Šumsko gazdinstvo „Pirot – Pirot
Srpskih Vladara br. 6 , Pirot
Phone: +381 10 342 474 ; faks +381 10 342 474