Connecting Perls – Western Balkans, Serbia, North Macedonia

CONNECTING PERLS

The Kalin Kamen site is located on the slopes of the Osogovo Mountains, about 10 km southeast of Kriva Palanka at an altitude of 1,500m up to 1,870m above sea level. 

The most famous feature of this place is the artificial lake Kalinin Kamen around which is suitable to camp in summer. The locality has places for rest and recreation, as well as a small sports field and the facilities to accommodate small tourist groups.

In 2009, the exhibition gathering “Kalin Kamen Rally” was organized for the first time – a rally race for vehicles powered by all four wheels that passes through the most picturesque areas of Osogovo.

What captivates visitors are the beautiful spacious meadows, a beech forest and a large rock that the locals call Kalin Kamen. That rock is the reason why many tourists come and visit Kriva Palanka and the tourist site Kalin Kamen.

According to a centuries-old legend, there was a young girl named Kalina, who lived in the area of Kriva Palanka during the Ottoman Empire, and she was the most beautiful of all girls.

The Turkish aga was amazed by her beauty and captured her and locked her in his palace. Not wanting to convert to Islam and be an agate woman, one night she ran away from the palace and headed for the stone below Carev Vrv. She crossed the road in 4 hours. That night Kalina jumped off the cliff.  Among the people, the rock is called Kalin Kamen in honour of Kalina.

On the initiative of the off-road drivers of Kriva Palanka, the sports event “Kalin Kamen” rally (Tourist meeting “Kalin Kamen”) has been traditionally held on May 24 since 2009, in honour of pan-Slavic educators St Cyril and Methodius.

The event has an exhibition character. The length of the track is 64 km, and 80% of it takes place on an unpaved road or in areas where there is no road at all, and the whole trip takes about 8 hours, including breaks for the participants to rest. The height difference between the lowest and the highest point – Carev Vrv (2,085 meters above sea level) is 1,500 meters. 

The trail starts at the square in Kriva Palanka, it passes through beautiful areas of the Osogovo mountains, up to the St. Joachim Osogovski monastery, where lunch for all participants is organized. The event is organized by the Citizen Association Auto Moto Club “Off Road Osogovo”.  The trail stretches through the areas: Kriva Palanka → Mozdivnjak → Ostreč → Bari → Kostadinica → Babina fountain → Carev Vrv (2085m) → Altn fountain → Kalin Kamen → Ezero → “St. Joachim Osogovski monastery”→ Kriva Palanka.

Most of the participants of the trip use a vehicle “Lada Niva”, but the 50-year-old American and Russian SUVs also draw a lot of attention. During the trip, you can experience all four seasons with atmospheric crossings, rain, sun, wind and even snow.