Durmitor National Park

Durmitor is National Park of Montenegro which covers 39000 hectares, making the largest protected area of Montenegro – limestone massif in northwestern Montenegro that reaches a height of 2,522 meters /stunning Bobotov Kuk peak/. The breathtaking Durmitor National park was formed by glaciers and is traversed by number of clean fast rivers and underground streams. The massif of Durmitor Mountain is bordered by the gorgeous Tara River Canyon on the north, outstanding Piva River Canyon on the west, and by the challenging Komarnica River Canyon in the south. To the east, Durmitor National Park is open to a vast 1500 meters high plateau called the Jezerska Površ /Plateau of Lakes/. Sinjajevina Mountain is located to the east of the Jezerska Površ Plateau. According to the surface it covers, the Sinjajevina Mountain is the largest and most widespread mountain of Montenegro. The Sinjajevina Mountain is 40 km long and 15 km wide which spreads up to hollows of Kolasin and Mojkovac on the opposing side. Sinjajevina Mountain is actually the extension of Durmitor Plateau that spreads from Zabljak on the southeast, bordered by Tara River canyon on the northeast, and Moraca River canyon on the southwest.

Durmitor mountain range is for the most part located in Zabljak Municipality, one of the highest populated places in the Balkans /elevation 1450 meters/, which features diversified accommodation facilities and well developed tourist infrastructure. Durmitor Mountain features 18 scenic glacial lakes scattered over mountain massif and the Jezerska Površ plateau. The lakes add significantly to the beauty of the Durmitor Mountain, and have been nicknamed Gorske Oči, or Mountain Eyes. Durmitor lakes are Crno Lake, Veliko Škrčko Lake, Malo Škrčko Lake, Zeleni Vir, Jablan Lake, Valovito Lake, Vir u Lokvicama, Srablje Lake, Modro Lake, Suva Lokva Lake, Zminje Lake, Barno Lake, Pošćensko Lake, Zabojsko Lake, Vražje Lake, Riblje Lake, Zminčko Lake and Sušičko Lake.

Lonely Planet: “Montenegro’s north beckons with countless highland adventures. Its great outdoors – encompassing Durmitor, Biogradska Gora and Prokletije national parks – are a dream destination for everything from hiking and mountain biking to canyoning and rafting.”

The name Durmitor is probably derived from the Balkan Romance (some Romanian/Vlach dialect), and it means “sleeping”. Another etymology could be from the Celtic meaning “mountain with water”. Along the Tara River Canyon, which has the deepest gorges in Europe, the dense pine forests are interspersed with clear lakes and harbor a wide range of endemic flora. In 1980 Durmitor National Park was proclaimed UNESCO Natural Heritage. Panorama from Durmitor Mountain is memorable and contains the vast mountainous area of several hundreds of kilometers – from the Rudnik Mountain /Serbia/ in the north up to Orjen Mountain peak and the Adriatic Sea and from Kopaonik Mountain /Serbia/ up to Čvrsnica Mountain in the west of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The outstandingly impressive is the view to the surrounding mountain chains of Montenegro from Durmitor, intersected with river valleys and picturesque canyons, as well as observation of the rolling mountains settled around Durmitor Mountain.

Whether you choose the winter or the summer season for visiting Durmitor, you will experience a breathtaking mountain views and outstanding experiences. The National Park of “Durmitor” spreads across 39000 hectares and its area of 20000 ha has been included in the UNESCO since 1980. Zabljak is the city with the greatest height above the sea level in the Balkans at the 1456 meters is situated here. Žabljak is surrounded by 23 mountain peaks exceeding 2300 meters.

There are 17 gorgeous glacial lakes called “mountain eyes” in the area of Durmitor National Park. The most famous is the Black Lake covered with ice and crystals of frozen snowflakes in the winter. You can however swim in Black Lake in the middle of the summer. Between the steep hillsides hidden in the green thick foliage there are the magic beauties of Zmijinje, Barno, Riblje, Vrazje, Modro and the other Durmitor lakes. “Bobotov kuk” the highest peak of Durmitor Mountain, 2523 meters high, which dominates over all of Montenegro. There are 748 springs of pure mountain water within Durmitor National Park and forests in which trees are over 100 years old. Along the 200 km of Durmitor Mountain well-marked climbing and hiking trails you can find many caves such as Ledena Pecina /Ice Cave/ which is below Obla Glava peak. On the slopes of Durmitor Mountain there is the wild Nevidio Canyon that has been unknown to humans for thousands of years. Nevidio Canyon was first discovered in 1965 when human leg stepped on the ground of the Canyon for the first time. The first to conquer the Nevidio Canyon was a group of mountaineers from Niksic. Noadays is the Nevidio Canyon one of the best adventure destinations in Montenegro, but also in the Balkans. As examples of the ethnological heritage of Durmitor Mountain, it is worth mentioning thel types of rural houses, so called “savardaks” and mills scattered all over “katuni” – villages and Durmitor’s brooks.

Savin Kuk is the most visited peak of Durmitor National Park because of the chair lift that climbs high up its eastern slopes and stops only hundred meters below the summit, near Savina Voda /Sava’s Water spring/. Chair lift is part of Durmitor Ski Center and contributes to the beauty of the eastern side of Savin Kuk peak which rises some 800 m above the Jezerska Povrs /Plateau of Lakes/. This side of Durmitor Mountain is called Cista Strana /Clean Side/. Durmitor’s snow cover lasts 120 days per year and its best slopes are Savin kuk, Štuoc and Javorovača. Savin kuk slope is 3500 meters long and has two chairlifts, a ski lift, nursery lift and a ski service. Štuoc is somewhat shorter /2,600 meters/ but very exciting, and Javorovača’s 800 meters are perfect for those preferring short runs. Durmitor Snowboarding is increasingly popular in recent years, as many enthusiast gatherings and competitions are being held at Durmitor Mountain.

The UNESCO Committee for cultural heritage included the stecak medieval tombstones on the list of the UNESCO cultural heritage. This unique cultural phenomenon spread on the area of four neighboring countries of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro and include 28 localities among which are the three necropolis of stecak tombstones in Montenegro – the necropolis of  Bare Žugica and Greek graveyard in Žabljak have the status of the UNESCO world heritage sites.

Town of Zabljak is situated in the heart of Durmitor region, at the altitude of 1450 meters, what makes it the highest urban conglomerate in the Balkans. Zabljak is surrounded with 23 mountain peaks over 2200 meters and 18 majestic glacial lakes and with Tara River Canyon, the deepest river canyon in Europe. There are about 4500 inhabitants in Zabljak and its surroundings. Tourist season in Zabljak stretches throughout the year – you can not say which period is best for visiting Zabljak, as every season is uniquely convenient. The breathtaking Durmitor National Park is truly exquisite in terms of its diversities which for its favorable climatic conditions and specific reflection of mountain lakes, breathtaking canyons and blossoming meadows provide unforgettable experience and impressions to every visitor.

Black Lake – Crno Jezero Lake Durmitor

Crno Jezero – Black Lake /1416 m/is the second largest glacial lake in Montenegro and the largest one on Durmitor Mountain. Safely dipped into deep conifer forest with perfect background provided by Savin Kuk and Medjed peaks, Crno Jezero – Black Lake – deserves every superlative it gets. Crno Jezero – Black Lake got its name after the lush conifer forests that surround it. Crno Jezero is placed on the northeastern side of the rounded central part of the Durmitor mountain, at the edge of Jezerska Povrs plateau, 3 km away from center of Zabljak town. The Black Lake – Crno Jezero is divided in two parts by two peninsulas : smaller and larger lake. The narrow and shallow passage Struga connects peninsulas. Lake is 1155m long and 810 m wide. Larger lake is 855 m long and 615 m wide, while smaller lake is 605 m long and 400 m wide. Length of the Black Lake – Crno Jezero coast line at maximum water level is 4395 meters. Depth of the smaller lake is 49 m and 24.5 m of the larger lake. Walking path goes around the Black Lake that provides premium experience to visitors from all over the world while staying in the marvelous mountain. Last 800 meters of the walking trail are closed for traffic, there is parking there. In mid summer water temperature in upper layers along the Black Lake shore can reach 20°C or more, so is suitable for swimming. Black Lake – Crno Jezero in Durmitor National Park is filled by few creeks and springs of which most powerful is Celina spring. In time of rapid snow melting appearance of the water of Black Lake is accompanied by powerful blast, like a mine explosion. At such times when water tributaries are abundant, the Crno Jezero – Black Lake looses water via Otoka creek at north-eastern corner and flows towards Zabljak but goes underground few kilometers behind the lake, on the meadows below Pitomine hills.


Mountaineering in Montenegro – heavy tour

South Balkans Tour

UNESCO Balkan Tour 3 Countries – Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia