Hajla Mountain

Hajla Mountain

Hajla is a fantastic mountain situated on the border between Montenegro and Serbian Province of Kosovo and Metohija and belongs to the north-eastern part of the Prokletije Mountain range /Accursed Mountains/. Actually, with the height of 2403 meters Hajla Mountain is the highest mountain of this part of the Prokletije Mountains, located between the source of Ibar River and the Rugova Gorge. Many people consider Hajla Mt one of the most beautiful mountains of the border between Montenegro and Serbia…

Hajla Mountain has complex structure; it is built of limestone and volcanic rocks, which caused variety of relief and countryside formations: rocky ridges, scenic passes, valleys, grassy slopes, forests, streams. Higher peaks of Hajla Mountain are predominantly built of limestone, mostly of Triassic Limestone (Triassic= 199-251 million years ago), and partly of Perm (251-300 million years ago) and Carbon rocks (300-360 million years ago). But on many locations on higher parts of Hajla Mountain, limestone is mixed with eruptive rocks. This combination of limestone (carbonates) mixed with volcanic rocks has also reflected to diversity of living flora on Hajla Mountain. Lower parts of Hajla Mountain are formed of horn stone (a siliceous stone, a variety of quartz, closely resembling flint, but more brittle; called also chert) and tufa (volcanic ash cemented into spongy-like rocks). Some parts of Hajla Mountain have rounded slopes, which is typical for mountains composed of silicate or eruptive rocks.

During Pleistocene period (0.01-1.8 million years ago) Hajla Mountain was covered with many glaciers descending toward valleys of Ibar and Pećka Bistrica Rivers, and of which many recesses still remain on both northern and southern side. Northern part of Hajla mountain is reshaped by many Ibar River tributaries and southern side by tributaries of Pećka Bistrica river. The most recognizable part of Hajla Mountain is its 10-12 km long main mountain ridge, elongated and in shape of a gently curved letter “s”. Generally, it rises above 2,200 meters and stretches from Krstac mountain pass (on west) to Mala gora (or Donja ćafa) mountain pass on its eastern end. Some parts of Hajla Mountain are given different local names. Starting from its western part, Hajla´s ridge consists of more parts and summits, starting from west: Škreljska Hajla (Shkrel´s Hajla 2,011 m) – Maja Dramadol (2,120 m), Košutanska Hajla (Hajla Koshutanit – Koshutan´s Hajla), Vranovačka Hajla (Hajla Vranovcit – Vranovac´s Hajla 2,281 m) and finally Hajla summit (2,403 m). The summit of Hajla, 2,403 m high, is situated at the eastern end of the main mountain ridge. The ridge on this point is sometimes just about 1 meter wide. Stretching along the ridge´s north-eastern end and bellow the main summit is a 400 m high sheer limestone cliff, attractive and suitable for alpinistic climbs. This cliff is especially dangerous in winter, open to wind squalls and covered with ice. Below this cliff is a plateau (1,810 m) called Brahim breg with water source and abandoned shepherds´huts. Just 30 minutes away from the summit, and north of Vranovačka Hajla by the mountain path Brahim breg – Žuti kamen – Hajla summit, at the height of 1,980 m there is a small but inexhaustible spring with troughs for cattle watering, called Biser voda (literally translated as gem, jewel – water). Water streams run down from Hajla Mountain in two dominant directions northern and southern, and collect into two main rivers: Ibar and Pećka Bistrica Rivers which belong to two different watersheds: The Black Sea watershed (all waters of northern slopes of Hajla and Ibar river), and the Adriatic Sea watershed (waters of southern slopes of Hajla and the river of Pećka Bistrica).

Picturesque Ibar river source (Vrelo Ibra) is situated in deep forests of northern Hajla Mountain´s slopes, below its Maja Dramadol peak (2,120 m), in western part of the main Hajla mountain ridge. Actually, this is not the real beginning od Ibar river, because the waters come to this spring up from three larger sources and many smaller flowing down the slopes of Hajla Mountain before they join and come out as a single river source. After coming out of its spring, Ibar River flows for 30 kilometers through Montenegro (scenic gorges) before it enters Serbia. Ibar River finally ends its life in Serbia by confluent into West Morava River, after 183 km in total, counting from its source. Ibar River is fast mountainous river. One of the strongest right tributaries to Ibar River – Ibarac also springs from northern Hajla´s slopes. To approach Ibar River source one must use the same approach road used to reach Bandžov village and Bandžov mountain hut, 10-12 km away from the town of Rožaje. Views from Hajla´s summit are open and wide in all directions, because the highest ridge is exposed, rising high above surrounding slopes and plateaus and is also treeless.

In June 2015 they started with construction of hiking-cycling trail Rožaje – Peć, which plans to connect the territories of Municipalities of Rožaje and Peć (Peja), by construction of the first cross-border mountainous trail for bicyclers and hikers, that will lead along the Hajla Mountain.

Construction of 6-seater ski lift Hajla – Štedim is running in satisfactory dynamics. Recently all 12 pillows were installed which will carry 70 baskets with capacity of 2600 skiers. Up to now it was invested more than 5 mill EUR in this project. Simultaneously preparations for electrification of the ski lift are carried out as well as construction of sti track on the Hajla Mountain. For skiing and snowboarding, there are 1.2 km of slopes available. 1 lift transports the guests. The winter sports area is situated between the elevations of 1,158 and 1,385 meters. On the spot of the ski lift on Hajla Mountain will be erected numerous accommodation and catering facilities which will highly improve and add value of the tourist offer of Rozaje. Construction of 7 kilometers of the accessible road which connects this locality with the main road in ongoing. So far it was invested 4 mill EUR in this project.