Durmitor is a stunning limestone massif located in Northern Montenegro and belonging to the Dinarides.
It is also the name of Montenegro’s largest protected area, the Durmitor National Park, which constitutes the heart of a landscape shaped by glaciers, lakes, numerous rivers and underground streams of which are embedded in the much larger Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve.
Founded in 1952 with a smaller surface area “Durmitor” National Park has a long formal conservation history going back to 1907 when the Black Lake received protected status.
International recognition dates back to 1976 when the Tara River Basin became a biosphere reserve under UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme and Durmitor was inscribed 1980 in the World Heritage property.
The diverse mountain landscape encompasses altitudinal zones ranging from only 450 to more than 2,500 metres above sea level and a broad array of ecosystems and habitats.
Some fifty peaks higher than 2,000 metres above sea level including Bobotov Peak (2,525 metres above sea level) rise above plateaus, alpine meadows and forests cover the landscape.
Particular impression is created by 18 glacial lakes, called “Mountain Eyes”, located at 1.500 meters above the sea level.
The biggest and the most beautiful is Black Lake, with stunning scenery, and a giant peak Medjed, above the lake, consists of two smaller lakes Big and Little Lake.
Those 2 lakes are connected by a narrow strait, that dries in summer time, creating 2 completely separate lakes.
Of particular importance is an old-growth forest of European Black Pine, where 450 year-old specimens can reach heights above 50 metres.
Even the underground offers stunning natural beauty in the form of numerous caves, most notably the “Ice Cave” with its impressive ice stalactites and stalagmites.
The most dramatic elements of the spectacular mountain landscape are the deep river canyons, most notably the famous Tara River Gorge, Europe’s deepest gorge.
The river Tara is perhaps one of the last oases of intact nature, characterized by its crystal clear water, which is why its is often called “The Tear of Europe”.
Tara is the largest European reservoir of drinking water. On the territory of the Durmitor National Park, the Tara River has its average fall of 3.6m/km, and it makes waterfalls, rapids and cascades which give a great compliment to the untouched nature of the Park.
The most famous bridge that crosses Tara is the Djurdevica Tara Bridge. It was built between 1937 and 1940 and designed by Mijat Trojanovic, who also oversaw the construction.
When it was finished, it was the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. The bridge is 365 m long, and has five arches, the biggest having span of 116 m. The distance between the road and the river is 172 meter.
Biking, walking, swimming, skiing, bungee jumping, horse riding… are only part of the activities in which you can also enjoy in Durmitor.
Domestic food and specialties are also part of offer in which you will enjoy the fresh evenings. The Durmitor area is known for its abundance of forest fruit and healing herbs, therefore extraordinary teas and fruit juices can be found at each table.
Center of the park is Zabljak, small town at the bottom of the southeastern part of Durmitor.
This settlement, which is located at the highest altitude of the Balkan Peninsula (around 1.450m) is the biggest winter center in Montenegro.
Here, snow remains up to six months, and the height of the snow cover sometimes exceeds two meters.
Zabljak is very small town, so everything is within walking distance. You can get to some of the lakes around the town only by foot – it’s untouched nature!
Whether you get your kicks from peak-bagging, rafting, or just lazing around beside glassy mountain lakes, if you like the outdoors you’ll love Durmitor.