This beautiful mountain range is situated in the north-western part of Montenegro. Durmitor National Park is surrounded by deep valleys and canyons from three side – on the N by second deepest canyon in the world and deepest in Europe – Tara river canyon, on the W by incredible canyon of Piva river and Pivska Planina mountain, and on the S by Komarnica river canyon. On the E Durmitor is open to huge vast plateau (grassland) called Jezerska Povrs (Plateau of Lakes), which end is on beginning of Sinjajevina mountain.
Whole national park is 39.000 hectares big. The main features of the Durmitor region is a Jezerska Povrs vast plateau 1500 meters above sea level intersected by deep canyon gorges over towered by impressive mountain peaks – 48 of which are over 2000 m (27 over 2200 m). Highest peak of massif is Bobotov Kuk (2523 m). There are 18 glacial lakes at heights over 1500 meters adding great charm to the Durmitor massif. Durmitorians called them “Gorske Oci” (Mountain Eyes). Also, Durmitor have 748 springs of pure mountain water and forests in which some trees are more than a few hundred years old. Along its 2000 km of climbing and hiking trails you can find many caves, such as Ledena Pechina (Ice Cave, below Obla Glava peak) and cave on Vjetrena Brda. Among the most beautiful features of the National Park are the sparkling waters of the rivers, carved into amazing canyon valleys.
After glaciation in last ice age, during melt of ice, Durmitor’s lakes was born. Montenegrins and specialy Durmitorians call them Gorske Oci (Mountain Eyes). They are located all over Durmitor mountain and Jezerska Povrs (plateau of lakes). These “Mountain Eyes” contributes very much to amazing beauty of Durmitor National Park. Durmitor’s lakes are the trademark of Durmitor’s famous beauty. Durmitor have 18 glacial lakes at heights over 1500 m adding great charm to the Durmitor massif. The foundation for scientific research of lakes on Durmitor was given in the far away year 1899 by Jovan Cvijic who, during his visit, called on all its lakes. He stated that this lakes left an indelible mark and are the element of recognition for this Mountain, because nowhere, in the whole wide world, there is no such abundance of lakes in such a small territory.
Jovan Cvijic, Serbian great scientist called them, with every right, “Mountain Eyes”. All of this lakes are different according to magnitude, quantity of water in them, shape, origin, quality and beauty of landscape surrounding them, etc. If, however we look at them with our eyes, from our time, there can be no such thing as “to many lakes” and they are not given once for all times. This lakes are as beautiful as the water in them is clear and pure, because lakes, like people have faces and destinies. In the following pages you may read a story out every single one, because every single one is an “eye of earth”, and taken together they are Mountain Eyes. Looking into them, we measure the depths of our souls.
The Tara river
The Tara river is exceptionally beautiful, by its impressive currant, depth&landscape of the canyon, making it one of the most stunning in the world. The richness of its flora&fauna, the complexity of its ecosystems, with over 1300 varied plant species, making it an exceptional concentration of such a quantity & quality of numerous endemic & ancient species, that Durmitor has extraordinary natural wealth that is a permanent inspiration to scientists & nature-lovers alike.
The origin of the name “Durmitor” is not cleared with any certainity. According to some the origin of the name is romanic. Possibly it is derived from the latin word “dormitorium” i.e. from the italian word “dormitorio” or “dormire” – meaning “sleeping” because, according to legends the soldiers of the roman legions, marching by, were asking “is this Mountain sleeping?” Of course, there is a far less romantic explanation, possibly much closer to the truth, that the name was given by celtic tribes, the celtic: “dru-mi-tor” meaning “water from the mountain”. In any case the name was inherited by slav tribes coming into the territory: the locals are stressing the word “DURMITOR” on the second syllable. Durmitorians called Durmitor mountain as “SOA NEBESKA”. Meaning – Durmitor peaks are so high that touch the sky, stands as some kind of “Altar of the Sky”
The peaks of Durmitor
From all peaks of Durmitor massif three are most visited and most popular for climbing – Bobotov Kuk (2523 m), Prutas (2393 m) and Medjed (2287 m). Medjed (2287 m) summit view is something special. From the top of Medjed peak you can enjoy in amazing view to whole massif of Durmitor, above wonderful, impressive and deep Lokvice valley. Also, you can see Crno Jezero (Black Lake) like ‘from airplane’. The best view to Crno Jezero is from Mali Medjed (2223 m) summit. Prutas (2393) summit view is really incredible.
“The storm-proof roof of Europe”
Beauty of this view is simply breathtaking. From Prutas summit you can see main crest of Durmitor massif (Soa Nebeska), which include three peaks – Bezimeni Vrh (No Name Peak, 2487 m), Bobotov Kuk (2523 m) and Soa or Djevojka (2440 m), above amazing incredible beauty of Skrcka Lakes Valley – God’s gift to Durmitor, Montenegro and whole world. Also, beautiful Susica Canyon you can see. If you are visiting Durmitor don’t miss Prutas. From Bobotov Kuk (2523 m) summit – highest peak of Durmitor, you can see in good weather conditions many mountain peaks (in few countries), far some hundred kilometers.
The valley’s of Durmitor
Skrka Lakes Valley
With it’s two beautiful and picturesque lakes and impressive peaks which surrounded it’s devine beauty, Skrka Lakes Valley is for sure the most beautiful valley of Durmitor. In the last Ice Age basin of Skrka was heavily glaciated and glacier was moving towards the canyon of Susica on the NW. Skrka occupies SW corner of central Durmitor.
Valley is around 2.5km long while bottom is up to 1km wide. From all but NW side, where opening of Susica canyon is (read Sushica), Skrka is closed by high and wild sides. And all three sides are specific, having different configuration. On the N & E is main crest of the massif. That side is between 600 and 800m high. The highest side of valley is about 800 m high wall of amazing Soa Nebeska crest, created by three peaks – Bezimeni Vrh (2487 m), Bobotov Kuk (2523 m) and Djevojka (2440 m), placed on N side of valley. Skrka Lakes Valley has two beautifully lakes: Veliko Jezero (1686m) (Large Lake) is placed in the middle of the valley. It is 580m long and up to 165m wide, 17m deep and has 1720m long coastline. Malo Jezero (1711m) (Small Lake) is rounded and located below the cliffs of beautiful Prutas (2393m). It is 225m long and up to 94m wide, 15m deep and has 440m long coastline. Between the lakes is grassy plateau on which Skrka Hut (1723 m) stands.
Looking to the massif of Durmitor from Zabljak town, Lokvice Valley is second valley from the left, after Velika Kalica Valley. Lokvice are surrounded by many high peaks of Durmitor as are Bandijerna (2409 m), Terzin Bogaz (2303 m), Medjed (2287 m) and Cvorov Bogaz (2152 m). Through this valley leads many marked paths to main peaks of Durmitor. The bottom of Lokvice is split in two parts by the small hill. North of it is Male Lokvice (Small Lokvice) while south of the hill is Velike Lokvice (Large Lokvice) with the Vir u Lokvicama (1693m) lake. On top of the hill is Lokvice Katun with few small shepherds houses, common place for camping. Lokvice is approached by marked path from Crno Jezero lake and from Ivan Do camp. At Lokvice Katun marks split as one path leads to Velika Previja pass (Medjed, Terzin Bogaz, Velika Kalica direction) while the other path leads towards Bobotov Kuk, Bezimeni Vrh and Minin Bogaz, going through Biljegov Do basin and Valoviti Do basin.
Velika Kalica Valley
From all of valleys of Durmitor, Velika Kalica is most similar with wild high Julian Alps valleys. Bottom of this former glacial valley was most torn by its glacier. When you looking wild limestone cliffs of Sljeme, you can imagine that you are in Julian Alps. Like the nearby Lokvice valley, Velika Kalica stretches in S-N direction. On the E is Terzin Bogaz (2303m) – Medjed (2287m) crest, connected by Velika Previja (2145 m) pass. From the S and E valley is closed by the huge wall of Sljeme (2455 m) which dominates on its SE side. On the northern end of the wall is Savin Kuk (2313m). Wall is between 300-400m high. On W side of Velika Kalica, belowe northern side of high Sljeme wall, large snow field or snow slope called Debeli Namet (Fat/Thick Drift) is placed, and that’s the remnant of the former glacier. Valley is only open on the N where over Struga pass (1920 m) you can descent towards Crno Jezero lake. Marked path from Crno Jezero lake leads through Velika Kalica valley, from where you can climb Terzin Bogaz (2303 m), Veliki Medjed (2287 m) and Mali Medjed (2223 m). From Struga (1920 m) pass, which makes the beginning of the valley, marked path leads to Mali Medjed. At the end of the valley, on a small grassy hill by the Debeli Namet snow field, you can find a Bivak refuge (2020 m) (bivouac). From it the only way which going out of the valley lead to Velika Previja (2145 m) pass. From the pass marks go left to Terzin Bogaz (2303 m), right to Medjed (2287 m) or straight down into the Lokvice valley.
Alisnica Valley is most western valley of Durmitor. Together with Dobri Do valley, Velika Kalica valley, Lokvice valley and Skrka Lakes valley, Alisnica contribute to amazing untouchable beauty of Durmitor. Alisnica Valley is placed in western part of massif. Long valley of Alisnica create two part of valley – Donja Alisnica (Lower Alisnica) and Gornja Alisnica (Upper Alisnica). Whole Alisnica is very beautiful and has many breathtaking sceneries, for example a wild horses which running on green grassy plateaus of valley. Through Alisnica going marked path to Planinica (2330 m), Bezimeni Vrh (2487 m), Rbatina (2401 m) and Skrka Lakes Valley (1723 m). Bezimeni Vrh and Rbatina can be reached across Velika Struga (2274 m) pass. In any case, people mostly going through Alisnica valley to reach the summit of Planinica, which are one of the most beautiful viewpoint-summit of Durmitor. In Gornja Alisnica you can find Lokve ponds. Most impressive scenery from Alisnica valley is view to NW side of amazing Bezimeni Vrh peak and Velika Struga pass on it’s left side. Sooner or later, you must visit that beautiful valley.