The most famous tourist centre in Montenegro 1,445 metres above sea level at the foot of Mount Durmitor.Zabljak is a tourist town, the highest in the Balkans, situated at 1,445 metres above sea level.
Durmitor, the crown of Montenegrin mountains, embellished with glacial emerald lakes, standing out for their number among other beautiful lakes of the mountains Bjelasica, Sinjajevina, Komovi, Prokletije.
At the foot of the mountain Durmitor, the town of Žabljak, whose name also has a specific meaning in the Celtic language, surrounded by 23 mountain peaks, lies on the highest altitude in Montenegro above sea level.
The National Park includes a basic mountain massif of Durmitor, parts and lakes of the Piva mountain, higher parts of the canyon valleys of the rivers Grabovica and Komarnica, the Tara canyon valley and the canyon of its tributaries Sušica, Vaškovska rijeka and Draga. It covers the area of 39,000 hectares and the territory of five Montenegrin municipalities: Žabljak, Šavnik, Plužine, Mojkovac and Pljevlja. The highest peak of the mountain Durmitor is Bobotov kuk – 2,525 metres above sea level.
At above 1,500 metres above sea level there are 18 glacial lakes. Local people call them “mountain eyes”. Among them Black Lake is the largest and the most beautiful lake. It was named “black” because of the reflection of tall coniferous trees in the lake surrounding it. The entire amazing landscape is dominated by the giant peak Međed arising above the lake.
The heart of the Park is the town of Žabljak – which is the largest winter resort in Montenegro with a considerable amount of accommodation capacities both in hotels and private accommodation, with good infrastructure for winter sports and great services in tourism and hiking.
Hiking trails are marked and there is an organized hiking guide service.
In the area of the National Park, on a raft, kayak or rubber boat, taken by the fast river Tara, managed by the safe hand of your raftsman - skipper, you will master whitewater, narrow passages and whirls and you will get to know the beauty of the deepest canyon in Europe.
National Park Durmitor
National Park encompasses the basic mountain massif of Durmitor, parts and areas of the lakes and Piva mountain, upper parts of canyon valleys Grabovica and Komarnica, canyon valley of the river Tara and canyons of its confluences - Sušica, Vaškovska river and Draga.
Park area amounts 39.000 hectares, stretched on the territory of five municipalities: Žabljak, Šavnik, Plužine, Mojkovac and Pljevlja.
Main feature of the relief is a wide plateau located at 1.500 meters above the sea level, carved by deep canyon valleys, with impressive mountain tops, of which 48 are at 2.000 meters above the sea level. The highest peak is Bobotov kuk, at 2.525 meters above the sea level. 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 Crno Lake, with stunning scenery, and a giant peak Medvjed, above the lake.
With the decision of UNESCO’s International Committee for the World Natural and Historical Heritage from 1980, NP Durmitor was included in the list of the World Natural Heritage.
Center of the park is Žabljak, 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, with considerable accommodation capacities, both hotel and private, infrastructure for winter sports and services in the area of tourism and mountaineering. Mountaineering paths are marked and there is an organized mountain climbing guide service.
In the National park zone, you can conquer whirlpools, defiles, limans and spinning wheels with rafts, kayaks and pneumatic boats, carried by the mainstream of the river Tara and guided by secure hands of rafters, discover the beauty, pass through the deepest canyon in Europe and swim in perfectly clean water.
Length of the river Tara is 156 kilometers, canyon valley is 93 kilometers long, while the canyon depth can reach even 1.300 meters.
At 1.442 meters above sea level, at the edge Jezerska površ, just two and a half kilometers away from the centre of Žabljaka, Crno jezero is situated. It is of outstanding beauty and unusual life.
Many a writer of travelogues, researcher or scientist has felt the urge to describe the shiny surface of the lake, its dark green colour, nearly black because of the depth and surrounding, the thick forest of firs, pines and spruces with moss and blueberries, and the rocks of Međed as if they were holding it in their lap. Science says that it originated in a cirque formed by force of the glaciers from this fan of summits. It actually consists of two lakes, Veliko (Large) and Malo (Small), connected by a narrow isthmus. It is 1.155 m long and 810m, the Large lake has a maximum depth of 26m, the Small lake twice as much, around 50 m! That means that the large lake has twice the surface but nevertheless a lesser volume.
According to the legend, Holy Sava was once passing by, and somebody (for whatever reason) accused him of stealing something. There was no time for defence, the whole village was up on their feet chasing him. Sava somehow managed to flee, but he was so angry that he made a sign of the cross with his rod and commanded the water to flood the village. Now the villagers were fleeing, but the water was reaching them. Those who were running towards the mountains, the water washed away where today the Small lake is located. Where the water reached those rushing into the meadows, today you find the Large lake. The Large lake is filled by a spring at the northwestern side. The Mlinski potok (a brook) is also contributing. But by far the largest amount of water is supplied by Čelina, a system of wells at the slopes of Međed, 25 meters above the Small lake. After hibernation, sometimes already in April and sometimes in June, the Čelina announces the beginning of its "work" noisily. The sudden breakthrough of water is accompanied by a thundering sound. The locals then just say "The Čelina burst out“.
Cascades up to 15 meters high flood the path (there is a 3,5km walking path around the whole lake). The sight is unforgettable, and the braver visitors walk through the foamy curtain. In winter, the lake is covered by a layer of ice for a long time. In summer it warms up to 20 degrees so that it is possible to swim in it. In summer, the water from the Large lake flows into the Small one, in winter through the isthmus (Struga, 60 meters wide) from the Small into the Large lake. There are many miraculous movements. Especially the tangled subterranean effluents. The divided waters of the Black lake, after many kilometers under the whole massive of Durmitor, flow into two rivers, Tara and Piva (bifurcation, a very rare phenomenon), but however, in the end, after a long jurney through the darkness and breakneck waterfalls, they join again at Šćepan Polje, where Piva and Tara meet to form the Drina.