The national park located in the north-west of Montenegro covers an area of 320 km². Numerous aboveground and underground rivers flow through the karst landscape, which is shaped by glaciers, with its many lakes. The Tara has created the deepest gorge in Europe at around 1300 m. Visit health-beauty-guides.com for Montenegro a surprise on the Adriatic.
Durmitor National Park: facts
|Official title:||Durmitor National Park|
|Natural monument:||since 1952 national park with an area of 320 km² and altitudes between 450 m and 2523 m; under the influence of Mediterranean and Alpine microclimates; 1300 m deep canyon of the Tara and 16 ice age lakes in a characteristic karst landscape|
|Location:||west of Pljevlja and north of Niksíc|
|Meaning:||a landscape shaped by the Ice Age with the deepest gorges in Europe and a multitude of plants that only thrive here|
|Flora and fauna:||170 km² forest area with coniferous forest, subalpine zones and alpine meadows; Rich karst flora: Durmitor mullein, Durmitor clover, the gentian species Gentiana levicalix and the Saxifraga prenja, which belongs to the saxifrage family; one of the last stands of an original forest with Austrian black pines; in the Tara and its tributaries, brown trout, huchen, also known as red fish because of their “reddish wedding dress”, and European grayling; in the woods brown bears, gray wolves, wild cats; Chamois, stone grouse, black grouse, golden eagle|
Huge gorges, rugged mountains and clear mountain lakes
“Durmitor” – “water from the mountains” between the rivers Tara and Piva and the towering mountain range – is what the Celts called this region, according to ancient tradition, which was first noted in the 13th century and well into the 18th century inside was only used as summer pasture.
The river gurgles wildly below us, the ice-cold water splashes with full force over the tied tree trunks as the raft plunges into a bubbling rapids. But the helmsman knows the dangerous parts of the tare well and maneuvers the heavy monster skillfully and safely through the foaming waters. The »Teufelspaß« (»Djavolje Lazi«) with its strong water current is one of the most difficult sections of the river. This narrow point was created by fallen boulders, which now divide the river into two arms. Far from any civilization, the gorge towers over 1000 meters in some places. Even in summer, the high sun with its warming rays only reaches the raging river for a short time.
The Tara Gorge is known as the deepest and steepest canyon in Europe and the main attraction in the Durmitor National Park. For centuries, raftsmen have used the river to pull tree trunks out of the inaccessible area. The river has worked its way through the rock over a length of 83 kilometers, leaving behind rocky steps and ledges lined with pine trees, just like at the 800 meter high entrance – a great backdrop for the start of a three-day raft trip.
Enclosed by the rugged Durmitor Mountains, a wide plateau with alpine meadows, typical farmhouses and herds of sheep spreads out on the edge of the Tara Gorge at an altitude of 1450 meters. In a very confined space, enormous tectonic shifts and river and glacier erosion created a world full of fantastic shapes: mountain peaks, like sharp alpine needles, and massive, jagged domes that sometimes cut vertically into the landscape. The higher areas are covered by extensive meadow mats. In the midst of the typical karst landscape with all sorts of gray tones, they resemble green velvet carpets. The crystal-clear mountain lakes of the national park, especially the largest, the »Crno Jezero«, the »Black Lake«, form a strong contrast. Like this one, the numerous other mountain lakes are all formed by glaciers. Mighty beeches, broad firs and spruces stand out from their needles on their banks and on the lower mountain slopes.
During the Ice Age, the Durmitor was more strongly shaped than comparatively the Alps. The ice lay in huge layers on the peaks and filled the then flat karst valleys. The shifting glaciers have left clear, partly U-shaped traces in the valleys and shaped the appearance of the peaks. A dense network of marked hiking trails opens up the mountain region up to Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak at 2523 meters. Chamois seem to jump lightly on sloping mountain slopes. Individual wild cats roam the forests on gentle paws. Golden eagles glide through the updrafts over the valleys. The howling of some wolves can only rarely be heard from a distance. Occasionally bears show up in spring after their long winter sleep. Sometimes you can even spot the shy black grouse. It would be a great coincidence, however, if one were to be an eyewitness to the courtship dance, in which the roosters spread their tail plumage, swell their red erectile tissue over the eyes, utter dark throat sounds from a bloated neck and run excitedly to and fro in a playful fight.