WHS: Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

After visiting the Patriarchate of Pec, we took a left turn and headed north into Montenegro; on this leg, we stayed in the wooded east of the country, specifically driving along the Tara River Canyon which is the second deepest canyon in the world and the centerpiece of today’s World Heritage Site:

Durmitor National Park

Tara Bridge, Montenegro

 

Durmitor is a stunning limestone massif located in Northern Montenegro and belonging to the Dinaric Alps or 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, numerous rivers and underground streams of which are embedded in the much larger Tara River Basin Biosphere Reserve. Some fifty peaks higher than 2,000 metres above sea level rise above plateaus, alpine meadows and forests, including Bobotov Peak (2,525 metres above sea level). Numerous glacial lakes, locally known as “mountain eyes”, cover the landscape. Despite its many attractions, Durmitor is best known for the spectacular canyons of the Draga, Sušica, Komarnica and Tara Rivers, the latter stands out as Europe’s deepest gorge. Durmitor is a popular tourism destination, known for superb hiking, climbing, mountaineering and canoeing opportunities. The nearby town of Zabljak is Montenegro’s primary ski resort.

Besides the extraordinary landscape beauty and the fascinating geological heritage, Durmitor National Park is also home to an impressive biological diversity. At the habitat level, a rare old-growth stand of European Black Pine deserves to be mentioned. Favored by the altitudinal gradient of more than 2,000 metres and both alpine and Mediterranean climatic influences, there are more than 1,600 vascular plants in the wider Durmitor Massif. A great percentage is found in the park and many are rare and endemic species. Large mammals include Brown Bear, Grey Wolf, and European Wild Cat. Among the 130 recorded birds are Golden Eagle, Peregrine Falcon and Capercaillie. Likewise noteworthy is the rich fish fauna, which includes the endangered Danube Salmon. The park is inhabited by farmers and shepherds, traditionally using the high-altitude meadows as summer pastures…

And yep, it’s a very big canyon, definitely one of the more scenic places you’ll ever visit:

Tara Canyon, Montegro

However, being in a hurry and all, we didn’t stop for any hiking or rafting this time; just stopped to take pictures at the Tara Bridge, really, which is a suprisingly popular tourist stop…

Tara Bridge, Montenegro

… the start of a run of bridges the way our mapping worked out, no less, which featured in one of our more comical border crossings — but more on that next time…

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p dir=”ltr”>So if you are outdoorsy, a fan of white water rafting in particular, check out Things to Do in Durmitor National Park‎ — definitely deserves to be known more widely as an adventuring destination and a World Heritage Site!

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Alex Curylo

Alex

I go places.

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