goatsWe’re excited to be opening a new hostel in the town of Žabljak in northern Montenegro at the start of May 2012. Žabljak is right next to Durmitor National Park and about 20 minutes drive from Tara canyon

About Durmitor National Park and Tara Canyon

The Durmitor National Park, created in 1952, includes the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara, Sušica and Draga rivers and the higher part of the canyon plateau Komarnica, covering an area of 390 km². It was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1980. It is the largest mountain range in the Balkans with Žabljak being the highest situated town; a dream for hikers, campers and mountaineers alike. In winter it becomes a playground for skiers and snowboarders.

tara canyonThe Tara River Canyon, also known as the Tara River Gorge, is the longest canyon in Europe and the second-longest in the world, spanning 82 kilometers and delving 1,300 meters at its deepest point. The canyon is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is also a part of Durmitor national park. The Tara River cuts a snaky line throughout the length of the canyon. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches and high cliffs along the canyon. The canyon is also part of the Tara River rafting route.

Durmitor and Tara host a rich variety of wildlife including deers, wolfs, lynx, bears, weasels, squirls, otters and other stoat like species. The park is also well know for the large diversity of bird species. In Durmitor, including the canyon of the Tara river, there are 163 bird species and almost all are protected. Because of the presence of the Tara and Piva rivers there are also a variety of fish such as salmon and trout, mostly from the Salmonidae family. Unique amphibians and reptiles can be found too.

Like so much of Montenegro, Durmitor is also known for its rich floral diversity. Within  its territory there have been 1,325 identified species classified in 484 genera and 129 families.

icecavesThere are also over 200 caves, due to the karst formation of the mountains themselves.  The most famous of these is  Ledina Pecina, or Ice cave, 2.100 meters into the sky near the rounded peak of Obla Glava. As well as this, there are 18 glacier lakes; the biggest and closest to Žabljak being the well known picturesque Crno jezero, meaning Black lake.

These mountainous areas were the location of the Battle of the Sutjeska in 1943 in World War II, when the Germans and Italians pursued Tito’s Partisans. The town of Žabljak itself was almost completely destroyed during this time. There is a monument commemorating the battle in Tjentište, and you can still see the old hotel on the edge of the Park that served as hospital during this period.

You can check some more of photos at our Durmitor Gallery.