A city at the highest altitude in Balkans!

The town of Žabljak is located in the northwest of Montenegro, in the heart of Durmitor area. It is the largest municipality in this area and is the highest urban settlement in the Balkans at an altitude of 1450 meters above sea level. Recognisable by Durmitor Mountain, Žabljak is rimmed on the northeast side by the municipality of Pljevlja, on the south by the municipality of Mojkovac, on the southwest by the municipality of Šavnik, and on the west by the municipality of Plužine. The north-eastern border runs along the 46 km long Tara River and is a zone of Durmitor National Park. This town is surrounded by 23 mountain peaks of over 2200 meters, with 18 mountain lakes and the Tara River Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe. Today, more than 4500 people live in and around Žabljak. It covers an area of 445 km², accounting for 3.22% of the total area of Montenegro. According to the area it covers, out of 23 municipalities in Montenegro, it occupies 13th position.
The first name of Žabljak was 'Varezina Voda' (The Water of Vareza), probably because of the strong source of drinking water, around which the settlement was later formed. After, it was called 'Hanovi' or originally 'Anovi'. The present name Zabljak was officially given in 1870 when the construction of the church, school and captain's home began on the same day. In the period before World War II, Žabljak represented a small town with typically mountain architecture. Already during this period, the unique nature began to attract a large number of tourists from abroad and from the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In particular, because of their ties with Montenegro, there were numerous guests from Italy. Žabljak and Durmitor made the greatest contributions and casualties in World War II. During World War II, this small town was burned to the grounds. From then, Žabljak was being built and became the centre of winter tourism in Montenegro. Today, it has become the leading winter resort in the region, utilising the beauty of nature that surrounds it, affirming itself as a top vacation spot. In addition to the magnificent natural surroundings, the richness of the area with its wildlife, offers amazing opportunities for hunting and fishing, bringing many enthusiasts of this type of sport to Žabljak.

Durmitor National Park

NP Durmitor is one of the five national parks in Montenegro. Located in the north of Montenegro, Durmitor is a place of untouched nature with many attractions and facilities for active tourists. Durmitor is the highest mountain in Montenegro, with the second-highest peak Bobotov Kuk, at the altitude of 2523 metres. There are more than 40 peaks at Durmitor with an altitude above 2000 metres (27 of them are above 2200 metres high). Besides, Durmitor is the proud owner of the deepest canyon in Europe - the Tara Canyon (1300m), which is the second deepest in the world just after Colorado Grand Canyon. Because of the blue-green crystal clear, drinking water, it is also known as the 'Tear of Europe'. Such untouched beauty of Durmitor and the Tara River have gained international recognition.  In 1977, under the 'Biospheres and Man' project, the Tara River was enlisted in the Ecological Reserve of the World's Biosphere in 1977, is protected by an internationally adopted convention. Durmitor National Park was declared a World Natural Heritage Site in 1980 and is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
One of the main attraction at the Durmitor NP is, without doubt, the Black Lake with its unspoiled beauty. There’s an interesting legend about this Lake. The story tells that Saint Sava came across this lake and ended up in one of the monasteries under Durmitor. The monastery was then located in the middle of the small town, in a deep valley, where today is the Black Lake. The nuns greeted Saint Sava but doubted that he was indeed a saint, so they agreed to cheat on him. Therefore, they slaughtered a rooster overnight and put him in the Saint's bag. The next day, when Saint Sava went out, he was followed by the nuns who were shouting:

- 'Hey, Father if you’re saying you’re a saint, why did you steal the rooster last night?'
- 'What are you saying, God and the angels be with you! Shall I rob the Monastery!?'
- 'Yes, you did!' cried the nuns loudly, tearing the bag from his shoulder.

And behold, there was indeed a slaughtered rooster in the bag. Then the Saint got angry and said,

'Shall the God break the ground where your Monastery is now, and this place shall not be called a town or a village, but a black lake.'

Then he revived the slaughtered rooster and it became a black grouse. When the nuns returned, they were startled by a miracle: the land indeed separated and collapsed, and the Monastery with a small town sank into the abyss, and from the abyss the lake - the Black Lake, turned up, and on the surface of the lake, every August, a black cap of a nun floats on the surface.


Ski Resort Savin Kuk

Zabljak has long been one of the favourite destinations for all lovers of skiing and winter sports. Savin Kuk Ski Centre is located on the slopes of the same-named mountain peak and has trails long 3,500 meters. At the altitude of 2,000 metres, this ski resort has 2 two-seater cable cars, 3 ski lifts, one of which is equipped with reflectors for night skiing, as well as a children's ski lift. There are a total of 5km ski slopes, with a capacity of 3 000 skiers. We wrote about Top Places for Skiing and Snowboarding in Montenegro, and you can read the article here.

Things to do in Zabljak:
  • Skiing - The slopes on the ski centre Savin Kuk are adapted for skiers and snowboarders of all levels - from beginners to superior
  • Rafting - Tara River, will give you unforgettable moments and a unique feeling during rafting or kayaking.
  • Biking - Numerous mountain roads, trails, and off-road hiking trails provide enjoyment in road and mountain biking.
  • Hiking - Durmitor provides a wide range of hiking trails of all levels of difficulty, but also for walking in nature.
  • Fly Fishing - Try out the fly fishing in one of the clearest waters in Europe, waters of Tara River.