Zabljak Montenegro – meet the highest town in the Balkans

Did you know that in the northern part of Montenegro there is a beautiful, fairytale-like town known for its untouched and miraculous nature? Exactly 1,456 meters above the sea level in the heart of mount Durmitor, you can find Zabljak – one of the most breath-taking places in the whole country.

Zabljak Municipality is the highest inhabited town in the Balkan peninsula, with a population of approximately 1,700 people. As a part of National Park Durmitor, it is one of the most visited places in Southern Europe.

Each year, the number of tourists from all over the world increases in Zabljak Montenegro, attracting those who love wild natural beauty, fresh mountain air, amazing landscapes, domestic food and drinks, and many more attractions.

This is a story of one of the most attractive and beautiful European towns you’ll ever get a chance to visit.

The early colonization history of Zabljak Montenegro

When it comes to Zabljak Montenegro spies a rich story that goes all the way back to the 9th century and the early Montenegrin feudal society. The first name of Zabljak was “Varezina voda” (Varezin’s water), for the stream of drinking water that crosses the land.

Administratively, Zabljak was divided into territorially wide parishes in the early 11th century. At the time when Montenegro was fighting battles with the Byzantine empire, Zabljak belonged to the old state called Rashka.

Between the years of 1482 and 1857, the country was under the Ottoman empire. The greatest shelters from the Turkish invasion were Orthodox monasteries and churches. In Zabljak Montenegro had beaten the Turks on several occasions and rebuilt their homes afterwards.

According to the great fighting spirit and the courage of Montenegrins, Turks never managed to establish the power in that area. The churches on Zabljak have been built to honour the great victories over the Ottoman invaders.

Lake, forest and mountain

The modern-day Zabljak

Since the year of 1857, the area of Žabljak was a borderline exposed to many conflicts, starting with the Turks, and later on, in World War I. Zabljak Montenegro was providing resistance to the occupiers and after the war, it became a part of the Shavnica district. At this time, the Niksic road was built and opened, including several schools and sawmills.

In World War II, people of Zabljak and Durmitor successfully fought against the fascists. They have managed to form a body of insurgent power. For a brief time, it was a stronghold of the Yugoslav great leader, Josip Broz Tito.

After the War, Zabljak Montenegro became a real paradise for tourists all over the world. Today it is the leading winter centre in the region, with many beautiful sights to explore and enjoy.

Zabljak weather and breath-taking nature

Zabljak is the biggest mountain settlement in Durmitor, mostly covered with stone tops and rocks. It is situated in the centre of the mountain that rises above the beautiful valleys and abyss often full of ice and snow. Here, the snow can stay for more than 6 months, often reaching up to 2 meters in height.

Žabljak Montenegro is surrounded by coniferous forests, glacial lakes and grass fields. The fresh air makes it one of the best places to relax and regenerate, and the beautiful wilderness and the closeness of the famous Black lake,  one of the most popular getaways from the town.

Zabljak weather is very authentic and unique. The climate of the area is continental, with short and warm summers, and long, cold winters. The average Zabljak temperature is between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius

Diverse flora and fauna of Zabljak Durmitor

The diverse flora and fauna of Zabljak municipality and Durmitor are conditioned with Mediterranean and Euro-Siberian region. Some of the rare and beautiful plant species on the slopes originate from the distant geological past, and they are similar to those in the Arctic.

Zabljak municipality is rich in amazing nature. It has more than 15.000 hectares under forests. Black pine forests dominate the whole area, with trees up to 50m high, and more than 400 years old.

There are 37 endemic plant species of which 6 can only be found in Zabljak Durmitor. You can also find herbs such as meadowsweet, blueberry, heath speedwell, plantains, breckland thyme, bearberry, and many more that are good for many diseases and allergies.

There are more than 300 wild animals species and more than 100 rare birds all over the mountain. In forests near Zabljak you can find wolves, brown bears, eagles, wood-grouses, partridges, wild boars and cats, chamois, and many more.

Black car and mountain

Things to do in Zabljak – adventures for the whole family

When it comes to Zabljak things to do during the whole year are numerous and a lot of fun activities and adventures await for the whole family. Since Zabljak Montenegro is situated in the heart of the Durmitor mountain, this is a true paradise for the adventuristic kind of people.

Zabljak hiking is perfect for those days when you want to conquer the highest peak of Durmitor called “Bobotov kuk”, 2,523 meters high in the sky. The steep roads are also great for the extreme, uphill cycling, and exploring the beautiful nature on two tyres.

In the summertime, many people love to go horse riding and rowing on the lake. One of the most popular activities is rafting on the nearby Tara river. For those who enjoy extreme watersports, canyoning in Nevidio canyon is an inevitable part of the vacation. The mountain offers pretty modest conditions for skiing during the wintertime, so hiking is often the best solution.

Visiting Zabljak from Porto Montenegro bay

Zabljak in Durmitor mountain is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Montenegro, according to it’s beautiful nature, glacial lakes, black pine forests, rivers and valleys that surround it.

If you happen to be in Porto Montenegro, known for its luxurious marina, you can visit Zabljak from Tivat town via Kostanjica. The route is beautiful with lots of amazing sights to see while driving.

When returning, it is recommended to go via Mojkovac, Kolasin and Podgorica, if you also want to experience the beautiful National Park Biogradska gora.

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