It is maybe at its best in October, bursting with colours. Or when the sun takes a slide down the snow-covered slopes. Or at the time when the flocks are moved to pastures higher up in the mountains…
It extends equally in four directions. Its length and breadth are the same, 30 km. The total area is some 630 square kilometres. It is bordered by two large rivers, the Lim and Tara, with the Rivers Ljuboviđa and Lepenica to the north. This area belongs to the territory of the municipalities of Kolašin, Mojkovac, Bijelo Polje, Berane and Andrijevica.
Scientists explain the mildness of its beauty by its volcanic origin. Such an origin accounts for its gently rounded gleaming slopes, green in summertime, white in winter. Water stays on the surface, flowing into countless streams and rivers, giving a fairytale feel of lushness and softness, of freshness and healthiness. Bjelasica abounds both in broadleaf and coniferous woods (beech, birch, fir, spruce, pine), and in medicinal herbs, in endemic species, and even its highest peak, Crna glava, at a height of 2,139 m, is covered in vegetation.
Lake Biograd (at an altitude of 1,099 m) is the single best-known lake on Bjelasica, and the largest at that. The lake, and the whole of Biogradska gora, is designated a national park of the same name.
Biogradska gora National Park
“Biogradska gora” National Park, covering 5,400 ha, is unique in many respects. It is one of the two remaining primeval forests in Europe. Over 80 tree species grow here, with the vast majority of fir trees reaching 50 m in height, with maple and birch trees only slightly shorter. It houses 25 plant communities with several endemic species. The national park abounds in animal wildlife, various wildfowl, small and big game.
One can recognize Komovi immediately – they are distinct due to their hight, color, shape, its nobility. The peaks are powerful, high and proud, Kucki peak 2487m, Vasojevicki 2460, Ljevorecki 2469.
Many folklore stories mention fairies from Komovi. And this is no wonder.
It is only peaks that are bare. Below them, at all sides one can see medows, with many springs and streams, fields and slopes covered with forests, great green pastures. Abundance of water and warmer climate at the foot of the mountain created ideal conditions for rich nature. All the richnes is revealed in June. There are many endemic species, Pančićev odoljen, Kernerov žuti mak, Valerijana bertiscea, Silene macrantha. There are plants such as jablan, often mentioned in poems. And also a very unique plant for Balkans, Androsace mathildae.
Prokletije resembles a kind of wall at the edge of the world. It is a mountain chain 70 km in length, covering an area of 250 km, bordered by the rivers Cijevna, Lim and Ibar.
The highest peaks in Montenegro are located here, on the border with Albania: Zla Kolata – 2,534 m, Dobra Kolata – 2,528 m, and Maja Rosit at Bjelič – 2,525 m. Maja Bor, Maja Šćapica and Krš Bogićevice are also peaks above two thousand metres.
Prokleije hides in its bosom the pearls of the Balkans, the magnificent lakes of Plav, Hrid, Visitor, Bukumir, Rikavac and many streams and springs. The best known are Ali-Pasha’s Springs near Gusinje, and Oko Skakavice (Savino oko), a spring that looks like a small lake. Another highlight is the Grlja Gorge cut through by a little river creating gigantic hollows and waterfalls. The fairytale-like valley of Grbaje is also unforgettable.
The strength and resilience of some plants is unbelievable. On Prokletije some plants survived the last ice age. Some got accustomed to warmer air, with the Mediterranean climate reaching all the way up here through deep cuts into the mountain sides. Some endemic species stand out from this large company: Daphne alpina, Cicerbita pancici, Valeriana pancicci, Silene macranta,Tanacetum larvatum, Saxifraga montenegrina and Kentrantus slavnici.
This area is known for blueberries. But one should not forget wild strawberries, small raspberries or mushrooms, either. Even at higher altitudes vegetables grow well, at one time even cereal crops were grown.
Prokletije National Park is the most recent addition to the national park network in Montenegro.
Just like Switzerland, many thought about following the road from Ribarevina to Plav, where the Lim sets out on its 234-kilometre-long journey, all the way to the Drina. It is secluded by the gentle slopes of Mokra and Sjekirica, the steep sides of Visitor and Zeletin. Due to being thus somewhat encircled, Polimlje enjoys a more temperate climate than other neighbouring valleys. The soil is very fertile, scattered with brooks and streams. The mountains are magnificent, ideal for cattle-grazing. Summer pasture huts – katuni – are not too far from the villages. Not even the towns strung along the River Lim (Andrijevica, Berane and Bijelo Polje) disturb this idyllic image.
The standstill that followed industrialisation had a good side to it, as well. Today, Polimlje, just like the River Lim itself, is clean, green and hospitable. A godsend for rural tourism.