Mountain eyes of Durmitor: Black lake

Katarina Kalicanin | Live the World

November 23, 2022

If your next destination is Montenegro and you are attracted by Mount Durmitor and its surroundings, then one of the first places you should visit is the Black lake. Situated in the immediate environs of the urbanized zone of Durmitor - Zabljak, the Black lake is the most visited lake in the area. It is the biggest and the most significant one of all 18 glacial lakes (known as ''Mountain eyes'') in this National Park.

The lake consists of two smaller lakes, the Great and the Small Lake. These two lakes are connected by a small strait of water that dries up during the summer, creating two separate water bodies.

From the center of the city Zabljak, which is only 3 km away, the lake can be reached by foot. Pleasant walk will take you to the entrance of the National Park Durmitor and continuing through the forest the greenish lake will soon appear in front of you.

The Black Lake border has a 3,5 km long walking path and takes around an hour to walk around. There are three marked hiking trails that lead to Barno, Zminje and Vražje Lake.

During the summer lake is a perfect place for swimming, kayaking or boat riding. Small charming cafe is situated between the lake and the forest and very close to it is an adventure park, ideal for kids but not so bad for adults neither.

Because of the ski season and events in Zabljak, there are many people visiting the lake in winter too. With a forest covered by snow, lake is often frozen and despite the prohibition, a lot of people are examining their skills and talents by standing or walking on the iced lake.

The Black Lake is filled by numerous mountain streams and the main one is the Mlinski stream. The other streams appear periodically, when snow melts from the Durmitor’s peak Medjed.

Dense forests of Durmitor black pine trees are surrounding the lake and reflecting in the clear waters together with the Durmitor massif, giving it various shades of black. Is that why the lake is named 'black' or is there a different reason like local myths tell, I cannot say. However, the lake definitely is black during winter or on cloudy days, but sunshine paints it with many colors of green and blue.

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