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The last Remaining Virgin Forest of Europe

The last Remaining Virgin Forest of Europe

There are many things to be discovered in Montenegro, but Biogradska Gora is definitely among the top priorities in every traveler's list. Nestled within the Bjelasica mountain range, Biogradska Gora has about 1600 hectares of virgin woodland. King Nikola is to thank for its survival; on a visit in 1878 the beauty of Lake Biogradska took him that the locals gifted him the land and he ordered it's preservation.

The landscape is one of the mountain ridges, glacial lakes, and temperate forest. Many of the trees in the forest are over half a millennium old, with some soaring to dizzying heights of 60m. In addition to the easily accessed, low-lying Lake Biograd, the park is home to five high-altitude (1820m) glacial lakes.

Here is some quick info about the National Park for the knowledge thirsty travelers:

Status: Nacionalni park from 1952.
Territory: Kolašin, Mojkovac, Berane, Andrijevica
Surface Are: 5.650ha
The area of the rainforest: 1600ha
Elevation: od 832m a Tari do 2139 m Crna Glava
Hydrography: glacier lakes (Biogradsko, Ursulovačko, Pešić, Šiško, and Ševarine); Biogradska Rijeka, Jezerštica, permanent and occasional springs and karst springs lakes

Lake Biograd:
Elevation: 1.094 m
- Surface Are: 228.500 m²
- Maximum depth: 12.1 m
Highest Peaks: Crna glava 2.139m, Zelkova glava 2.117m, Troglava 2.072m

Last remaining Virgin forest in Europe

Located about 10km from the buzzing tourist town Kolašin lays the mystical rainforest of Biogradsa Gora. To be exact - It is the site of one of the last three large virgin forests in Europe. The forest is located in the mountainous region of Bjelasica in the central part of Montenegro between rivers Tara and Lim, and is surrounded by three municipalities: Kolašin, Berane, and Mojkovac. It is the most northeasterly of the five national parks in Montenegro.

The National Park is 54 km² in area. Essential elements of the Park are untouched forest, large mountain slopes and tops over 2,000 meters high, six glacial lakes, five at an altitude of 1,820 meters and one easy accessible low land lake located at the very entrance to the park, Biogradsko Lake. Swift streams cut through the scenery of Biogradska Gora, green pastures and clear lakes reflecting centennial forests. The Park is renowned as a unique geomorphological region and, as such, it is attractive for scientific research.

The seat of the park is in Kolašin. The national park abounds in cultural and historic heritage consisting of sacral monuments national building and archeological localities. Numerous authentic buildings of traditional architecture are found throughout the pastures and villages next to the virgin forest reserve on the Bjelasica mountain range.

National Park Biogradska Gora represents a magnificent gift of nature. It is located in the central part of Bjelasica, bounded by mountain peaks, intersected by streams, decorated with beautiful lakes, centuries-old forests and soft meadows. It is declared a national park in 1952, and its protection dates back to 1878 when this territory became king’s territory, a gift to a ruler of Montenegro, Prince Nikola. It was called Branik for long time, because the prince predicted its importance for upcoming generations, and ordered that this area is strictly kept.

Evrybody is mesmerized by the beauty of Biograds Gore. Even CNN Travel states: 

“While the coastline sees much of Montenegro's action, Biogradska Gora, the smallest of the National Parks, is one of only a handful of primeval forests left in Europe. Virgin tracts of jungle, centuries-old trees, soaring glacial lakes, tall mountains and wildlife grace the inland park. But the highlight is Lake Biograd, shrouded in foliage, with its still waters mirroring the lush rugged surrounds.”

Biodiversity at it’s finest

Although the smallest park in Montenegro (5400 ha) it is the habitat of 20% endemic species of the Balkan Peninsula. The richness of the park is 86 species of trees and over 220 different plants, 150 species of birds, 350 species of insects and 10 species of mammals. In NP Biogradska Gora hunting and fishing are prohibited, even the trees that fall are left to rot naturally. It is open to visitors who can enjoy the walk around the lake Biogradsko 3.5 kilometers long and an observation post has recently been set up at a height of 26 meters, which offers a magnificent, panoramic view of the park. Visitors can also visit the hatchery, which produces spawn. Biogradska Gora is not only a masterpiece of nature, but also a real ethnological treasure.

Cultural and historical heritage of NP '' Biogradska Gora '' consists of archaeological sites, religious monuments, and folk architecture. Many original structures of ethnic architecture in villages and pastures: houses, chalets, towers, mills, the beautiful slopes of Bjelasica are still used today as grasslands and visitors of park enjoy the hospitality of shepherds in their fields.

Lake Biograd 

Lake Biograd is exquisitely pretty and oh-so-green. If you’re knowledgeable about such things, you’ll be able to spot beech, fir, juniper, white ash, maple and elm trees. At the heart of Montenegro, between two rivers Lim and Tara, is located, in many ways exceptional, mountain Bjelasica.

Surrounded by the magnificent virgin forest, located in the heart of the national park, Lake Biograd is one of the must-visit places in Montenegro, visited by many tourists. About1094 m above the sea, the largest glacier lake in the Biogradska Gora National Park, Lake Biograd attracts attention because of its beauty and uniqueness. Near the lake, there is a visitor center, which will provide you with useful information.

Rainforest sounded by the mountain range of Bjelasica

Bjelasica is, unlike other mountains in the region, of volcanic origin. Hence, green summers and white winters. And while at Durmitor or Lovcen waters disappear, here everything stays on the surface, flows into numerous streams and rivers, of which perhaps the most important and most beautiful is river Biogradska, which flows into the jewel of this mountain lake Biogradsko. The national park is easily accessible by the main road. The road leads in the heart of the National Park. The ned line is the lake itself.

Final Taughts and Recommendations

- If you want to take the most epic Instagram pictures then come as early as possible. The mornings are entirely, and usually, the big crowds of tourists come later in hte afternoon. 

- Make sure to plan a round trip around the lake. It is workt your time 100% - do you really want to miss out on walking through a rainforest? 
- Get organized and get a tour guide which can guide you to one of the soaring mountain peaks. The views from up there are insne
- Rent a boat and paddle along the coast of Lake Biograd.