Destinations / Northern region
Piva Lake and Piva River, MontenegroSaturday, August 27, 2011 · Region Northern region · Comments
Piva landscape is marked by dense stands of trees, limestone plateaus with some spectacular canyons formed by the Tara, Piva, Komarnica and Susica rivers. Together this forms a system of rivers and canyons throughout the region which is quit unique and unlike other places in the world. The Tara River Canyon is sometimes compared (for lack of a better option) to the Grand Canyon in the state of Arizona in the United States,
because of its extreme depth. The Piva River, which lends its name to the region, springs from the Sinjac spring on Golija Mountain.
Nearby, an impressive structure called Piva Monastery marks the spot where the Golija Mountain gives birth to the mighty Piva River. The Piva Monastery was begun in 1573 and work continued until 1586. The Piva Monastery possesses an extremely rich treasury of artistic works and other items and for centuries was the most important spiritual and cultural center of this region. In 1975 the Piva Monastery was moved (!) to it's current location due to the formation of the Piva artificial Lake after the Piva river was damned to generate hydrologic power.
The main river of the Piva is now blocked to form an artificial lake and hydrological dam called Lake Piva. The Lake Piva with it's exceptional blue water is in a very bad state. I believe the water level is down at least 10 meters and it's a pitty one reads nothing about these problems in Montenegro. Most of the attention goes to Podgorica and the Coastal region with it's tourism.
The Piva river rushes down for about 34 kilometers (21 miles) through breathtaking canyons, cut into the rock by the Piva’s mighty currents. These canyons course through the Piva, a limestone plateau that lies between the Durmitor, Maglic, Lebršnik, Golija and Vojnik mountains. The Piva Plateau is very lightly populated by shepherds and a small smattering of local settlements, and the region is mostly devoted to stock breeding, especially sheep. You will hardly find any tourists. In fact when we crossed over from Piva Lake to Zabljak we didn't find one tourist, just a local farmer pointing the way over the rocky roads.
Accommodation in Piva can be a challenge - the Piva area is thinly populated and the largest place to hand your hat is the small town of Pluzine. The area is also renowned for its exceptional history in the collection of medicinal herbs, teas and home-grown agricultural products most of which are produced to a very high quality and ecological standards.