Zelengora is one of four mountains (Maglic, Volujak, and Vucevo) which together make the biggest and oldest national park in Bosnia and Herzegovina- Sutjeska National Park.
The canyon of the Sutjeska river is a natural border between Zelengora on one side and Maglic and Volujak on another side of the river bank. After passing by mountains of Bjelasnica and Visocica and foothills of Treskavica, the White route of Via Dinarica climbs across Lelija toward the Sutjeska National Park. From Lelija the trail enters into the national park on the highest peak of Zelengora- Bregoc 2014 m/asl. Further, it proceeds to Tovarnica massif and Donje Bare Lake, from where it starts to descend toward Maglic.
The Sutjeska National Park, with its four mountains, offers some of the best adventure access in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It’s not overrun with tourists, and on some trails, you’re almost guaranteed solitude during a hike.
If you want to experience the Dinaric Alps adventure, and be guided by skillful local mountain guide I would recommend you to join a Via Dinarica: a Hiking Adventure through Bosnia & Montenegro tour with Green Visions travel agency.
Alpine Meadows of Zelengora
This gentle mountain is shroud with endless pastures and dense forests. Zelengora, a Green Mountain- the name suits her well,! In Spring, as the snow melts and nature awake, hundreds and hundreds of sheep find their home here until the arrival of winter. For centuries, people from Tjentiste valley have been coming to this green empire to built summer shepherd settlements- katuni, a seasonal home for them and their cattle. From a cow and sheep milk, villagers prepare every year different varieties of cheese- a highly demanded specialty of Dinaric Alps.
In the foothill of her peaks the wind ripples “mountain eyes” of Zelengora. Seven glacial lakes and one artificial protected by soaring peaks or thick forests. A source of water for wild and domestic animals, as well as a swimming spot for hikers who are exploring this mountain.
Glacial Lakes: Donje Bare & Gornje Bare
Between these two lakes, there is only around 2 km airline. Both are in the foothill of the stunning Tovarnica massif but situated on different sides.
Donje Bare is one of the biggest lakes on Zelengora. It’s accessible by dirt road from the main road, which runs through the Tjentiste Valley and headquarters of the national park. If you have seen the movie the Battle of Sutjeska, you will recognize a big Alpine meadow beside the lake, as one of the battlefields from World War II in 1943. In the center, there is a monument dedicated to the fallen Partisans from the Dalmatian Brigade, a brigade that suffered most losses.
Beside the lake, there is a wooden cottage, one of the few built in the national park and offered to tourists for renting. Whether you fancy a gentle stroll around the lake or a lung-busting climb to the top of peaks, this cottage offers all.
In approximately one hour walk you arrive at the natural amphitheater of stunning Tovarnica massif and the Gornje Bare Lake (at around 1500 m/asl). The lake is smaller than the previous one and quite overgrown with mountain plants. It’s situated directly below the Ugljesin peak, and in Spring it’s fed by snow that melts from its steep slopes. Therefore, in early summer it can be expected a high level of water. Especially, as this winter we had a lot of snow.
Ugljesin Peak View
The view from the Ugljesin Peak at 1858 m/asl and during the walk along the narrow Tovarnica ridge is breathtaking! Behind Planinica Peak and toothy spires of Ardovi, rises a rock-face wall of Volujak and further behind Maglic, with the highest peak of Bosnia and Herzegovina. But, also on the other side, the highest peak of Zelengora can be seen. From Tovarnica massif everything seems like it’s in the palm of your hand!
If you have luck you will manage to see mountain goats running across the steep rocky slopes of Tovarnica, as this is one of their favorite playgrounds. Maybe even a brown bear cheerfully sniffing around.