April 27, 2018 - In the last decade, Montenegro has paid particular attention to its cycling infrastructure. By investing in biking trails, Montenegro aims to promote bicycles as alternative public transport, and a means for recreation and sport. The improvement of cycling infrastructure and traffic culture in all cities serves as a notice to citizens about healthy lifestyles, sustainable development and the preservation of the environment.
As a part of the cycling promotion, Montenegro emphasizes incredible northern trails. An impressive bike route lies around the city of Plav – “Plav cultural route”. This trail provides insight into a different culture, stories and legends of the inhabitants. The adventure includes a fascinating experience of Plav towers, Lake Plav, the botanical garden, Brezojeviće Monastery, mosques and the churches of Gusinje, Gusinje springs and Murino.
Plav and Gusinje are cities built in Northern Montenegro from 16th to the 20th century. During the towns’ defense from numerous attacks, citizens made stone towers with narrow rifle holes and watchtowers. The oldest and the most impressive tower in Plav is the Redžepagić Tower, constructed for the defense of Plav from the Kliment clan. This two-story structure was upgraded with a wooden third floor, called “čardak”. While absorbing the impressions of the stone walls that exceed one meter and its surroundings, visitors have the opportunity to go back in time and live through the legends of the past. The town has kept its original hospitality, as Montenegrin people see the chance to host a guest as a special honor.
The Emperor’s Mosque, one of the oldest and most significant cultural monuments in this area, is believed to be the first mosque built in the territory of Montenegro, in 1471. Even though the Mosque was rebuilt several times, the original architecture, lavish wood carvings and arabesques leave tourists breathless.
Lake Plav deserves particular attention from all the visitors, as it is the largest glacial lake in Montenegro. Besides its beauty, Lake Plav is famous by the fact that in the summer, water warms up enough for the visitors to swim, and in the winter, low temperatures contribute to forming ice thick up to 30 cm, and the lake becomes an ice-skating rink.
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity in Brezojeviće, believed to be built in the 13th century, was destroyed and rebuilt several times. During the attacks, most frescoes were destroyed, and the fragments of frescoes were preserved in the altar, naos and narthex of the monastery. Among the preserved pieces are the Final Judgment and the scene of the Nativity of the Mother of God.
The Gusinje springs, named after Ali-Pasha of Gusinje, are famous because they are composed out of twenty-five small springs. The Ali-Pasha springs are unique for their constant temperature (6°C) and their freshness and cleanliness - many people enjoy drinking water directly from the springs!
Bikers can experience both inhabited areas as well as Montenegrin wilderness, all in one tour - the “Plav cultural route”. The total length of the trip is 55.19 km, with a maximum elevation of 998 m.