A miracle of nature – the canyon of the river Mrtvica

Although it may not be among the most famous natural wonders of Europe, the canyon of the river Mrtvica is definitely one of the most dazzling gems that Montenegro hides.

With its impressive dimensions, crystal clear water, and mystical stories surrounding it, Mrtvica is a secret place that deserves your attention.



Mrtvica River Canyon, Photo: Dustedmtl, CC BY-SA 2.0 DEED


Mrtvica is a mountain river located in the municipality of Kolašin, about 10 kilometers long, squeezed between the rocks of a canyon that reaches a depth of about 1,250 meters. This makes it the second deepest canyon in Europe, right after the famous Tara.

What makes this river and Mrtvica Canyon special is the incredible purity and clarity of the water, which alternates between blue and dark green, creating scenes that look like a fairy tale.



At the beginning of its journey, Mrtvica is quiet and peaceful, but as you go deeper into the canyon, it becomes more and more noisy, creating impressive rapids and waterfalls. Halfway up its course, nature has created a hidden paradise for those who dare to explore deeper – a beautiful beach hidden deep in the forest.

The river is surrounded by the Moračke mountains and intertwined with many beech trees and springs, the beauty of which is almost impossible to describe in words – you have to experience it to understand it.

On the first kilometer upstream from the entrance to the canyon, there is a Zeleni vir. This place is special because, in 1858, the Montenegrin prince Danilo Petrović built a stone bridge here as a memorial to his mother Krstinja.


Mrtvica river canyon, Danilo’s bridge, Photo: Milena Markolovic, Dreamstime


One of the most mysterious and mystical places is the Gate of Desire. According to beliefs, the fairy from Maganika fulfills the wishes of visitors. “In order for the wish to come true, it is necessary to throw a stone at this place, with a strong wish, in complete silence. It is important to note that the wish must be pure and must not harm others, because otherwise it can bring misfortune” – it says on the board next to the Gate of Desire.


Canyon of the River Mrtvica, Gate of Desire, Photo: Lukas Vejrik, Dreamstime.com


Mrtvica Canyon abounds with numerous springs, some of which are particularly attractive. White Nerins are, without a doubt, one such gem. Their water music refracts down the canyon rocks in the form of bubbling waterfalls and jets throughout the year.

It is assumed that they got their name because of the incredible noise they make, whether on a hot summer’s day or a cold winter’s night.


Canyon of the River Mrtvica, White Nerins, Photo: Lukas Vejrik, Dreamstime.com


If you are ready for an unforgettable experience and want to discover the hidden gem of Montenegro, Mrtvica and its canyon are places you should definitely visit.




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