Every journey starts with a dream. This weekend (19th – 21st October) we decided to visit the beautiful valley of Grebaja and three peaks of National park Prokletije: Volusnica (1879m), Talijanka (2056m) and Popadija (2057m).
“The most inexplicable, the most unapproachable and the wildest mountain range on Balkan peninsula and, after the Alps, in Europe. Southern Alps of Europe!” – said travel writer Ami Boue for Prokletije.
Until 1907, this mountain range of the Dinaric mountain system was called the Trojan Mountains, and then geographer Jovan Cvijić, changed his name to Prokletije. The starting points to the massif from Montenegrin side are Grebaja and Ropojana valley. This time the Grebaje Valley was our choice for exploring this beautiful massif. In one of the most beautiful valleys on the Balkans, we arrived in the late afternoon. At first glance, we were all fascinated by the nature of this region: alpine meadows in the most beautiful autumn colors, attractive peaks rising towards the sky.
Grebaja valley, known as the oasis of peace, on the one side surrounded by impressive massifs: Karanfil, Očnjak, Ljuljaševića Karanfili, Obla Glava, and on the other side: Volusnica, Talijanka, Popadija. We settled into two mountain huts ‘’Branko Kotlajic’’ and ‘’Karanfil’’, who offered a wonderful view of the Montenegrin part of Prokletije. We left the equipment and enjoyed the silence of this valley. Although we were intending to relax, we decided to prepare food for tomorrow hiking tour to Volusnica, Popadija, Talijanka.
On Saturday, around 9 am, a team of 26 members from Montenegro, Russia, China was preparing for a hike to Talijanka (Popadija), a peak of 2057 m with a panoramic view of the most beautiful part of Prokletije. The first part of marked hiking trail leads through the forest. Then, a trail goes through rocky but mainly grassy slopes. It takes about 3 hours to the top of Popadija. From the summit, we had an incredible view of the surrounding peaks of Karanfili (2.460m, 2.490m, 2.441m), Očnjak (2.185m) and other peaks of Prokletije massif. We stayed for an hour at this peak and watched with great excitement Grebaja valley and Sun’s rays above the peaks of Karanfili. Pure paradise for mountain photographers.
From the peak of Popadija, we walked to the surrounding peaks of Talijanka and Volusnica. We went back to the mountain huts with the same path. Upon returning to Grebaja valley we enjoyed a pleasant sunset along with a tasty food prepared by our members.
It was an extraordinary mountaineering adventure!