Kapetanovo jezero (Captain’s Lake) is located in central Montenegro in a mountain massif called Moračke planine (Morača mountains), not far from Nikšić town. Sometimes it is also called Trebješko jezero after the nearby Trebiješ peak. The lake has a long standing tradition of mountain shepherding. Locals still produce cheese and other dairy products as they did centuries ago. Not much has changed. This and the natural beauty were the reasons for my visit.
Getting to Kapetanovo jezero
It was a beginning of July when Jošt, Jaka and I travelled to Montenegro. Our first destination was Kapetanovo jezero where we arrived in late afternoon. The road from Nikšić to Lukavica plateau is amazingly beautiful. We stopped numerous time to photograph mountain scenery. The road is gravel but mostly in good shape. Only the last few hundred metres are tricky and require a car with high clearance.
Where to stay and eat
We didn’t have any reservation so first we asked around for accommodation. We were lucky to meet friendly Minić family who runs a small restaurant and mountain hut at the lake. They took a good care of us providing us with accommodation, meals and hiking advice.
Photography around the lake
We spent our first evening and morning at the lake, photographing from different vantage points. Sunset was amazing with dramatic clouds that fired up and reflected in the lake. The morning was very different. Overcast and calm. Perfect for wildflower photography. We found these beautiful golden lilies (Zlatni liljan, Lilium bosniacum).
Overall, the lake offers many opportunities for landscape photography. At the beginning of the lake (SE) one can get amazing reflections of the mountains and small red roofed huts. On the opposite side, it is better to get elevated views. There is no direct sunlight at the lake for neither sunrise nor sunset as the mountains are blocking the view.
You will find all the photo spots from this trip on PhotoHound. And many more 😉
Hiking at Kapetanovo jezero
Lukavica plateau and Kapetanovo jezero offer many hiking possibilities. From simple half day hikes, to ascending the highest peaks such as Veliki and Mali Žurim, to long distance hikes via Mrtvica canyon.
Since we had limited time we decided to hike to Manito jezero (also known as Brnjičko jezero after Brnjik peak). This is a small mountain lake, about 45 minutes from our base. There are no trail marks but the path is easy to follow as shepherds use it daily. The Manito lake itself is nice and we found some wildflowers to photograph there. But for the best photos it is well worth ascending some of the surrounding peaks above it. We opted to climb the ridge that overlooks Kapetanovo jezero. Later we also ascended Veliki Jablanac peak which offers views on both lakes at the same time. Overall, this hike was amazing, technically easy and we got a variety of beautiful photos. Highly recommended!
Moračke planine seem like a heaven for hiking. They are unjustly ignored by most tourists who head to Durmitor national park or Prokletije, the accursed mountains. (These posts coming soon too). From what I experienced in these three days here, I only got lust for more!
People of Kapetanovo jezero
There is a lively community at the lake. Most of the people live here in summer season when they bring their cows, goats and sheep. They all produce lisnati sir (type of fresh, layered cheese), a local delicacy. We ate it every day, in an omelette for breakfast, as a side dish with our lunch and as an ingredient of cicvara for dinner. Locals seem to welcome visitors and like to share their life stories or give advice on hiking. We were even invited into their modest homes and they shared pršut, sir and rakija with us. I also managed to get some nice portraits. I got these photos delivered to them by my friend who visited the lake later this summer.
Our last evening I walked up the meadows above the lake to catch the last sunlight and photograph horses. Little did I know that I will meet the friendliest man Miloš and his little lamb. Normally these babies are afraid of people but this one was jumping all over him (and me when I approached). Miloš explained he is bottle feeding her so she is used to people. How cute!
Farewell and the road to Medjurečje
On our last day we decided to take the short road towards Kolašin via Velje Duboko and Medjurečje. Locals warned us about the road condition. It still seemed like a good idea as it would save us a huge distance driving. The road was in really bad shape and I can only recommend it to people who travel with proper off road car. It was also incredibly beautiful. So we did not regret this 4 hour hell drive down the rain washed rocky track (can’t call it a road.).
Thank you for reading! More Montenegro posts coming soon. If you are interested in reading about Durmitor national park or Prokletije mountains subscribe to my newsletter.