CIJEVNA: THE NIAGARA FALLS IN MONTENEGRO

Niagara Falls

Did you know that Montenegro has its own Niagara Falls? This beautiful place at a ten minutes drive from Podgorica has been rather unknown among foreign tourists and visitors for a long time, but this picturesque site has lately become more and more popular. During the summer, the inhabitants of Podgorica and surroundings like to refresh themselves in the cool Cijevna river.

“Niagara” is also the name of the traditional restaurant on the bank of the river. It is open all year round and offers good national food (lake carp, river trout, lamb) and drinks. The location is very nice, especially if the weather allows you to sit outside, watching the emerald green river and the ducks swimming around. In the hot summer months, you can rest on the lawns or small pebble beaches, and there is a nice wooden bridge that links the two banks of the river.

Although there are no signposts, it is simple to find this natural phenomenon. Take the road to Tuzi and turn right before passing the bridge over the Cijevna river, following the sign “Kuće Rakića”. Follow the course of the river, which is often invisible, as the Cijevna has cut its way deeply through the karst. Continue 100 m further after the sign of the “Niagara” restaurant and park your car along the road: take the iron stairs down to the river.

But there is also another possibility to get there from Podgorica: follow the road to the airport and when you see a big construction store called KIPS on your left side, just at the round-about, take the road passing this store and the cement factory behind it. You will arrive at a railway line, turn left, pass the railroad and continue along the Cijevna river until you reach the Niagara Falls. This access road is easier when you travel from the coast. In that case, pass the airport round-about and the bridge over the Cijevna and then turn right at KIPS.

The Niagara falls are most impressive in spring time. In March or April, or after a rainy day, you can see numerous small cascades finding their way through the picturesque karst landscape. On the other side of the river are the endless vineyards of the “Plantaža” winery, which produces the famous red wine called “Vranac”. The banks are then covered with spring flowers, as e.g. purple anemones.

Niagara4Unfortunately, the Niagara falls are completely dried up at the end of the summer. Only then, you can see how they really look like.  And you will also understand that the falls are not entirely “natural”. As a matter of fact, 150 years ago local farmers decided to build a dam over the river bed and to create a waterfall with the intention to move a water mill for milling their grain. A legend says that the dam has been constructed twice, but each spring it was destroyed by the swollen river. Then an old woman appeared who told the local people that there was only one way to resolve this problem: putting sheep wool between each stone. This was done, and the dam has lasted until now…

It is a strange river, the Cijevna river (in Albanian: Cem river). It originates in Albania on the northern side of the Prokletije mountains and has a total length of 65 km, out of which 33 km in Montenegro. Flowing southwest, it merges with the Morača river south of Podgorica.

At a length of 25 km (15 km on Montenegrin territory) the river forms a breathtaking canyon, more than 1000 m deep. The forms of the karst rocks and caves are weird and picturesque and the flora is abundant. But this canyon will be the topic of another blog….

At this moment I can only recommend you: take a break after all this rain, go and see the Niagara falls and enjoy spring at only 5 km from Podgorica!

Niagara

 

 

13 Comment

  1. Roya Benjamin says: Reply

    Hi Marianne! I was looking up information on Cijevna and I am so glad I came across your website. I moved to Podgorica about five months ago from South Florida to volunteer and since then have been exploring the small city little by little. Unfortunately, the past few days haven’t been so great due to the rain but is February a good time to see Cijevna?

    1. Hi, thank you for your nice comment. I think that you should just wait for the first bright and sunny day to visit the Niagara falls. After the rain, the waterfalls will be very impressive!
      All the best and enjoy your stay in beautiful Montenegro! Kind regards, Marianne

  2. Andika Sutanto says: Reply

    Hi Marianne, I am planning to travel solo to Montenegro and after looking at your pics, I would really like to visit the Cijevna. There is not much info of this place on the internet. Is this place accessible by public transport?

    1. As far as I know, there is no public transport. Maybe you could rent a car or take a taxi (taxi cabs are quite cheap here and you can negotiate the price). If you need more information, pls let me know.

  3. gvul says: Reply

    Hi Marianne, I am going to Montengro next week and I wanted to ask you a few questions:
    1. How can I get to the Niagra Falls by car?
    2. Do you think that the falls are impressive during this season of the year?

    Best regards,

  4. […] comparison, the River Cijevna Waterfall (otherwise known as the Montenegrin Niagara Falls) is impressive but it’s not even in the same […]

  5. gil says: Reply

    Hey. We intend to arrive in early October. Is there water flow? Should we come or give up?

    1. Hi, I am in the Netherlands at the moment, but I am sure there will be water flow early in October.
      Regards, Marianne

  6. Daphnée says: Reply

    Hi, I wanted to know if it cost something to admire these waterfalls… Thanks

    1. No, it is free of charge. You can drink coffee or have lunch at the Niagara restaurant close to the falls. Regards, Marianne

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  8. Andre Borg says: Reply

    Goodmorning Marianne, We shall be for a 3 day stop in Podgorica at the end of this week. Is it worth visiting or do you think it has dried up now?

    1. Well, I don’t think there is much water in the Cijevna river now, but Niagara is certainly worth a visit. The restaurant on the bank of the river is quite picturesque and the place is not far from Podgorica!

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