GORNJA LASTVA AND VRMAC – A HIKING PARADISE

This weekend was a good opportunity to make a hiking tour to the Vrmac hill. We had already explored this peninsula several times from the Kotor side, but today we decided to approach it from the Tivat side. The tour started from Donja Lastva where we parked our car (but you can also start from Tivat, taking the road opposite to the school). We first walked uphill to the village of Gornja Lastva, which took us about one hour.

Gornja Lastva has an exceptional environmental value, due to its authentic architecture. It is situated at 300 meters above sea level, on the slopes of Mount Vrmac, surrounded by olives groves, and it has about 20 stone houses. It was interesting to see that, although many of the houses and stone walls were deserted and destroyed in time, the authenticity of the traditional method of building and overall environment was not disturbed. In the centre we found St. Mary’s church which was built in the 14th century. Unfortunately, it was closed for visitors, but from here we had a magnificent view of the Bay of Tivat and Porto Montenegro.

After having explored this beautiful rural environment, we returned to the beginning of the village, i.e. to the square with a war monument, where a signpost showed us the way to further hiking trails. But this time we decided to get off the beaten track and to look for the Vrmac waterfalls, as they are described in the Austrian book “The most beautiful hiking tours on the coast and in the mountains”, written by Marcus and Rosemarie Stoeckl (2008).

And thus we descended by a narrow track, immediately opposite to the war monument. It was a steep unmarked path, from time to time with stone steps, which lead us through a group of abandoned houses and further through a dense forest with many rocks and multi-colored stones. Spring was in the air, and we discovered wild hyacinths (see picture), purple violets and spurge along the path.

After a while, we passed a small and slippery water current and climbed through the brook bed uphill until we arrived at a narrow rocky mule track that lead us further along the slope. Looking back to the opposite side we saw the harmonious village of Gornja Lastva, unspoilt by ugly modern structures, while the views of the Bay of Tivat were stunning. However, as we walked further in the direction of the waterfalls, the trail appeared to be overgrown with all kinds of thorny plants and bushes. At some places we could not even pass due to fallen trees, and finally we had to give up and go back by the same path. What a pity! Is there any possibility to clean and mark this trail and make it accessible to tourists this summer? I really hope so!

Back in the village we decided to return to Donja Lastva, as the sun had disappeared in the meantime. But of course, it is also possible to continue the hiking tour to the mountain saddle of Vrdola (one hour) with a detour to the church of Sv. Vid, from where you can enjoy the beautiful panorama of the Bay of Tivat, and further on to the Vrmac fortress (3.30 hours from Gornja Lastva), walking along the old Austrian military roads and enjoying nature in this fantastic hiking paradise!

 

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