The Piperi clan is one of the seven traditional highland tribes of Montenegro, famous in the Montenegrin history for their courage during the wars with the Ottoman empire. Since then, many families from this region have moved to Podgorica and other places of Montenegro and former Yugoslavia, abandoning their traditional villages and the poor and infertile soil of this karst region.
I really love the rough beauty of Piperi. Many narrow asphalt roads lead to small hamlets and old churches with picturesque graveyards. You can park your car and start hiking wherever you like – you will be surprised by the abundance of flowers along the roads and the breathtaking panoramas. When the day is sunny, you have a beautiful view of Podgorica, Spuž and the surrounding valley.
Of course, you can also take your mountain bike and start your biking tour from Podgorica – pass the Rogami bridge and then continue further uphill. There are many different tracks and it depends on your physical condition whether you will take the direction towards Spuž or the road towards the monastery and Piperska Stijena.
On one of the karst mountains you can see a “monument” from Tito’s times. Tito’s name is written on the slope of a large naked rock, in big white Cyrillic letters, perfectly maintained.
No doubt, the most interesting tourist attraction is the monastery of Piperska ćelija, situated in the mountains on about 15 km from Podgorica. It is surrounded by a big stone wall, so that it reminds you more of a medieval fortified town than of a monastery. It was erected by Sveti Stefan Piperski in 1637.
The monastery church is dedicated to the Birth of the Holy Mother of God. Famous are the relics of Sveti Stefan, which are kept in the church.
We have visited the monastery several times and we were always welcomed very cordially. A friendly nun brought us some water and cookies and even made a cup of coffee for the rather exhausted hiking group. We all got a small picture of St. Stefan and enjoyed the peaceful surroundings!