Route PL05: Plav – Lake Visitor – Plav
total ascent: 1,190m
surface: asphalt (16.5km), macadam (12.5km) and dirt road (9km)
biking conditions: from spring to autumn. The ride is generally possible after rain as well, but one should expect some sections with more mud.
the route partly leads through an uninhabited mountainous area and forest so one should always bring along a basic bike toolkit, a spare tyre, a torch, a map and a navigation device (a GPS device or at least a compass). Riding in a group is also recommended.
The lake is located in a wonderful place and it is worth a visit, but the road leading to it is poor, and the ascent is difficult. Therefore this is a tour for very fit cycling enthusiasts, that is to say, those who are always willing to test their abilities and tackle challenges. The inspiration will definitely be Mt. Visitor itself which is an unavoidable, challenging and attractive ingredient of every view from Plav – and if we stay in that little town only for a short time, we will certainly wish to scale it.
We head from the usual place, the roundabout in the centre of Plav, along the road towards Andrijevica. After 8.2km, in the village of Pepiće we will turn left, onto the macadam along which we immediately start our ascent towards the lake. The road surface is rather poor – it is often a combination of macadam and dirt road. We ascend through the forest, only occasionally getting onto open ground.
Around 2.7km from the turn, that is to say, 11km from the start, we reach a place called Nizamska kula (Nizam Tower). It was named after the ruins of a medieval tower situated there, near the metal mobile telephone mast. Here is also the junction at which we will turn right. The road is somewhat better from here, but it is still not great. At 14.5km, on the right there is a little cottage which serves as a shelter for mountain climbers and other passers-by. Inside there are a few beds with stairs, a hearth and some crockery, and the door is always unlocked. The macadam road here turns into a dirt road, which is in decent condition in dry weather.
18.2km from the start, we abandon the road which goes towards Mramorje katun, and the rest of the route to the lake is along a path which climbs steeply for the next 700m. Physically fit and technically skilled cyclists may test themselves on their bike in that section as well, but the majority will have to continue on foot. Before the lake itself (18.9km) there is a junction at which a footpath forks left towards the summit of Visitor.
The lake will instantly captivate us with its serene beauty and unique atmosphere. But it also has a magical power to clear one’s thoughts and to strengthen lives: shyly hiding in the shadows of the surrounding trees, it will unselfishly return to us every conversation which we cast onto its blue mirror; it will complete our words with an echo and sometimes even say instead of us that the things we did not want to or could not say out loud. Therefore, in this place we should think carefully and without haste about everything that is important to us – and since that is the secret of a good life, that is proof of the power which we mentioned. Sensing this, we will surely spend a lot of time here, floating along the path which takes us around the entire dark water standing silent beside us.
From the lake we return to Plav along the same road – downhill to the asphalt, and then right, to the nearby shore of the already familiar big brother of Lake Visitor.