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Rivers and lakes

The river Pliva joins the river Vrbas diving from a cliff and thus forms a waterfall, but to add to its beauty, it widens upstream into two lakes, the Small and the Large Pliva Lake. The Lakes are 5 kilometers away from Jajce upstream the river Pliva. The road will take you past a beach, idyllic picnic areas, past landscapes of archetypal beauty… At Small Pliva Lake your attention will be attracted by a cluster of lovely watermills built during the Turkish times, which are colloquially called – by terms of endearment – ‘mlinčići (small mills) by local people. However, beauty has a practical purpose here as well. The water of the lake has a high specific density, so it is suitable for sports activities: kayaking, canoeing, rowing etc. For the same reason, the European and the World championships in kayaking and canoeing on still waters were held on the Pliva   Lakes in 1963.It is worth mentioning that the lakes are home to a variety of fish (brown and rainbow trout, grayling, carp, tench, etc.), which makes them attractive for fishing. The lakes are surrounded by cliffs, hills and hillocks covered with forest, so that it makes this area suitable for hiking, mountain-biking, or simply going for walks and enjoying the scenery that cannot be seen from the lake.

The River Pliva. The source of the River Pliva is in the northern-east part of the foot of the mountain of Vitorog, at 481 m above sea level. There are two springs close to each other, while the third one is 400 m north from them (in a straight line) and offers a breath-taking sight. The water temperature is 8 – 10 degrees Centigrade. An abundant supply of water springs out of the limestone bosom quietly, noiselessly, and while departing from its source, it gains in speed and grows into a roaring river white with foam. Around the springs there are numerous watermills that attract a large number of picnickers. The fragrance of flowers and green vegetation, the unpolluted air and, finally, incredibly clear water are unique.

The River Ugar. This river is the right tributary of the river Vrbas. It starts in the uplands of the mountain of Vlašić and plunges down a rock carving a cascade bed, straitened by craggy rocks and draining the waters of a multitude of streams, gullies and mountain springs on its way. There, along its upper course, with every kilometer the river covers in its zigzagged flow, the Ugar seems to swell, bloat and expand in greater and greater eddies. Ugar trout, which has a light -almost silvery pigmentation – strewn with powdery orange dots, finds shelter in its foam and green bends. In its company there are cylindrical minnows with lovely gold-colored bellies and a few marble-colored bullheads, which often end up in the mouths of lightning-fast trout. At the point where the highway connecting Travnik, Banja Luka and Kneževo meets the river, and pine-tree and spruce give way to beech-tree and hornbeam, the Ugar quietens and enters a pastoral valley flowing slowly eastward towards its mother – the Vrbas River. Before it reaches the Vrbas, it drains two more powerful waters, the Illomska River and the Kobiljska River on its right, and thus strengthened and fed with oxygen, flowing slowly another 10 kilometers through meadows and willows, the river Ugar starts carving one of the most beautiful and the wildest canyons in this part of Europe. At the same time it is the place where the name of the river Ugar finally reflects its full and frightful meaning: where the scenery falls into darkness It deepens and darkens – becomes as dark as soot, firebrand (Ugarak, in Bosnian), as Ugar, where horned viper and bear drink water together, where night falls all of a sudden, not following dusk, bloated with black fluid like a black bladder.