Gornjepoljski Vir

Useful Information

Location: Vidrovan.
From Nikšić M18/E762, turn right to Vir R-6 1 km, turn right to spring.
(42.846318, 18.917533)
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: KarstKarst Spring KarstEstavelle
Light: n/a
Dimension: VR=90 m, Ø=94 m, A=628 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Gornjepoljski Vir, Vidrovan.
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


2006 explosives storage warehouse in Vir, close to the spring, explodes, 30 people injured.
2014 declared a Natural Monument.
2019 illegally dumped waste in Gornjepoljski Vir cleaned by the Green Zeta River Initiative.


Gornjepoljski Vir (Gornje Polje Spring) is not only a spring, it is actually an estavelle, during low water in late summer, the spring does not simply fall dry. The water of the river flows into the spring which becomes a swallow hole for some time. This is rather rare, as a spring is typically the highest point of any river, so in order to flow back into the spring the water would have to flow uphill, which is obviously impossible. This spring is the source of an only 190 m long tributary of Sušica river aka Zeta river, which has a more or less horizontal canal to the confluence. When the spring does not produce water, a part of the water of Sušica river branches off and flows slowly through the canal to the swallow hole. To avoid this loss of water, the locals actually built a dam which keeps the water in Sušica river, at least if it is not higher than the dam. So the estavelle actually works as an overflow instead of as a drain.

If the estavelle produces water or not obviously depends on the level of the karst groundwater, which depends on the weather, or better the amount of rainfall. In most years this means that it is a spring between October and May and a swallow hole during the summer. In Fall there is an event called pucanje vira (bursting of the water), a sort of big bang, when the water starts flowing with a spectacular outburst.

The spring is located at the Nikšić Polje, which actually has five of the rare estavelles. Actually it was named after the location the Gornje Polje, which is the northern section of the Nikšić Polje. The enormous amount of estavelles, which are normally extremely rare, caused the scientific interest of many geographers and geologists. The first was Jovan Cvijić (*1865-✝1927), a Serbian geographer who explored them in the late 19th century.