Hiking in northern Montenegro

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If you want to meet the real Montenegro, head towards its mountains. Many of them are only a couple of hours driving distance from each other, with a lot of trails to choose from and difficulty levels that suit your desires. Hiking season in Montenegro lasts from March from October, giving you a lot of time for exploring. In summer, the north is the place to be, although this may vary. Below are our suggestions for exploring this beautiful region.

Durmitor


Durmitor, the part of Dinaric Alps is the most famous mountain range in Montenegro, and it’s for a reason. Kilometers of hiking trail on more than 40 peaks above 2000 meters, tens of lakes, stunning nature and breathtaking views along the way – is there more a true hiker can wish for?

It is hard to choose a hiking trail with this much offered, but these are our top choices:

  1. Ćurevac (1556m) hike is one of the easiest in Durmitor National Park and the one you should choose if you’re short on time. It lets you walk on the edge of Europe’s deepest canyon – Tara canyon.

Time needed: 2 hours

How to get there? Drive from Žabljak towards Tepča through an old road, and you’ll get to the starting point in around 40 minutes.

  1. Sušičko Lake (1140m) is one of the Montenegrin periodical lakes which usually disappears in August, but the amazing ambient of Skakala waterfalls and the Sušica canyon view are equally worthy of visiting.

Time needed: 2 hours

How to get there? Drive to a small place of Nedajno, park your car and start the hike. An alternative is to drive from Žabljak to village Mala Crna Gora and descend through Sušica canyon to reach the lake.

  1. Savin kuk (2313m) is the most popular peak on Durmitor, due to the ski resort at its base. There are two options to get to the top – by taking a chairlift or by hiking. If you choose the second one, have in mind that the elevation is around 2km during a 1km hike, so you shouldn’t go without good gear.

Time needed: 3 hours

How to get there? The hike starts close to the ski resort Savin Kuk in Virak.

  1. Bobotov kuk (2523m) is the highest Peak in Durmitor and a great hiking goal overall. The first part of the terrain is almost flat, while the second one is rugged and more demanding, with some exhilarating scrambling at the very end. If the whole path is too much for you, you can stop after approximately 2 hours at Zeleni Vir, located on the flat part of the route, and still enjoy the scenery.

Time needed: 3 hours

How to get there? Park at Sedlo pass (14km from Žabljak) and start the ascent from here. The Sedlo pass route is one of the most beautiful roads in the whole country and we highly recommend a drive through it.

  1. Prutaš (2393m) is one of the largest peaks in the national park which gives the most impressive view to the area and to Bobotov kuk. The hike itself is diverse, getting you through the areas of greenery and bare limestone cliffs. If you are not exhausted by the time you reach the top, you can go down by passing the Škrčka lakes.

Time needed: 1.5 hours from Todorov Do; 2.5 hours from Dobri Do.

How to get there? There are several starting points for this hike, so you could drive from Žabljak to Dobri Do (18km) or Todorov Do (25km).

For the easy recreation, and if you don’t mind occasional crowds, you can also take a walk around Crno Lake. There are some hikes that start from here as well in case you start feeling adventurous during your walk.

Where to stay? Žabljak is in the middle of the Durmitor national park so it makes sense to stay here. You’ll easily find a hotel room, apartment, or a wooden ski chalet in this small town that is also a ski resort.


Bjelasica


This idyllic mountain invites nature lovers for easy hikes and offers breath-taking views in exchange. Due to its volcanic origin, its relief is slightly different compared to the other mountains in the area. Bjelasica is the greenest mountain in Montenegro with lots of freshwater springs. It is not too demanding to climb even its top peaks, of which the highest are Crna Glava (2139m), Zekova Glava (2117m) and Troglava (2072m). Once you reach the top, you’ll get to enjoy a panoramic view over the 6 beautiful lakes of the area: Biogradsko, Ursulovačko, Malo Ursulovačko, Pešića, Šiško and Malo Šiško.

Biogradska Gora national park – one of the three virgin forests in Europe is a part of the Bjelasica mountains, and it’s worth visiting, at least for a walk around Biogradsko Lake.

Time needed: 5 hours to the peaks, less if your final destination are the lakes.

How to get there? The mountain is reachable by car. You can come to the foot of the mountain from Kolašin (15km to Vranjak) and from Berane (14km to Kurikuće). Biograd lake is also reachable by car.

Where to stay? The best option is to stay in Kolašin, a city popular with tourists both in winter and summer. if you’d like a more peaceful place, bungalows and camps in small city of Mojkovac  (23km from Kolašin) are a great idea that keeps you in touch with nature. There is a lodge 11km from Mojkovac, owned by Mountaineering Club “Džambas” on 1430m, suitable for both short and long term stays and a great starting point for Bjelasica hikes.



Gate of Wishes and Old Military Road in Mrtvica Canyon


Having Tara, the second deepest canyon in the world in the country often leads to the others, equally beautiful, getting overlooked, so make sure that you put the marvelous Mrtvica Canyon on the list. Clear turquoise water of this narrow canyon paired with granite cliffs and dense forest makes a remarkable hiking scenery. Start from the stunning Gate of Wishes, through the blasted, narrow military trail (Mrtvičke Grede or the Mrtvica Beams) for which the area is famous and make a full circle to end on the opposite side of the river Mrtvica. We promise that this 15km tour will make you feel like in a fairytale.

Time needed: 4-5 hours

How to get there? The hike starts from Medjuriječje, a village halfway between Podgorica (40km) and Kolašin (30km), where you can park at the land of the locals for a small fee and head off to explore the canyon.

Where to stay? You can set up a tent at the locals’ land if you get their permission or set up a wild camp somewhere along the trekking route. Having an accommodation in Kolašin or Podgorica is another convenient option because of the proximity to Mrtvica Canyon.


Gear


For your hikes to go without any problems, you’ll need to have the appropriate gear. What you should always have with you is the following:

Water, the longer the hike, the more you’ll need. 1/2 liter of water for every hour of hike is an optimal dose.

Hiking shoes that will keep your feet dry and have a strong grip around your ankles and prevent falls on slippery ground.

Sun protection and a hat are a must have on any hike, since the effects of the Sun on high mountains can be especially damaging for your skin and leave you with burns. Be especially careful during the summer months.

Backpack, to put all the other items for your hikes. Chose the one that feels comfortable on your back, because you will be carrying a lot of weight for a long period.

Raincoat could save you on unpredictable weather on the mountains. Besides that, it’s lightweight and it can fit in your backpack easily.

Extra shirts for changing. Change your shirts as soon as you get sweaty, to avoid getting sick during your vacation.

Hiking pants and long-sleeved shirts can save you from the scratches and scars from the thorny hiking paths.

Hiking poles offer excellent support for your joints, which will help you climb through the rough Montenegrin terrains without tremendous effort.

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