Most agents in the Budva/Becici area sell the day-trip with Montenegro Cruising at a very reasonable 25euros. Coached to Tivat you set off around the bays culminating in Kotor . To go into too much detail will spoil the experience but it starts off with a welcome drink on board the first stop usually being Herceg Novi. The absolute highlight is the stop at the Lady of the Rocks island which is artificial and houses a chapel and museum (1 euro entry). Prepare to be amazed at the story behind this remarkable site and the artifacts contained therein, the value must be immense! I marvelled at one piece in particular a needlework picture of the Virgin Mary with baby Christ and cherubs, it took 25 years to complete and used gold and silver wire and the hair of the very diligent lady whose labour of love completed it. Of all the trips I've done in Montenegro this is without doubt the highlight and will leave you with long lasting memoriesRelated to:
- Museum Visits
Rafting on Tara River
Experience of a life time!!!
Tara - one of the most beautiful and most attractive rivers in Europe. On its 145 kilometer long flow form Komovi, Tara made an almost 100 km long and 1.3 km deep canyon. The Tara canyon is the second deepest in the world, just after the famous Colorado River in USA, but certainly, it is the most beautiful canyon in the world. It is in a very calm area, far away from any Balkan troubles and disturbances. Because of its pure drinkable water, opulent vegetation and wild life, with great number of endemic species, Tara Canyon is under protection of UNESCO...
Tara River has the longest rafting tradition in our country, with famous deep canyon and crystal clear water. It is a great attraction and tourists like to visit it.
Durmitor National Park
The UNESCO protected area includes a mountain environment and the Tara Canyon, the deepest in Europe. The climate conditions make it sort of a piece of the Alps in the Balkans and a great destination for hiking experiences. Not too crowded, not yet. Montenegro is opening to tourism which has seen an increase in recent years, but isn't a prime destination for many.Related to:
- National/State Park
- Road Trip
Just a very rough itenerary we took for our holiday in Croatia, Montenegro and BiH
We started in Split, had 2 nights there, went to Vis Island for a night (left the car in Split), drove along the coast to Makarska and had a night there, then carried on down the coast, stopped in Ploce and then Ston and stayed one night in Dubrovnik. Onwards to Herceg Novi and around to Kotor; three nights there and then to Cetinje via the very steep mountain pass (not the main route) this was the hair pin bend bit where we drove through the top of the clouds to a plateau with meadows and little villages. We stopped in Cetinje for food then headed onto Virpazar for the night which is in a national park by lake Skadarsko (you can take nature trips on boats out here). The next day we went up to Podgorica via Golubovci, had food and bought in supplies then drove up to Ostrog monastry, had a look round there and carried on to Zabljak via Niksic. This was a lovely Alpine area which they were redevoping alot for skiing but didn't seem to have the infrastructure in place, there are lots of lovely walks around here too. We went to an information place, Zabljak Tourist Agency, the girl helped us find somewhere to stay and we booked our rafting tour with them too.
We drove to the starting place, a little hut and a cafe next door, met the other people and got ready. We got into their 4WD to the starting place (we didn't have that long left of our holiday so were out for 1 day). We stopped at a few places to look at waterfalls, we went under the huge viaduct and were picked up forther down stream with the 4WD and driven back to the start.
From Zabljak we drove to Sarajevo had 3 or 4 nights there (I can't remember) drove to Mostar and lunch and a look round there and then took the A1 all the way up to Vodice had a night there, which was a bit touristy but a pretty old town, the next day we drove and stopped at Trogir for the night (so we could be near the airport for an early flight) which was a lovely walled town with a big market.
There were other places we stopped off too but I can't remember them all, we did a lot! I hope it helps.
Sveti Stefan is a unique hotel which occupies an entire island on the Montenegrin Coast south of Budva. The island is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Sveti Stefan used to be a village and then its buidlings were acquired/confiscated by the Tito government and turned into a luxury hotel. Non-guests can tour the grounds of the hotel for about 7 Euros.Related to:
- Luxury Travel
- Family Travel
Rafting in Tara river
I have not tried rafting, but I surely will next time I go back to the Tara Canyon! It looks great, but seems a bit expencive. There are several tour operators, the link to one of them is listed below. Here is a link to a more informative site with som nice pictures:
- National/State Park
Summer and winter skiing
The Durmitor mountain area gives you the opportunity to go skiing both winter and summer. The highest mountain in Montenegro, Bobotov Kuk 2522 m, has eternal snow. Imagine going skiing one day, the next you go rafting in one of the most beautiful canyons in the world, and then you continue down to the coast for some nice days on one of Montenegro's beautiful beaches!Related to:
- National/State Park
- Skiing and Boarding
750 years old, Moraca Monastairy is just by the main road and if you have time feel free to drop by.
If nothing else you'll have the oportunity to enjoy this simple architecture of Orthodox churches and rest a bit from the tiering ride through the Moraca Canion.Related to:
- Road Trip
- National/State Park
This simple looking monastery is part of a signifacant monastic complex im Montenegro. Its simple exterior hides the amazing frescoes and treasures inside. What is even more amazing though is that is was moved stone by stone when a great dam built near its location at the source of the River Piva, by the little town of Pluzine meant it needa new home - just like the Temple of Philae being moved in Aswan when the dam was built there. Works on its relocation lasted over a decade, from 1970 to 1982.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Museum Visits
Not far from the Durmitor National Park is a small, late 16th century monastery with early 17th century frescoes. While the scenery in the Piva Canyon cannot fully match that of the more famous parts of Durmitor, this church merits a look should you be passing this way. (If you are passing, you may be heading for the Bosnian border and onwards; do not expect the road there to be as good as it is on the Montenegrin side.) Piva originally stood some 3km away and was moved to make way for a dam and hydro-electric scheme in the 1970s. The pictures show the completely unassuming church, the contrasting interior which survived the move remarkably well and the reason why it was moved.Related to:
- Historical Travel
Herceg Novi in Kotor Bay
A wonderful city in the begining of Boka Kotorska bay.
One of the youngest towns on the Adriatic coast, was originally called St. Stefan. The city was established in the Dracevica parish by the Bay of Topla in 1382 by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I Kotromanovic.Related to:
- Historical Travel
- Wine Tasting
Zabljak is a small town in northern Montenegro which serves as an excellent base for exploring Durmitor National Park. Zabljak has been well known for a long time as a ski resort but in recent years it's becoming an equally popular summer destination, as hikers come to explore one of the finest hiking areas in Europe.
It's a long drive north from the Montenegrin coast to Zabljak, especially after you leave Niksic and the road quality deteriorates. We had taken a back route from Lovcen Park to Niksic which looked like a short cut on the map but which ended up taking a lot longer than planned. All in all it took us about 5.5 hours to reach Zabljak. The reward for such a long journey was the good scenery along the way especially towards the end as we approached Zabljak.
Zabljak has a good selection of hotels, but even if these are full or beyond your price range there is the option of camping or staying in private accommodation with local families. The town also has a good number of restaurants, and there is a supermarket on the main street where you can stock up on provisions for hikes.
A couple of agencies in town sell hiking maps of the park though the trails are so well marked that these are not essential. Despite the large number of hikers in town, there was very little information on trails in the park - so it's probably worth bringing a guide book with you if you plan to hike.
We stayed 4 nights in all in the town, with all our days spent hiking in the park or exploring the surrounding area. Zabljak isn't a particularly attractive but it has all the facilities you need to make it easy and enjoyable to explore the stunning region around it.
Savin Kuk is amongst the most beautiful mountains in Durmitor National Park. It lies in the east of the park, overlooking the black lake, with its summit rising to 2313m.
Though only the 13th highest peak in Durmitor peak, Savin Kuk is one of the most visited, partly because of its easy accessibility. On its eastern side, a chair lift runs from ground level to about 1900m. This is used during the winter season and in the summer by hikers. From the top of the chair lift it takes about an hour to reach the summit. The path is initially steep, along a scree slope, but it levels out closer to the top. You reach the saddle between Savin Kuk and Sjelme from the where there are fantastic views of Bobotov Kuk and the rest of the high peaks in the park.
From the saddle it's 15 minutes walk to the top and just like on the other summits the views were excellent. In particular, we had a great view of Zabljak and the black lake.
Like all our hikes in Durmitor, we had perfect weather on our hike to Savin Kuk, and shorts and t-shirt were all we needed, even on the top at over 2000m altitude. The hike starts from a small settlement a few kilometres south of Zabljak. I'm not sure if there is public transport along this route (we had our own car) but a taxi from town shouldn't cost too much and it's easy hitch a lift back in needs be.
The centerpiece of Durmitor National Park is Botobov Kuk, which, at 2523m, is the highest peak in the park, and the fourth highest overall in Montenegro (incidentally, the country's highest peak, Kolata, found on the Montenegro/Albania border is only 5 metres higher than Bobotov Kuk).
The town of Zabljak is a convenient base for exploring Durmitor park, and many people attempt to reach Bobotov Kuk by starting from Zabljak. This can be done in one long day or split into two days by camping overnight in the park at Lokvice. A closer start point is the Sedlo pass to the south of Bobotov Kuk, but no public transport runs this way.
The trail from Zabljak is well signposted, with red paintmarks on rocks and trees all the way to the summit. It starts near the Ivan Do campsite at the western edge of town, above the Black Lake. The initial parts of the hike go through thick forest though there are occasional good views of the lake and Meded mountain along this way. After about an hour and a half you leave the forest behind and approach Lokvice, a good place to camp in the park.
The path climbs steeply from Lokvice, with Bobotov Kuk appearing after about an hour as you round an intermediate peak. Even in high summer snow remains on the slopes of Bobotov Kuk, so we had to cross a couple of snow fields before reaching the pass below the summit. From the pass it's only 25 minutes hike to the summit - there are a couple of places you need to scramble but it's fairly straightforward. The views of Skrcko Jezero - probably the most scenic lake in the park - from just above the pass are superb.
The summit offers fantastic views over the park and over much of Montenegro.
Bobotov Kuk was the first of three summits we climbed in the park. The walk from Zabljak took about 5 hours, and along the way we passed many beautiful sights. We were very lucky with the weather, having clear skies and sun for the whole hike. Despite the altitude, the temperature was quite high, about mid 20s for most of the walk. We had brought wet and cold weather gear with us but even on the summit shorts and t-shirts were sufficient.
The Black Lake
It's hard to pick a highlight from all the beautiful sights in Durmitor National Park, but there's no doubt about what's the most popular site. The Black Lake (Crno Jezero) attracts huge numbers of visitors, attracted by its stunning setting in a forest at the foot of Meded mountain.
The lake lies 3 km west of Zabljak, gateway town to the national park. There is a car park about 1km from the park, which is as close as you can get by car and where you have to pay a small entrance fee (extra if you're using the car park). From here it's ten minutes walk down to the lake shore.
The Black Lake is actually two lakes: Malo Jezero and Veliko Jezero (Small and big lake). A 3.5 km trail runs around the circumference of the lake and offers great views of the surrounding scenery. At the point where the two lakes meet is Tito's Cave, named after a place where the then leader of the communists met with the allies in 1943 to plot a resistance against the Nazis. There's little to see here now, other than a plaque marking the site of the meeting.
Boating and swimming are the two most popular activities on the lake - there's no better way to round off a day of hiking than taking a quick dip in the lake. Despite the altitude (almost 1800m) the water was surprisingly warm when swam in it.
Republic of Montenegro Hotels
Old town 322, Kotor, 85310, Montenegro
Good for: Business
We stayed at Hotel Astoria at Budva for several days in October 2013. First, this is a very nice...more
I found this hotel on the Internet. The website was very useful and very realistic. My husband and I...more
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