The beautiful and unique Biogradska Gora National Park in Montenegro is one of the last natural areas of its kind left on this planet.
Biogradska numbers just one of three old-growth (also called "virgin") forests in all of Europe. In addition to forests, visitors are also able to explore glacial lakes and mountainous regions. UNESCO has designated the area as a protected biosphere - one of just a handful in the world. A biosphere is said to be an area where people and nature live in harmony. Visiting Biogradska Gora Park is made much easier by pre-existing routes designed to facilitate tourists who wish to experience the area in person.
In this article, learn everything you need to know to plan for your visit to Biogradska Gora Park in Montenegro.
Inside Biogradska Gora Park in Montenegro, you will find three primary zones, all of which are protected under UNESCO. As such, it is important to leave everything just as you found it, to take everything you brought in with you out again and to not remove anything you find within the park.
The park is small in size compared to Montenegro's other three national parks, it is particularly rich in bio-diversity. Within the park you will find these wonderful sights:
- Six glacier-fed lakes.
- Virgin forest land.
- Mountain peaks are up to 2,000 feet high.
- 10 different mammal species.
- 150 bird species.
- 86 species of trees and bushes.
- 350 insect species.
- 220 plant species.
- 26 examples of native habitats for the above.
- 3 species of native trout.
There is enough to see and do inside of Biogradska Gora National Park to enjoy several days inside the area, but one-day tours and trips are also permitted.
Biogradska Gora Park offers overnight camping accommodation for interested multi-day visitors.
There are also 12 lakeside bungalows inside the park that tourists can book. Higher up in the mountainous areas there are a limited number of wooden huts called "katuns" for lodging. These historic wooden huts were formerly in use as shepherds's huts and give a taste of how life was lived in the not-so-distance past. Overnight visitors who choose to book a stay in one of the rustic katuns will also be treated to local seasonal fare as part of their stay. A stay in one of the huts also affords the chance to trek higher up in the mountains for a multi-day hiking or mountaineering adventure. This is a great way to experience the full range of bio-diversity that is present in the local ecology.
Outside the park, there are many additional accommodation options, including bed and breakfasts, hotels, resorts and spas, guesthouses, studios and apartments for rent.
The two nearest towns, Kolasin or Mojkovac, are located just 20 to 30 miles from the park entrance itself. Both towns offer various fun tourist experiences, including shopping, dining, spa services, culture and enjoyment of traditional architecture.
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Visiting Montenegro's beautiful Biogradska Gora Park offers lots of options for fun outdoor excursions, including hiking, walking, boating, mountain biking, swimming, fishing and making use of the open-air train to take in the scenic view.
Hunting and fruit picking is also available seasonally.
One of the favorite activities is exploring the verdant mountain slopes, which in past centuries were much in use by shepherds for grazing their flocks. The park has many different hiking trails of varying levels of difficulty, from the flat and scenic lakeside trail that all visitors can enjoy. Local tour companies offer scenic tours of the park's many features, including local walking and hiking tours and Jeep safari tours. Aerial tours are also available.
Bicycles and rowboats are available for rental and day use. Visitors with four-wheel-drive vehicles often enjoy exploring more of the backcountry on their own. There are several scenic lookouts where travellers can stop to take in the view and take photos.
The visitor center features historic local furniture and furnishings and includes a restaurant where visitors can enjoy local fare. The park is child-friendly and small enough to be relatively easy to navigate for visitors of all ages.
Aside from a chance to get a rare glimpse of a truly ancient ecology, a big part of the charm of visiting Biogradska Gora Park is learning the history of the park itself.
The park is located quite close to the area where one of the final battles took place between Montenegro's citizens and the ancient and powerful forces of Ottoman Empire. This epic battle was called the Battle of Kolašin. As the story goes, the Montenegro citizens were so grateful to King Nikola Petrovic and his liberating forces that they gifted the entire Biogradska Gora National Park area to him out of gratitude. This turned out to be a smart move and the King in turn declared it a protected area.
From that day forward, the area was renamed Branik Kralja Nikole (essentially, "Nikola's area"). In 1952, Montenegro declared the area as a National Park site.
In 1977, UNESCO declared the site as a world heritage site under its MAB (Man and Biosphere) program. The area is further designed as a UNESCO Area of Importance for Birds, Fungi and Plants.
Today, the area is closed to all new projects but open to local and international visitors for a small daily park entrance fee.
It is easy to reach Biogradska Gora Park in Montenegro via the following routes.
How to get to Biogradska Gora Park by car.
Tourists can travel by way of Highway E65 in private or chartered vehicles. This is the most commonly used method of accessing the park.
How to get to Biogradska Gora Park by train.
Tourists can take a train from either Podgorica or Bijelo Polje. The main train stops going to the park area are at Kolasin and Mojkovac. From either stop, visitor can then transfer to a local train to get to closer stations. However, local trains do not stop directly in front of the park.
How to get to Biogradska Gora Park by taxi.
From the local train stops at Kolasin and Mojkovac, taxi service is available to get directly to the park. Local buses are also available.
The warm season months from May to October are generally regarded as the best times to visit the Park. However, these are also the months when the park is likely to be more crowded with guests.