Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park is a dramatic location you will want to see for yourself when visiting the Baltics. There are great things to do in this location formed by glaciers thousands of years ago.
At the center of the park is Bobotov Kuk, which stretches 8,277 feet in the air. Two popular routes go to the top of this mountain. Both start outside the park, with the shorter option starting in Sedlo, Montenegro, and the longer one starting in Zabljak, Montenegro.
Whichever route you choose, the final path to the summit is exhilarating as you scramble across loose rocks on a very narrow path. Try not to think about the drop off as it can be terrifying, and concentrate on being thankful that the mountain provides plenty of places to get a good handhold. The reward for summiting Bobotov Kuk is the amazing sights as you can see Albania to your right, Bosnia to your left and the whole of Montenegro laid out in front of you.
Once your sweat-soaked body begins to cool, sign the book inside the box as hikers have done for many years.
If you are not up to physically climbing to Bobotov Kuk’s summit, there are many shorter options. A board near the start of the path up Bobotov Kuk’s summit gives you the various choices that are currently available. The mountain hut near the sign is a great place to fill up your water bottles before you start and a terrific place to celebrate after your hike.
One option for an easier hike is following the forested trail around Black Lake. While you can reach this lake by following asphalt roads from Žabljak, when you follow the forested path, you come around a bend and the lake that the locals refer to as the mountain’s eye suddenly lies before you.
After hiking around the lake, there are other mountain hikes that you may want to consider. In all, there are 18 glacier lakes in the park. Another stunningly beautiful hike follows the Mlinski Potok Trail to the small Zminje Lake, where the water is naturally emerald green.
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The Tara River is the longest one in Montenegro, and it flows through the second deepest canyon in the world. The canyon’s walls on either side of the river rise to 4,265 feet in the air.
Whitewater rafting on the river is an extremely popular activity. The river has Class I to III rapids throughout the year, but during the rainy season, lasting from September to April, the whole river can become a Class VI rapid.
Since the park has been a UNESCO World Heritage Centre since 1952, the government has made significant efforts to ensure that the water stays crystal clear. You may find numerous places on your rafting trip that are perfect for jumping off your rubber raft and swimming. Keep in mind, however, that the water stays about 44 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year and that the tributaries feeding the river are often even colder.
Thrill-seekers will love going ziplining at this park. The zipline is next to the iconic Đurđevic Bridge. This concrete bridge made up of five arches was completed in 1940, and it was once the longest bridge of its type in Europe. It is still an extremely popular place where many tourists go to take photos.
While many zipline operators worldwide charge you for each ride, you pay one time for unlimited rides at this location. If you can keep your eyes open during the ride, the views of the Tara River and surrounding landscape are gorgeous.
A great way to explore this park is while riding a bicycle. You can find short rides to paths near many glacier lakes, but for a real thrill, consider following the Durmitor Circular Biking Route. Be prepared to gain over 6,500 feet in elevation on this ride.
Near the end of this 50-mile ride, you will enter Sušica Canyon. While the canyon has a lake in its middle, it disappears in the summertime leaving behind a beautiful grassy meadow where farmers often bring their animals to graze.
Riding on the roads through the canyon, however, is not for the faint of heart. You will discover that they have many hairpin curves, and you will be sharing the road with cars. While well maintained, the road is not wide enough in places so that two automobiles can pass, and there is no barrier between you and steep drop-offs.
Going on a jeep tour is a popular activity in this park because of its vast scenic beauty. Find a tour following the P14 road over the Sedlo Pass, and stop to do some of the hikes starting in this area.
This road starts in Zabljak, the city with the highest altitude in the Balkans, and it ends about 26 miles later in Suvodo, after running through canyons, mountains and plateaus. Talk to the locals if you think that it might snow because this road quickly becomes unpassable.
You have several options on how you get to this park. If you are in the capital city of Podgorica, then take the bus to Žabljak. Buses run on this route two to three times a day. You may need to change buses in Nikšić, so be sure to check the itinerary.
You can also take the bus from Kotor to Zabljak to reach the park.
Now that you are convinced you need to visit Durmitor National Park, firm up your itinerary. The best time to visit is from May to October, but you may be able to find cheaper options in March and April. You will be betting that it does not snow enough to close your favorite attractions if you decide on the earlier options.
There are plenty of great accommodations in Zabljack at many different price ranges. You may also want to book one of the cute mountain huts in Virack.