If you like the diversity and contrasts of traveling, then you should go to Montenegro.
If you go south, you will rest on the coast of the Adriatic Sea or the Bay of Kotor, ride a boat or sail in the Skadar Lake and feel all the delights of the Mediterranean climate.
If you go north, you will climb the peaks of the Durmitor Massif, rafting along the canyon of the Tara River, walk through the forests around the Black Lake and you will see the largest Durmitor National Park in Montenegro. We'll tell you about it today.
Why is it worth going to Durmitor?
Firstly, because it is beautiful there. Secondly, because the air in those parts is so clear, so you can't get enough. And thirdly, in Durmitor, there is a lot of everything, what is the best. Nature, into which man has not yet intervened, the deepest in Europe and the second largest canyon of the Tara River in the world and Zabljak, the highest mountain city in the Balkans.
Durmitor National Park is located in the north-west of Montenegro on the mountain range of the same name. These are relatively low mountains - 48 peaks exceed the two thousandth mark. Bobotov Kuk, the highest mountain, is 2523 meters.
The national park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Durmitor itself means a mountain full of water.
The area of the park is 39 thousand hectares. Depending on the season, you can go trekking, rock climbing, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, rafting, fishing and leisurely walks or excursions in the surroundings.
How to get to Durmitor
It all depends on how you build your route around Montenegro, and where you will go to Durmitor. If you travel around the country by public transport, you may have to change trains. It will be the city of Nikšić or Pljevlja. If you prefer to rent a car, think about how confident you feel on the mountain roads. If you relax on the sea, go across the country on a one-day bus excursion, a 300-400 km round trip with a strict time frame.
But, regardless of the method of transportation, heading to Durmitor in the summer even in the heat of the day, bring along something with a long sleeve. +35 near the sea will turn into +15 at the foot of the mountains in a few hours. And if you are going to stay here longer, then warm and waterproof clothes and closed shoes will come in handy.
Where to stay in Durmitor
If you want to stay in the national park for a few days, plan an overnight stay in Žabljak, a small town with a population of 2 thousand people, the administrative center of the Durmitor region.
Before entering the park itself, you should go 10-20 minutes on foot. Zabljak is the highest mountain city in Montenegro, the center of winter and mountain tourism. Relict beech groves, green juniper thickets, coniferous forests, mountain pastures, picturesque canyons, rivers, lakes, monasteries - inconspicuous Zabljak is surrounded by all this for tens of kilometers.
There are several hotels, a private sector, cafes, restaurants, a bazaar, shops. If you travel to Durmitor in season - in summer, winter or on holiday - it is better to book accommodation in advance. Sometimes locals meet travelers right at the bus station and offer inexpensive overnight in their home. Conditions - from a separate bed to a full board. Price - from € 10 per night for two. At the hotel the price is more expensive - starting from € 30 for two.
Entrance to the National Park is paid - € 3. Here, in the tourist office, located at the entrance, you can buy a detailed map with the designation of peaks, trails, rivers, lakes. The national park closes at 18.00 (19.00). Therefore, if you want to see more, go camping in the morning. The best option is to spend the night in Zabljak and make radial exits along the selected routes.
What to see in Durmitor
There are 18 glacial lakes in the reserve. The largest and most famous one is the Black Lake (Crno Jezero). In fact, these are two lakes - the Big Lake and the Small Lake, connected by a narrow strait, which dries up in summer, forming two separate lakes.
And its color is rather blue, turquoise, emerald. The maximum depth of the Black Lake is almost 50 meters. In the lake, you can swim and fish. You can go boating while it's the season.
You can get around the lake along the trail - 3.5 kilometers through the coniferous forest. And then, if the weather and time allow, go along mountain paths to other small lakes around Zabljak. Or find a path to the cavern at Vjetrena brda, the deepest natural cavern in the park (800 meters), located near the Black Lake. It is better to go there with an experienced guide. In total, there are 500 km of marked trails in Durmitor. And each one leads a tourist, climber, cyclist and just a lover of hiking somewhere.
Tara River Canyon - the deepest canyon in Europe
The Tara River Canyon, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, occupies 41% of the total national park. The dimensions of the deepest canyon in Europe and the second largest in the world are striking: its depth reaches 1300 meters, its length is 80 km. The crystal clear water of the river is called the Tear of Europe. You can drink it.
Đurđevića Tara Bridge - the largest arched viaduct in Europe
The distance to it from Zabljak is 23 km. You can reach it for 3 euros by regular bus. The schedule is in the window of the bus station.
Đurđevića Tara Bridge is a 365-meter five-arched automobile bridge over the Tara River. At the time of completion of its construction in 1940, it was the largest automobile concrete arched viaduct in Europe. There are cafes and souvenir stalls on both sides of the bridge. Buses and cars that bring tourists stop here.
When you are on the bridge at an altitude of 172 meters above the river, you feel the power of nature and the human mind. Tourists do not let cameras out of their hands, they want to capture the grandeur of the canyon and the grace of the bridge in great detail. And the brain suggests slowly: “maybe rafting?”, “maybe a zip-line?”. Both are possible. Rafting on Tara, having passed 24 rapids, zipping over 800 meters on a zip-line over the abyss - adventures are waiting for you! Ask about the conditions of rafting in any tourist office. You will see the zip-line platform from the bridge yourself.
What else did Travellizy forget to tell you about?
We talk about the weather and nature all the time. And we forgot about the food! Get down from the peaks, come back from the lakes. Go to a restaurant or cafe. Order a plate of hot veal chorba and a glass of cold plum brandy. And let it be warm for you!