Durmitor Nationwide Park in Montenegro was definitely my favorite a part of the nation to discover. For somebody who’s a sucker for mountains, valleys, lakes, greenery, nature walks and hikes, this a part of Montenegro stunned me pleasantly, not solely as a result of it surpassed the fantastic thing about the crystal-clear blue water seashores & the gorgeous coastal drives in west Montenegro, however as a result of it had hidden, unknown lakes which can be extra unimaginable than among the lakes I’ve seen in different elements of Europe. 3 days in Durmitor Nationwide Park was the right period of time to spend there, and an ideal break from the scorching warmth of the coast in the summertime. The perfect half is that Durmitor Nationwide Park is simply a 3-hour drive away from the Adriatic coast, so when you’re enjoyable on a seashore in Montenegro, you’re by no means too removed from the cool climate and wild fantastic thing about the mountains. This range of panorama is what makes Montenegro one in every of my favorite Balkan nations.
To discover Durmitor Nationwide Park, I counsel basing your self in Zabljak. A preferred ski resort within the winter, Zabljak is a sleepy city in summer season however well-placed geographically to discover the encircling areas. Whereas Montenegro is just not as developed as its neighbouring nations Croatia & Slovenia, the roads are nonetheless fairly good, aside from some very distant viewpoints, the place solely the adventurous ought to head. I extremely suggest renting a automotive however a smaller one as some roads will be slim and barely simpler to navigate in small automobiles.
Day 1: Zabljak
Should you’re driving to Durmitor Nationwide Park from Kotor/ Budva and even Podgorica, there’s rather a lot you’ll be able to see and do alongside the best way. Whereas the drive itself, with none stops, is about 3 hours, there are a number of viewpoints, wineries, and locations on the best way that you may discover.
Cease 1: Pavlova Strana Viewpoint
Pavlova Strana Viewpoint is positioned about 1 hour away from Budva. Providing one of the vital scenic vistas of Lake Skadar, Pavlova Strana Viewpoint is the place you’re going to get a fowl’s eye view of the horse-shoe bend of the lake. The highway is kind of slim however paved, and it’s not unusual to search out such single-track mountain roads in Montenegro. Whereas gps leads you to the proper spot, there isn’t a signpost to inform you precisely which is the perspective, so make certain to remain looking out. Someplace alongside the best way, there may be additionally a small café proper on the highway; it’s only a bunch of chairs positioned alongside the sting with umbrellas and a kiosk providing primary espresso however with glorious views. There aren’t too many eating places alongside the best way, so make certain to get your morning repair earlier than you depart from Kotor/ Budva.
Cease 2: Vinarija Velji Do vineyard
Meant just for the very adventurous (and wine fanatics), this native vineyard and winery is only some kilometers from the perspective, nevertheless it seems like you may have arrived in the course of nowhere. The roads aren’t very good both, particularly the previous few hundred meters that are slim, winding & solely gravel. However when you’re in search of an offbeat, native expertise and want to purchase do-it-yourself wines from a neighborhood Montenegrin household, the little journey is completely value it!
Cease 3: Ostrog Monastery
When you have the choice to cross by Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, there’s not rather a lot to do there besides perhaps seize a fast meal earlier than you head to the subsequent cease, which is about 1.5 hours away. Alternatively, I extremely suggest having your lunch at this lovely restaurant we discovered on the best way to the monastery, on the terrace of Resort Sokoline, providing exceptional valley views.
Ostrog Monastery, an essential Orthodox pilgrimage website, is positioned in opposition to a dramatic vertical cliff backdrop at a excessive altitude, making it an thrilling place to discover even in case you are not there for non secular or religious causes. The white façade of the monastery stands in vivid distinction to the darkish brown hills, and its vertical stature makes it look like it’s carved into the mountains, providing not solely an fascinating perspective of the valley but additionally a comfy, cool & homely environment for the monks dwelling on website. You will notice a variety of pilgrims strolling barefoot to the monastery. Be certain to put on garments that cowl your shoulders & knees whenever you go to, and likewise put on comfy sneakers as a result of there may be nearly a 1-kilometre climb (highway or stairs) after the parking spot to the monastery.
Lastly, cease 4: Zabljak
Advisable price range keep in Zabljak: Durmitorske zore
Whereas a bit of outdoors town middle, the homestay is walkable from the city and affords a really cozy room for keep at night time. The terrace of their backyard is ideal for a sundown picnic, providing a heat, comfy spot in the course of nature and with gorgeous mountain views.
Day 2: Tara Canyon River Rafting, Black Lake & Hike to Zminje Jezero
Some of the thrilling journey actions in Durmitor Nationwide Park is river rafting. Whereas the rapids aren’t main through the summer season months (which makes it simpler for the newbies and the not-so-adventurous individuals too), the awe-inspiring panorama, the gorgeous however freezing inexperienced waters of the Tara River and the dwarfing feeling when crusing amidst dramatic cliffs on each side, make this expertise value one’s whereas.
We booked this half day river rafting journey in Tara Canyon right here and paid about € 40 per individual, together with decide up from Zabljak. Alternatively, when you plan to spend extra time on this space, which you simply might, you may drive as much as the realm (its about half-hour away from Zabljak) and take part in different thrilling actions resembling ziplining, canyoning, mountaineering, and many others, all of which will be booked on the identical web site.
Should you do plan to do the rafting, make certain to hold your swimwear over which you’ll put on the moist swimsuit, supplied by the rafting firm. The exercise takes about 4 hours in all, and you’ll be again in Zabljak (do you have to resolve to not spend extra time on the Tara Canyon) by 2pm, leaving you adequate time to discover 2 of the most effective lakes in Durmitor Nationwide Park.
Crno Jezero (that translated into Black Lake) is positioned proper within the metropolis and solely a 5-min drive from town middle. Surrounded by dense pine forest and gorges, one can swim or kayak on this lake in the summertime. The calm, black-green waters of the lake are so inviting that it’s onerous to not soar in for a swim within the freezing glacial waters of the lake. If that’s not your cup of tea, you may merely take pleasure in a pleasant stroll across the lake or sit in one of many cafes/ eating places overlooking the lake.
Whereas strolling in direction of the lake from the car parking zone, you’ll cross a number of kiosks the place locals shall be promoting their do-it-yourself Montenegrin specialties; I extremely suggest selecting some fruit infused wines, honey & dips from right here (ajvar was my favorite).
Opposite to the commercialized Crno Jezero, Zminje Jezero is a small, rugged, and hidden within the depths of the spruce forests. Beware, its not unusual to search out snakes right here. The hike to the lake is just not robust however make certain to put on good sneakers and stroll about 3 kms in thick foliage. There are not any cafes or eating places round this lake so carry your picnic with you. The inexperienced waters of the lake, reflecting the forest it’s surrounded by, make it one of the vital distinctive, discreet & offbeat lakes to go to in Durmitor Nationwide Park.
Advisable place to dine in Zabljak metropolis middle: Restaurant Or’O
Day 3: Driving Durmitor Ring & Piva Lake
An 85-km round drive via genuine mountain villages, dramatic mountainous landscapes, hidden lakes & streams, and gorgeous viewpoints, Durmitor Ring is an effective way to benefit from the nature. Whereas the drive itself is simply of two hours, ranging from Zabljak, there are such a lot of stops on the best way which can be value making that one might spend a whole day on it.
The primary cease, Vražje Jezero, is actually 15-min from Zabljak. This was the spotlight of my 3 days in Durmitor Nationwide Park. Translating into Satan’s Lake, the hanging turquoise blue colour of this glacial lake left me completely mesmerised! Whereas many would possibly argue that Black Lake is prettier, I discovered the Satan’s Lake extra distant, vibrant, peaceable & gorgeous. There are not any eating places or cafes within the space, so count on to take pleasure in a pleasant stroll across the lake and produce your personal picnic.
Proceed driving on the Durmitor Ring and you will notice little huts scattered throughout the inexperienced mountains. A number of mountain villages will be discovered alongside the best way and don’t be stunned to see a sheep site visitors jam on the slim highway. Hidden lakes resembling Lake Sušičko, which normally dries up in the summertime, will be discovered alongside the best way. Additionally, you will see little frames put in on the drive, particularly if you find yourself nearing Sedlo Cross. That is additionally the place to begin for a lot of mountain mountaineering trails, resembling Bobotov Kuk, the very best peak in Durmitor Nationwide Park.
Though not precisely on the Durmitor Ring, one other lovely lake within the area is Piva Lake. Situated just one hour forward of Sedlo Cross, when you select to not go for a hike, head to this lake the place you’ll even have the choice to kayak, zipline or just take pleasure in a pleasant meal with a view of one more distinct blue coloured lake. A lot bigger than any of the opposite lakes you may have visited in Durmitor Nationwide Park, Piva Lake is definitely a man-made reservoir within the Pluzine district and never technically part of the nationwide park. Zip lining above this lake was one in every of my favorite actions on this space!
Return to Zabljak (1.5 hours drive) within the night.
When you have additional time in Durmitor Nationwide Park:
Whereas 3 days in Durmitor Nationwide Park have been ultimate for somebody who normally has brief trip days and likes to pack her itinerary with as many actions as potential, in case you have extra time and are a nature lover like me, I extremely suggest a go to to Lake Biograd, about 1.5 hours drive from Zabljak, in direction of the Kosovo border.