Overview for North Montenegro Activity Holiday
Our North Montenegro Activity Holiday combines six days of self guided walking in the beautiful Biogradska Gora and Durmitor national parks with four days of optional activities (kayaking, cycling, mountain biking, rafting) at a rafting camp located in the impressive Tara River Canyon.
- Mount Bjelasica
- Biogradska Gora National Park & Biogradsko Lake
- Durmitor National Park and its glacial lakes
- Tara River Canyon
- Dubrovnik (only if flying via Dubrovnik airport)
Itinerary for North Montenegro Activity HolidayGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival
Arrival from the airport (Podgorica, Tivat or Dubrovnik) by public transport (or we can arrange a private transfer). On the way to Kolasin you will pass through the impressive Moraca Canyon where you can take a break and visit the 13th century Moraca Monastery. The Moraca Monastery is one of the best preserved Serbian medieval orthodox monasteries. Overnight in Kolasin.
Accommodation: 3-star Hotel Čile in Kolasin or similar
Day 2: Bjelasica Mountain
This morning, after breakfast, you will start your walking. The path leads you to the heart of the Bjelasica Mountain. The hiking is mostly uphill and on pastures and grassland. At the end of your invigorating first hike, you’ll arrive at the Katuns or Shepherds’ huts, which are traditional mountain houses found all over Northern Montenegro.
Traditionally, rural farming families close their village homes and move to these simple cottages during the summer months. Life in the katuns is rustic and simple and you will have a chance to feel the real rural life of the Montenegrins.
Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 16 km ↑950m ↓250m
Overnight in the traditional mountain hut Katun Vranjak.
Day 3: Crna Glava Summit
During this day’s walk, you will hike the gentle green slopes and summits of Bjelasica. This is a circular walk heading to Crna Glava, the peak of Bjelasica, passing by two lovely mountain lakes. There are excellent views to the shepherds’ villages below your trail as well as to the surrounding mountains. On the way back you will have time to take a short break and taste the crystal clear water from the spring of the Biogradska river which is the main water supply for Biogradsko lake.
Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 16 km ↑700m ↓750m
Overnight in the traditional mountain hut Katun Vranjak.
Day 4 – Biogradska Gora National Park and Biogradsko Lake
The first part of today’s hike passes through the highlands of Lica mountain – heading to the hidden shepherd’s village of Goles Katun where you can stop for lunch or try a selection of home-made products. The forests are the most important natural feature of the park, as the 1,600-hectare woods are one of the last three primaeval forests in Europe so that you will be passing by 400 to 500 years old trees.
On arrival to Biogradsko Lake, you will have plenty of time to relax and take a walk around the lake. We will then transfer you to Durmitor National Park through the canyon of the river Tara. Before you arrive in Zabljak, which is located in the heart of Durmitor National Park, you will be able to view one of the most beautiful bridges in this part of the world – Djurdjevica Tara bridge.
Walking for the day: 5 hours, 12 km ↑350m ↓950m
Accommodation on days 4 and 5: MB Hotel, Zabljak or similar.
Day 5: Durmitor Circular Walks
Option 1: The Bear Summit circuit
After breakfast you will take a trail that passes by the Black Lake and then up into the mountains, hiking through a changing landscape of fir forests and low alpine vegetation. Your destination is the Previja Pass (2,145m), located beneath the heights of Medjed (Bear) peak (2,287m), where you will enjoy a scenic lunch enjoying the majestic vistas below. While bear and wolf are rarely sighted in the park, there is a chance of spotting chamois on the high mountain slopes, as well as fox, weasels and badger. After your lunch break, you will head back down to Black Lake, following a trail that takes you via a shepherd’s camp at Lokvice, before returning to the hotel.
Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 13 km ↑800m ↓800m
Option 2: Jablan Lake
One of the most charming lakes of Durmitor National Park, Jablansko lake is also the highest one in Durmitor (1,791m). The trail to this lake is well-marked, but it is one of the paths least used by hikers. You will enjoy the calm and quiet as you pass through woods and pastures and can even take some time for a refreshing swim in Jablan lake. You will also enjoy excellent views from the trail to the most prominent lake in Durmitor – the Crno (Black) lake.
Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 14 km ↑450m ↓450m
Option 3: The Three Lakes Tour
The last circular walk by the three Durmitor lakes is a relaxing one, with an optional rest/swim in Crno Jezero (the Black Lake). The terrain is flat, and a path leads through a fir and pine forest. During this hike you are going to see Barno, Zminje and Crno lakes, Barno being the smallest and Crno the biggest. Return to hotel.
Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 12 km ↑150m ↓150m
Days 6-9: Tara Rafting Camp
Morning transfer to the rafting camp in the beautiful Tara Canyon (140 km, 4 hours). During the next four days, you can choose from different activities including cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, rafting etc. We have not included specific activities in the programme so that you can choose them as per your liking – on the spot or in advance. All activities are payable locally, there are discounts if you join a group e.g. for rafting or cycling excursions. Sample prices: one day of rafting – GBP 25-35 pp; canoe or whitewater kayak rental: GBP 25-40 pp per day, bike rental GBP 20-35 pp per day. We can also offer guided biking day trips.
Accommodation on days 6 – 9: Tara Rafting Camp, simple but clean en suite rooms (limited availability) or dormitories.
Day 10: Departure or Onward Travel
(optional private transfer to Dubrovnik or Podgorica Airport).
Hotels for North Montenegro Activity HolidayGo to top of page
3-star hotels and mountain lodges as indicated in the itinerary. We have carefully hand-picked all hotels and lodges and we regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms, and great local cuisine.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide to you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.
– Eco village Katun Vranjak: http://jelka.me/category/eco-village/
– MB Hotel, Zabljak: https://www.mbturist.com/en
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available on route lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or you can pre-order packed lunch from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either from the restaurant in your hotel or restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.
Travel for North Montenegro Activity HolidayGo to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Podgorica as it provides much shorter transfer times to Kolasin on Day 1.
Alternatively, flights are available from the UK via Dubrovnik (Croatia). Although transfer time is a bit longer, you can add an extra night in Dubrovnik before or after your holiday and explore this beautiful city.
Transfers to/from Podgorica
From Podgorica To Kolasin
–Take a taxi from Podgorica airport to Podgorica bus station 15-20€.
–By bus from Podgorica bust station to Kolasin –buses depart approximately every 30 minutes from Podgorica to Kolasin. The ticket costs 4€-5€.
From Scepan Polje to Podgorica airport
There are regular direct public bus transfers from Zabljak bus station to Podgorica bus station for about 10 Euros per person. Then take a taxi from Podgorica bus station to Podgorica airport for 15-20€.
Transfers to/from Dubrovnik
From Dubrovnik To Kolasin
-Take bus from Dubrovnik airport to Dubrovnik bus station (Atlas buses upon arrival of every scheduled flight) – price 40HRK (5.5€)
– Take the bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor: there are two daily buses to Kotor.
-By bus from Kotor to Kolasin: several buses are departing from Kotor to Kolasin every day. The ticket costs 11€.
(Please note – to make it for the last 3 pm bus from Dubrovnik to Kotor your flight arrival time should be not later than 12.30pm. Any later arrivals would need an overnight in Dubrovnik or a private transfer to Kolasin)
From Scepan Polje to Dubrovnik
Buses are available to Dubrovnik, but you need to change coach in Niksic and/or Trebinje. Total cost is around 60 Euro pp. Then take a taxi from Dubrovnik Bus station to Dubrovnik airport.
Private transfers can be an economical alternative to public transport in Montenegro, in some cases equal to the cost of public transportation in the UK. We can arrange private transfers from/to airport to/from hotel for arrival and departure – please indicate that you want a private transfer when completing your online booking form.
Please note that only one airport transfer per party is included, though additional transfers can be arranged. It is advisable therefore that all party members arrive on the same flight or at least at a similar time. Night transfer extra charges may be applicable on private transfers in case of late night arrivals.
Luggage transfer is included on all self guided days, and your bags will be transferred by your current hotel (or by private transfer) to your next hotel. Baggage limit 25 kg per bag.
Montenegro: Country Info
Timezone: GMT +1
Language: Montenegrin (a variety of Serbo-Croatian). In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel staff where you stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are normally in Latin alphabet – and you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.
Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs.
Currency: Euro. We strongly recommend taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit.
Cost of living: it is much cheaper than in the UK or Western Europe. Some sample prices follow:
- Coffee/ Tea- 0.8 – 1.5€
- Soft drink- 1-2€
- Bottle of beer- 1-2€
- Bottle of wine- 5-15€
- Two-course meal- 8-10€
- Three-course meal- 12-15€
Up-to-date travel advice on Montenegro is available here.
Detailed travel and country information is provided in your holiday information pack.
Trip Info for North Montenegro Activity HolidayGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires a reasonable level of fitness. The walking part of the trip covers an average of 14 km (6 hours) of hiking per day. Average daily elevation gain is 500 m (read more about difficulty grades).
Most of your walks will be on unpaved timber roads and hiking trails, although a few sections may include walking on asphalt. Most of the trails are well-marked and signposted. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from June until September.
In early June there could be occasional patches of snow in the higher parts of the mountains. July and August are the busiest (and the hottest!) months, and it is preferable to book as early as possible.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays and the fact that there are no fixed dates gives you the opportunity to start your trip at any time of the season. Please indicate your desired starting date when booking.
Usually, you can expect excellent weather in Montenegro from April to November. Montenegro has a Mediterranean climate, hot, dry summers and autumns and relatively cold winters with heavy snowfall inland. There is a chance of sporadic rain in spring and autumn, though generally, this is in the form of short showers. In July and August, it can become very hot, and you must take enough water for your walks. You can expect cold nights in the Durmitor Mountains and on higher altitudes it is possible to have light snowing in April, May, October, November.
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 25 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Water shoes for the optional rafting camp activities
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for North Montenegro Activity HolidayGo to top of page
- Detailed pre-departure holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
- Accommodation for 7 nights in hand-picked 2 to 4-star hotels or family-run guest-houses as listed in itinerary
- 7 Breakfasts
- Daily luggage transport to next accommodation of one bag of up to 25 kg per person
- All internal ground transfers and baggage transfers as listed in the program
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
- This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost
Options and Extras
- Private airport transfers
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation (private airport transfers available on request)
- All activities at the rafting camp
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not explicitly mentioned in the program