Overview for South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)
Our South Montenegro and Kotor Bay centre-based strenuous self guided walking holiday offers a truly wonderful itinerary which includes some of the best walks in South Montenegro, considered one of the most breathtaking coastal areas in Europe.
Designed for seasoned hikers who are interested in getting closer to the culture and dramatic nature which can only be viewed from the beautiful mountain trails, this centre-based tour is perfect for taking in the sights and sounds and the solitude of these two beautiful areas where the mountains meet the sea.
Our walks in nature are combined with must-see visits to the Old Capital of Cetinje, Kotor and Perast.
Accommodation is three overnights at a four-star hotel in Lovcen National Park and a lovely family guesthouse for the four overnights in Perast.
Optional: if you prefer to stay in a four-star seaside hotel in Perast (Conte or similar) instead of the guesthouse, you can choose this upgrade when completing the online booking form.
Strenuous grade too hard for you? This itinerary also has a moderate version.
- Lovcen National Park
- Cetinje, the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro (Museum town)
- Njegos’ tomb at Lovcen summit
- Boka Kotorska Bay (UNESCO)
- Old Austro-Hungarian fortresses: Kom, Sveti Andrija and Vrmac
- Our Lady of the Rocks island church
Itinerary for South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)Go to top of page
Day 1: Ivanova Korita, Lovcen National Park
Arrival in Ivanova Korita resort, positioned in the heart of Lovcen mountain. It is one of the five national parks in Montenegro. Accommodation is in a hand-picked 4-star hotel where you will spend next three overnights. In case of earlier arrival, we have prepared a light circular walk to one of the most wonderful viewpoints on the Adriatic coast!
Arrival is possible at one of the three closest airports: Tivat, Podgorica or Dubrovnik (Croatia). All airport transfers can be made by taxi or combined by a local bus (to Cetinje or Kotor) and then by taxi (20 min from Cetinje or 1h from Kotor). Private transfer is available on request.
- Walking for the day (optional walk): 3 hours, 10 km ↑300m ↓300m
Day 2: Cetinje – Ceklin village – Rijeka Crnojevica
Walk from your hotel down the Lovcen slopes towards Cetinje. The focus of the day is Cetinje, the lovely old town which was the Capital of Montenegro from the 15th century until 1918. This city is known as the Old Capital or the ‘Museum Town of Montenegro.’ This is the best place to learn all about the turbulent Montenegrin history and familiarise with its culture.
After Cetinje, you will continue to walk through the ancient villages on the way to Rijeka Crnojevica, a historical site which is today a small fisherman village at banks of the Crnojevica river. After having a refreshment in some of the restaurants there, you should call your driver for pickup back to the hotel (40 min drive). Optionally, you can reduce this route by calling the car from Ceklin village.
Walking for the day:
- Optional route 1: 8 hours, 22 km ↑200m ↓1,300m
- Optional route 2: 6 hours, 17 km ↑150m ↓1,100m
Day 3: Njegusi Village – Jezerski Summit
Morning transfer to Njegusi village (20 min). Walk from Njegusi to the Jezerski Vrh summit (1,657m); ‘Njegos tomb’ is positioned at its top. You can visit the tomb then take an optional rest and have time for lunch in a lovely restaurant nearby. Views from the top are just stunning and give you a chance to admire all the summits of Montenegro, Skadar lake, (the largest lake in the Balkans) with the Albanian Alps in the background as well as Cetinje, the Adriatic coast and Boka Kotorska Bay. Walk down to hotel through a dense beech forest.
- Walking for the day: 4-5 hours, 10 km ↑500m ↓500m
Day 4: Kotor Bay / Perast
You arrive in Boka Kotorska Bay and the old town of Kotor by walking down from Lovcen. You are free to choose between two similar walks (the same route but different distances) for this part of the itinerary. Either choice will offer breathtaking views of the Boka Kotorska Bay and the surrounding mountains. After some time exploring the old town of Kotor, you will then take a transfer to Perast by local bus (20 min). Accommodation is in a 4-star hotel or a lovely family guest-house (optional).
- Optional route 1: 6 hours, 15 km ↑300m ↓1,500m
- Optional route 2: 4 hours, 9 km ↑50m ↓1,300m
- Optional route 3: 3 hours, 7 km ↑50m ↓900m
Day 5: Our Lady of the Rocks / Vrmac
Boat trip to the artificial island across Perast. Visit the “Our Lady of Rocks” church and its museum. Continue by a private boat to the village of Donji Stoliv where you start the day’s hike, passing through a dense chestnut forest to the abandoned village of Gornji Stoliv with excellent views to Perast and the Bay. You will then head up to the ridges of Vrmac peninsula towards Kotor’s old town. After time to refresh in Kotor you will transfer back to Perast by a local bus (20 min).
- Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 17 km ↑750m ↓750m
Day 6: Crkvice
A picturesque drive (40min) to the starting point in the remote area of Crkvice, at an altitude 1,100 m above the Bay. Hiking by an old military mule path dating back to the 19th century. The path passes through an area of extraordinary land formations and offers excellent views of Boka Kotorska Bay with an optional climb to the Velji Vrh summit (1,281m). Ruined fortresses along the way pay testimony to the one-century long presence of the Austro-Hungarian empire. Hiking finishes in a local restaurant where your driver will pick you up for the trip back to Perast.
- Walking for the day: 5 hours, 13 km ↑450m ↓850m
Day 7: Vranovo Brdo and Orahovac
Picturesque drive (30 min) to the starting point in Donje Ledenice. This hike starts almost from the same place where you ended yesterday’s trail. From this trail, you are treated to some excellent views of the Bay. It passes through the old and abandoned village of Ubalac, (only one person is living there today) following an old military Austro-Hungarian mule trail. The highlight of the hike is Sveti Andrija, an abandoned fortress which features the most spectacular view of the Bay. After relaxing at the fortress, you will descend down to the bay, passing through remains of two ancient villages. Arrival in Orahovac village by the water. Getting back to Perast via local bus (5 min).
- Walking for the day: 5-6 hours, 15 km ↑350m ↓850m
Day 8: Departure or Onward Travel
Optional private transfer to your departure airport.
Hotels for South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)Go to top of page
Family-run guesthouse with private rooms (4 nights) and a 4-star hotel (3 nights). All accommodation has been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.
*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 you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation
You can also choose upgraded accommodation in a 4-star seaside hotel in Perast on Days 4-7 – please indicate when completing the online booking form.
Breakfast is included. When no restaurant 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 from restaurants and taverns in the village near your hotel.
Travel for South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)Go to top of page
Our recommended arrival airport for this holiday is Podgorica.
Alternatively, flights are available from the UK via Dubrovnik (Croatia) or Tivat (Montenegro). There is public transport to/from all of them, or we can arrange a private transfer.
Transfers to/from Recommended Airport
Day 1- From Podgorica To Ivanova Korita Resort
– Take a taxi from Podgorica Airport to Podgorica Bus Station, 20 minutes.
– Take the bus from Podgorica airport to Cetinje, 10€ – 45 minutes trip.
– From the bus station take a taxi to Ivanova Korita Resort, 10€ – 15 minutes.
Day 8 – From Kotor to Podgorica airport
– Take a bus to Kotor Bus Station, 20 minutes.
– There are regular public bus transfers from Kotor bus station to Podgorica bus station on day 8 for about 10 € per person.
– From Podgorica bus station take a taxi to Podgorica airport.
Private transfers can be an economical alternative to public transport in Montenegro, sometimes equal to the cost of public transport in the UK. We can arrange for you private transfers from/to airport to 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 walking days and your bags will be transported 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 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 South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)Go to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Strenuous
Appropriate for experienced walkers. Requires a high level of fitness. The trip covers an average of 18 km (7 hours) of hiking per day. Average daily elevation gain is 700 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 sign posted.
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 May until November.
In May there could be occasional patches of snow in the higher parts of the mountains.
July and August are the busiest – and hottest – months, and it is preferable to book as early as possible. Resort towns may become overcrowded in these months.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays and the fact that there are no fixed dates gives you the opportunity to start your holiday at any time of the season. Please indicate your desired starting date when booking.
Typically, 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 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 cool nights in the Durmitor Mountains and at 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 us or a reputable outdoor retailer.
- 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
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for South Montenegro and Kotor Bay (Strenuous)Go 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 4-star hotels and family-run guesthouses as listed in itinerary
- 7 Breakfasts
- Daily luggage transport to next hotel of one bag of up to 25 kg per person
- All internal ground transfers and baggage transfers as listed in itinerary
- 24/7 assistance by phone
Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements
- Single room supplement: 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.
(please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above to see the price of the holiday and the different options and supplements for your desired dates)
Options and Extras
- Private airport transfers to first accommodation / from last accommodation
- You can also choose accommodation in a 4-star seaside hotel in Perast on Days 4-7 – please indicate when completing the online booking form
- Flights and connecting land transfers to first / from last accommodation (private airport transfers available, choose when booking)
- Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not explicitly mentioned in the program
- One extra night in Perast after the holiday
Spend one extra night after the holiday in a nice guesthouse or a luxury four-star seaside hotel on the Dalmatian Coast near Kotor.
- Beach Extension: 3 extra nights on the Dalmatian coast
Treat yourself after the holiday with four days of relaxation in a lovely guesthouse on the Dalmatian coast near Kotor.
- In-Style Beach Extension: 3 extra nights on the Dalmatian coast
Treat yourself after the holiday with four days of relaxation in a beautiful four-star seaside hotel on the Dalmatian coast near Kotor (Conte Hotel in Perast).