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Montenegro Walking Holidays 1

Trekking in North and South Montenegro

Overview

This tour features the highlights of North and South Montenegro, including the beautiful Biogradska Gora – one of the last three primaeval rainforests in Europe, Durmitor National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lovcen National Park, and the fjord-like Kotor Bay, considered one of the most breathtaking coastal areas in Europe.

There are some invigorating hikes past mountain lakes and katuns (Shepherds huts) to Crna Glava, the summit of Mount Bjelasica. There is a walk through the virgin beech forest of Biogradska Gora National Park, past 500-year-old trees and through the most impressive part of the park and the serene beauty of Biogradsko Lake.

The itinerary continues to Durmitor National Park’s breathtaking scenery, including the Tara Canyon (the longest in Europe). There are walks past Crno Jezero (Black Lake) and the Bear Summit Circuit to Previja Pass below Medjed Peak with majestic views of Durmitor and the beautiful Jablan Lake.

Then you move to Lovcen National Park. Our walks in nature are combined with must-see visits to the Old Capital of Cetinje. Included are a climb to the Lovcen mountain summit and a visit to Njegos’ tomb, so you can fully experience the spirit of the area and explore the sacred secrets of Montenegro.

Walking down from Lovcen, you arrive in Boka Kotorska Bay and the old town of Kotor. You are free to choose between three alternative walks (similar route but different distances), all of them offering breathtaking views of the Boka Kotorska Bay and the surrounding mountains.

Highlights

Our Co-Founder Peter Duncan hiked in Montenegro and Kosovo in 2016. You can read his Mail on Sunday article here

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Kolasin

Arrival from the airport (Podgorica, Tivat or Dubrovnik) by public transport (or private transfer, upon request). 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 | 16 km

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
  • Accommodation: traditional mountain hut Katun Vranjak (private rooms/huts but shared facilities!)

Day 3: Crna Glava Summit (2139 m) | 16 km

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 (2139 m), 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 Biogradska river’s spring, which is the main water supply for Biogradsko lake.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 16 km, ↑700m ↓750m
  • Accommodation: traditional mountain hut Katun Vranjak (private rooms/huts but shared facilities!)

Day 4: Biogradska Gora National Park and Biogradsko Lake | 12 km

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 1600-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 at 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: local guesthouse (optional upgrade to hotel 4*)

Day 5: Medjed Peak Circuit | 13 km

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 (2145 m), located beneath the heights of Medjed (Bear) peak (2287 m), 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 your accommodation.

  • Walking for the day: 6-7 hours, 13 km, ↑800m ↓800m
  • Accommodation: local guesthouse (optional upgrade to hotel 4*)

Day 6: Jablan Lake | 14 km

One of the most charming lakes of Durmitor National Park, Jablansko lake is also the highest in Durmitor (1791 m). 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
  • Accommodation: local guesthouse (optional upgrade to hotel 4*)

Day 7: Transfer to Lovcen, Walk to Cetinje | 10 km

Transfer (3.5 h) to Ivanova Korita resort, positioned in the heart of the Lovcen mountain. It is another of the five National Parks of Montenegro. Accommodation in a hand-picked superior 3-star hotel where you will spend the next two overnights.

Option 1 (standard, walk to Cetinje): After accommodation/lunch in Lovcen, walk 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 familiarize oneself with its culture. In the late afternoon, a prearranged transfer car will transport you back to the hotel in Ivanova Korita (25 min).

Option 2 (bookable at an extra cost, payable on the spot to the driver): Instead of the walk to Cetinje, the transfer on this day can be turned into a tour with few interesting stops on the way. In this case, you will travel through hidden pockets across Durmitor massif, see Piva canyon and Piva monastery (XVI century) and drink a coffee at the breathtaking edge of Komarnica canyon. Lunch (not included) could be served in an excellent restaurant at the bank of Rastovac river, before heading to Cetinje. Optional stop in Cetinje for sightseeing and then arrival at Lovcen.

Day 8: Jezerski Summit (1657 m) | 10 km

A circular walk from your hotel to the Jezerski Vrh summit (1,657 m); ‘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.

Day 9: Kotor Bay | 7-15 km

You arrive in Boka Kotorska Bay and the old town of Kotor by walking down from Lovcen. You are free to choose between three alternative walks (similar 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. Transfer and overnight in Perast.

Walking for the day – depending on the chosen route:

  • 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
  • Accommodation: 4-star Conte Hotel in Perast or similar.

Day 10: Departure

Departure on your own, or optional private transfer to your departure airport.

What to Expect

Accommodation

3-star hotels and lodges, guesthouses as indicated in the itinerary. We have carefully hand-picked all the 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.

Click to view sample hotels

Hotel Čile, Hotel Ivanov Konak, Monte Rosa, Katun Vranjak, Conte Hotel

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 the exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included. When no restaurant location is available en 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.

Difficulty & terrain

Appropriate for regular walkers. Requires a reasonable level of fitness. The trip covers an average of 14 km (5-6 hours) of hiking per day. Average daily elevation gain is 450 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 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 October. 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.

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. It can become quite hot in July and August, 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.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

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.

By train or bus

Public transport to/from Podgorica

Day 1- 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€.

Day 10 – From Ivanova Korita to Podgorica airport

Take a taxi to Cetinje (10-15€, 15 km). There are regular direct public bus transfers from Cetinje bus station to Podgorica bus station for about 10€ per person (1 hour). Then take a taxi from Podgorica bus station to Podgorica airport for 15-20€.

Public transport to/from Dubrovnik

Day 1 – From Dubrovnik to Kolasin

-Take the 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 12.30 pm. Any later arrivals would need an overnight in Dubrovnik or a private transfer to Kolasin)

Day 10 – From Ivanova Korita to Dubrovnik 

Take a taxi to Kotor Bus Station. There are regular bus services from Kotor to Dubrovnik. Then take a taxi from Dubrovnik Bus station to Dubrovnik airport.

Private Transfers

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.

Inclusions

Included

  • Accommodation on 9 nights in private double or twin rooms in hand-picked 3 to 4-star hotels, guesthouses and mountain cabins as listed in the itinerary (7 nights en-suite, 2 nights shared facilities)
  • 9 breakfasts
  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • GPS tracks
  • Daily luggage transport  to the next accommodation of one bag of up to 25 kg per person on all walking days
  • All internal ground transfers and baggage transfers as listed in the programme
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses such as phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Private airport transfers on Day 1 and Day 10
  • Optional tour on Day 7
  • Extra nights is Perast after the holiday

Gallery

Reviews

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Rating

     

Sharne W

We had a great time. Really enjoyed Montenegro and the trip was fabulous. The GPS route maps were excellent and saved us getting lost a few times. The local staff did a good job.

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