Montenegro’s Durmitor National Park
I’ve already written about Perast, my favorite Montenegrin seaside town. But the tiny Balkan country of Montenegro has much to offer to visitors willing to stray from its more developed Mediterranean coastline.
For Montenegro’s rugged, wild interior attracts fewer visitors, but it’s well worth the effort.
The Montenegrins tell a story about the creation of their country. They say that after God created the Earth, he looked down in his bag which had once contained all the birds, fish, animals, plants, water and the first humans who now populated his new planet. He noticed that in the bag there were still some stones left and he threw them down to the newly created Earth, thereby creating Montenegro.
You can’t help but think of this story as you navigate within Montenegro’s rugged, wild interior. Although it is a small country, getting from point A to point B in inland Montenegro takes a long time because you are driving along narrow, twisting (and let’s face it, often terrifying) mountain passes and roads through the country’s numerous gorges.
But the drives are worth it to reach gems such as the Durmitor National Park.
Durmitor, a UNESCO Heritage site, is located in northern Montenegro, close to the border with Bosnia-Hercegovina. Its pristine lakes and rocky mountains are a wonder to explore – and you will do so easily with extremely well-marked hiking trails for all skill levels.
Vegetarians beware: on the menu is lamb, lamb and more lamb (I had no idea there were so many ways to prepare it), but also scrumptious priganice – a type of small fried dough, like fritters – served with either kaymak (soft, salty cheese), fermented milk or honey, and mouthwatering berries picked fresh from along the trails. A little slice of heaven.
From Durmitor, it’s also possible to organize whitewater rafting trips in the Tara River Canyon. This canyon is a popular place for whitewater rafting excursions. Serious rafters will want to go in the spring/early summer, with its higher water levels and fast rapids, and plan a two-day (overnight) trip to the Bosnian border.
Travelling with young children, we were happy for the lower water levels and slower rapids of late summer. The kids loved their first rafting experience and can’t wait to return.
Durmitor is a fantastic European destination for hiking, rafting and outdoor sports, all against the backdrop of stunning, pristine nature… well worth a visit.
Great post… 😉
Tak! That’s the extent of my Danish, unfortunately. : ) If you like hiking, it’s a great place to visit.
Great pics, what an adventure.
Thanks, Claire! Yes, we had a great time there and still left lots of trails for next time…
very beautiful, i hope to hear more from you.
Thanks for your comment, George. It really is beautiful… and still not overrun by tourists.
Loved you post! I’m on our honeymoon with my wife and we would like to go to Durmitor. Can you recommend any specific transportation and do you have any tips for Perast like foodwise because we are heading there after Budva.
Congratulations and hope you are enjoying your Montenegro honeymoon.
Unless anything has changed this year, public transportation isn’t great in Montenegro. You probably want to rent a car to get to Durmitor.
As for Perast restaurants, we liked Caffe Armonia and Hotel Conte and a nice little place (forgetting its name) on the main stretch at the furthest end from the Pirate Beach. You’ll see it, it’s lively in the evenings.
The best restaurant we went to was in nearby Morinj: Catovica Mlini, an old mill converted into a restaurant. It’s a little more pricey than other restaurants, but we still found it reasonable and the setting is lovely.
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[…] of my earlier posts on places to visit in Montenegro, including the seaside town of Perast, the Durmitor National Park and the Balkans’ largest lake, Skadarsko […]