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With rugged unspoiled mountains, an amazing coastline to the Adriatic Sea and charming Medieval towns (you’ve probably heard about Kotor), this often overlooked country of the Balkan Peninsula is slowly emerging as one of Europe’s most surprising travel destinations for outdoor lovers.
Surrounded by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania, tiny Montenegro offers all-year-round adventures, from skiing in snowy peaks to diving into the crystal waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Even though is a rather ‘new’ country ―it became independent in 2006, after being part of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and previously, of the former Yugoslavia―, Montenegro boasts a long and rich history and that’s also one of the highlights that makes it worth visiting it.
If Montenegro is on your travel bucket-list, make sure to read our guide and take notes of the best adventure tours you can enjoy throughout the country. Let’s get started!
The Bay of Kotor is definitely Montenegro’s favorite attraction. Wandering through the narrow cobblestone alleys of Kotor’s Old Town ―a fortified Medieval town and a UNESCO heritage site, nestled between imposing mountains and the sea― is definitely one of the most pleasurable experiences to have in the country.
Other Montenegrin old towns worth visiting as you drive along the Southern Adriatic coastline are Herceg Novi, Budva, and Bar.
If you enjoy city tours but you want to add some thrilling adventure to the itinerary, canyoning may just be the perfect plan! In case you haven’t heard about it yet, this aquatic activity involves jumping, swimming, rappelling, and toboggan sliding on a river canyon. Just a few steps away from the Old Town Bar, the Medjurecki Canyon guarantees a day full of adrenaline among waterfalls and natural pools of emerald water.
Montenegro has more than just spectacular seaside towns and beaches. Surrounded by dramatic peaks around 2,000 meters high, it becomes no surprise that its name translates as ‘black mountain’. The best places to visit for a mountain excursion in Montenegro are the national parks of Durmitor and Prokletije.
Lying to the north-west of the country, Durmitor National Park is the largest protected area in the country and a haven for nature lovers, featuring lush forests, glacial lakes, canyons, and stunning mountains. From hiking to rafting, there’s a myriad of outdoor activities to enjoy here.
Stretching along the Montenegrin-Albanian border, the jagged Prokletije mountains are home to three different protected areas: two of them lie within Albania while the third one is Prokletije National Park, in Montenegro. These remote mountains, the last section of the Dinaric Alps, offer some of the most spectacular views of the country.
Sitting in Durmitor National Park, Bobotov Kuk (2,522 m) is the fourth highest mountain in the country. (The actual highest peaks are located in the Prokletije mountains, in the border with Albania). However, it’s definitely the most popular peak in Montenegro.
Climbing Bobotov Kuk is a quite demanding undertaking, but in the end, it totally pays off: from its summit you’ll get breathtaking views of three countries: Montenegro, Bosnia, and Albania. You’ll also get to see the many eye-catching glacial lagoons that locals call ‘the eyes of the mountain’.
Attempting this summit in the company of a mountain guide is a great way of assuring a safe and enjoyable experience on a peak that makes an excellent initiation to mountaineering.
Montenegro isn’t exactly the first place that springs to mind when you think of great skiing in Europe. While still flying under the radar, this multifaceted country boasts eight ski resorts and a vast mountainous terrain to explore for those who like venturing into the backcountry.
Kolasin is the most famous ski resort in Montenegro, lying in the Bjelasica mountain. With all slopes facing North, the area provides stable snow till the beginning of the summer. Using the resort elevation means, you can reach the top of Bjelasica and ski down to the Jelovica Valley. And that’s just one of the many possibilities for off-piste skiing in this amazing spot!
The mountains of Durmitor National Park are also a paradise for ski tourers. There’s a ski area within the park that allows reaching higher altitudes. From there, it’s all about scenic views and wonderful ski descents.
You may be wondering when is the best time to go skiing in Montenegro: we say, try February!
What about combining a visit to two Balkan nations in one amazing trip? Bosnia and Herzegovina ―one of Montenegro’s neighboring countries― also provides exciting adventures in nature, as well as old towns which are an intriguing window to the past.
A possible itinerary may include climbing the most iconic peaks in each country: Maglic in Bosnia, and Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro. For a more thrilling experience, rafting can be an ideal add-on. The Tara River Canyon, in Montenegro, is an outstanding location for this sport. For those interested in historical sites, visiting the old town of Trebinje (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) and tasting the local wine, makes the perfect ending to an incredible trip in the Balkans.
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