The Adventurer's Guide
Top 5 Best Hikes in Montenegro to Get Your Boots Dirty
It’s the up-and-comer of European travel and, though small, it’s not short on mountains and unexplored nature. In fact, 80% of the country is made up of forest, pastures, and meadows. For now, Montenegro is our little secret — but it won’t last much longer.
Rumija Mountain divides Skadar Lake to the east and the Adriatic Coast to the west. It’s been nicknamed the “enchanted bird paradise” and is one of Montenegro’s five national parks. On the way up: quiet forests, sparsely populated villages, and horse-ridden roads. At the top: A church, amazing views of the Skadar Lake, and a look at Maja Jezerce, the highest peak of Prokletije (which you’ll read about shortly). As Rumija is in Montenegro’s warmer southern region, it’s best to visit in spring.
Start from Stavna, a vast plateau known to hikers as the starting point for all trails to Komovi. Nestled between the Kučke Planine and Bjelasica in Montenegro’s east, Komovi is hike-ready all year round. Of its three peaks, Vasojevićki Kom is the easiest to climb. The other two, Kucki Kom and Ljevorijecki Kom, present some of the more challenging hikes in Montenegro — no surprise, since Komovi is the third highest mountain range in the country.
If you’re looking for the most beautiful mountain hiking in Montenegro, Prokletije may just be your winner. Here’s the catch though: The mountain doesn’t belong exclusively to Montenegro, and more than half of it actually resides in Albania. But that’s part of what makes this hike so special. The mountains contain three national parks (one in Montenegro) along with lakes and springs. There are still little known paths, unclimbed walls, and seldom visited peaks to make your own up!
4. Durmitor National Park
Montenegro’s most famous hiking is found here, in Durmitor National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durmitor was formed during the Ice Age, and many of its glacial lakes, canyons, and caves are still visible today. Durmitor boasts an impressive list of accolades, beginning with the deepest canyon in Europe. In fact, Tara River Canyon trails only the Grand Canyon in the world rankings. (If there were such rankings for beautiful bridges, the concrete arch Đurđevića Tara Bridge — pictured at the top of this blog — would be right up there.) This park is also home to Europe’s most varied collection of butterfly species. Hot tip: Wear fragrant sunscreen and you won’t have to look for them — the little rascals will fly to you!
5. Ladder of Kotor
On Montenegro’s Adriatic Coast, this hike can be paired with a visit to Old Kotor. You can begin your hike there, but that will cost you eight euros. Hike like a pro in the know, and head to the northern part of Kotor instead. From there you can hike for free and lose the crowds. Along this famous hike with more than 70 switchbacks, expect to see classical rural architecture and sweeping views over ancient settlements like Risan, Kotor, Perast, and Tivat. At the peak: the Chapel of St. Ivan and the Castle of San Giovanni. Plus, Krstac Pass provides a look at the Bay of Kotor.