One of the youngest countries in the world, with a name that means ‘Black Mountain’, it’s not surprising that this fascinating Balkan location is so popular for Montenegro walking holidays. On our Exodus European hiking trips to Bosnia and Herzegovina we also walk among the mountains, lakes and forests of Montenegro to discover the local wildlife and nature. Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Croatia, Serbia, Albania and Bosnia, Montenegro often gets overlooked but its cultural heritage and majestic architecture will enthral even the most discerning travellers.
This compact yet beautiful country is flanked by pristine coastline and dramatic peaks that are best explored on foot. When walking in Montenegro, you’ll follow idyllic routes that meander from the tourist trail, visiting pretty medieval villages where you can experience the local culture and delve further into the country’s past. Hidden among picturesque scenery, a turbulent history is waiting to be discovered, giving you an insight into how the culture of Montenegro has been shaped throughout the years.
While walking in Montenegro you never have to travel very far before you’re greeted with a heavenly view or a natural wonder. The windswept headland of the Luštica Peninsula is home to stunning beaches and ancient villages fringed by lush olive groves. Head into Kotor Old Town to explore the historical buildings and pretty bays.
If it’s natural wonders that get your heart racing, Durmitor National Park will impress you with its glacial lakes, wildlife-rich forests and the UNESCO-listed Tara Canyon. High above the Tara River, is one of the best viewpoints in the whole of Montenegro, and perhaps even the Balkans, which looks out across the plateau.
Best Montenegro Hiking Tours
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Top 5 Places to Visit on our Montenegro Hiking Tours
Kotor: Wrapped inside medieval walls, Kotor is a UNESCO-listed Natural and Culturo-Historical Region made up of Romanesque churches, Venetian palaces and trendy piazzas where the locals hang out. The meandering cobblestone streets lead you between magnificent architecture and ancient monuments that tell intriguing tales of the city’s past. The Bay of Kotor is breathtakingly beautiful with its mountainous backdrop, coastal views and centuries-old villages that lure you in with their medieval charm.
Durmitor National Park: Carved out by the unstoppable forces of nature, Durmitor National Park is a paradise for nature lovers. Go in search of Montenegro’s abundance of wildlife, from eagles and brown bears to wild cats and chamois, as you adventure deep into the black pine forests. Over millennia, the park has been created by glaciers and a highlight of any trip here is swimming in the famous black lake, Crno Jezero. Lying beneath the gaze of the Medjed Peak are meandering rivers, glossy lakes and the unmissable Tara River Canyon. This is the deepest canyon in Europe and one of the most spectacular in the world. You’ll have the chance to walk up to the canyon to take in the panoramas that stretch out across the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Lovcen National Park: Boasting more than 6,000 hectares of unspoilt landscapes made up of mountains and coast, Lovcen National Park is home to a staggering number of plant, bird and butterfly species. But it’s Lovcen’s rich historical and cultural heritage that make the park stand out above the rest. Standing side by side with nature are interesting museums, architecture and monuments such as the Cetinje Monastery, the Biljarda Palace and the Old Royal Capital of Cetinje, which teeters on the mountain slopes. Learn about Bishop Petar II Petrovic-Njegos and the influence he had on modern-day Montenegro when you walk up to his mausoleum and his birthplace at Njegusi.
Vrmac Mountain: Making up part of the Lovcen Mountain and peninsula, Vrmac Mountain is an iconic peak with unparalleled views of Boka Bay, Kotor and the Tivat Archipelago. Vrmac is drenched in history and along your walk you might come across ancient archaeological remains. The main route along the mountain ridge takes you through dense forests where wildlife and nature are rife, and ancient settlements where you can immerse yourself in local traditions and history.
Lake Skadar: Found on the border of Montenegro and Albania, Lake Skadar is the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and is partially protected by the national park. It is known for its diverse and abundant bird life that occupies the water and mountains and is surrounded by vineyards and orchards. As well as being an important wildlife reserve, Lake Skadar is steeped in legend which says that the lake was formed from the tears of a pixie. With its magical, fairytale setting, you could almost believe it’s true.