Montenegro. In a country whose name literally means ‘black mountain’, the winding roads and endless views probably won’t come as a surprise. But can you ever expect to find nature as stunning as THIS in a country you’d probably not even be able to locate without Google maps? With a capital whose name doesn’t even ring a bell? Podgorica… Yep, what did I tell you?
The coast and old towns like Kotor and Buddva are quite well-known and beautiful but the north… the north… oh my goodness the north… How this part of the country is not more touristy I will never understand, but it is time to go to Montenegro people, and head north! Trust me, there is no way you’ll be disappointed!
It all starts as soon as you pass Pluzine (top tip: stay here, at Holiday Bungalows, it’s amazing!!) and the road starts following the Piva river. The river springs a bit more to the south but you can only drive alongside of it north of Pluzine. It runs all the way to Bosnia and Herzegovina, where it joins Tara river to become Drina river.
Get ready for lots of oooooohs and aaaauuuuwhs because it is beyond breathtaking! Lemmie show you…
If you want to get adventurous, drive up to Rafting Center Waterfall – just follow the signs – for activities on the river like rafting (several options are available, not only one day trips but also multiple day rafting adventures) or a cruise on the river.
DURMITOR NATIONAL PARK
Drive north along the Piva river as long as you want – drive for at least an hour for the most spectacular views of the actual canyon – and head back south until you hit the sign that says Durmitor. It’s not that far from Pluzine and it’s basically the only road there so don’t worry, you won’t miss it. Drive east for about an hour and don’t even bother trying to prepare yourself for the beauty of Durmitor National Park…
Mountains, lakes, bright blue skies and gorgeous greens meadows define this place, and what makes it even better is the fact you’ll have the feeling to actually have your head up in the clouds.
The park was opened to the public in the 50’s and inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980. Activities include skiing in winter, and hiking and climbing in summer. If you don’t want to get too sporty, you can just follow the winding road that crosses the park by car – be prepared to stop… A LOT, the views are nothing less than spectacular.
Accommodation options are varied: you can camp on one of the camp sites inside the park or head to the town of Zabljak for a nice and cozy hotel with some good old mountain vibe. Food is also easy to get here, but if you plan on staying a while in the park, do bring your own food and drinks.
Have you been to northern Montenegro? Did you discover any other hidden spots that are worth a visit? Let me know in the comments!
Photo credit for the 2 pictures of me: Dan Flying Solo