Jagged peaks and dramatic scenery on the south-eastern border
In a country blessed with an abundance of natural beauty and magnificent mountain scenery, the Prokletije stands somewhere close to the pinnacle of it all.
Straddling the borders with Albania and Kosovo, the area is characterised by grassy hillsides, thickly-wooded slopes and rocky peaks, and there are numerous routes through the valleys and up to nearby summits, some of the highest in Montenegro.
We have hiked in the area on a couple of occasions, and suggest that if you are thinking of going to Montenegro, the Prokletije should be high on your hit list.
Bjelasica & Biogradska Gora
Rounded summits and ancient forest
Located to the east of Mojkovac and Kolašin, Bjelasica is a range of peaks with a different aspect to those of Durmitor or the Prokletije, with much of the high ground consisting of gently rounded summits and grassy ridges.
Bjelasica includes the Biogradska Gora NP on its western flank, the oldest National Park in Montenegro and a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Some of Europe’s most untouched forest can be found here, and there is much wildlife, too, including bear, wolf, chamois, fallow deer and eagle.
Between them, Bjelasica and Biogradska Gora show two very different sides of the massif.
Lovcen, Kotor Bay & Budva Riviera
Varied walking options and historic towns
Lovćen may be one of Montenegro's smaller National Parks, but it still has a lot to offer with some good walking and amazing views. The summits surrounding the Bay of Kotor rise to around 1600m, and their proximity to the sea gives rise to some superb scenery.
There are plenty of paths for walkers to enjoy, both in the National Park and along the coast – especially for those who like a variety of walking, with coastal paths and beaches, tougher mountain hikes or gentle explorations of historic towns.
So, if you want a break with a bit of variety, with history, culture and relaxation as well as hiking, a few days on the Budva Riviera could be just the ticket.
Peaks of the Balkans
A circular route linking Montenegro, Albania & Kosovo
The Peaks of the Balkans is a circular, transnational multi-day trail in the border region between Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro. The trail is split into 10 sections of between 6 to 10 hours’ walking and along the way you will encounter staggering scenery, shepherd villages, soaring peaks and wild valleys, and experience homestays, home-grown food and hiking in one of the most remote corners of Europe.
It includes a number of the area’s highlights – for example, Thethi and the Valbona Pass, the Rugova Valley, Hridsko Lake, and the Ropojana Valley – but the whole route is top quality, and really gives an insight into this incredible area.
This is an excellent circuit which, with a couple of side trips or rest days, makes for a great two-week itinerary, and although there are some long days and significant climbs, it should be within the compass of regular UK hillwalkers.
The Western Balkans Mega-trail
In many ways, the Via Dinarica is the headline-grabbing trail in the region. Spanning 7 countries and totalling more than 50,000m of cumulative ascent over 1900 kilometres of mountainous hiking and cultural highlights, this brand-new trail really is a monster.
Coupled with that is vast cultural diversity, fantastic opportunities for wildlife encounters, wonderful scenery and the chance to summit some of the major peaks of the region.
The section that runs through Montenegro includes some of the best the country has to offer. From Durmitor NP in the north via Biogradska Gora NP, Bjelasica Mountain and Komovi to the Prokletije on the southern border with Albania, it is packed with the promise of highlight after highlight.
Having walked in the Biogradska Gora, Bjelasica and Prokletije areas before, we can vouch for the spectacular and varied hiking on offer, with Biogradska Gora and Bjelasica perhaps offering a more gentle outlook than the jagged peaks of the Prokletije.
Please click below for more information on the Via Dinarica in Montenegro.
Trekking in Montenegro
There can be few places anywhere on the planet that have as much dramatic scenery and natural beauty as Montenegro, especially given its compact size.
Even the name itself, meaning "Black Mountains" in English, provides a big clue to what one might expect to find. From the relaxed charm of coastal Riviera and the stunning fjord of Kotor Bay to the mountainous interior with its soaring peaks and plunging canyons, there is something to tempt and tantalise at every turn.
Of the five National Parks in Montenegro, four are mountainous: Lovćen on the coast overlooking the Bay of Kotor, and the other three – Durmitor, Biogradska Gora and the Prokletije – running in a north-west to south-east line through the interior along the spine of the Dinaric Alps.
Over the past few years, we have hiked in three of the National Parks as well as a number of other fantastic areas. We've stood on summits with the entire country laid out at our feet and views as far as Albania, Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, stayed in some wonderful locations, met warm-hearted, generous people, eaten freshly made shepherd’s cheese and drunk homemade rakija from the "happy machine” with the locals and lived to tell the tale.