Natural parks of Montenegro

Montenegro has an extremely varied geography, with sandy beaches on the coast, numerous glacial lakes, deep canyons and mountain ranges. Many of these areas are highlighted by national parks where you can plan days out and explore, with activities including walks, mountaineering, skiing and even ziplining.

Below we take a look at four of these stunning parks to help you plan your holiday adventures.

Durmitor National Park

The whole region that Durmitor National Park sits in is a UNESCO World Heritage Site boasting spectacular natural beauty.

The deepest gorge in Europe runs along the park’s Tara River, while there are 23 mountain peaks, countless pine forests and 17 glacier lakes to explore. The area is also home to 163 species of birds and numerous species of exotic plants and butterflies.

Traversing the many mountain-biking, climbing and hiking trails you’ll have incredible scenery as your backdrop. And if you walk up towards the summit of Obla Glava you can stop at the Ice Cave, which has stalactites and stalagmites that you can see decorated with icicles in winter or au natural in summer.

Water-lovers can take an exhilarating water rafting trip while here and each of the glacial lakes has a different character, so you can swim in Riblje Lake or fish in Snake Lake. There’s also ziplining fun at Tara Bridge, where you’ll get amazing aerial views of Tara Canyon as you whizz by.

Biogradska Gora National Park

The oldest national park in Montenegro, Biogradska Gora National Park lies in the mountainous Bjelasica region, around five minutes’ drive from the small town of Kolasin. The park is a real treat for nature fans, with around 150 species of birds, 86 types of tree, 220 different plants and three species of trout.

Home to one of the last three remaining rainforests in Europe, the vast majority of the park is covered with forests of ancient trees, some over 500 years old. While near Lake Biograd are grassy plains that are popular with families who like to picnic and collect wild blackberries and raspberries.

The lake is the perfect place to do some fishing or take a boat out on the water. A walk around the lake takes around an hour, while if you’d like a more challenging trek there are a variety of trails that lead off into the woods.

Prokletije National Park

Located on the border between Montenegro and Albania, Prokletije National Park sports the rugged beauty of jagged mountain peaks, steep gorges, tree-lined river valleys and placid glacial lakes. This is the perfect spot for taking hikes and lingering over the incredible scenery.

The countryside here has plenty of wildlife to spot, while the lakes are also filled with creatures including fish, amphibians and reptiles. One of the most popular sites in the park is Ali Pasha Springs – home to a series of mini-springs, which are safe to drink from. The water in the lakes is exceptionally pure and is a source of drinking water for locals.

Lake Plav is one of the most beautiful lakes in the region and is popular for swimming in the summer. If you have the time, the charming town of Plav is also worth visiting for its beautiful church, mosque and old library buildings. If you enjoy hiking it’s also definitely worth making the trip to see Grlja Waterfall, which pours into the Skakaivca River nearby.

Lovcen National Park

The terrain within Lovcen National Park is located in the highest region of the Dinara Alps. It includes the imposing Crna Gora mountain, meaning black mountain, which gave Montenegro its name. The area is a haven for around 200 species of plant and is a favourite with mountain walkers.

Lovcen National Park is very important nationally to Montenegrins and has a rich cultural heritage. The land is still used today for cattle, so you’ll see katuns – cottages used by cattle herders in the summer – dotted around the slopes and plains.

The most important site within the park is the huge Petar Petrovik Njegos Mausoleum, located at the top of Jezerski Vrh Mountain. Njegos is venerated as a political figure, poet and philosopher and is a big part of Montenegrin national identity. The mausoleum has a gruelling 461 steps up to the entrance, which features two enormous granite figures that guard the tomb. Steps then lead down to a viewing platform where you’ll get incredible panoramic views across the mountain landscape.

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