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National Parks in Montenegro: Ultimate Visitor's Guide

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The national parks in Montenegro are the perfect places to see Montenegro's famed 'wild beauty' and get a taste of authentic local culture. Find out about all five nationals parks and decide which ones you should visit on your trip.

It's no wonder Montenegro is known for being so beautiful; fully 10% of the country is made of national parks and they are the best places to see beautiful Montenegro scenery and wildlife.

List of national parks in Montenegro:

Each of the parks offers something different, and while you don't need to visit them all during your stay, including one or two will enhance your experience in Montenegro.

Montenegro's beautiful national parks also offer a lot to see and do, especially if you enjoy local culture and adventure.

You'll find stunning scenery, hiking, whitewater rafting, zip lines, boats, kayaking, cycling, cultural monuments, and authentic local cuisine.

In this article, you’ll find out the best national parks to visit during your stay, the best things to do at each, where to stay, and more.

National Parks in Montenegro

Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park signDurmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park Key Facts

  • Established: 1952
  • Size: 339 km2
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • 48 peaks above 2,000 m
  • Highest peak: Bobotov Kuk (2,523 m)
  • Tara Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe
  • 18 glacier lakes known as 'mountain eyes'

Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is in the northwestern part of Montenegro and is the largest of Montenegro's national parks.

This park is famous for its dramatic landscapes, including mountains, glacier lakes, and canyons. The highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, reaches 2,522 meters, offering breathtaking views.

Durmitor National Park is one of the most-visited national parks in Montenegro because it's so beautiful and easy to get to.

I recommend staying here for 1 or 2 nights so that you can see the park's attractions. 

If you'd like to visit this area, the best place to stay is in Žabljak. This small town lies on the edge of the park and you'll find plenty of good accommodation options, from cheap bungalows to quality hotels.

Best Things to Do in Durmitor National Park

  • Tara River Canyon: This canyon is one of the deepest in Europe. The best way to see the canyon is on a white water rafting tour, with its crystal-clear waters and thrilling rapids.
  • Black Lake: Surrounded by pine forests, Black Lake is a serene spot for walking and picnicking. In summer, you can swim in the lake or hire a boat to row around it.
  • Durmitor Ring: This scenic loop road takes you through some of the most spectacular parts of the park. You'll drive past stunning mountain vistas, traditional villages, and rolling meadows. It's a perfect way to experience the diverse landscapes of Durmitor in a single journey.
  • Đurđevića Tara Bridge: Spanning the Tara River Canyon, this impressive bridge is not only an engineering marvel but also offers breathtaking views of the canyon below. It's a popular spot for photography and for those seeking the thrill of zip lining across the canyon.
  • Medieval Tombstones (Stećci): These UNESCO-listed stećci date back to the medieval period and offer a unique glimpse into the past. Their intricate designs and historical significance make them a must-see for history enthusiasts.
  • Via Ferrata: For a unique and thrilling experience, try the via ferrata. This protected climbing route lets you safely scale the park's rocky terrain using fixed cables and ladders. It's an adventurous way to enjoy the stunning mountain scenery.
  • Hiking: Hiking in Durmitor National Park caters to all levels of hikers. Whether you're looking for a leisurely walk or a challenging trek, the park's trails offer stunning views and a chance to explore its diverse landscapes.
    The educational trail around the Black Lake is an easy scenic walk, while the hike to Bobotov Kuk is challenging but rewards you with panoramic views of Durmitor's rugged terrain.

Lovćen National Park

Bay of Kotor view from Lovćen National ParkBay of Kotor view from Lovćen National Park

Lovćen National Park Key Facts

  • Established: 1952
  • Size: 62 km2
  • Highest peak: Štirovnik (1,749 m)
  • World's highest altitude mausoleum
  • Famous for high quality cheese and prosciutto

Lovćen National Park, nestled in southwestern Montenegro, is a place of natural beauty and historical significance.

It's very popular because it lies between Kotor, Cetinje and Budva and is an easy day trip from anywhere on the coast.

The park is home to the famous Njeguši village, where you can taste traditional Montenegrin cheese and prosciutto.

A key highlight is the Petar II Petrović-Njegoš Mausoleum, perched atop one of the park's highest peaks. Climbing the 461 steps to the mausoleum, you're rewarded with panoramic views of the stunning surroundings.

For a scenic drive, the Serpentine Road offers breathtaking vistas of the Bay of Kotor. It's a thrilling journey with sharp turns and steep inclines.

If you're seeking adventure, Lovćen Adventure Park provides exciting activities like rope courses and zip lines. For a more relaxed experience, the Ivanova Korita area offers serene meadows, perfect for a leisurely walk or a picnic.

Hiking and biking are popular activities in Lovćen, with trails that cater to all levels of fitness and experience. These paths lead you through diverse landscapes, offering glimpses of the park's rich flora and fauna.

Whether you're exploring historical sites or enjoying the natural beauty, Lovćen National Park offers a unique blend of culture and nature, making it one of the most popular destinations in Montenegro.

Best Things to Do in Lovćen National Park

  • Njeguši Village: This traditional village is the birthplace of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš, a revered Montenegrin ruler and poet. You can explore the old stone houses and taste local specialties like Njeguši cheese and prosciutto.
  • Petar II Petrović-Njegoš Mausoleum: Located at one of the park's highest peaks, Jezerski vrh, the mausoleum is a tribute to Montenegro's most important historical figure. Climb the 461 steps to the top for a panoramic view of the park.
  • Serpentine Road: The route via the serpentine road up from Kotor is one of the most scenic in the country and will give you stunning views of the Bay of Kotor. It has 25 hairpin turns, but the views are magnificent!
  • Ivanova Korita: This area is known for its lush meadows, picnic areas, playgrounds, and hiking and biking trails. It's a great spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk in the natural surroundings.
  • Lovćen Adventure Park: This adventure park offers various activities, including rope courses and zip lines. It's a fun way to combine the park's natural beauty with exciting outdoor activities.
  • Kotor Cable Car: For a unique view of the park and the Bay of Kotor, take the cable car from Kotor to Njeguši. The ride gives you a bird's-eye view of the stunning landscape below.
  • Hiking: Traverse the park's diverse trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, and immerse yourself in the stunning natural beauty of Lovćen. The Mountains of Montenegro is an excellent resource for hiking in Montenegro.
  • Biking: Cycle through the picturesque landscapes of Lovćen, a perfect way to explore the park's beauty at your own pace, suitable for both beginners and experienced bikers.

Lake Skadar National Park

Lake Skadar National Park Key Facts

  • Established: 1983
  • Size: 530 km2
  • Largest lake in the Balkans
  • Highest peak: Mount Rumija (1,594 m)
  • 270 bird species, half of all known European species, found here
  • RAMSAR Convention List of Wetlands of International Importance
  • Largest bird reserve in Europe
  • 18 historic sites, including fortresses and ruins
  • Montenegro's top wine producing region

Lake Skadar National Park is home to the largest lake in the Balkans. This lake is a vital habitat for birds, especially migratory species.

It's recognized on the RAMSAR List of Wetlands of International Importance and is one of the most important bird reserves in Europe. With over 250 bird species, including the endangered Dalmatian Pelican, it's a paradise for bird watchers.

This region is also Montenegro's premier wine-making region and there are boutique wineries all over this area. You can book a wine and food tasting at a family-run winery and even stay in a villa onsite.

As one of Montenegro's oldest areas, Lake Skadar is steeped in history and culture. 

You can easily reach Skadar Lake in a day trip from anywhere along the Montenegrin coast and there are tours going there daily. It is also an excellent destination for a longer stay.

Things to Do in Lake Skadar National Park

  • Boat Tours: Explore the lake's beauty and biodiversity with a guided boat tour. It's a relaxing way to see the landscape and spot various bird species.
  • Kayaking: For a more active experience, kayak across the tranquil waters of Lake Skadar. It's a perfect way to connect with nature at your own pace.
  • Wine and Food Tasting: Indulge in the local flavors by tasting the region's famous wines and traditional Montenegrin cuisine. The Crmnica region's vineyards are a must-visit for any wine enthusiast.
  • Rijeka Crnojevića: This charming historical town offers picturesque views and a glimpse into Montenegro's past. It's a peaceful spot for a leisurely stroll and a boat trip on the river.
  • Žabljak Crnojevića: Another historical gem, this 15th century fortress is known for its rich history and stunning natural surroundings. It's an ideal destination for those interested in ruins and nature.
  • Hiking: The park offers several hiking trails, allowing you to explore the diverse landscapes and enjoy panoramic views of the lake and its surroundings.
  • Biking: Cycle around the lake's perimeter or through the scenic countryside. Biking is a great way to cover more ground and experience the beauty of the park.
  • Bird Watching: With its vast array of bird species, Lake Skadar is a haven for bird watchers. Bring your binoculars and keep an eye out for the rare Dalmatian Pelican, among other species.

Biogradska Gora National Park

Explore Montenegro's five unique national parks. When to go, the best things to see and do and how to get there.Biogradska Gora National Park. Image: Deposit Photos

Biogradska Gora National Park Key Facts

  • Established: 1952
  • Size: 53 km2
  • Highest peak: Crna Glava (2,139 m)
  • 1 of 3 remaining virgin forests in Europe
  • 26 distinct plant habitats

Biogradska Gora National Park in Montenegro lies in the northeastern part of the country.

It's the smallest of the national parks of Montenegro, but it's so important because it is one of only three remaining virgin forests left in Europe and trees in the park are up to 400 years old.

There are many reasons to plan a visit to Biogradska Gora National Park. It is a great place for families, with an open-air noddy train ride and boats that you can hire to row around the lake. 

It is an outdoor and nature lover's paradise too. There are dozens of hiking and biking trails, horse-riding and jeep safari tours you can take through the park. 

Or if you prefer to kick back and do some light sightseeing and spend plenty of time relaxing in a hot tub and getting massages, Biogradska Gora is the perfect mountain retreat to relax. You'll find excellent hotels in nearby Kolašin and no crowds.

Things to Do in Biogradska Gora National Park

  • Virgin Forest: Walk through one of Europe's last remaining virgin forests. You'll see a variety of trees, some over 500 years old, creating a unique and ancient woodland experience.
  • Lake Biograd: This glacial lake, located at the heart of the park, is a perfect spot for relaxation and nature photography. The lake's clear waters reflect the surrounding mountains and forests, creating a serene setting.
  • Hiking: Biogradska Gora offers numerous hiking trails. These trails range from easy walks around the lake to more challenging hikes up the mountains, providing stunning views of the park.
  • Morača Monastery: Located near the Morača River, this 13th-century Serbian Orthodox monastery is renowned for its beautiful frescoes and historical architecture. It's a peaceful retreat that offers a glimpse into Montenegro's rich religious and cultural history.
  • Mrtvica Canyon: Mrtvica Canyon, carved by the Mrtvica River, is a stunning natural wonder known for its dramatic cliffs and lush vegetation. It's a perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers seeking breathtaking views and serene natural beauty.

Prokletije National Park

Prokletije National ParkProkletije National Park Image: Deposit Photos

Prokletije National Park Key Facts

  • Established: 2009
  • Size: 161 km2
  • Highest peak: Zla Kolata (2,534 m)
  • Named 'Accursed Mountains' due to jagged and dangerous terrain
  • Part of Dinaric Alps
  • High biodiversity - contains 20% of all Balkan flora

Prokletije National Park, located in the eastern part of Montenegro, borders Albania and Kosovo.

This park is known for its dramatic mountain ranges, often called the "Accursed Mountains." Its rugged terrain, with sharp peaks and deep valleys, offers some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the Balkans.

Prokletije National Park is the least-visited national park in Montenegro, but it draws serious mountaineers from Europe to scale its dangerous peaks. It's home to the highest peak in Montenegro, Maja Kolata, which beats Bobotov Kuk in Durmitor by just 5m.

Things to Do in Prokletije National Park

  • Lake Plav: This glacial lake is a serene spot, perfect for enjoying the tranquil beauty of nature. The lake's clear, blue waters are surrounded by the stunning backdrop of the Prokletije mountains.
  • Maja Kolata Peak: The highest peak in Montenegro, Maja Kolata, stands at 2,534 meters. It's a challenging climb, but reaching the summit rewards you with spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Grlja Waterfall: Located near the Albanian border, Grlja Waterfall is a hidden gem. The waterfall cascades into a crystal-clear pool, creating a picturesque and peaceful setting.
  • Grebaja Valley: This valley is known for its striking scenery, with towering peaks and lush greenery. It's a popular starting point for hikes and offers some of the best views in the park.
  • Ali-Pasha Springs: These natural springs are a testament to the park's diverse geography. The springs emerge from the base of a high cliff, creating a unique and enchanting sight.

Practical Information for Visitors to Montenegro National Parks

When you plan your visit to Montenegro's national parks, here's some essential information to help you make the most of your trip.

Admission Fees

  • The admission fee for Montenegro's national parks is €5 per person. Under 7s are free. You can also buy an annual pass to all national parks in Montenegro for €13.50.
    You can buy tickets with cash at the entrances to the national parks or online.

Best Times to Visit

  • The best time to visit the parks varies. For summer activities like hiking and swimming, June to August is ideal. For skiing in Durmitor or Kolašin, visit between December and March.

Accommodation Options

  • You have a range of choices, from camping in the parks to staying in local guesthouses or hotels. Durmitor and Biogradska Gora offer mountain huts for a more rustic experience.

Transportation Tips

  • Getting to the parks is easiest by car. Public transport options are limited, so renting a car gives you more flexibility. You can also find a limited number of tours to the national parks.

Safety Tips

  • Always check the weather forecast before heading out. Wear appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear, especially for hiking.
  • In remote areas, cell phone reception can be spotty, so plan accordingly.
  • Respect wildlife and keep a safe distance. Remember, you're a guest in their home.

Local Guides and Tours

  • Consider hiring a local guide for activities like hiking or wildlife watching. They can provide valuable insights and ensure a safer experience.

Park Regulations

  • Follow the park rules. This includes no littering, staying on marked trails, and not disturbing the wildlife.

Nature Parks in Montenegro

In addition to its national parks, Montenegro has a number of nature parks around the country. If you can't get to an national park in Montenegro nature parks are an excellent alternative.

List of nature parks in Montenegro:

  • Nature Park Piva, Plužine
  • Nature Park Zeta River, Danilovgrad
  • Nature Park Dragišnica and Komarnica, Šavnik
  • Nature Park Komovi, Kolašin
  • Nature Park Orjen, Herceg Novi
  • Nature Park Ulcinjska Solana, Ulcinj

Related Articles

Best Things to Do in Durmitor National Park

Best Things to Do in Lovćen National Park

Best Things to Do in Lake Skadar National Park

Best Things to Do in Biogradska Gora National Park

Best Things to Do in Prokletije National Park

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The Mountains of Montenegro

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