To the peaks of Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

There is nothing that gets my blood pumping through my veins more than a stunning National Park. And when there are high peaks involved, it’ll be impossible to leave that park out of my itinerary.

Durmitor National Park is the most famous and most visited national park in Montenegro. Situated in the north of the country, about three hours away from the coastline, it’s a whole other ambiance than we encountered before in Kotor. An ambiance that I adore.

Zabljak is the closest city to the park, so many hotels and B&Bs can be found in the area. We chose to stay a little out of the center, at AUTO CAMP Javor. We stayed three nights in a lovely attic apartment with an amazing view all around. They had a breakfast service for an extra fee and these people were just so helpful.

We arrived at Durmitor National Park around noon and immediately headed into the park to the Crno Jezero, the Black Lake. Our car had to be left in a parking lot about one kilometer from the lake and there we had to pay a entrance fee of three euros per person. Along the path to the lake there are many stalls selling local products.

Arriving at the lake was pretty damn amazing. One of my favorites views. A lake with mountain tops behind it. Add a little rowing boat at the shore and I have to keep myself from tearing up. A perfect spot for a late lunch.

We didn’t really have anything planned for a day as we hadn’t expected our drive up north to go so smoothly. So we decided to just wring it and follow a trail on towards a viewpoint west of the lake. This path led us through the forest, higher up towards the tree line.

As we had absolutely no idea what that viewpoint would offer, it was quite exciting. We were a bit in a race against time as we did want to make it back to the lake before sunset. For a while we thought that there wouldn’t be a major view but suddenly the peaks of Bobotov Kuk and its surrounding mountains got into view. Unfortunately the sun wasn’t in the right position to get a very good view of it, but it was a magnificent view nonetheless.

Descending back we made it to the lake and were able to enjoy the sunset from the shores of the lake before returning to Zabljak for a lovely pizza dinner in the company of the cutest stray cat.

After a day in the Piva Canyon and rafting Tara River – on which I will tell you more soon – we were ready for what I was looking forward to the most on our entire Montenegro trip: hiking to the top of Bobotov Kuk. There is a bit of a discussion ongoing on what’s the highest peak of Montenegro, but Bobotov Kuk is at least one of the highest.

We started the hike around sunrise, leaving us more than enough time to hike the five kilometers and +1000 altimeters to the very top. This trail starts at the parking lot at Sedlo and because it was low season we didn’t have to pay another entrance fee as the booth was closed. Why, thank you!

Because you’re already starting on an altitude above the tree line, this hike is stunning from start to finish. First you wander through lush greenlands, with a relatively level path. It’s only the last kilometer that’s really grueling and involves a lot of climbing. While it’s only five kilometers, you have to take out at least three hours to reach to the top if you want to also take time to enjoy the scenery.

And one of the best things about this hike? We had the most lovely company along the way! After about one hour of hiking we were suddenly passed by a cute stray dog. At first we thought other hikers were catching up to us, but the dog kept coming back to us and no other people were in sight. She was a true pro at the steepest parts of the hike and made for an amazing distraction when we were out of breath.

That girl made it to the top before us, a whopping 2523 meters high with a breathtaking view over the National Park and the entire country. We had the whole place to ourselves and were able to enjoy our lunch without any distractions. Except for the occasional sharing of our sausage and water with our hiking buddy.

It was only about one hour on our way down that we encountered the first other hikers, and then very soon lost our buddy. She was off making new friends, I guess.

We took our sweet time getting back to our car, trying to take in as much as the view as we could. It took us eight hours in total from start to finish, with at least one hour spent for lunch at the top.

I’ve already done many mountain hikes but these one is also very high up on my list of favorite hikes. Mostly because you don’t have to tackle a more boring bit of forest at the start. So when you’re in Durmitor and your fitness level allows it; definitely go to the top of Bobotov Kuk. If not for the peak, do it for the gorgeous surroundings along the way. It’s worth it!

♥ Ellen


One thought on “To the peaks of Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

  1. We liked the excursion To the peaks of Durmitor National Park, Montenegro very much. 🙂

    What’s the weather been like on your side lately? Do you keep a travel diary?

    Have a nice trip.


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