Durmitor National Park // Montenegro
In the northwestern part of Montenegro, far away from the crowded noisy beaches, close to the Serbian and Bosnian borders, is located a beautiful National Park Durmitor. The park includes a huge mountain massif, magnificent canyons of Tara river and 18 glacial lakes.
Even though the national park is the center of Montenegrin mountain tourism, it’s still not overcrowded, camping friendly, and very authentic.
For most of the tourists, the exploration of the area starts at the small town Žabljak. We arrived there from Podgorica and it took us a bit more than 2 hours by car. The town offers all required facilities - hotels and apartments, a supermarket, multiple restaurants, and different types of activities. Mostly people are coming to Durmitor for hiking and rafting. Hiking can vary from a few hours to several days, depends on personal taste.
If you are not in the mood for long walks, but still want to get the maximum experience of the park, I would highly recommend taking a Panoramic car road. There are 2 panoramic roads in the park, which are going around the whole mountain massif. Of course, you must get a car for this activity. In our case, we rented a car for the whole trip but it should not a problem to hire one in Žabljak for 1 day of a round trip.
We took panoramic Road #2 and started it in Žabljak with the clockwise direction. The whole round trip took us 5 hours. The road is very well marked with signs and it’s easy to follow it without any map. However, it’s always nice to get a local map of the area. Along the road, there are multiple stops and viewpoints. And believe me, each of them is breathtaking!
The road starts with climbing up the mountain and getting up to the 1900 meter above sea level. One of the first stops, Sedlo will open the incredible view on the tallest peaks of the national park. It’s also a starting point for hiking to Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak of Durmitor massif.
Following the car road, there will be a few more stops with incredible views of the mountains and the plateau. Most of the viewpoints have wooden benches and tables at a place. It’s just a perfect spot for a snack break.
Along the road, we met just a few other cars. Most of the time we drove alone, surrounded by nature.
Once we reached the northern part of the road, a village Trsa, there were a few restaurants and a few people had a lunch break there.
From Trsa, the road goes to the right and becomes more narrow, but still good and not scary (in most of the places)! Here the landscape changes and we were driving mainly through the forest. There were not many places to stop for a viewpoint, till the moment when we reached the serpentine of Sušica canyon.
It’s an amazing experience to see it! There are viewpoints in the beginning, at the top of the canyon, in the bottom part of it, at the Sušica Lake and on the other side of the canyon. Unfortunately, we were not lucky with the lake. It was completely dry in late August when we were visiting the country. It’s also the first point, where we were stopped to pay the National Park entrance fee (3 euro per person). The ticket comes together with a postcard :)
Once we climbed up the Sušica canyon, the incredible view on the plateau opened to us, with a few small villages and lovely houses. Soon after, another viewpoint waited for us. This time is faced the Tara canyon, which is the biggest in Europe!
Full of “WOW” moments, we ended up our round trip back in Žabljak, at the Black Lake (Czno Jezero). It’s probably the most touristic attraction in the area and the best time to visit it is early in the morning.
- Start your trip early in the morning. You will need at least 5 hours to drive around with all the stops and breaks.
- Check the weather report before leaving. The weather usually gets worse in the mountains in the afternoon.
- Take some snacks with you and enjoy it at one of the lovely wooden benches across the park.
- Use sunscreen, even if you take short stops. The sun is very strong in the mountains.
- Be careful when you are driving through the serpentine areas. In some moments, it gets very steep. But don’t get scared, there are multiple “pockets” which makes enough space for 2 cars.
We enjoyed a lot this panoramic road trip! The day before we went for a hike to Bobotov Kuk and sitting in a car was a good rest day for us :) The place is not much crowded. It gives an incredible feeling of freedom and being united with nature. I highly recommend to grab a car and see it yourself!
Safe travel everyone ✈