There is a place on this planet that I would go to all the time if I could. A place where I discovered strengths I never knew I had and a place where I have, for the first time ever, felt how small we all are compared to this world and its wonders. This place is every single inch of mountains of Montenegro.
Why am I saying this? Because I know that when people are looking for outdoor adventures in Europe, Montenegro might not be at the top of the list. And because when I first climbed Durmitor – this mountain range of Montenegro – it was the first time in my life I’ve felt so tiny compared to everything around me. And, let’s face it, spending time at the altitude of 1,500 meters and more definitely contributed in favor of this feeling.
Now, you might be thinking that I’m over exaggerating, and I understand that, but… Look at this!
Okay, time for some facts before I throw more photos at you. Durmitor is a mountain range, and a national park, in the northwestern Montenegro. Its highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, rises at 2,523 meters above sea level. There are three other peaks slightly higher than Bobotov Kuk in another mountain range of Montenegro, but because they are located near the Montenegro/Albania border, Bobotov Kuk is often being considered the highest peak of Montenegro, being located at its very heart.
Also read: Running Travel: Where Running Has Taken Me
There are also a few other peaks rising well over 2000 meters above sea level – including Prutaš (2393m) and Veliki Međed (2287m) that I had the chance to visit and enjoy!
I was lucky enough to get a chance to experience Durmitor as my running team in Croatia goes there every summer to attend a bootcamp for athletes. Being located and training at such high altitude has so many benefits to a human body, so we would usually spend a week or two there (some people even more) to really kick off the final preparations for the upcoming autumn racing season.
It does, however, go far beyond (lots of) running: hiking, rafting, ziplining, canyoning and eating puts this experience on a completely new level.
Each particular experience actually deserves a blog post on its own, as it would be well overwhelming to just pile it up in one very long story! I will, however, make a very strong point for hikers: mountains of Montenegro are a hiker’s dream come true, and here’s why.
The views are spectacular
I’m not joking with this one. It literally feels like you’ve walked into a postcard and you can’t seem to leave. Some of these photos made some people wonder about my own sanity (see below), but that’s okay – there is a point about it below. Until then, enjoy some views:
You’ll never get bored
Hiking and walking variations are numerous. You can go a different direction each day, drive your car to a further starting point, you can include visiting various lakes in your walks, do some running or simply enjoy the freshest air ever while getting a well-deserved rest.
The weather is perfect
There are people out there that enjoy a 40°C heat, and I am not one of them. A getaway to mountains of Montenegro has kept me sane during some of the hottest summers in Croatia. At the altitude of around 1,500 meters above sea level, in Žabljak where we were situated, temperature goes around 25°C, but only in case there’s sunlight. If there isn’t, it may go below 20, so during the night you get to enjoy a very comfortable sleep at between 15-18°C.
Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the higher you hike, the lower the temperature – and the bigger the chance of wind and chill factor (there’s even snow patches that never melt, not even at summer!). This is why it is of absolute essence to be prepared with various layers in your backpack when hiking in such conditions.
Mountains of Montenegro can test your limits
I know that this may not apply to everyone. Or better said – not everyone has the same limits, and that’s okay. At a point when I first visited Durmitor, I was a good hiker and I had a decent mileage in my feet. However, I never thought I would have climbed a giant rock or jumped in river Tara, whose temperature at that point was well below 10°C.
So many people I’ve shared this experience with were facing their limits and their fears somehow. Some of them were afraid of heights and still climbed to places they never thought they would. That’s what Durmitor does to people!
Most people that have been to Montenegro’s Durmitor have a specific story from it, something they remember it by and something they would return for. If you wish to go, this will happen to you, too!
And, of course, if you have already been there, please let me know your story! 🙂