Montenegro

Description

Montenegro - Rumija summitLocated on the southern Adriatic coast, the small country of Montenegro offers beautiful and often unexplored hiking opportunities. Expect some rough terrain – most of the country is mountainous and inaccessible. Karst is the predominant rock type. On the one hand, this white and hard rock gives the landscape a bright and colourful touch, not "negro" at all. On the other hand, walking can be tiresome, crossing difficult terrain, climbing on and off plateau's, jumping over crevasses.

The Dinaric Alps are the main mountain range, shared with several neighbouring countries. Most wild and impressive are inland Durmitor National Park near Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Prokletije National Park bordering Albania and Kosovo. You will find rugged limestone peaks rising steeply up to over 2000m, numerous glacier lakes, high grassy meadows and forests of black beech and pine. Less rugged, more soft, is the in between National Park of Biogradska Gora, hosting virgin forest and the stunningly deep Tara river canyon.

The Transverzala Planinama Crne Gore CT1 is an inland long distance walk connecting above mentioned national parks: Durmitor in the north west with Kucka Krajina on the Albanian border. A fit person, carrying tent and food, can make this high altitude walk in about 8 days. The route is marked and there are 14 checkpoints to collect stamps. Expect snow in early summer.

The Dinaric Alps rise up right from the sea. There is barely cultivable land between the coastline and the inland mountains. In the west, bordering Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina, the mountains of Orjen can be found. A bit further down along the coast is the Lovcen National Park, providing the scenery for well known Lake Kotor. Less known but equally challenging are the mountain ranges continuing east.

Recently a second long distance trail has been created, the Primorska planinarska transverzala or Coastal hiking transversal, connecting Orjen and Lovcen down to Bar. To complete this 140 km long walk you will need about ten days. Again, carrying a tent, food, and plenty of water is necessary. The landscape of flowers, forests, white karst and its many rock phenomena, is very special.

Currently, the country is renewing the tourist infrastructure, including opportunities for hiking. There are marked trails in all mountain areas, and detailed maps exist but can be hard to come by. Contact the local hiking clubs; you can find them on the web page of the Mountaineering Association of Montenegro. There are a number of mountain huts in the most popular areas, though carrying a tent, camping gear, food and water (!) is necessary on multi-day hikes.

In the low areas along the coast, summers get very hot and winters are mild. Up in the mountains summer temperatures are of a sub-alpine type and may still be rather warm. Winters in the mountains bring lots of snow, up to 5m!

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