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Hiking in Montenegro

Montenegro Hiking Destinations

Montenegro is a small Balkan country blessed with incredible natural beauty. The best way to uncover that beauty is by hiking in the Montenegro mountains. There is no shortage of hiking options, as most of Montenegro’s surface area is covered by the rugged Dinaric Alps, a mountain chain that extends from Slovenia to Albania. However, compared to well-known alpine destinations in Europe, Montenegro is still a bit of a mystery.

Because not all hiking areas in Montenegro are accessible by transit, it can be challenging to reach some of the country’s most stunning trails. The upside is that if you make the effort you’ll be blissfully alone in some of Europe’s most untouched landscapes. In this Montenegro hiking guide, we’re going to map out and detail where to hike in the land of black mountains. 

 
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Hiking in Montenegro Guide Overview

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Where to Hike in Montenegro - Durmitor Mountains

Montenegro Hiking Map

Montenegro Hiking Destinations
Bobotov Kuv, Montenegro Hiking Trails

Best Hiking Destinations in Montenegro

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Hiking in Montenegro - top hiking destinations in Montenegro, Prokletije Mountains

Prokletije National Park

Prokletije, meaning “the accursed mountains,” is a mountain range that makes up the southernmost and highest part of the Dinaric Alps. Extending also into Albania and Kosovo, this wild and remote mountain region can be accessed from many different valleys and villages.

The multi-day Peaks of the Balkans trek traverses all three countries, giving long distance hikers an opportunity to explore this region deeply. However, there’s no need to trek for weeks in the Accursed Mountains to experience the most epic summits. A day hike to Volušnica, in Montenegro’s Prokletije National Park, will deliver the most awe-inspiring views of the vertical Karanfili peaks across Grebaje Valley.

To learn more about planning a trip here, read our Prokletije National Park hiking guide.

Stay in Grebaje Valley

Grebaje Valley (also spelled Grbaje) is a scenic and narrow valley at the foot of the Karanfili peaks in Prokletije National Park. This is the ultimate base for exploring the area. These are great options: Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil and Bungalows Prokletije.

 
Hiking in Montenegro - Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park is located in northeast Montenegro, situated between the canyons of the Tara and Piva rivers. Durmitor is often described as the most beautiful area in Montenegro. We agree. In 1980, the park was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are numerous, easy-to-follow hiking trails across the park to various lakes and summits.

Find out where to hike in our Durmitor National Park hiking guide.

Stay in Žabljak

Žabljak is the gateway to Durmitor National Park. We recommend staying in the town center so that you are walking distance to various restaurants and the main park entrance. These are great options: Hostel Hikers Den (budget), Vuk Popovic (mid-range), and Hotel Soa (luxury).

 
Hiking in Montenegro, Kotor

Kotor

Cradled by mountains, the glistening Bay of Kotor is one of Montenegro’s best-known destinations. There are a few notable hikes around the Old Town of Kotor that provide stunning views of the Bay as well as the Old Town’s slopping fortifications. The steep and challenging Ladder of Kotor hike begins outside the old town and zigzags up the mountain along 70 plus switchbacks. Because this route is exposed, start early to avoid the midday sun.

A shorter day hike option is the hike to Sveti Ivan fortress (also called Fortress of St. John and the Castle of San Giovanni). The trail starts in the Old Town. There is an entrance fee of 8 EUR to tackle the 1,350 stairs leading up to the old fortress. The hike first passes Our Lady of Remedy, a church built in 1518. The view of the walled city is very satisfying, so some people even turn around at this point. However, if you push on to the Castle of San Giovanni, you’ll be happy you did.

Stay near Kotor

The Old Town gets very congested in high season. We recommend staying somewhere nearby along the Bay, but not directly inside the walled city. Here are some excellent options Apartments Nadja (Budget), Apartments Residence Portofino (Mid-Range), and Hotel Casa del Mare – Amfora (Luxury).

 
Komovi Mountains, Montenegro

Komovi Mountains

The Komovi mountain range is located in eastern Montenegro, close to the Albanian border. It’s a wonderfully remote area dotted with katuns (herdsmen settlements). The highest peaks of the range are Kom Kučki (2487m), Kom Vasojevićki (2461m) and Kom Lijevorečki (2483). The best base for exploring Komovi is Štavna, a high alpine plateau at the base of Kom Vasojevićki. We recommend hiking from Štavna to Kom Vasojevićki. This is a 4 – 4.5 hours return hike, with a total ascent gain of 710 meters.

Stay in Štavna

We highly recommend staying in Eko Katun Štavna (Ethno Village Štavna), which is located directly on the Štavna plateau. Bonus: Eko Katun Štavna also has a restaurant that makes delicious, homemade Montenegrin cuisine.

 
Where to hike in Montenegro - top hiking destinations, Durmitor National Park

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For centuries, transhumance has sculpted the landscape of the Alps. Forests have been felled for grazing cattle and sheep, creating large open meadows at high altitudes.

The Alps are synonymous with verdant alpine pastures as much as snow-capped peaks.

Hiking trails and cycling routes often bisect alpine pastures where cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and donkeys freely graze.

It’s really important that you don’t disturb grazing animals (especially cows). As silly as this might sound, your life is at stake. These pastures are not a petting zoo.

There have been a number of accidents and deaths in the last few years because people have provoked, pet, and/or disturbed grazing cattle.

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Rule #1 Take your shoes off before entering any of the bedrooms/dormitories.

Rule #2 Never ask to be seated alone.

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