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Hiking in Prokletije National Park, Montenegro

Prokletije National Park is the most dramatic hiking destination in Montenegro.

Vertical peaks pierce the sky. Wild chamois sprint between jagged cliffs. And, herds of goats roam about freely.

The park encompasses most of the Prokletije mountains, which form the natural border between Montenegro and Albania.

Hence, this mountain range is also called the Albanian Alps, Bjeshket e Nemuna (in Albanian) as well as the Accursed Mountains.

It’s possible to access Prokletije National Park from Albania, Montenegro, and Kosovo.

However, we think it’s easier to do so from Montenegro, provided that you have a car.

Given the remoteness of this region, you’ll see very few people hiking here. Trails are mostly easy to follow, but signage is infrequent.

We highly recommend saving and downloading relevant GPX tracks before you go to Prokletije National Park.

Prokletije National Park, Montenegro
  • Entrance Fee: 3 EUR per person per day 
  • When to Visit Prokletije National Park: July, August, or September. We hiked in the Prokletije mountains in early September, which proved to be a perfect time to be in the Accursed Mountains. The climate was mild, though chilly during the evening.
  • Waymarking and Signage: Waymarking is inconsistent in Prokletije National Park. We saw Austrian Alps style waymarks as well as Knafelc Waymarks (red circle with a white center). Don’t expect frequent waymarks or signage.
  • Border Crossings and Permits: If you plan on hiking across the border to Albania and return the same day, you don’t need to secure a border permit. However, if you plan to stay overnight in Albania, you must secure a permit. Read this guide about cross-border procedures.
  • Recommended Guidebook: Mountains of Montenegro 
  • Recommended Trail Map: Prokletije & Durmitor Trekking Map
  • Where to Stay in Grebaje Valley: Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil (budget) and Bungalows Prokletije (budget)

Prokletije National Park Hiking Map


How to Get to Prokletije National Park 

Hiking Prokletije National Park, Montenegro

We highly suggest renting a car to explore this off-the-beaten-path region of Montenegro.

We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip. Check car rental rates here.

If you’re traveling with transit, there are Elan mini-buses that run to the town of Gusinje from Podgorica (via Mojkovac, Berane, and Plav) daily.

Next, you need to decide whether to explore the Prokletije Mountains from Grebaje Valley or Ropojana Valley. 


How to Get to Grebaje Valley

Grebaje Valley (also spelled Grbaja and Grebaja) is the best base for exploring the Prokletije mountains. From Grbaja, you have access to the most impressive day hikes in Prokletije National Park.

It’s also an appealing destination in the Accursed Mountains because it’s way off the beaten path. Even the Peaks of the Balkans trekking route doesn’t traverse Grebaja.

The closest town to Grebaje Valley (Dolina Grebjaje) is Gusinje, which is a 20-minute drive away. 

The entrance of Prokletije National Park is marked by a gate. You’ll be charged an entrance fee of 3 EUR  per person per day. Check current pricing: Prokletije National Park Pricelist.

If you’re arriving by minibus in Gusinje, you can hire a taxi (hopefully), or walk 7 km directly to Grebaje Valley.


How to Get to Ropojana Valley

You can also explore the Prokletije mountains from Ropojana Valley, accessed from Vusanje (also spelled Vusinje).

Vusanje is a 15-minute drive (5.4 km) from Gusinje and lies directly on the Peaks of the Balkans long-distance hiking route.

If you’re arriving by minibus, you’ll have to take a taxi or walk-in. From Vusanje, you can hike along the Peaks of the Balkans route to a large lake on the Albanian border (4-hour return). If you have a cross-border permit, you can continue to the village of Theth in Albania.


Where to Stay in Prokletije National Park


Grebaje Valley – Best Base for Exploring Prokletije National Park

Grebaje Valley, Prokletije, Montenegro

While the town of Gusinje may have more accommodation options, we don’t recommend staying there.

Opt for a bungalow in Grebaje Valley, where you’ll be surrounded by incredible scenery, grazing animals, and very little development.

Note: camping is also permitted. There are a few restaurants, so no need to bring any food (other than hiking snacks).

Budget | Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil is a bungalow-style accommodation in the Grebaje Valley. This is where we stayed. The location is perfect, as it’s directly in the park and at the trailhead. The bungalows sleep four people each, but it’s best for two people. Each bungalow is equipped with a fire-burning oven. Our host kindly started the fire for us at night.

Budget | Bungalows Prokletije is another bungalow-style accommodation in the Grebaje Valley, very close to the first option. Their wooden cabins are a bit larger than the ones in Katun Karanfil. Guests are really pleased with the hospitality and food here.

Look for accommodation in Grebaje Valley.


Ropojana Valley – Best Base for Starting or Continuing the Peaks of the Balkans Trek

Budget | Eko Katun ROSI – Old Tower is a bungalow-style accommodation in Vusanje. There’s an on-site restaurant at Eko Katun Rosi, and breakfast is included. Eko Katun ROSI is well-positioned for hiking in the Ropojana Valley.

Budget | Riverside Guesthouse is a family-run guesthouse in Vusanje. Guests have access to a terrace with a fireplace and can order delicious homemade food. Breakfast costs 4 EUR per person.

Look for accommodation in Vusanje.


Prokletije National Park Hiking Trails


Volušnica

Volušnica Hike, Prokletije National Park, Montenegro

If you only have time for one hike in Prokletije National Park, choose Volušnica.

This moderate hike delivers the most incredible view of the Karanfili peaks, the most photogenic massif in the Accursed Mountains.

This hike isn’t difficult, though don’t expect a flat trail.

When you reach Volusnica, the hike continues along the ridge to Talijanka (also called Popadija), 2057 m, the peak that straddles the border of Montenegro and Albania. Prepare yourself to be wowed.

Tip | For the best light, hike this trail in the mid-late afternoon. If you hike in the morning, the sun will blind your view of the Karanfili peaks.


Trail Stats

Trailhead | Grebaje Valley

Distance | 9.6 km lollipop-loop

Time Needed | 5 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 1005 meters

Difficulty | Moderate

Minimum Elevation | 1140 meters

Maximum Elevation | 2032 meters


Krosnja – Šuplja vrata (Kissing Cats)

Krosnja - Šuplja vrata (Kissing Cats) hiking trail, Prokletije National Park, Montenegro

Krosnja is a glacial cirque high up in the Karanfili mountains. It’s a long slog to the top.

As you ascend, you’ll have impressive views of Grebaje valley. But, to be honest, Krosnja isn’t the highlight of this hike. If you continue the trail past Krosnja, you enter an alpine paradise.

The trail traverses mountain slopes surrounded by peaks and brings you to a natural arch appropriately named Šuplja vrata, or kissing cats.

You’ll climb through the arch, traverse another slope and then descend into a gully. The views are epic!

This hike is difficult and best undertaken by experienced hikers. Half the trail is well-marked and the second-half is not marked at all.


Trail Stats

Trailhead | Grebaje Valley

Distance | 7.8 km circuit

Time Needed | 5:30 hours

Elevation Gain/Loss | 1247 meters

Difficulty | Difficult

Minimum Elevation | 1139 meters

Maximum Elevation |  2190 meters


Peaks of the Balkans Trek

Bajrovica Katun, Montenegro

The Peaks of the Balkans is a multi-day hiking route that traverses the mountains of Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo.

The route doesn’t overlap with the hikes above (Volusnica, or Kissing Cats) and doesn’t enter Grebaja Valley. So, if you want to hop on the Peaks of the Balkans trail, head to Vusanje on the Montenegro side.

We hiked different segments of the trek, including Theth to Valbone in Albania and Bajrovića katun to Hridsko Jezero (Ridsko Lake) in Montenegro.

After spending a few nights in Grebaja Valley, we drove to another part of Prokletije National Park. We stayed in a Farm Stay in the seasonal herdsmen settlement of Bajrovića katun. 

It was a long and tedious journey to get there (try to imagine the most hellish road you can), but of course the experience was unforgettable.

After a hearty farm-to-table dinner inside our host’s seasonal home, we slept in tiny A-frame hut in the middle of Prokletije.

The next morning, we hiked along the Peaks of the Balkans trail to the glacial lake of Hridsko Jezero (Ridsko Lake).


Other Hikes in Grebaje Valley

Volusnica Peak, Prokletije National park, Montenegro

Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil provides guests with a hiking pamphlet.

According to the sheet, here are some other trails to consider:

Koplje

Lepushe (Albania) – if you intend to hike across the border in order to stay in Albania, you’ll need to secure a cross-border permit.

Trojan – Ravni ključ

Vezirova brada

Ljubokuč – Karanfil Ljuljaševića

Maje e Podgojs – Mali Karanfil / Očnjak

Krošnja – Svjeverjni vrj – Veliki vrh

Zastan – Vojuša



More Montenegro Travel and Hiking Guides

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Prokletije National Park Hiking Trails, Montenegro

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati