In Montenegro’s national parks you will find the highest peaks of the Balkan, wild natural landscapes, deep gorges, steep mountain ranges and unspoiled nature.


It takes at least 1 week to discover the remote national parks. For multi-day hikes in the impressive nature, you should plan accordingly more time.

  1. Durmitor National Park
  2. Biogradska Gora National Park
  3. Grebaje Valley

The Grebaje valley, in the extreme south of the country on the border with Albania, invites you to travel further south – the high valley of Theth is located directly behind the peaks. Or you go east to Kosovo.

Climb Montenegro’s highest peaks in Durmitor National Park

The country welcomes you with one of the most impressive rides in Montenegro, if not of the Balkan. One natural spectacle follows the other when you arrive from Bosnia-Herzegovina on the axis Sarajevo – Durmitor National Park.

After the Montenegrin border, the Piva River has eaten his way deep into the steep cliffs. You drive through rock tunnel, over narrow bridges always along the inaccessible river deep below the road. As the gorge widens again, the view of the largest Montenegrin water reservoir Pivsko Jezero opens up. The narrow road winds steeply up the wooded mountain slopes and the fantastic view of the turquoise lake invites you to linger.

Suddenly the landscape changes again. The Durmitor National Park announces itself with a barely inhabited landscape. Lined with hilly, rock-cut, green-yellow meadows, the lonely road leads directly into and through the park.

Pure nature in the Durmitor National Park

In the background rises its imposing mountain range with 48 peaks over 2000 meters. The Bobvotov Kuck is with 2,522 meters the highest in Montenegro. The Durmitor National Park is paradise for hiking and skiing and meanwhile a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the untouched nature, hikes of every level can be carried out – even for families there are easy and rewarding tours. In comparison to other european countries, the costs for accommodation and activities in the summer and winter months are low.

My advice for the summer months: Sleeping in the National Park. Wild camping is tolerated. And rewards you with waking up in nature – alone. In a few places you will find official campsites.


Mountaineering: In the Durmitor National Park many interesting trails can be hiked. In some places bivouacs have been placed in the middle of the mountains, which provide you a shelter on multi-day hikes. At the Tourist Information Center in Žabljak you can buy a detailed map of the National Park.

Hikes: During the summer months you can also enjoy beautiful easy hikes from Virak and Žabljak, which is usually frequented by mountain climbers. The following routes are also suitable for families:

  • The Glacier Lake Crno Jezero is picturesquely situated. It is made of two lakes connected by a narrow barrel. Bright green grasses sway in the wind. The turquoise waters of the smaller lake contrasts with the dark green mountain forests. You can easily walk around both lakes. Courageous jump in the cold water of the glacier lakes. Advice: instead of leaving from the more frequented Žabljak, which is about 15 minutes away, you can take the more charming nature trail from Virak. The easy, little frequented 6 km trail leads you through forests to Crno Jezero Lake. Duration approx. 1.5h.
  • From the 2313 m high mountain Savin Kuk you have an impressive panoramic view on the peaks and steep cliffs of the Durmitor massif. In the distance, the Glacier Lake Crno Jezero can be discovered further down. The summit can be easily climbed. The orientation is simple. Alternatively, you can also reach the summit with two chairlifts. These are also open in the summer months. Locals sell wild berries at the upper station, which you can also find on the way to / from the valley along the way.

The Tara Gorge is with 80 km the longest and with 1300m the deepest gorge in Europe. The river has been deeply buried and offers impressive views. Canoyning, rafting, zip lining are offered at several places. With a whitewater rafting tour you can best explore the hard to access gorge. In Žabljak you will find some tour operators / providers.

Skiing: At the ski station Savin Kuck near Viral children or beginner skiers get their money’s worth. The equipment can be rented on site.

Where to stay

Instead of spending the night in the touristy Žabljak, I recommend you as a nature lover or family to stay in the more remote Virak – just 10 minutes drive / 5 km away from Žabljak. From the blockhouses of the Family Farm Apartments you overlook the Yezerska Plateau on one side and the mountains on the other. Also recommended during the winter, as the houses are only 350 meters from the ski station Savin Kuk. The only restaurant “Durmitorsko Sijelo” and the bar at the ski station are both open in summer and winter.

Getting there

Cross the border bridge Hum – Šćepan Polje from Bosnia-Herzigovina above the river Tara to the north of Montenegro. Follow the only narrow E762 road through the Piva Gorge until the P14 road branches off to the left. The junction has the following coordinates 43.168887.18.857871. The road P14 leads you in and through the Durmitor National Park to Virak and Žabljak.

From Dubrovnik / Croatia you have two options:

The fastest route via the D8, D223 and M20 goes via Bosnia-Herzigovina. In Montenegro you continue on the M6 ​​and Narodnih Heroja / P5 to Virak or Žabljak. Duration approx. 3h. Caution there may be delays on the borders.

For the slightly longer, but only with one national border – so possibly a little shorter because of the waiting times at the borders- is to follow directly the Narodnih Heroja / P5 to Virak and Žabljak. Duration approx. 3: 45h

From Kotor take the P11, M6 and Narodnih Heroja / P5 to Virak or Žabljak. Duration approx. 2: 45h

From Biogradska Gora National Park you follow the road P4 and at the bridge over the Tara Canyon you turn on the Narodnih Heroja / P5 to Virak or Žabljak. Duration ca 1:30

The hidden highlight of Montenegro – the wild Grebaje valley

It is as dreamed. A remote valley with lovely flower meadows which stand in contrast to the impressively towering mountain walls. The ragged peaks surround the narrow Grebaje valley in Prokletije National Park, right on the Albanian border. From here you can hike over the highest peaks of the Balkans on the “Peaks of the Balkans Trial”. The 192 km round trip leads you to glacial lakes and through barely developed wild mountains in the triangle of three countries Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo.

A few years ago, some of the few villagers started building log cabins. Many do not yet exist and the valley attracts only occasionally climbers or local day trippers, who come to eat in one of the two restaurants. The nearest supermarket can be found in Gusinje 8km away.


Hiking, climbing, mountaineering.

There are few easy hikes. Most of them are day hikes of at least 6-8h.

The easiest, but nevertheless sporty hike starts shortly behind the restaurant Maja Karanfil. At the signposts, turn right (in the direction that no signpost points) and follow the path that leads you through the forest to the tree line. Then it way goes on the right hand on the summit. Reward is the beautiful view.

The Grebaje Valley is a good start or stage point on the “Peaks of the Balkans Trial” through the national parks of Montenegro, Albania and Kosovo. For the entire round trip you should plan 10-13 days. Precondition for the trek in this remote mountain region are surefootedness, alpine experience and good equipment.

The tourist information center in Plav is a good starting point to get maps, guides and information: Local Tourism Organization, Str. Racina bb, 84325 Plav, tel: +382 51 252 888, email: montenegro@peaksofthebalkans.com, website: www.plav.montenegro.travel/en/plav

Where to stay and eat

Two of the three lodgings in the valley also have their own restaurant with a similar menu. Trout from the mountain rivers are good for eating here.

From the bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil and the restaurant you have an unobstructed view of the surrounding mountains. The terrace is sunny, which is not always a given for a valley and there is a children’s playground. Price for a double room 25 € and for a bungalow 30 €. There are also multi-bedded rooms suitable for families.

Eko Katun offers bungalows and apartments with mountain views and some of them with private bathrooms. It also has its own restaurant. Tel + 382 (0) 69 044 572

Eko naselje “Deljanin”: Rustic accommodation in (very) small cabins with double bed and a cabin for 4 persons. WC and shower as well as the self-catering kitchen are located in another building. In 2017, the accommodation was still under construction. Soon, Wi-Fi and a better equipped kitchen will follow. Tel +382 (0) 68 589 935 or Tel +382 (0) 69 053 798, e-mail: deljaninekonaselje@gmail.com, Facebook: deljaninekonsalje

Getting there

Only by car, as there is no public transport to the Grebaje valley. Or you can take a taxi from Plav or Gusinje.

Follow the P9 to Gusinje, here you turn on the GU02, which leads you directly into the Grebaje valley (coordinates of the valley: 42.517674, 19.785023) and ends there.

Primeval forest in Biogradska Gora National Park

Halfway between Durmitor and Prokletije National Park lies the small Biogradska Gora National Park. 1/3 of the 56 km² national park is home to trees that are up to 500 years old, and not only bears can take advantage of this remote and protected  place.


The tree giants can be explored on well signposted paths. On the small lake it is possible to row and the warm water in comparison to the glacier lakes invites you to swim. The park is a perfect stopover between Prokletije National Park and Durmitor National Park.

Where to stay

At the lake there is a camping / camping site in the woods. Directly next to the Biogradska National Park you can find some nice and comfortable accommodation.

From Montenegro you can continue your journey to the still very original Albania. Cross the impressive mountains from the Grebaje valley and explore the Albanian high valley Theth. Then go south and relax at lonely beaches.  At the three country triangle Albania also borders on Kosovo, where you should absolutely drive through the deep Rugova Gorge.

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  1. […] stage point on the “Peaks of the Balkans Trial” through the national parks of Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. For the entire round trip you should plan 10-13 days. Precondition for the trek in this […]

  2. […] The Rugova gorge lies in the triangle of three countries on the border with Albania and Montenegro. Explore the beautiful mountains and head over the peaks to the high valley of Theth in Albania or to the wild Grebaje valley in Montenegro. […]

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