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Discover the Mountains of Montenegro with a Cicerone guidebook - Sample Route

Cover of The Mountains of Montenegro
Availability
Published
Published
8 May 2015
ISBN
9781852847319
Edition
Second
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.5cm
Weight
280g
Pages
256
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The Mountains of Montenegro

A Walker's and Trekker's Guide

by Rudolf Abraham
Book published by Cicerone Press

This guidebook to Montenegro includes 17 walks and trekking routes throughout the Dinaric Alps, in Montenegro's five national parks as well as Orjen, Komovi, Tara Canyon and the UNESCO-listed old town of Kotor. The circular and linear routes range from easy hour-long outings to challenging 5-day treks involving exposure and scrambling.

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Description

This guidebook includes a range of day-walks and multi-day treks throughout the Dinaric Alps of Montenegro. These mountains are some of the wildest, most spectacular, and least visited in Europe. Nevertheless they are easily accessible, and many areas have well-marked trails. They present an opportunity to travel through outstandingly beautiful and remarkably unspoilt natural scenery, which sees few visitors. The guide covers the most spectacular mountain areas in Montenegro, with a selection of circular and linear routes, with variants and extensions.

The guide also includes generous background information, including mountain huts and shelters, travel to and within the country, history and language, as well as what to expect in the various mountains and National Parks the routes explore. This is the first comprehensive English-language guide to walking in this beautiful area, and provides and ideal gateway into Montenegrin adventures.

  • Activities
    Day walks, multi-day treks
  • Seasons
    June to September (mountains have moderate summer temperatures and abundant snowfall in winter).
  • Centres
    Durmitor National Park - Žabljak Prokletije National Park - Gusinje Biogradska Gora National Park - Mojkovac Lake Skadar National Park - Virpazar Lovćen National Park - Kotor or Cetinje Orjen - Herceg Novi
  • Difficulty
    Routes range from easy day walks to extended and more challenging multi-day mountain treks. All routes are graded. No special equipment required.
  • Must See
    Montenegro's five national parks - Durmitor, Prokletije (on the the Albanian border), Biogradska gora, Lovćen and Lake Skadar (the largest lake in the Balkans, plentiful birdlife), as well as several other areas including Orjen, Komovi, Kučka krajina, Tara Canyon (the deepest canyon in Europe). UNESCO-listed old town of Kotor, on Boka Kotorska (Bay of Kotor).
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Contents

Contents
Introduction
Geography
Geology
Climate
Vegetation and wildlife
History
Culture
Food and drink
Language
Getting to Montenegro
Local transport
Accommodation
Money
Staying in touch
Walking in Montenegro
What to take
Maps
Trail markings
National parks
Safety in the mountains
Using this guide
Orjen
Route 1 Subra
Stage 1 Kameno – Vratlo Hut
Stage 2 Vratlo Hut – Subra (return)
Stage 3 Vratlo Hut – Kabao (return)
Stage 4 Vratlo Hut – Kameno
Route 2 Zubački kabao
Further Possibilities
Lovćen
Route 3 Jezerski vrh
Route 4 Kotor fortress
Lake Skadar
Route 5 Rumija
Further Possibilities
Durmitor
Route 6 Central Durmitor
Stage 1 Žabljak – Lokvice
Stage 2 Lokvice – Terzin bogaz (return)
Stage 3 Lokvice – Bobotov kuk (return)
Stage 4 Lokvice – Minin bogaz (return)
Stage 5 Lokvice – Ledena pećina (return)
Stage 6 Lokvice – Samar (return)
Stage 7 Lokvice – Žabljak
Route 7 Durmitor Circuit (via Škrčko jezero)
Stage 1 Lokvice – Škrčko jezero
Stage 2 Škrčko jezero – Jablan jezero
Stage 3 Jablan jezero – Žabljak
Route 8 Durmitor Circuit (via Velika Struga)
Stage 1 Lokvice – Donja Ališnica
Stage 2 Donja Ališnica Žabljak
Day walks from Žabljak
Bjelasica
Route 9 Biogradsko jezero
Route 10 Biogradska gora
Stage 1 Biogradsko jezero – Pešića jezero
Stage 2 Pešića jezero – Trešnjevik
Further Possibilities
Komovi
Route 11 Komovi
Stage 1 Trešnjevik – Štavna
Stage 2 Štavna – Kom Vasojevićki (return)
Stage 3 Štavna – Kom Ljevoriječki (return)
Stage 4 Štavna – Trešnjevik
Kučka Krajina (Žijevo)
Route 12 Kučka Krajina
Stage 1 Veruša – Bukumirsko jezero
Stage 2 Bukumirsko jezero – nameless pass (return)
Stage 3 Bukumirsko jezero – Štitan (return)
Stage 4 Bukumirsko jezero – Maglić (return)
Stage 5 Bukumirsko jezero – Veruša
Further Possibilities
Visitor
Route 13 Visitor from Plav
Further Possibilities
Prokletije
Route 14 Volušnica
Route 15 Krošnja and Karanfili
Route 16 Kotao
Route 17 Ropojana Valley and Jezero
Further Possibilities
 
Appendix A Mountain areas, major peaks and long-distance routes
Appendix B Further reading
Appendix C Useful contacts
Appendix D Language notes and glossary
Appendix E History of Montenegro

Sample Route

ROUTE 5
Rumija
Start/FinishPPT trail SE of Tuđemili
Distance4.5kms (return)
Total Ascent/Descent590m
RatingModerate. Mostly easy on a clear trail, but with a short, slightly steeper section near the summit.
Time2hr 45mins
Maximum Altitude1594m (Rumija)
MapsNational Park Skadar Lake (1:55,000). Rumija is marked as 1586m rather than 1594m on this map.
WaterNone on route – fill flasks in Virpazar.
TransportSeveral buses a day depart Podgorica for Virpazar, journey time around 30mins. Podgorica airport is halfway between the capital and Virpazar, so if you’re starting your trip with a visit to Lake Skadar, it makes more sense to head straight from the airport to Virpazar rather than going into Podgorica itself (see note in introduction on transport into Podgorica) – a taxi from the airport to Virpazar will cost about €20; buses to Virpazar can be flagged down on the main road (a short walk from the airport); and if you’ve booked a tour or accommodation through Undiscovered Montenegro they’ll come and pick you up at the airport. The Podgorica–Bar railway line passes Virpazar, with trains stopping at the station on the main road just south of Virpazar itself. To get to the start of the route you’ll need to arrange transport in Virpazar (contact Undiscovered Montenegro or Adria Trek, see Appendix C) as there’s no public transport. To drive to the start you’ll need a 4WD (the road is quite rough in places). Follow the old road towards Bar from Virpazar (not through the Sutorman tunnel), to the village of Tuđemili; turn left (SE) from there onto a steep and increasingly rough 4WD road, which joins the PPT or Coastal Traversal route (still a rough 4WD track) where a trail branches N to Bijela Skala and Gornji Murići; keep following the 4WD track SE to the turnoff to Rumija, around 6km from Tuđemili. The alternative start point of Gornji Murići on Lake Skadar is a 50min drive from Virpazar (again, no public transport); Stari Bar is only a short distance from the port of Bar, from where the railway runs to Podgorica via Virpazar.
Huts and campingBest done as a day trip from accommodation in Virpazar or Stari Bar. Lake Skadar’s surroundings are a national park, so camping is prohibited.

A short hike with phenomenal views in all directions – across the lake, and up along the coast.

FACILITIES IN VIRPAZAR

Practicalities: Buses stop on the main road by the bridge which leads into town. There’s a small supermarket on the corner just as you enter the town, and an ATM on the main square beyond. The national park office is just after the square on the right, before the old stone bridge, which is also where boat trips on the lake usually depart from.

Accommodation and restaurants: By far the nicest place to stay in Virpazar is Villa Miela (Tel: 069 402364, enquiries@undiscoveredmontenegro.com), a beautifully renovated old stone house owned by Emma and Ben Heywood of Undiscovered Montenegro, with four bedrooms (about 20mins walk out of town, following the road uphill past the Besac fort). In town itself Virski Pub (Tel: 069 594347, virpazar.smestaj@gmail.com) has good value rooms. Following harassment of a lone female guest on one of its boat trips, Hotel Pelikan is not recommended. Konoba Badanj, by the national park office and the old stone bridge, is a lovely restaurant serving excellent and very reasonably priced fish and other dishes. The surrounding area is Montenegro’s top wine region, and it’s well worth arranging a wine tour while you’re here.

Leave the PPT 6km along the 4WD road from Tuđemili and turn left at the yellow sign marked Rumija vrh, following the 4WD track uphill. From the end of the 4WD track follow a clearly marked, rocky trail uphill, to reach a saddle at 1410m in 1hr, from where you get your first view out over Lake Skadar. Turn left from the saddle and follow a rocky path up on the N slopes of the ridge, with one steep section, to reach the summit of Rumija (1594m) in 35mins.

Small Orthodox church on the summit of Rumija, after October snowfall; the Adriatic coast is visible below on the right, Lake Skadar on the right

The views from the summit are nothing short of astonishing, taking in the huge expanse of Lake Skadar and across the far side of this to the NE, the convoluted jumble of peaks that is the Prokletije mountains, along and just over the border in Albania. Bar nestles on the Adriatic coast to the W, and the peaks of Lovćen and Orjen (Routes 3 and 2 respectively) can be seen clearly further along the coast to the NW, and beyond them the Croatian island of Mljet. The small metal Orthodox church was airlifted onto the summit in 2005 – rather controversially, since this was done without waiting for the requisite permit.

Descend to the PPT by the same route (allow 1hr).

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