Types of Tourism in Montenegro
When thinking about a vacation in Montenegro, the first thing that comes to mind is the kilometers of beaches on the coast of the cleanest Adriatic Sea. Someone calculated that there are 117 beaches in Montenegro, which occupy 73 of the 290 km of its coastline. Beaches can be very diverse: sandy, pebbly or rocky. The water in the sea is exceptionally clean and transparent, in some places the transparency reaches 36 – 58 m. The salinity of the water varies from 2.8 to 3.8%. The waves are rarely higher than 0.5 m. The Adriatic Sea is quite cool, from May to October the average water temperature varies from 19 to 25 o C. The hottest months are July and August (the average air temperature during the day is about 29 oFROM). There is little precipitation in the summer months (25 – 50 mm), and the sun shines 9 – 11 hours a day (60-70% of the daylight hours).
Hotels are usually located near the sea (100 – 300 m), the level of service is average (except for a few VIP hotels). The most famous beach resorts are Herceg Novi, Kotor, Budva, Petrovac, Bar and Ulcinj – cities with a long history that arose in the Middle Ages or even earlier. They are surrounded by smaller resorts. Check top-medical-schools.org for travel information in Montenegro.
The coast can be divided into 3 parts: the Bay of Kotor, the Budva Riviera and the coastline near the cities of Bar and Ulcinj . The Bay of Kotor protrudes 20 km deep into the coast, so the salinity of the water here is lower than on the rest of the Montenegrin coast. It is a series of bays connected by narrow channels. The beaches in the vicinity of Budva are sandy and pebbly, located in small and large bays. To the west of Bar, the coast is rocky, there are few beaches, and they are hidden in small bays. In a picturesque place under the old town in Ulcinj is the Small Beach. Further south to the border with Albania stretches the Big Beach (13 km long) with specific fine black sand.
There are diving centers in many resorts on the Montenegrin coast, in Herceg Novi, Tivat, Kotor, Bar, Ulcinj, on the island of Sveti Stefan Here you can take a course with an instructor or make one dive, explore underwater caves or shipwrecks. There are all conditions for diving: clean and clear water (up to 36 – 58 m), not very cold water from May to October (average temperature 19..25 o C), diving centers with experienced instructors and an interesting underwater world.
The turbulent history of these places has left traces not only on land, but also in the sea. Since ancient times, sea routes leading from the Middle East to Europe passed through the Adriatic Sea. For example, the entire Risan Bay is full of archaeological finds, and the surroundings of the islands of St. George and Gospa od Shkrpela are also very interesting. At the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, at a depth of 32 m, the remains of a merchant ship from the early 16th century were found. In the 20th century, many wrecks occurred off the coast of Montenegro, many of them during the First and Second World Wars. Some of the sunken ships, submarines and aircraft can be viewed.
Of great interest for diving are grottoes and caves, with a depth of 15 to 50 m, with rich flora and fauna. Many of them are located in the Bay of Kotor and on the Budva Riviera.
In Montenegro, there are natural conditions for practicing some types of extreme tourism: rafting, canyoning (descent through the canyons of mountain rivers), trekking (hiking), rock climbing, speleology and paragliding. In the north of the country, the Durmitor mountain range is located, in which the canyon of the Tara River is located., the deepest and longest in Europe. The height of the walls in the canyon can reach 1300 m, and its length is about 100 km. Travel companies mainly offer rafts (large rubber boat) or wooden rafts, but the Tara River is also of interest to kayakers and kayakers. You can start rafting in Splavist, Radovan Luke and Brstnovice, and usually finish it in the village of Szczepan Pole. Going down the river from Splaviste, you can see numerous waterfalls and springs, a bridge over the Tara and the deepest part of the canyon at Mount Churevac. The one-day route starts in Brstnovice, from here it is 18 km to the village of Szczepan Pole, a distance that is covered in 2 – 3 hours. On this section of the river, 21 out of 50 rapids and rapids of the rafting section of the Tara River are located.
In the mountains of Durmitor and There are good hiking trails in Prokletije (the highest point of the region is 2522 m – Mount Bobotov Kuk). For example, the canyon of the Komarnitsa River is interesting, the last conquered in Europe (in 1965). Because of this, he was called “Invisible” or “Invisible-God.” The canyon, only 3.5 km long, turned out to be very difficult to pass, and in front of the entrance to it there is a Grabovine waterfall. Mountains of karst origin in Montenegro literally carved by canyons, many of them are not inhabited, therefore they are attractive for canyoning enthusiasts. More than 300 objects of interest to speleologists are known in the Durmitor massif, in the caves you can find stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes. One of the most famous Ice Cave is located near Mount Obla Glava at an altitude of 2100 m above sea level. Climbing routes are laid in the mountains of Orien (Herceg Novi), Lovcen (Kotor, Cetinje), Prokletje and Durmitor (Zabljak).
There are several great places for paragliding in Montenegro. One of them is the Brajici massif (760 m), located above the beach in the resort of Becici. The flight direction is south, southeast and southwest, a gorgeous view of the coast near Budva opens up. Another convenient place for paragliding is Vrmac, located above Kotor at an altitude of 550 m. Dizdarica (850 m) is located above Herceg Novi, and you can land on the beaches in Igalo and Zelenika. In addition, you can start from Mount Lovcen from a height of 1660 m, in flight a breathtaking view of the Bay of Kotor opens. A base is being prepared for paragliding on the Durmitor massif.
Despite the mountainous terrain, there are only two major ski resorts in Montenegro: Zabljak and Kolasin . Zabljak – the largest ski resort in Montenegro, but it can only be reached by mountain roads, while the Podgorica – Belgrade railway passes by Kolasin . Kolasin is a small resort town located near the Biogradska Gora National Park at an altitude of 954 m above sea level. The city is surrounded by small mountain ranges Belasitsa, Klyuch and Sinyaevina. Ski resorts “Belasitsa” and “Trebalevo” are located 8.5 km from the city, there is a bus connection with Kolasin and car parking. The total length of the ski slopes is 15 km, the length of the main slope is 4.5 km. Elevation difference 460 m (upper point on the top of Chupovi – 1880 m, lower – 1420 m). On the slopes there are 3 tow lifts with a length of 500 m, a chair lift with a length of 1840 m leading to the top of Chupovi, and a children’s lift (150 m). The resort has a ski and snowboard school, a medical center and a rescue service. 2 slopes are FIS certified for international competitions. In Kolasin the annual Golden Ermine Alpine Skiing Cup and snowboarding competitions are held during the ski festival in February. The ski season in the Belasitsa mountains begins in November and lasts almost until April. The height of the snow cover is from 1 to 3 m.
Zabljak is located at the foot of the Durmitor massif at an altitude of 1465 m near the national park “Durmitor”. The three main slopes of the resort are Savin Kuk, Stutz and Javorovaca. The descent from the top of Savin Kuk starts at an altitude of 2313 m, the elevation difference is 750 m. The length of the main route is 3500 m, the slopes are served by 2 chair lifts, 4 rope tows and 2 children’s lifts. The length of the main descent on Stutz is a little less – 2630 m, but it is much more interesting. The descents from Javorovaci are very short – 800 m. There are 2 ski lifts and 1 children’s lift on this slope. At the resort you can find everything you need for skiing: rental, schools with experienced instructors and rescue service. On the slopes of Durmitor, the national championship in skiing, the Angel Cup and the Durmitor Cup are held. Snow cover in the Durmitor massif lasts 120 days a year from December to April.
Montenegro since 1991, according to the constitution, is a “democratic, social and ecological” state. 28% of the country’s territory is occupied by national parks: “Durmitor”, “Biogradska Gora”, “Lovcen” and “Skadar Lake”.
Despite the fact that the Durmitor mountain range has a small size, its nature is unique and very rich. A large part of the massif is a national park, including the canyons of the Tara, Draga and Susica rivers, as well as the upper part of the Komarnica river valley. Since 1977, the Tara River Canyon has been declared a biosphere reserve by UNESCO, and since 1980, Durmitor has been included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage List. 7 ecosystems have been identified on the territory of the park: a relict fir-spruce forest near the Mlynsky (Melnichny) stream, a pine forest near Chernaya Poda, the canyons of the Tara and Sushitsa rivers; Black, Barnoe and Zaboyskoye lakes with adjacent forests. The main difference of the relief of Durmitor is that it is a plateau lying at an altitude of 1500 m, cut by deep canyons of rivers, from which 48 peaks higher than 2000 m rise. The highest peak is Bobotov Kuk (2522 m). Durmitor National Park is a great place for hiking and exploring mountain ecosystems. The ski resort of Zabljak is located next to the park.
Biogradska Gora National Park, located in the central part of the Belasitsa massif, was founded in 1952, but the preservation of this territory began as early as 1878, when the territory was given to Prince Nikola Petrovich. The heart of the park is the virgin Biograd forest, in the center of which, at an altitude of 1094 m, lies the Biograd lake. The age-old trees of the Biograd Forest represent one of the last untouched forests in Europe. There are 10 peaks in the Belasitsa massif with a height of more than 2000 m, the highest is Black Glava (2139 m). The ski resort Kolasin is located next to the park.
Lovcen National Park is located in the central part of the Lovcen massif, between the medieval city of Kotor and the former capital of Montenegro, Cetinje. The highest points of the Lovcen massif are the Stirovnik and Ozerny peaks. The narrow mountain range that separates the interior of the country from the sea is distinguished by a varied relief. The slopes of the mountains are mostly rocky, there are many caves, cracks and depressions, which gives the area a bizarre look. For a long time, the area around Mount Lovcen was a stronghold of the independence of the Montenegrin people. Here, on Lake Peak, is the mausoleum of Peter II Petrovich Negush.
Valley of the Zeta River and the coast of Lake Skadar were declared a national park in 1983. Lake Skadar is the largest on the Balkan Peninsula. Separate parts of the bottom of Lake Skadar are below sea level. There are about thirty such places and they are called “eyes”. The deepest “eye” is Raduš, 60 m deep, while the average depth of the lake is 6-8 m. The shores are mostly swampy and overgrown with reeds, and the surface of the lake is covered with a carpet of yellow and white water lilies. Only the southern coast is rocky, covered with relic chestnut forests. Lake Skadar is called a paradise for birds, it is home to about 270 species, many of which are rare or endangered, like the Dalmatian pelicans. There are about 50 species of fish in the lake.
Perhaps not only the largest, but also the most famous in Montenegro lake – Skadar. Here is a national park designed to protect the unique nature of the lake. Its shores are mostly swampy, indented by numerous bays, except for the southern one, covered with chestnut forests. There are many small rocky islands in the lake, called “goritsy”, some of them have the ruins of monasteries and churches. The average depth of the lake is 6-8 m, but there are wells with underground springs up to 60 m deep, they are poetically called “eyes”. The lake is flowing, water is collected in it from the rivers of the Zeta Valley, and it only comes out along the Boyana River to the Adriatic Sea.
In the mountains of Montenegro there are numerous glacial lakes. Many of them are quite small, but surprisingly beautiful. In the mountains, the blue or green surface of the lake always attracts the eye and fascinates, only a few dare to swim in them.
The Durmitor massif, located in the north-west of the country, is known not only for the canyon of the Tara River, but also for its lakes: Black, Snake, Barny, Blue, Fish, there are about 18 in total. The Belasitsa mountain range is also rich in lakes, but the most famous there is Biogradskoe lake. The Prokletie mountain range has its own pearl – Lake Plavskoe (Blue), on which the cities of Plav and Gusinye are located. Each mountain range of Montenegro has its own lakes, like rare gems that adorn the harsh mountainous region.
The turbulent history of Montenegro has made a great contribution to its modern appearance: small coastal and mountainous cities, old fortresses, churches and monasteries – all this makes up the rich cultural and historical heritage of a small country. Medieval fortresses, the so-called old towns in Kotor, Herceg Novi, Budva, Bar and Ulcinj, have survived along the coast. The cultural capital of the country, Cetinje, located in the Lovcen mountains above the sea, has long been the center of the country and the stronghold of the ruling Petrović-Negushi dynasty. In the Lovcen National Park is the mausoleum of the ruler, philosopher and poet – Peter II Petrovich Negush.
The Skadar Valley has been inhabited for a long time, in the Skadar Lake National Park there are many archaeological sites, as well as fortresses and monasteries of the 15th century. Once upon a time there were more than 20 monasteries on the coast of the lake, for which this area was called the “Zetskaya Holy Mountain”. Near the city of Rijeka Chernovitsa was located the fortress of Chernovichi, the ruling clan of Zeta (medieval Montenegro). Churches and remains of medieval fortifications can be found everywhere in the mountainous areas.