Hiking the Balkans invites you to an amazing trip to north Montenegro, a country with stunning mountains, a beautiful coast on the Adriatic Sea. Although it is one of the smallest countries in Europe, its contribution to the world cultural heritage is impressive compared to its size, so on this trip we invite you to discover the northern part of Montenegro.
To see photos from our previous trip to this region in September 2016 please click here.
Late summer is the best season for visiting the north of Montenegro, so this September Hiking the Balkans is taking you to a very special place. We are staying in a luxury camp (or as the Brits would say, we are going glamping/ glamorous camping).
This camp made of wooden huts has all the luxury including memory foam mattresses and in house menu made of only locally produced organic food.
The founders of the camp had an idea to base the concept on the traditions of Montenegro's mountain inhabitants, known regionally for their strength and bravery. So if you need a break from your busy urban lifestyle and you want to stay in the "middle of nowhere" welcome to Vranyak, an eco camp named after the black wild horses that can be seen running around the nearby pastures.
After our arrival in Podgorica we will be going to the Canyon Mrtvica where we will have our first short hike and optional swim before we head to Vranyak camp for dinner. We will stay in wooden huts which have electricity and are incredibly comfortable and have our meals on a shared long table near the camp fire and the oven made of stone. The camp has modern eco toilets and showers.
The next day we are having our first full day of hiking with 750 meters (2460 feet) ascent and 750 meters descent over 15, 5km (just under 10 miles) going around the mountain Bjelasica, which is 2,139 m (7,018 ft) high. This mountain is home to six glacial lakes and we will see some of them during our hikes. We are having dinner in Vranyak where all guests sit around the camp fire and sing songs or tell stories.
On day three we will do a walk to the nearby town of Kolashin, which is 20 km long with 450m of ascent and 1000 meters descent. There we will visit one of the newest monasteries in Montenegro built in the nineties and stop for a meal in one of the many authentic ethno restaurants built by the river of this picturesque mountain town. This is our last day of hiking on the mountain Bjelasica and staying in our glamorous camp as on day four we are leaving our luggage on the minibus and starting a 12km walk to Lake Biogradsko via a shepherd camp where we will stop for lunch made only of food produced in the camp during the summer.
These kind of lunches have always been a unique experience because of the freshly baked bread and cheeses made on the farm. During our hike we will ascend 350 meters and descent 1000 meters before we arrive to the lake where we will stop for a swim. We are now entering the national park Biogradska Gora in north east Montenegro which is situated between the rivers Tara and Lim. The scenery is stunning (as you can see in the video below) and one of the best features of this park is the virgin forest, one of the last three such areas in Europe which is under special protection. As we pass the villages on the way you will be able to see authentic architecture and mills situated on the edge of the forest. After our swim in Biogradsko Lake, we will head towards the camp situated on the river Tara where we are staying over night.
On day 5 we will indulge in one of the highlights of this trip-white water rafting. We are leaving our camp after breakfast to get ready for rafting and set off on a journey which will take about three hours.
We will be rafting on the river Tara, one of the most beautiful rivers in Montenegro. It is 150 km long and the canyon is mostly 1000 meters deep, going to 1300 meters at certain points. River Tara has springs throughout its length and several rivers are tributaries to Tara. Waterfalls are coming down from the canyon at several points some of them 30 meters high. Here we will have an opportunity to go on the longest zip line in Europe and see the canyon from a birds eye perspective.
Being on the middle of this beautiful canyon is a very unique experience and the river is calmer towards the end of summer so you will have a lot of opportunities to take photos and capture the beautiful green and blue colours that surround you.
We will be stopping for lunch in one of the local restaurants situated by the river where you will taste slow cooked meals prepared under a metal bell, a local speciality in Montenegro. Our minibus will take us to the town of Zhablyak where we are staying the next three nights in a three star hotel situated very close to the national park Durmitor where we will be hiking.
Here is a National Geographic video about the nature and wild life of National Park Durmitor.
The origin of the name Durmitor is not certain but one of the most probable assumptions is that it is derived from the Celtic words "dru mi tore" meaning a mountain full of water. This mountain is truly full of water, aside from the river Tara with its many tributaries there 18 glacier lakes all of them above 1500 meters.
The heighest peak of Durmitor is Bobotov Kuk which is 2523 meters high. This will be our terrain for the next two days of hiking. We can modify our routes according to the weather conditions and depending on how many hours of hiking we want to do, but expect 15 to 20km hikes on day six and seven with up to 1000 meters ascent and 1000 meters descent translating to 6-7 hours of active walking. We will of course have swimming and picnic breaks to enjoy nature as the days are still long and our guide Mio knows the mountain Durmitor inside out.
On day eight we will have a packed breakfast and our minibus will take us to the airport in Podgorica for our flight at 13:05.
A full payment £595 will secure your spot. Due to the fluctuation of the British Pound we reserve the right to ammend the price to an equivalent of €660 at the time of payment. We will send you the conversion rate in British Pounds and the bank details of Hiking the Balkans when you RSVP. The deadline for payment for this trip is 1st of August 2017.
Single room is available for additional £100
What is included?
• 7 overnights on BB basis in 3 star hotels and mountain camps
• Minibus transfers from and to airport for the recommended flights only
• Minibus transfers from and to the starting and finishing points of the hikes or cultural visits according to itinerary
• English speaking certified local mountain on all hikes
• All lunch-packs during hikes (where there is no alternative for food stops)
• Travel insurance-please arrange your own in order to be able to join this trip
• Flights - you need to purchase your own flights to and from Podgorica
• Visas and vaccinations – UK/EU passport holders do not need visas to travel to Montenegro
• white water rafting which costs £40 per person
• Lunches and dinners in restaurants
• Personal expenses, optional activities, souvenirs
Recommended Ryanair flights from London Stansted to Podgorica
[masked], Flight Number: FR 7961 departing London Stansted at 06:55 AM arriving in Podgorica at 10:45 AM
and return flight on [masked] departing Podgorica at 11:10 AM arriving to London Stansted at 13:05 PM Flight Number: FR 7962
This trip is open to our members as well as members of London European Club. The total number of participants will not exceed 18 people. Please contact Maja or Lea via Meetup if you want to join us on a new Balkan adventure. We don't like mass gatherings so the trip has a limited number of spaces, once full it is full. These trips are organised with the intention of discovering new countries and destinations in Europe. We are not a travel agency nor are we holiday reps. You will be expected to be a good team player and look after yourself and the members of your group. Join us if you are up for an adventure of a lifetime!