Lonely Planet published their Best in Europe 2017 list. There are so many great places on the list. For example, it includes one of our favorite cities in the Balkans–Zagreb, Croatia. There was also a best of entry where we spend a lot of time. A LOT. So, as local experts, we felt it was appropriate to provide a little more info on the great opportunities in this undiscovered part of Montenegro. Here are 6 things you need to know that places Northern Montenegro among best in Europe.
- Durmitor National Park is a must see as Lonely Planet mentions. Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, this one is becoming less of a secret. Travel writers are beginning to pick it up. The musical duo 2 Cellos did a little piece here. Though others are finding out about it, it is still early here and there is so much to see including the Tara Canyon and the Djordjevic Most or Tara River Bridge.
- Ostrog Monastery stands unique. With a white Orthodox church building in the side of a mountain, you already have something beautiful. Take the story that goes with it and it becomes even more compelling. This suspended monastery is definitely worth a visit. But beware that the narrow mountain road is nearing capacity. If you have a great zoom lens you can take a pic from the other side of the canyon. If not you should stop by, but plan for possible slow going. Also, hope you don’t encounter a bus at the narrow points. If you want lots of exercise and less narrow passes, you can park somewhere below like Pod Ostrog and hike up.
- Montenegro equals mountains. Though this is obvious, it deserves attention. Durmitor is on the travel radar. However, the Moraca, Komovi, Prokletije, Bjelasica, Piva, Sinjajevina, and other peaks are unknown. This is the land of amazing, hidden hikes and off-road adventures. This is where the Peaks of the Balkans and the Via Dinarica cut through. It is a place calling for explorers to learn the ways of bushcraft and commune with nature. It beckons backcountry skiers and mountain bikers.
Longest zip line in Montenegro (1050 meters) across Tara Canyon
- Canyons mark the spot. Scattered mountains create valleys. Mountains butting up next to other mountains form canyons. Montenegro is the latter. Because of this there are lots of canyons including Tara, Nevidio, Moraca, Mrtvica, Piva, etc. With these canyons come great photo ops as well as rafting, hiking, and canyoning adventures.
- Village life rocks! There are centuries of tradition here. Family farms dot the valleys and all the way up the mountains. On the mountains, you will see local huts or katuns. Staying in the village provides an opportunity to explore these symbiotic mountain farm communities. In northern Montenegro, 90% of what they eat comes from their farm or village. These farm stays are developing in villages throughout the region.
- Old becoming new. There are several areas that are developing their region for travelers to experience hidden goodness. One area that is leading in that is the Andrijevica region. Local officials are working with an NGO partner and villagers to develop their area and raise awareness. A hostel is nearing completion in the village of Japan. Multiple farm stays have come online in the villages of Gračanica, Talanovac, and Konjuhe with nearby world-class fly fishing. Another area that has some concentrated development is a group of villages near Berane. The villages of Lubnice, Glavace, and Kurikuce boast developing farm stay offers. Hiking, foraging, MTB, backcountry skiing, and experiencing traditional ways of life are on offer here.
We agree with the good people at Lonely Planet. Yes to Northern Montenegro among best in Europe. Definitely, plan to explore this unknown WOW! We look forward to seeing you there and are happy to help open the way.