The Mountain Bounty Gastro Route celebrates the real Montenegro. The route across northern Montenegro advances the invitation for travelers to have an authentic farm to table experience. Meanderbug has been sharing for years that the mountains of Montenegro offer a healthy, unforgettable experience where travelers can enjoy the best foods and real traditions of the country. We were blessed to discover it years ago and are always happy to share about it. Now we invite you to explore this gastro route that has been two years in development.
Telling the Mountain Bounty Gastro Route Story
We were honored to be asked to shoot a video to raise awareness about the Mountain Bounty Gastro Route. But as our team talked through the video project, we believed that the story needed more space than just a promo video. So, we began to put together a 3-video series. We envisioned an Alice Waters’ Master Class meets Chef’s Table format in stunning rural tourism settings. It needed to be both epic and personal if it was to begin to portray some of the reality.
We believed it was important to share about the villages and katuns of Montenegro along with the developing rural tourism movement here. Part of that story also had to include the agriculture that is critical to this with some insight into the permaculture elements.
Though we had a very limited shooting schedule during the pandemic and we were in the last days of the harvest season and fighting the rain, we were so thankful for the stories we were able to capture. Our video team was able to shoot the footage over four days and add in a few clips from the Meanderbug video library to add some flare in places. This series can be seen below in Episode 1: Time video and with the follow-on pieces–Episode 2: Biome and Episode 3: Neighbors.
The narrator of the series and one of the founders of Meanderbug, Astrid Boone, shared this about her experience while making the films:
“Though I have been to the villages and katuns of Montenegro dozens of times, I am always impressed by the hospitality and all of the love that goes into every household visit. Each woman puts her heart into making amazing food for her family and guests. It feels like we are friends from the first arrival while every departure includes many genuine invitations to return soon.”
Our video editor and lead camera guy for the project, Damjan Spasojevic, was more than a little pleased to be able to spend these days in such a familiar setting in the Montenegrin villages:
While shooting this series, I enjoyed our homemade food experiences and was reminded of my boyhood days when I visited my grandparents in the countryside. Today, when I spend most of my time in the city, moments like these are unforgettable.
Development of the Mountain Bounty Gastro Route
The story of the mountain bounty route through Montenegro and Albania includes a key element of permaculture in multi-speciated farming. While interest in these practices are growing in the west among people seeking to improve their health, this was a key part of local tradition through the decades and it continues today. This is one key element that makes this gastro route special.
A lot went into this project. Many partners worked to make it a reality, but the two-year planning, coordination, and implementation was led by our friends and often-time partners–the Regional Development Agency of Bjelasica, Komovi, and Prokletije with funding from the EU and other partners. The RDA’s role included constructing new gazebos and covered table outdoor dining areas along with capturing recipes and giving consultation to families along the route. Good job team! While their plan to host bloggers along the route didn’t work out due to the pandemic, we are thankful for the opportunity to share the story through this video series.
Best Montenegrin Traditional Food Recipes
The Mountain Bounty project compiled the most complete Montenegrin cookbook with all of the traditional recipes. Each region of Montenegro has its own recipes which are captured here. These are the foods that urban locals will share that you have to go eat in the village if you really want to try authentic Montenegrin foods.
Also, these dishes have been sought out by a who’s who of chefs with sous chef research done on behalf of Jaimie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay among others. Consider this an opportunity to form some tantalizing culinary expectations or you can try your hand at making these traditional dishes.
Best Way to Book Adventures on the Mountain Bounty Gastro Route
The best way to book your adventure along the Mountain Bounty Gastro Route is through our farm stay booking system. Our team can provide you a consultation for your whole adventure or you can enjoy browsing the options online and select the places that appeal to you.
Every booking through Meanderbug helps make our little social enterprise more sustainable so that we can continue working with locals–coaching partners, developing new sustainable concepts, working with local and national officials, and bringing more photo and video content to keep travelers informed of the possibilities.
Meanderbug was one of the rare online booking platforms that gave 100% refunds for all travels canceled due to the pandemic. Issuing vouchers was not enough. Traveling in remote places with mountain settings, you need to be able to trust that those with you are concerned about your well-being. It is part of genuine mountain hospitality and it is part of our enterprise ethos.
Here are some amazing places to have one of the most unforgettable experiences of your lifetime: