During a 2-week period with lots of rain and some complications, we grabbed some drone footage of this amazing country where we live. For the concept it had to be big shots to show the expansive nature that needs more description than words can give. So, in cooperation with HyperBorea‘s editing, we offer our video, Explore Epic Montenegro in 4K. All the footage in this piece was shot with either a DJI Phantom 4 or Phantom 4 Advanced drone.
With a recent post from Lonely Planet, we felt this piece and our response about the unexplored northern Montenegro territory would be a good way to drive the video. So, we divided the piece up into two parts to tell a story of a diverse, gorgeous European country.
The Montenegro You Know
The piece starts with some well-known spots for those that are aware of Montenegro. We realize many are still learning that this is a country in southern Europe. But for travelers in the know, they are likely to be familiar with the Venetian port town of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor. The fjords that stand high above the bay are well known for a reason.
Travelers are also likely to know about the beaches and the exclusive island resort called Sveti Stefan. Also, they probably know the locally revered resting place of their hero Njegos. The mausoleum and gumno on the top of Mt. Lovcen are iconic photo spots for travel blogs and magazines.
These known areas of Montenegro are known for a reason. They are epic. Beautiful. Certainly worth visiting. They also have the easiest access. (OK, so maybe Lovcen is difficult to access, but it is still close by the coast and the distance is short.)
The Montenegro to Discover
What is known and what is unknown you may ask. We sure did a bunch of times while conceptualizing and shooting this. And yes, we polled a number of people. But, in the end we classified known and unknown on Lonely Planet’s piece. We would put a few of these in a better-known category if it was our designation. But, it is safe to say that most people won’t know all of these unknown places. We haven’t found a local yet that knew every one of them. 🙂
The scenes in the second part of the film start slow and pick up speed quickly. Some of them rush by leaving only a glimpse of the grandeur. In order of appearance, they are:
Skadar Lake national Park
Skadar Lake is definitely becoming more known quickly. It is a massive wetland with amazing diversity for nature lovers, photographers, and birders. We also believe it is a great place to experience the local flavors and rhythms through village life. And the best ways to experience this are by boat and extended stays deep in the nature through adventures like bushcraft.
Moraca Canyon / Moraca River
This majestic river and canyon starts in the northern part of the country and cuts down through the city of Podgorica. Footage for this piece was shot in Kupina Village. After slicing through the capital city, this river contributes to Lake Skadar. Key sites along this canyon include the spartan mountains also known as Moraca and the Moraca Monastery.
This 3-peak massif has a classic mountain look that is ideal for photography. It also has great hiking, mountain biking, bushcraft, and village life. Making strides toward leadership in the country, rural tourism in Andrijevica is developing quickly.
Prokletije National Park
These cursed mountains cross over the Albanian and Kosovo borders. This area is ideal for hiking with routes such as the Peaks of the Balkans and Via Dinarica winding their way around and over these mountains. The film features jutting peaks at Grbaja Village. Katun (Montenegrin mountain huts) and farm stays in Prokletije are developing.
Towering over Lubnica Village near Berane, Montenegro, the Stena (Wall) or Udovnica invites adventure. This area offers a range of hiking and adventure options on Mt. Bjelasica and also has a growing number of village farm stay options.
Tara Canyon / Tara Canyon Bridge
Celebrated as the deepest canyon in Europe, the Tara Canyon beckons adventurers. It is a great place for photography, zip lining, rafting, bungee jumping, hiking, and farm stay.
The Zeta River is short compared to other rivers. It has some of the most fertile lands and it a warmer climate than many other parts of the country. This area is part of the original Montenegro. The Zeta merges with the Moraca River.
Embedded in the Ostroška Greda, Ostrog rests suspended in the air. This is a key spot for Orthodox pilgrimages and photographers.
Lake Plav and Visitor Mountain
Plavsko Jezero or Plav Lake provides a focal point for the city of Plav sitting at the base of Mt. Visitor and the Prokletije Mountains. This area offers a range of adventures including hiking, climbing, and world-class fly fishing.
Durmitor National Park
Crno Jezero or Black Lake is the largest glacial lake in Durmitor National Park. It reflects multiple peaks of the Durmitor Massif. This area is well marked for hiking and MTB adventurers for three seasons of the year and snow shoeing for winter explorers.
Piva Canyon / Lake Piva
The Piva River was dammed up several years ago forming the Piva Lake in the canyon with the same name. Normally this lake has the bluest waters contrasting with the grey mountains surrounding it. On the day of this shoot, the clouds covered the lake for a surreal effect. Opportunities for hiking, swimming, biking, fishing are all available in this area.
There are so many places in our footage that didn’t make it and still more others that time did not permit us to access during this rainy 2-week shoot. Just with these shots though, we are in awe of this little country and encourage travelers to explore epic Montenegro. We are happy to point out some of the opportunities and are ready to help you go off the beaten path in your travels.