durmitor national park hikes

Durmitor National Park Hiking: 10 Stunning Hikes That Should Be On Your List

Last updated on May 7th, 2023

Montenegro is more than just beaches and Kotor Bay. Though the coastal part of the country gets flooded with tourists during the summer, the mountainous north stays rather quiet. If you love the mountains and outdoor adventure, look into Durmitor National Park hiking.

This beautiful park in the north of the country is the right place for that. In fact, the Durmitor mountains in Montenegro are one of the most impressive places in the country to go trekking.

When I lived in Montenegro, I visited Durmitor many times, explored different trails, lakes, and climbed many peaks. Every time the scenery was impressing me so much that I kept returning.

I believe every trip to Montenegro should include a little bit of hiking in Durmitor National Park or hiking in Montenegro in general. Durmitor, in particular, is incredibly beautiful, peaceful, with fewer tourists, good markings, the cleanest air and lots of, lots of lakes. The majority of the hikes mentioned below will get you to the lake in one way or another.

Here is the list of my favorite Durmitor National Park hiking trails for those who want to experience more than the coast. Some of them are less known and visited by tourists while others are famous hikes that suit different types of travelers. And I know you will enjoy them as well!

Read through them thoroughly as I include many details, look through the Durmitor national park hiking map, and start planning your adventure. With some trails, you can even combine them together and go on a camping trip in Durmitor and stay overnight in a tent.

NOTE: I recommend downloading maps.me app before you go hiking in Durmitor or pretty much anywhere else. It shows all hiking trails, viewpoints, parking lots, sources of water, camping sites, roads and more. Once you download a map of a region, you’ll be able to use it anywhere regardless of the Internet and cell reception. Google Maps won’t show even half of those places I am mentioning below. Maps.me, by contrast, has them all.

Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase or booking by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

Best Time to Go Hiking in Durmitor National Park

durmitor national park mountains
hiking in Durmitor national park

There is no single answer to the question on when is the best time to go hiking in Montenegro as it depends on specific trails and areas of the park. 

Generally speaking, the hiking season in Durmitor runs from late June to mid-October, with July and August having the most predictable weather. However, depending on the trail, the best time to hike in Montenegro can be even in October if you choose trails in the southern part of the park for example.

I am frequently receiving questions from others asking if the end of April and the month of May are good timing to go hiking in Durmitor. So I thought to quickly cover it here to provide an answer.

April and May are fantastic months to visit Durmitor park for wildflowers blooming, for seeing some waterfalls and lakes closer to Zabljak at their fullest, and just for walks in the forest surrounding Ivan Do and Bosaca.

However, the trails may still be covered in snow and ice, and the weather can be unpredictable. Some trails may also be closed due to snow or other winter conditions.

In one word – spring is not the right season yet to do trekking in Durmitor. 

If you are looking to go on remote hikes on your trip to Montenegro, then plan a journey for July, August, and September. These months usually have warm and dry weather and most trails are easily accessible. This is why they are considered the best months for hiking in Durmitor national park.

During this time, daylight hours are also long and the skies are clear which means you’ll have spectacular views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

How to Reach Durmitor Mountains

drive to Zabljak by car

There are several ways to reach Durmitor Park depending on your starting point and mode of transportation.

The fastest, easiest, and most convenient way is to go by car. You can reach Durmitor from any city in Montenegro whether it is the capital Podgorica or any other city on the coast.

From Dubrovnik or Split in Croatia, you can drive south along the coast to the border crossing at Debeli Brijeg, and then continue to Zabljak. From Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina, you can drive south to the border crossing at Scepan Polje, and then continue to Zabljak taking a scenic P14 road (which becomes a Sedlo Pass).

For car rental, I personally use and recommend LocalRent (with the biggest car fleet among all companies and the best prices) or DiscoverCars when local rent is not available.

Check prices for car rentals from locals with zero deposit

The first company finds the best deals among the local companies and has no deposit. The second company is great in that way that it has newer cars and works with big international car rentals. Also, it is good for long-term car hire in Montenegro. But you should compare prices and see who has better deals at the moment.

An alternative to a car is public transportation.

There are several daily bus connections from major cities in Montenegro and neighboring countries to Zabljak, but they are not frequent and often late. Although the main disadvantage of traveling in this part of Montenegro on your own by bus is a long journey (4-6 hours one way).

The bus station in Zabljak is located in the town center, from where you can take a taxi or hike to the park entrance.

Once you reach Zabljak, you can access the park by foot, bike (a few rental offices in the city), or car, depending on your preference and the trail you want to hike. 

If you have a driver’s license and budget allows, better rent a car. In this way, you’ll have the freedom to choose a route you want and stop along the way and possibly combine a trip to Durmitor with one of Montenegro’s road trips. See my post with the tips on car hire in Montenegro 

Is It Safe to Hike Alone in Durmitor National Park?

Montenegro nature
hiking in Durmitor alone

Another question I often get is about solo hiking in the Durmitor mountains, so I also wanted to cover it quickly here.

Overall, yes, hiking alone in Durmitor national park is very safe if you go prepared and stay on designated trails. This is not just my personal opinion but words from rangers and a friend who lives in Montenegro and hikes in Durmitor on her own.

If you plan to stay overnight in the park for a few days as a solo hiker, it is recommended to check in with park rangers and let them know about it. Also, don’t forget about the weather forecast before you set out as the weather can change quickly even in the summer. If it is too bad, then it’s better to postpone the hike for another day.

In regards to how easy it is to hike on your own, I’d say it all depends on your experience level and the specific trails you plan to hike. Although, from my expeirence, I’d recommend you stay away from very challenging and remote hikes if you don’t have a partner to hike with. Just some of those trails are Sedlena Greda in the southern part of the park or Susica Canyon for example.

While Bobotov Kuk and Prutas Peak are very challenging and have sections that require rock climbing, they still can be done on your own if you have a good level of fitness and experience hiking on steep and rocky paths, and know how to prepare.

At the same time, Susica and Sedlena Greda hikes are very long and remote, always with wildlife on trails and changing weather conditions, so you’d want to go with a guide.

My Top 5 Travel Tips Before You Go Hiking in Durmitor

1.) Plan ahead. Before you go hiking, save on your phone the exact routes where you plan to go, distances, and difficulty level of the trails. Check the weather forecast for those specific areas and evaluate your physical abilities. Don’t be frivolous, underestimating the hikes and their difficulty levels.

2.) Prepare for changing weather conditions. Yes, even in July and August. The weather in Durmitor can be very changeable, even in the summer and early fall. So it is important to prepare for any conditions. Dress appropriately, choose proper hiking footwear and possibly layers if going to high peaks such as Bobotov Peak and Prutas.

Durmitor mountains

Also, don’t forget sun protection (as the sun is strong) and rain gear (like this reusable lightweight waterproof rain poncho) since summer rain in Durmitor is common and can catch you unexpectedly. 

3.) Don’t forget about safety. When trekking in Durmitor or anywhere else in Montenegro, it is important to follow safety rules. Follow the directions of local rangers who recommend staying on the trails and don’t risk your life for a photo. 

4.) Respect nature. Durmitor National Park is a unique place that is under protection. Do not throw garbage, do not touch animals and vegetation, do not make fires in unintended places.

5.) Take everything you need with you. In addition to clothes and hiking boots, take snacks and water, insect repellent, and medical supplies. For long hikes, take light but nutritious foods such as nuts, dried fruits, energy bars, etc. Take enough water with you or a filter water bottle to be able to filter it from streams and rivers.

8 Stunning Durmitor National Park Hiking Trails for Different Levels

And now let’s actually talk about Durmitor’s incredible hiking trails, good for shorter trips when you have only one day or many days when you can go on remote hiking routes with numerous peaks, valleys, rivers, and glacial lakes. 

I organized these hikes into different categories based on the level of difficulty and distance. You can look at the map at first to get an idea of hike locations.

Durmitor National Park Hiking Map

Easy & Beautiful Hikes in Durmitor

1. HIKE AROUND THE BLACK LAKE

hike around Black Lake

  • Difficulty: Easy with a minimum elevation gain
  • Length: 3.5 km (2.2 miles ) loop
  • Starting point: at the Black Lake main entrance
  • Ending point: the same, it is a circular route
  • Duration: takes approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete at a leisurely pace 

This is probably the most famous Durmitor trek which attracts thousands of people every year. At first, I didn’t want to include it in this post at all as the Black Lake hike is one of the most touristy places in entire Montenegro and it always gets crowded.

But then I thought for a moment that there is a reason for its popularity and decided to start my hiking list with it, considering the fact that it is among the easiest Durmitor National Park hiking trails.

The Black Lake circular route is just a wonderful hike for all skill levels, including families with children. Some parts of it are even suitable for people with disabilities and for families with strollers.

The starting point has a wooden bridge and there are some sections of the path that have benches, picnic areas, and several viewing platforms that are accessible by strollers and wheelchairs. 

The hike starts from the Black Lake main entrance (this is where you’ll find a wooden bridge) but there are many adjoining trails, so you can start it from Ivan Do or let’s say Bosaca. It is well-marked and takes you through forests and meadows with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and lake.

The path that goes around the lake is flat and it takes around an hour and a half, a max of two hours to make a loop. For a better view and fewer people come in the morning.

Both the Black Lake and the hiking trail are easily accessible by car or public transportation from nearby towns such as Zabljak.

NOTE: If you have only one day and don’t join any group hiking tours, do not spend your time on this hike. Better check out the lake quickly and then drive on one of the most spectacular roads in Montenegro Sedlo Pass (which goes through the park) and do another trek from this list.

2. CUREVAC-TARA CANYON HIKE

hiking in durmitor national park

  • Difficulty: Easy with 300 meters elevation gain
  • Length: 2.2 km (1.4 miles) round way
  • Starting point: from this parking lot or this one
  • Ending point: the same one or one of the parking lots if you make a loop
  • Duration: 2 hours with photo stops

One of my favorite popular hiking trails in Durmitor which offers stunning views of Durmitor’s highest peaks and doesn’t take much time.

At the north end of Durmitor, Curevac trek introduces visitors to the second-largest canyon in the world Tara Canyon. If you don’t have a lot of time in the park and want to go on a different hike than Black Lake then choose Curevac.

The get to the trail you need to drive north from Zabljak towards Tepca. The road winds through a forest and is a bit bumpy, so it usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes to get to a trailhead.

Once you are on a trail, the beginning is a bit steep, later it is mainly flat but twisty and mostly on rocks. Although the path is rocky and slows you down, the trek is easy and can be completed within a 1.5-2 hour round way.

It’s actually one of the easiest hikes in Durmitor National Park. (I even saw families with 6-8-year-old kids on a trail.) But going on it will let you walk on the edge of Europe’s largest and deepest canyon. And there is a possibility of spotting wildlife such as deer and foxes.

From my experience, I recommend you go during the first part of the day, especially if you are hiking in the summer. The reason for that is sunlight. Overlooking Tara Canyon during the sunset from the Curevak trail is not the best idea. Sunlight blocks the view and it is very difficult to see the vastness of the gorge.

3. HIKING ZMINJE JEZERO (SNAKE LAKE)-JELOVACKA PECINA or ZMINJE-BLACK LAKE TREK

durmitor national park hiking

  • Difficulty: Easy with a minimum elevation gain
  • Length: 4 km (2.5 miles) one way
  • Starting point: here in Bosaca village
  • Ending point: the same or at the Black Lake
  • Duration: on average 2.5-3.5 hours to complete at a leisurely pace 

This is another easy hike in Durmitor park which takes you through a beautiful forest and meadows at first to the hidden lake and then to a cave that is home to several species of bats and some stalagmites. 

The best way to start it is at the Bosaca village and park your car in the forest closer to the trailhead. On the way back, you can either follow the same path and return to the starting point or turn to the Black Lake and combine it with a hike there.

Another option is to continue a trek from Zminje Jezero toward the Ice Cave (Ledena Pecina) and from there to Black Lake. The trail becomes quite challenging after Jelovacka Pecina but lets you see the most famous ice cave in Durmitor filled with icy formations and crystal clear pools. 

Ledena Pecina

When you start in Bosaca, you avoid crowds of tourists who come to Black Lake and avoid staying in line to pay an entrance fee.

The first part of the hike is very easy as you don’t really hike, but walk through the forest and enjoy the serene surroundings. The trail is well-marked and flat, making it a great choice for beginners hikers and families with kids. 

After about half an hour of walking, you reach Zminje Jezero (Snake Lake), a small, green peaceful lake that got its name from its shape, which resembles a snake. From the lake, the trail becomes a bit steeper as it climbs up toward Jelovacka Pecina. 

You can pause there (and walk around the lake) as it is a great place to stop and enjoy a picnic or simply take in the beauty of the surroundings. Otherwise, continue your hike to Jelovacka cave or all the way to Ledena ice cave.

4. JABLAN JEZERO (OR JABLAN LAKE) TREK

hiking in durmitor national park
Jablan Lake from above in the low touristy season
  • Difficulty: From easy to moderate
  • Length: 2.6 km (1.6 miles) or more if you combine it with another trek
  • Starting point: Momcilov Grad restaurant
  • Ending point: the same or Bosaca village
  • Duration: 2-3 hours hike with a slow pace and berry/mushroom picking 

Here is another hiking trail through Durmitor mountains which you can complete within a short period of time. I did it a few times, starting from several points in Bosaca village but eventually, my favorite starting point turned out to be by the Momcilov Grad restaurant. Find coordinates above on google but check the exact hiking path on Maps.me.

I loved starting this hike from Momcilov Grad for several reasons. One is that it is relatively easy (although uphill with an elevation of around 450 meters for 2.6 km) and short. And second is that this trail is quite picturesque with raspberries and mushrooms along the way. If you are a mushroom hunter, this is a good place to go. 

So park a car near Momcilov Grad and go on a beautiful hike to Jablan Lake or as locals call it Small Lake. It is beautifully sitting at the foot of the mountain Crvena Greda in the northern part of Durmitor National Park. 

The reason I say difficulty can be from easy to moderate is that it depends on whether you consider combining this trek with another one and adding a visit to Crvena Greda mount. In this case, you would hike straight to this lake, continue to Crvena Greda peak from where you get a view of the lake from above (as in my photo), and on the way back take a path towards Zmijinje (Snake) Lake.

unique hike in Durmitor
Jablan hike

(!!!) However, keep in mind that the stretch of the path from Jablan Lake and Crvena Greda is very challenging through rocky and exposed terrain. Yes, you’ll enjoy stunning views of the surrounding mountains along the way, including the towering Bobotov Kuk peak, but overall this part is tough.

It requires previous hiking experience as well as proper hiking gear, including sturdy shoes, a backpack, and enough water and snacks. It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before starting to hike towards Crvena Greda, as this part of Durmitor park can be slippery and dangerous in wet or snowy conditions.

If you choose to go only to Jablan lake, it is still a wonderful choice. The lake is small but deeper than many other lakes in Durmitor. The best time to visit it is in late spring-early summer as it gets full from all the winter snow.

Don’t forget to take lunch, a hiking blanket, and your travel mug for mid-day tea if you are ok to walk with it. You’ll be tempted to stay longer and enjoy the view of rocky cliffs and high peaks.

Challenging & Remote Durmitor National Park Hikes for a Full Day or Multi-Day Hiking 

5. BOBOTOV KUK HIKE

path to Bobotov Kuk
Bobotob Kuk
  • Difficulty: Moderately Difficult to Very Difficult on some stretches
  • Length: 8 km (5 miles) round way if you go from Sedlo Pass
  • Starting point: Sedlo Pass, Todorov Do, or Black Lake (details below)
  • Ending point: one of the starting points
  • Duration: 6-7 hours depending on your pace and stops

At first, I didn’t want to include the Bobotov Kuk hike on this list as it is the most famous Durmitor national park trek that everyone probably knows about even before planning a trip in Montenegro. But then I thought to add it as there were a few things to say.

First of all, what you need to know is that it is a bit tricky to unequivocally state that this hike is difficult as everything will depend on a few factors. I noticed that different hikers rate this route differently where some say it is easy and others that it’s very difficult. But the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Much depends on the time of year and weather conditions when you do the Bobotov Kuk hike. But no matter what, you want to avoid going on this hike in case of precipitation or active snowmelt.

Snow, by the way, can fall as early as the first week of October and stay on the ground at least until June. So get ready for this.

But outside those months, Bobotov Kuk is easily accessible and any healthy person who does not have special mountaineering training can climb its peak.

The hike typically takes around 6-8 hours to complete, with a total distance of approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles), if you take the shortest trail.

hiking Bobotov Kuk from Sedlo Pass

There are a few trailheads where to start the Bobotov Kuk hike, including the one from Black Lake. However, from our experience, the fastest way to do it is from Sedlo Pass from this point.

To reach it, you need to go by car and park it a bit before the trailhead or take a taxi. With a taxi, you can also return to Black Lake or Todorov Do, although both of these hikes are quite challenging and take much more time than to return back to Sedlo Pass.

Once on the trail and once you approach the summit, the terrain will become steeper and more challenging, with sections of scrambling and rock climbing required. However, if you have proper shoes (also hiking sticks are recommended), the views from the top will pay off for the effort.

If you want to learn more about this hike and how to make the most of it (and check if it is a good hike for you at all), then read my post on the Bobotov Kuk hiking adventure.

Otherwise, just remember that for those who are not accustomed to high-altitude hiking and steep and rocky trails, it will be challenging. While you do not need to be a mountaineer, you do need to have a good level of fitness, endurance, and proper hiking gear.

Most of the Bobotov Kuk trail is also exposed, with little shade and few opportunities for shelter. So it’s important to bring plenty of water, sunscreen, and appropriate clothing.

That being said, the hike is achievable for most experienced hikers with a reasonable level of fitness. Yet, monitor the weather and go prepared!

6. HIKE TO SKAKALA WATERFALL & SKRCKA LAKES VALLEY

best hikes in durmitor national park

  • Difficulty: Moderate to Very Difficult on some stretches
  • Length: 6.8 km (4.2 miles) one way to the Velike Lake
  • Starting point: by the Susicko Lake here
  • Ending point: the same
  • Duration: 6-7 hours round trip to/from Velike Lake with photo stops and lunch, and more time if you go farther

And now, do you want to go hiking in Durmitor mountains on a lesser-explored trail away from crowds of tourists? Then read on and embrace adventure!

This hike is one of the true hidden gems in Montenegro which is among the least visited parts of Durmitor. It is wild, remote, and very beautiful. But to reach its trailhead, you need to be ready to drive a narrow but scenic mountain road or go with a guide who’ll introduce you to the area.

The drive is absolutely gorgeous and for me, it is much more scenic than the Sedlo Pass route. It winds through lush forests, remote villages, and the best part – it is very local with only a few cars on the road (again, locals).

So, from Zablajk, drive to the canyon of the river Susica (on the way, you’ll have a few stunning vista points) with a mountain lake. There, park a car and follow signs to Skrska Lakes, which is the area where the Susica River starts.

The path to the Skrska Lakes plateau passes through a lush forest and mountain meadows. Part of it also goes by the Susica River, so you can enjoy the sound of rushing water while hiking.

Montenegro nature

On that same path, thanks to the river, you can see waterfalls and small water obstacles. One of the most beautiful and not-to-miss natural landmarks there is Skakala waterfall (google doesn’t know about it, just maps.me) located on the last stretch of the trail. 

Once you reach the first Veliko Skrcko Lake, you can spend time there and quickly walk to Malo Skrcko Lake or continue your hike to Prutas Peak with dramatic views and challenging terrain.

I have a separate hike route below to Prutas Peak (which in my experience is a better route). But if you don’t have time to go there separately, then combine it with Skrcko Lakes. Just be ready as it is all uphill on partially foresty and for the most part rugged terrain.

Skrcko Lakes overall is a beautiful area where to relax, have a picnic, and where enjoy clear mountain water and beautiful mountain views. The path to it allows you to visit an untouched area of Durmitor national park and before you even start this hike you’ll drive on a dramatic serpentine road enjoying alpine landscapes.

In the valley between the lakes, there is also a little hut where visitors can stay overnight and dine. It is mainly open during the summer months only, so keep that in mind, and don’t forget to pack food and water for the hike.

NOTE: Susicko Lake (from where you start this Durmitor hike) is one of the periodic lakes in Montenegro and it generally dries out in August. So don’t be surprised not to find the water when you reach the stop. For the best experience, go hiking in late spring or June-July. In spring, you’ll be also able to find snowdrops.

TIP: For a drive to the trailhead, I recommend you take a more powerful car with a bigger size engine. Jeep is not necessary, there is asphalt everywhere.

Find your car rental in any city in Montenegro with my favorite (and simply the best) car rental company.
They can even deliver it to Zabljak

7. PRUTAS PEAK HIKE

hiking trails in durmitor
Prutas peak is behind me in the clouds. It’s going to be a long hike
  • Difficulty: Difficult to Very Difficult
  • Length: 1.6 km (1 mile) or 4.2 km (2.6 miles) one way but with more than 2 km (1.2) elevation gain for the entire distance
  • Starting point: Sarban water spring or Todorov Do (details below)
  • Ending point: One of the starting points or Vodeni Do
  • Duration: on average 3-4 hours, depending on the path you take, your pace and stops. Details below

This hike offers some of the most dramatic views in Durmitor National Park. Prutas is one of the largest peaks in Durmitor and the view you get from the viewpoint reminds a lot of the Alps, just on a smaller scale.

At the same time, it is one of the more strenuous hikes, so you need to go prepared and be in excellent shape.

Be ready for changing weather conditions and bring adequate gear, including sturdy hiking boots, a warmer layer, and plenty of water and snacks. It is very possible to do this trek on your own (not solo but with a partner at least) but those who have limited hiking experience should definitely hire a local guide or join a guided tour.

The landscape changes a few times once you are on the trail – from limestone rocks to green grassy valleys and meadows with flowers (if hiking in spring and early summer.)

The time it takes to do this hike and the intensity depends on where you start. There are 4 or even 5 different trails leading to the peak. But from our experience, the best way is to start either at Sarban water spring (see on maps.me) or Todorov Do (also use maps.me) along the Sedlo pass. Both trails are well-marked paths through alpine meadows.

durmitor national park hiking

(!!!) Distance-wise, the hike from Todorov Do is shorter, but if you are not an experienced hiker it may take more time to get to the top. The first third of a trail is very steep and you basically climb the mountain for the first hour or so. Do not attempt it if it has been raining or snowing. It gets very, very slippery and you can easily slip down, especially on the way back.

This route is great for those who love a challenge. The view will be their reward after putting an effort into a steep ascent. Although again, you need to go well-prepared!

The hike that starts at Sarban is very scenic but it is long and also intense. It is great for people who want to camp in Durmitor overnight and turn this into a 2 days hiking adventure in Durmitor (or longer combined with other trails). 

Also, do not wear your regular sneakers on this hike, even if you go only part of the way and back. You need a good pair of boots with a non-slip sticky sole that can keep you steady and secure on every movement, like for example my favorite Merrell Mobe waterproof shoes. Because the terrain is very steep and often rugged.

TIP: If you are deciding between a hike to Bobotov Kuk or this one to Prutas Peak, choose Prutas. Yes, Bobotov Kuk is the highest peak in Durmitor but it doesn’t offer as impressive scenery as Prutas does. And it’s more challenging. Plus, when going to Prutas, you get to see Bobotov Kuk peak in all its beauty.

NOTE: From Prutas viewpoint you can see these Skrcko lakes in a distance. And you can even hike to them if follow the trail for the next 2.4 km (1.5 miles).

If you start at Dobri Do, you can always skip Prutas Peak and go straight to the lakes. When starting at Todorov Do, the trail passes by Prutas, so you get a chance to see the peak and the lakes. This is our favorite option with more impressive views and shorter distance. But here you need to be ready to start very early or even camp overnight.

8. SAVIN KUK HIKE

View of the Black Lake from Savin Kuk peak
  • Difficulty: From easy to medium, depending on how you do it
  • Length: 4 km (2.5 miles) one way. On the way up, you can take a lift 
  • Starting point: restaurant ‘KOLIBA’ and Ski Center in Virak
  • Ending point: the same
  • Duration: 5-6 hours round trip if you decide to hike both ways and faster if you go by cable car

Savin Kuk is probably the most visited peak in Durmitor National Park because of the ski center at its foothill and chairlift that goes through it to the summit. There are two options on how to get to the peak.

The first one, the easy one: you can ride a skylift and from the last stop hike around 0.7 miles (1 km) to the summit. The 1-kilometer hike sounds very easy but in reality, for some people, it may be challenging due to wind gusts (throughout the entire summer) and the rocky twisty trail.

hiking Montenegro
It was very, very, very windy on the top. I seriously regretted I didn’t pack a hat
hiking Montenegro
You can take this chairlift on the way up and then walk down

Mark and I were there twice. Once at the beginning of summer and a second time in the first week of October when the weather was sunny and relatively warm but, oh my gosh, how crazily windy it was on the top. A few times we had to stop and almost lay down because the wind was that strong. I think overall it took us 30 minutes to cover that short distance.

On the way back we met a local and he told us that winds are very common in this area during any time of the year, including July and August. So just be aware of that.

The second option is to hike the entire distance instead of taking a chairlift. If you opt to hike, expect to sweat and cry and get incredible scenery. You should definitely be in good shape to handle the elevation gain of more than 2 km.

Also, as with all other strenuous hikes on this list, don’t forget the proper clothing and shoes! We decided to go with this second option, wearing jeans and sneakers, and on the way back I barely made it, seriously, praying I wouldn’t slide down the mountain. The views and the entire ascent were absolutely magical though.

Taking a lift saves time and eases the process of getting to the summit but a hike suits more those who love the challenge and want a really good workout.

BONUS: More Hiking Trails & Routes in Durmitor NP

Durmitor national park has so many more trails to explore. Above I shared those trails that I hiked myself but below is a list of longer routes that I saved for myself for my future visit.

They consist of a few shorter hikes and can be great options for multi-day hiking together with camping or if you hike in July when days are long and leave very early. Use maps.me to build a step-by-step route.

So here are a few Durmitor hiking routes for you: 

9. CRVENA GREDA HIKE

  • Difficulty: Difficult to Very Difficult
  • Length: 21 km (13 miles) 
  • Starting point: Zabljak
  • Maximum height: 2164 m Crvena Greda peak 
  • Elevation: 1050 m
  • Duration: 8.5 hours

Departure from Zabljak in the early morning – go to Lake Jablan through Black Lake, it will take around 3-3.5 hours – then Top of Crvena Greda from Jablan Lake in about 1.5 hours – descend to the pass near Mount Vodice – return to Zabljak 

10. HIKE TO MEDJET & SAVIN KUK PEAKS

  • Difficulty: Difficult to Very Difficult
  • Length: 18 km (11 miles) 
  • Starting point: Zabljak
  • Maximum height: 2313 m Savin Kuk peak 
  • Elevation: 1400 m
  • Duration: 10 hours

Departure from Zabljak in the early morning following the path to Medjet – in about 2.5 hours reach Medjet pass – in about another 2 hours reach Velika Previja pass – rest in a hut in the Velica kalica valley –  reach and rest on Savin Kuk – descent to the foot of Mount Savin Kuk – return to Zabljak 

Where to stay in Durmitor Mountains

If you have more time in Montenegro, I highly encourage you to spend at least one night in Durmitor National Park or anywhere near it. There is just so much to do and see that one day will not be enough, especially if you plan to go hiking in Durmitor. Devote at least two days.

Zabljak, a village at the foot of Durmitor, is small and you won’t find tons of options where to stay, although the number of new properties constantly pops up. During all our visits we personally stayed in three types of accommodation. Check below if any of them can be a good option for you too:

Casa di Pino Eco Lodge – beautiful modern luxury apartments that look like they were taken out of Pinterest or Instagram. Situated in a very good central location but in a quiet setting. Casa di Pino is basically an apartment complex with many flats for rent. There are standard apartments for 2 people on a romantic trip and larger ones for big families.

Soa Hotel – a modern and stylish hotel within walking distance from Black Lake and just a few minutes walk from the bus station. It has comfortable rooms and suites, a spa, a restaurant, and bar. We stayed there one night and had a very pleasant experience. 

View from the restaurant in Soa hotel during the breakfast

Polar Star – another hotel that can suit various types of travelers. Those who love spacious rooms when traveling in a small company and others who travel with children or a few friends.

Every room here doesn’t even look like a hotel room. It reminds me more of an apartment with a full-size kitchen. You can cook as you wish and feel almost at home. Although bringing your own spices, salt and oil is a good idea. There are none in the room. 

We stayed in a one-bedroom suite with a separate bedroom and living room where we could work and watch TV. Our room was one of the smallest. So if you come with family or friends, there will be enough room for everyone. Breakfast is included in the rate, comes as a buffet and there are a lot of items to choose from.

Even though the property is located near a major road, it is quiet and peaceful.

Polar star hotel does not look like a hotel, more like a cabin style mini village

This hotel is only 10 minutes away from the Zabljak city center in a picturesque setting. If you have a car, driving to and from Polar Star will not be a problem.


So, these are my favorite Durmitor trekking paths for now. I am returning to Montenegro this summer and plan to go on two new remote hikes and add them to this list. So stay tuned!

Have you done any hiking in Durmitor National Park on your own? Share with me how it went and which trail you loved the most!

I know, Kotor sightseeing and the coastal part of Montenegro can keep you busy during the entire trip. But hiking the Durmitor mountains are not less picturesque and awe-inspiring!

More Montenegro Inspiration 

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24 Comments

  1. Hey Anya great info thank you so much for it! Question! Which trail you think is the best if planning camping one night in the park? We have time, two days, so we’re planning to do a chill long hike + overnight. Would love to know your opinion!

    1. Hi Lau, when are you guys going there? Wild camping is not really allowed in Montenegro and if going during the summer months, chances of getting a fine are high because rangers are walking along many trails (unless you detour and camp farther away from the path.)
      If going in the fall, for instance, it will be more quiet and there are just a few rangers in the entire park.
      We saw a tent on the way to Skrcka Lakes Valley, on the stretch between Prutas viewpoint and Skrcka Lakes, not sure if those folks were staying overnight there or just set a tent for a day. In my opinion, this is probably the best place where to camp. The hike is long and two days would be perfect to get to the Lakes and then back and do it slowly.
      When are you going, guys? My friends plan to camp in the end of August on the way to Susiko, they promised to share all the details. I am happy to pass those to you.

    2. Hi. I’m planning visiting this weekend (29 Feb) for photography and hiking. Is there any snow at the peaks showing from the black lake? Is the lake frozen or everything around it? Any idea where to find a live cam or a latest picture of the area? Thanks

      1. Hi Kostas, this year winter is very mild and there is not a lot of snow as it used to be. There is snow on the peaks for sure but you won’t get to see a lot from the Black Lake area. The lake is partially frozen and trees are covered with snow too but for snowy mountain peaks, you need to drive at least part of the road to Sedlo pass.
        This is the information I got from my friends who live there. I don’t know of any live cam for that area but you can contact the Soa hotel and ask them for more details on the weather. They are located in the park and can tell you right away.

    3. Hi Anya,

      Great article, me and my partner are visiting the first week of May 2022, we are looking to do some hikes aside from the Black Lake/Snake. Do you think it will still be snowy and will the Sedlo pass be closed as we where hoping to complete the Sedlo pass circular hiking route.Can you suggest any alternatives please?

      Thank
      You 🙂

      1. Hi Emma,

        I got in touch with my friends who live in Montenegro specifically to inquire about the weather there. They told me that spring is very cold and late this year. Winter was snowy and there was a heavy snowstorm even recently, so snow still stays on the ground in the park and sedlo pass is still closed.
        They don’t recommend going hiking in Durmitor anytime soon. Even in 2 weeks, it will be still dangerous to climb the mountains, walking on the same elevation should be fine but hiking up the mountain is still too early.

        Among all the mountains in Montenegro, including Komovi and Prokletje, the safest place where to go hiking in May would be Lovcen and hiking trails above Kotor or those that connect Kotor and Lovcen.

        I hope this helps!

  2. Hi! My family and are going in February. Would hiking still be possible, maybe in the easier trails? Thanks!

    1. Hi Melissa, most of the trails are usually closed in February because of the snow. Although this year’s winter is very mild and Durmitor doesn’t see a lot of snow.
      Having said that, you will be definitely able to walk/hike around the Black Lake and, if there is no snow in the forest, you can hike to Zmijine lake.
      Also, you can always go to Savin Kuk peak. There is a skylift and it makes it easier to get to the top.
      You know, even if you can’t do a lot of hiking in February, it is still a very beautiful time to visit, enjoy your trip!

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful post! We are planning our trip to Montenegro and want to spend at least few days hiking in Durmitor. Your information helped a lot! We are also looking for a trail in Plokletije National Park, it’s a bit of a detour but would not want to miss… Have you done any hikes there? Thank you!

    1. I am very happy to hear you found this post helpful! We haven’t done any hikes in Prokletije NP yet but will do this summer. Happy travels guys, Montenegro is gorgeous!

  4. Hi Anya,

    We are looking for a two to three day hike (preferably round-trip and medium difficulty) and huts along the way where we can eat and sleep. Would you have a trail that you recommend?

    Thanks a lot for your reply.

    Kind regards,
    Olivier

    1. Hi Olivier,

      No mountain hut at Durmitor is open this summer. If you don’t want to camp, the only option this year is to book a place in Zabljak.
      For any other year (when huts resume their work), you can stay in Planinarski dom “Skrka” (near Veliko Skrcko Lake) and/or in Planinarski dom “Susicko” by Susicko Lake. You can find both of them on Google and maps.me.
      As I know these are the only huts that work in Durmitor.

      I hope it helps!

  5. Michel McArthur says:

    Hi Anya. I love upyour website. Nice job.

    My wife and I will be in Montenegro in mid September. We plan to rent a car in Kotor and travel to dormitor for three days and do a few day hikes. Where should we stay?
    Thanks
    Michel 🇺🇦

    1. Hi Michel, I’m sorry for the late reply, but I hope it still comes on time! If not, I hope you booked some nice accommodation.

      During the last couple of years, a lot of new homes and cabins were built in Durmitor. I am going to update this post and add them to the list. But here is a short version:
      1) Casa di Pino eco lodge – beautiful modern luxury apartment with a fireplace, board games, a sauna and massage service. The location is very central in Zabljak.
      2) Hedonist village – several houses in a spruce forest
      3) Lodge Nadgora closer to the mountains for people who love to be in the wilderness

  6. Hi Anya,

    I’m reading all your posts on Montenegro right now! I’m planning on going mid October this year, do you think it’s possible to go hiking in Durmitor NP at that time? Or should I opt for another national park? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Deborah, thank you for stopping by!

      In mid-October, it may already be cold and snow in the mountains may begin to fall. However, if you are experienced in hiking in the mountains during the first snow and have the right equipment, I’d say yes, you can still plan a visit to Durmitor at this time of the year. However, I wouldn’t recommend going without the guide since guides usually know the area in bad visibility and know when to turn back when the weather gets even worse.

      If you want to be on the safer side, I’d say stay away from Bobotov Kuk hike, Prutas Peak, and all trails that target the park’s highest summits. But you can still safely hike around Black Lake, walk through the forest to Zmijine Lake or even hike to Jablan Lake. Savin Kuk hike will be also accessible but cable car will not work at this time, so you’ll need to walk the entire distance up to the top. However, in October, winds will be very intense there at the peak, so not sure how you’ll feel about that.
      Curevac hike is still very doable, although if it snows or rains, make sure you have the right boots and hiking sticks not to slip on the rocks when going up/down.

  7. paul drea says:

    Hi, we have one and a half days in May 2023 , two nights in durmitor before moving on to kolasin
    i was looking at black lake afternoon of day 1 then Curevac view point etc on day 2 which leaves me trying to see Snake and or Jablan lakes somehow
    short on time so should i look to take a day off kolasin and spend three nights in Durmitor or can i reasonable get the three lakes and the tara valley view points done in one and a half days
    i’m not really hiking , waiting to view scenery

    1. Hi Paul, not sure if you have already planned your trip or not, but to answer your questions honestly – 1.5 days for those activities is definitely not enough.

      If you don’t want to hike but prefer just to drive around for the viewpoints then it should be okay, but you won’t see much with this agenda.
      My recommendation for you in this case – skip Snake Lake. Just go to Black Lake on a partial hike to its eastern and southern sides as views are much better there. After that, drive to Jablan Lake (to be more exact to the trailhead, see my tips on where exactly above in this post, I updated it and put more details) and go on a short hike to Jablan.
      This will leave you enough time for Tara.

  8. Hi Anya!

    Thank you so much for this very informative post! I really enjoyed reading through it. I’m hoping to go on a few hikes in Durmitor National Park this summer (around August), maybe stay for 5 days to really make the most of it! I just wanted to ask if hiking around the park would be safe and (relatively) easy to do alone since I’m planning on going by myself. 🙂

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Cristina, that’s a good question. Overall, yes, it is safe to go hiking alone, although mainly on trodden paths frequented by others. I’d definitely stay away from remote trails as many of them see wildlife and don’t have cell phone reception.
      I was getting the same questions from quite a few people lately, so I decided to make an update to this article and add my answer there with more info. If you have a particular trail in mind where you want to go alone, let me know and I’ll ask my friend who is a ranger in Durmitor.

  9. Thank you for an amazing, informative & detailed article. We will be in Zabljak in Dec this year. Is it possible to do Black lake Cerevac-Tara Canyon in Dec or is snowed out? Will Sedro drive be ope? If not can you recommend other beginner to intermediate hikes 5-6km?
    Thanks a bunch, Michele

    1. Hi Michele,

      December is not a good month to go hiking in Durmitor as the park is covered in snow and trails are inaccessible. Black Lake trail is the only trail that is partially open but the Curevac-Tara hike will be closed. Even the road leading to the parking lot near the trailhead to Curevac will be closed, so you won’t be even able to drive in that direction.
      The same comes for the Sedlo pass. It’s open only from May to October. There will be no way to drive it in winter.
      Durmitor in summer is open for hikes and seeing natural sights, but in winter you go there only for skiing and snowboarding.

      1. Thank you Anya for all the detailed info. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately we can only take vacation in Dec. Was hoping there was a chance…

        1. Hi Michele, there is a chance for sure! Durmitor in winter has its own charm.

          You won’t be able to drive the Sedlo Pass (since it will be closed) and won’t be able to go on hikes. But entrance to the Black Lake will be open and there will be a chance to walk a bit around it (partially only). People mainly go to Durmitor to ski in winter but we went also just to relax and enjoy the scenery while experiencing a bit of local life.

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