Montenegro mountains

Quick Guide to Montenegro Mountains: 5 Most Scenic Locations & Tips For a Good Trip

Spending time in the mountains of Montenegro is one of the best things to do in this country. But which mountains exactly to go to? Montenegro is nothing but continuous mountains on all sides, so it can be challenging to understand in what direction to go. 

I have been to all corners of this Balkan country and visited all mountain ranges. Instead of listing them all, I wanted to share my favorite locations that are beautiful for their own reasons and are sure to delight everyone.

Thus if you are planning to be in Montenegro, these are mountains to visit, with many hiking trails, traditional local food, and beautiful scenery. Some are cheaper than others, some are more remote and need more time to get to, but each one offers a unique and unforgettable experience. I have separate guides for each of the places I talk about below, so make sure not to miss them too!

To get to most of these mountainous places, you’d need to hire a car (although some are accessible on tours and by public bus, and I mention that). If you need one, in summer to bring expenses down, rent from AddCar or MTL or from Localrent.


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Mountains in Montenegro That Are Worth Planning a Trip To

Orjen Mountains 

Mountains near Herceg Novi

  • Distinctive Feature: extensive karst topography, limestone terrain, sinkholes & many caves
  • Main Highlights: dramatic scenery & interesting fortifications to visit
  • Best Thing About It: in Kotor Bay which is why it is easy to reach them 

I want to start my list of best Montenegro mountains to visit with Orjen Mountains since they are easily accessible and provide great hiking or walking opportunities year-round. They are situated above the coastal town of Herceg Novi which is why reaching them is always simple, especially if you have a rental car.

As a matter of fact, you’ll find there some of the best hiking trails in Montenegro, offering fantastic views of the Boka Bay along with ancient hidden forts, a testament to the Austro-Hungarians’ penchant for constructing them within the Orjen range.

mountains near Herceg Novi
Looking at Orjen Ridge from a scenic location ‘Spanish Fortress’ which is worth visiting in Herceg Novi

Since Orjen mountains are part of the Dinaric Alps, they are distinguished by their extensive karst topography, featuring limestone terrain, sinkholes, caves, and underground rivers. It’s interesting to hike there and have a break from the heat in summer or simply a change of scenery in any other season (if it’s not raining non-stop of course).

So you can have breakfast or coffee in Herceg Novi and in about an hour be on one of the trails (or old villages) in Orjen mountains. If you are a hiker, you should like a trek to the highest peak (called Orjen) which reaches 1,894 meters and offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and surrounding areas. 

Most Interesting Things to Do in Orjen Mountains

  1. Hiking in Higher Orjen. There are many hiking trails from easy to challenging ones on different elevations. Mountain Subra serves as the focal point for all trails leading to it.
  2. Walking/Hiking in Lower Orjen. If you want something more simple yet panoramic, go to the lower part of Orjen Range to Zlijebi (first photo above was taken here), Sasovici, Borici or even Trebesinj where many hiking paths bring you to fortresses and churches (with views).
  3. Adventure Park Vrbanj for outdoor activities such as zip-lining, rope courses, rock climbing, and rappelling.

Mountains of Durmitor 

Montenegro mountains

  • Distinctive Feature: many glacial lakes & sharp peaks with steep slopes
  • Main Highlights: largest canyon in Europe & lots of opportunities for recreation
  • Best Thing About It: among all the mountain places in Montenegro, here is the best infrastructure

Durmitor mountains are the most famous mountains in Montenegro which many people also consider the most beautiful ones. I personally don’t think they are the most beautiful (since I visited all Montenegrin mountain ranges and saw other dramatic landscapes), but they are surely some of the most gorgeous ones.

There, you will find the largest in Europe canyon with beautiful rivers where the water has an emerald blue color, many rare species of plants and animals (such as mountain goats, bears, wolves, eagles, and many others), impressive mountain peaks and glacial lakes. The area is also home to the second-highest point in Montenegro – Bobotov Kuk Peak, which stands at 2,522 meters.

The best part about Durmitor Mountains is undeniably the infrastructure since there is a large number of accommodation options (and more being built) where tourists can stay and enjoy nature for several days, many places to eat, marked hiking trails, grocery stores, and arranged activities.

The worst thing about it – some parts of the mountains get often overcrowded in summer (like Zabljak, some scenic roads, the area around Durdevica Tara bridge, or even many easy hiking trails).

autumn in Durmitor
Durmitor mountains

These mountains of Montenegro are amazing for a visit at any time of the year and it is easy enough to plan a week-long itinerary there. But in winter, they always get lots of snow and are a wonderful destination where to go skiing or snowboarding (unlike some other remote mountains on this list).

Most Interesting Things to Do in Durmitor’s Mountains of Montenegro

  1. Go hiking. Here are the best Durmitor hiking trails for different levels.
  2. Have a retreat stay in the mountains. Durmitor mountains have a high number of beautiful accommodation where some hotels have panoramic rooms and pool terraces (like North Story hotel, for example) or secluded houses in the middle of the forest (like budget Villa Uskoci or upscale Monte Pine Chalet).
  3. Go ziplining. The best place to do it is over the Tara River Canyon. There are several zipline providers near the Durdevića Tara Bridge, offering thrilling rides across the canyon. 
  4. Go on a drive through Sedlo Pass road. It is the most scenic road through Durmitor National Park which connects mountains with Piva Lake. Drive through it opens up fantastic panoramas. Another option is to explore this road via e-bike.
  5. Join a rafting adventure. It is done on Tara river with the starting point near Zabljak. You can join half day tour with the pick-up included or go to one of the agencies to make arrangements on spot in the park.

Interesting Tours to Join in Durmitor Mountains

 

Loveljen Mountain Range

Lovcen National Park hiking

  • Distinctive Feature: iconic mausoleum & easily accessible panoramic views
  • Main Highlights: scenic hiking trails through beautiful forests or by the cliffs with views
  • Best Thing About It: easiest to get to from many places if you are short on time

Loveljen mountains are mainly mountains that are located in Lovcen National Park which lies close to Kotor and serves as a fantastic destination for a short mountain getaway, just an hour’s drive from different coastal towns in Montenegro, including different towns of Kotor Bay.

These mountains have the most gentle terrain compared to all other mountain places in Montenegro. Its landscape includes rolling hills, forested areas, and meadows which create a softer and more accessible environment and make it an ideal destination for shorter trips and leisurely hikes.

Lovcen park area is great to visit in summer to escape the heat of the coast or in any other season for fantastic views of the Kotor Bay. In fall this part of Montenegro is gorgeous too since foliage lasts for weeks (in some years even for months until late December).

Most Interesting Things to Do in the Mountains of Lovcen

  1. Go up to the top to enjoy the views. You can do it by car following the serpentine road, by cable car, by public bus, or on a hike.
  2. Visit the village of Njeguši, known for its traditional Montenegrin pršut (smoked ham) and cheese.
  3. Go inside the mausoleum of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš.
  4. Do at least some hiking. Some trails in Lovcen are very scenic and easy (easy enough for kids and people who are beginners). Here is my post with the best hiking trails in Lovcen mountains together with some travel tips to get you started.
  5. Don’t miss Cetinje, the former royal capital of Montenegro.

Interesting Tours in the Lovcen Mountains

 

Komovi Mountains

Mountains in Montenegro

  • Distinctive Feature: sharp summits, unique species of insects and plants
  • Main Highlights: rustic mountain experience & incredible hiking opportunities
  • Best Thing About It: untouched by mass tourism

Personally, Komovi Mountains in Montenegro are a place of power for me in the Balkans where I like to drive even on my own. It is truly one of the hidden gems in Montenegro where it is still possible to hide from the whole world and enjoy complete peace and quiet while having an encounter with a very local culture not affected by mass tourism yet.

They are still very unknown and infamous (and I hope they will stay this way), but their beauty lies in their untouched wilderness and rustic lifestyle (that you’ll find here only in summer as in winter these mountains are inaccessible).

The mountains themself are very impressive but also lonely. They have harsh peaks, are sharply vertical with a conical shape, and are always without vegetation with extremely scattered ends. But it is such a pleasure to spend time surrounded by them! 

best mountains of Montenegro
Mountains of Montenegro

The reason to come here is to experience their uniqueness with rare plant and insect species, and just enjoy your time in solitude either hiking challenging trails or walking around the meadow with mountain views. 

Most Interesting Things to Do in Komovi Mountains of Montenegro 

  1. Enjoy outdoor recreation without staying overnight. It is easy enough to come to Komovi Mountains for a day from Kolasin or Podgorica and enjoy nature during the day together with a picnic or gastronomic tour from locals.
  2. Walk around. Komovi mountains area consists of plateaus with summer pastures at an approximate altitude of 1700 meters. It is easy enough to walk/hike between them from June to November with minimal effort.
  3. Go hiking. There are challenging hikes in the area too that lead to Komovi Mountains peaks.
  4. Stop in one of the Katuns (local mountain huts) to eat traditional mountain food. It will be the most delicious homemade Montenegrin food you’ll try in the country!
Further Reading: You have to see my post about our multiple visits to Komovi Mountains to understand what it’s like there and how you can spend a day or two in the area.

Mountains of Prokletije

 

  • Distinctive Feature: dramatic jagged peaks & deep valleys  
  • Main Highlights: highest mountain peak in Montenegro & very remote landscapes
  • Best Thing About It: decent infrastructure and good roads leading to the area, but still fewer visitors

Mountains of Prokletije are simply amazing Montenegro mountains to visit for hiking, seeing sharp peaks, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery. They cover a huge area, offering opportunities for active recreation of different types and leisurely walks in the mountainous terrain.

It is here where you’ll find Montenegro’s highest mountain Mount Zla Kolata (2534m) which is higher than Mount Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor National Park by 12 cm, ha.

What makes the Prokletije range different from all other mountains on this list (actually Komovi mountains are part of Prokletije, so they have lots of similarities) is their numerous steep cliffs, caves, and deep gorges. The mountain system consists of individual peaks where the majority are well-connected by marked hiking trails (however, climbing the top is only for professional climbers). 

For me, going to Prokletije is like visiting the Alps, because it is here where people say Montenegro Alps rise majestically, with rugged peaks piercing the sky and pristine alpine landscapes stretching as far as the eye can see. I agree that views look similar to those in the Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland or in Chamonix in France, just on a smaller scale.

Most Interesting Things to Do in the Mountains of Prokletije

  1. Hiking. There are numerous trails and paths that wind through the rugged terrain of Prokletije, the most popular one leads to Volusnica Peak.
  2. Rock climbing. Challenge yourself by climbing some of the peaks in the range, including Zla Kolata, the highest peak in Montenegro.
  3. Wildlife watching. These mountains are home to some rare species and plants (which differ from Komovi!), so keep an eye out for that.
  4. Photography. Not that you shouldn’t take photos in other mountainous places, but here you just want to do it on every corner.
  5. Camping. Spending a night under the stars in your camper is allowed here. There are a couple of designated camping areas in Gusinje and Plav towns.
  6. Experience katuns (local homes with on-site cooking) as in Komovi.
  7. Go for emotional relaxation. These mountains of Montenegro are perfect for a slow time when you sit back and enjoy the peace and serenity of the mountain environment, away from the busy life and overwhelming thoughts.

Bonus: How to Choose Which Mountains to Visit if You Can Only Pick One Place?

If you have to choose just one mountain destination and want to be surrounded by tall mountain peaks, then head to Durmitor. There, you’ll find many lakes, cable cars, hiking trails, nice accommodation options, cafes and restaurants, and different types of activities.

Prokletije mountains are for those who prefer wild, unspoiled places. Accommodations and cafes are also available, but the infrastructure is somewhat underdeveloped compared to the north.

Choose Komovi and Prokletije if you want to do off-the-beaten-path hiking and spend time in the Montenegrin Alps.

Explore Montenegro Beyond the Mountains

Thinking about spending time in the mountains of Montenegro? Go through this guide to understand which place is better to pick! | Montenegro nature | Montenegro road trip | Durmitor National Park | Prokletije National Park

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