An extensive review for travelers about northern Montenegro. You will find out what to see in this part of the country: the Tara River and its canyon, the Durmitor National Park and the highest point of the country – Mount Bobotov Kuk, as well as a masterpiece of engineering – the Djurdjević arch bridge, also known as the Tara bridge. There will be all the useful information: prices, photos, coordinates, how to get there, tips and tricks.
Table of contents:
- Tara river and Tara canyon
- Durmitor National Park
- Djurdjević Bridge (Tara Bridge)
- Tips for tourists when visiting the Tara River Canyon, Durmitor Park and Djurdjevic Bridge
It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Montenegro without these websites
Tara River and its canyon in Montenegro
The Tara River is the largest river in Montenegro. Its length on the territory of Montenegro is 142 km. This is quite a lot for a small country. In fact, the river flows from west to east across the country. In the mountainous part of Montenegro, it forms a large number of canyons.
There is a lot of information on the Internet about the Tara River and the canyon as must-see places. But in these articles it is not clear where to go, what and where to see. Now you will find out exactly the information that a tourist needs. After all, the canyon of the Tara River itself is more than 60 km long, and beautiful views and convenient access are not everywhere.
Good to know:The water in the Tara River is mountainous, very clean. Locals take water for drinking and cooking directly from the river in the mountain villages nearby. Therefore, the Tara River is also called the Tear of Europe for its clean potable water.
What to see in Tara River Canyon
I must say right away that you can, of course, get here by public transport. It will take no less time than by car. However, you will not see even half of the amazing landscapes that you will see when traveling by car. So by bus you can get to the town of Zabljak, but then either by hitchhiking, taxi or tour from Zabljak. The distance from Zabljak to the beautiful places of the Tara canyon is from 10 to 25 km.
So, what I recommend you to see in the canyon of the Tara River:
- Drive along a breathtaking P4 road. From the village of Mojkovac (coordinates: 42.956349, 19.576184) to the Tara bridge (coordinates: 43.148686, 19.292395). The length of this road is 45 km. The road goes along the canyon of the Tara River. With many viewpoints, tunnels, interesting locations and insanely beautiful views.
- There are many signs along the way to pedestrian bridges, slopes to the Tara River and so on.
- I recommend stopping at the Premćanski bridge. It is difficult to see it from the road. Here are the coordinates: 43.11335450177343, 19.360794649999168. The photos below will help you better see all the beauty.
Durmitor National Park
Durmitor Park is rightfully one of the ten most popular tourist attractions in Montenegro.
- Read an extended rating of all the sights of Montenegro in the review at the link.
The history of any attraction is not always interesting for travelers, so I will tell you briefly.
- The park was founded in 1952. The Tara River and the canyon are on the border of the national park.
- In 1980 it was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- The area of the park is about 400 sq. km. To make it easier for you to imagine – this is an area of 20 by 20 km, not so small, but not so much either.
- Durmitor Park is located in the mountainous part of the country, where the average height above sea level is more than 1000m. This means that here it is always 10 degrees lower than on the coast, keep this in mind. And everything about the weather and seasons in Montenegro is here.
Durmitor Park: how to get there, location, prices, tickets, parking, accommodation
The most important information for tourists:
- Official website of the park: www.durmitornp.com
- The main entrance to the park is located 3 km from the bus station in the town of Zabljak. Can be reached on foot. And how to get to Zabljak, read the review in a separate article, the link was above.
- Coordinates of the main entrance to Durmitor Park: 43.151231194153574, 19.10304884663013
- There is also free parking.
Good to know:There are about 5 entrances to the park and parking lots near them. All of them lead to one place, so follow the signs that appear a couple of kilometers before the park and you will not get lost.
- Entrance ticket for one person 3 euros.
Important:You can leave Budva in the morning for Durmitor Park, walk for 3-4 hours there and return back by night. But in a hurry, you won’t even see half of the cool places. I recommend coming here for 2 nights, or at least one. Look for accommodation in Zabljak, there is more than enough of it. Links to verified resources at the end of the article.
Sights of the Durmitor park in the canyon of the Tara River
And then you will find out what awaits you in the park and what locations the author (me) recommends to visit:
- Black Lake and hiking around it 3.8 km long.
- Coordinates: 43.147796213288174, 19.096839011554046
- There are many excellent trails around the lake and there are plenty of benches with great views.
- There on the lake for an additional fee (8 euros / hour) you can rent a boat or kayak.
- In the park, 25 hiking mountain routes with climbs up to 1200 meters have been laid and marked. Each route can be completed in one day.
- Zminje Lake: coordinates 43.155922673723936, 19.07050923562197
Tips:Install the Maps.me or OrganicMaps navigator on your phone and download the map of Montenegro. Both apps are free and available for Android and iPhone. There are all the routes and paths of Durmitor Park. Do not try to use Google maps, this will be the biggest mistake.
- One of the beautiful peaks of the Durmitor park overlooking the Tara canyon – Curevac. Coordinates: 43.20173926804945, 19.092996328009153
- Free car parking coordinates: 43.193926603375054, 19.08966032521709
- Trekking is very easy, with little climb. It takes 30-40 minutes to get to the top from the parking lot.
- During the tourist season, they can charge a fee of 1-2 euros
- Devil’s Lake (Vražje Jezero) and Fish Lake (Riblje Jezero).
- Two small round lakes that are very close to each other.
- There is a good view of these lakes from the hill nearby.
- They are not the most amazing, but if you pass by, be sure to stop.
- Devil’s Lake (Vražje Jezero) coordinates: 43.07953320884443, 19.144783856823334
- Admission is free
High pass Sedlo and the highest point of Montenegro – Bobotov Kuk (2522m)
And I want to highlight these two cool attractions of Durmitor Park separately.
Mount Bobotov Kuk is the highest peak in Montenegro. Even today there are disputes, and in some sources you can find information that Mount Zla Kolata is the highest. It is higher than Bobotov Kuk by 12m – 2534m above sea level. But Zla Kolata is located on the border of three countries: Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro, and there it is not entirely clear to which country the peak itself belongs.
If you want to climb Bobotov Kuk, then there are two main routes: northern and southern. Please note that this is not an easy walk, and you need to be prepared for physical exertion. But since the mountains are relatively low, you will not have mountain sickness and lack of oxygen.
The route to Bobotov Kuk is difficult (northern):
- Start from the Black Lake from Durmitor Park
- Start coordinates: 43.148268627794785, 19.097279001834927
- Bobotov Kuk peak coordinates: 43.128326162467474, 19.03390754227619
- Route length – 8 km,
- Climb almost 1300 meters
- On average, the entire track in both directions takes from 8 to 12 hours
The route to Bobotov Kuk – less difficult (southern):
- Start from the high mountain pass Sedlo. In fact, there is no one starting point, there are many trails. And actually in 3 or 4 places there are parking lots and starting points on Bobotov Kuk. All of them are within a couple of kilometers from each other. I will give an example of the most popular starting point.
- Start coordinates: 43.106894, 19.024547
- The length of the route is only 3.5 km
- A climb of 750 meters
- On average, you can walk the whole way in 4-5 hours.
Good to know:Obviously the southern route is much easier. But you need a car to get to the starting point. But on the northern route, hikers can get on foot from Zabljak, which can be easily reached by regular bus from Podgorica.
Car rental in Montenegro is not expensive and affordable: everything about car rental, traffic rules, roads, driving culture.
Sedlo pass in Durmitor park
This is the highest and very beautiful road in Montenegro P14, which connects Zabljak with Lake Piva.
- Read the review of Piva Lake here.
And the Sedlo Pass (Saddle) is two peaks that look like a saddle of a horse from the side. You can’t climb the peaks, you can’t drive between the two of them. But the view that opens from the road to the Sedlo pass is insanely beautiful.
Author’s opinion:The place is gorgeous and its rating is 5 out of 5. But especially for the sake of visiting these places (Sedlo Pass), it makes no sense to go here from the coast. If you are planning a visit to Durmitor Park or the Djurdjević Bridge, then you must definitely visit the Sedlo Pass.
Djurdjević Bridge (Tara Bridge) on the Tara River: general information
The Djurdjević Bridge is an active road bridge in the mountains of Montenegro, across the Tara River near Durmitor Park. It is located 20 km from Zabljak.
- Djurdjević bridge coordinates: 43.15040181163817, 19.29483720239517
- The bridge is open 24/7
- the entrance is free
- A very beautiful arched bridge from the point of view of engineering, which is located in a picturesque place in the canyon of the Tara River.
- Right next to the bridge there are souvenir shops, several cafes, small hotels where you can stay overnight.
- Parking in the high season is paid – 1 euro per car.
Djurdjević Bridge (Tara bridge) and the Tara River: a Brief History
You can read in detail on Wikipedia. But the history of the bridge is quite interesting, so I will tell it very briefly:
- The Tara Bridge was built before the Second World War
- This is a very complex geographical region, and in fact it was the only road from the central Balkans to the Montenegrin coast.
- During the war, when the troops of fascist Italy were advancing at a rapid pace, one of the engineers who designed the bridge blew it up. One of the spans was completely destroyed.
- This completely stopped the offensive of the Italian army and actually saved most of Montenegro from occupation. The Italians turned around and went in the other direction.
- And after the end of the war, the bridge was restored in just a week. It turned out that the engineer who designed the bridge planned so that the explosion would not damage the supporting arches, so that later the bridge could be easily restored.
- It would seem that this is a man who saved thousands of lives and the whole region from the war should become a national hero. However, after a couple of years he was executed by the Yugoslav partisans.
Today, with the development of the road network, the bridge no longer plays such an important role. But still, for thousands of people, this is the only road to the coast.
Viewpoints on the Djurdjević Bridge (Tara bridge) and the Tara River Canyon
Actually, a great view opens both near the bridge and from the bridge itself. But below are a few points from where you can observe the entire canyon and a view of the Djurdjević bridge. All points within 1-2 kilometers from the bridge:
- 43.149198, 19.292760 it’s right at the bridge, but you need to go down a little 20-30 meters below the bridge. There will be beautiful photos.
- 43.154935, 19.294752
- 43.137176, 19.300791
And of course, the view from the bridge itself is also excellent.
Entertainment near the bridge: zipline, rafting
The Djurdjević Bridge in the canyon of the Tara River is also the center of extreme tourism in Montenegro. Right at the beginning of the bridge (you won’t pass by) there are several offices and starting points for rafting along Tara through the canyon, as well as 3 zip-line routes. One of the lines is 1050 meters long and you will fly at a speed of up to 80 km / h overlooking the Djurdjević bridge.
- There are 3 different ziplines right next to the bridge on both sides. Prices from 5 euros to 30. Depending on the length of the route and speed. You don’t need to book anything in advance, you paid on the spot (it’s better to have cash). The queue even in the season maximum – 10-15 minutes.
- Rafting. There are also several companies. Right from the bridge you will be taken by jeeps to the starting point. Prices: 30-50 euros, depending on the season and the occupancy of the boats. Start every 2-3 hours. Better to book in advance.
Tips for tourists when visiting the Tara River Canyon, Durmitor Park and Tara Bridge
The tips will be general, I hope they will help you better plan your ideal trip:
- The high season is from May to October. Rafting is no longer organized at the end of October, but you can ride a zipline. The same goes for Durmitor Park.
- In addition, it is often convenient to book a tour in advance, especially if you do not have your own transport. You can do it using this link.
- Please note that this is a mountainous part of Montenegro, it is always 10 degrees lower than on the coast, and in winter there is a lot of snow. Have clothing appropriate for the weather.
- The road through the P14 Sedlo pass is closed for the winter, sometimes it has already been closed since November 1, keep this in mind
- You need to come to this region for 2-3 days. One day – to Durmitor Park: Black Lake, trekking around the lake, to the top of Curevac, ride a boat on Black Lake. The second day is to go to the Djurdjević bridge in the Tara canyon: rafting, zipline, etc. And now there is no time left to climb Bobotov Kuk, right? 🙂
- If you want really high mountains with hard trekking, then read about Prokletije mountains and Grebaje valley in Montenegro. Here’s a photo from there.
- If you look at the map, near Zabljak there is a funicular for 8 euros to another peak with beautiful views. You can also go up here if you wish.
- In general, there are a lot of routes for walking here, you won’t go even half in 3 days. And here is the largest ski resort in Montenegro – Savin Kuk. But read about this in the article Montenegro in winter.
In conclusion: the Tara River, the Tara River Canyon, the Djurdjević Bridge and the Durmitor Park are very popular attractions in Montenegro. If you have the time and desire to break away from a beach holiday, then be sure to come here, you will not regret it. All locations are nearby, and many are even within walking distance. The most important thing is your desire.
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Montenegro
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Montenegro (cheaper – only by bus):
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual card in Montenegro
- Taxi and transfers from Montenegro airports: Intui.Travel