Porto Journal Spring 2016

Montenegro's National Parks

Montenegro's National Parks

The National Parks of Montenegro are landscapes of breathtakingly well
preserved nature, all rich in wildlife and cultural heritage.

Whether it be walking through primeval forests, rafting down the rapids of the Tara River, cycling through the wilderness, kayaking through vast meadows of water flowers, bird watching, climbing mountain peaks or cruising through the waters of glacial lakes, this is a country where an outdoor adventure is never far away. Here are a few of our favourites.

Lovćen National Park

This park in the southwest corner of Montenegro features scarcely populated villages with ancient stone houses while an old caravan road connects travelers to the Adriatic Sea. This is one of the rare locations where bird lovers can observe the flight of a golden eagle. Numerous hiking trails lead to viewpoints where sheer cliffs drop towards the sea.
Recommended: hiking, walking, biking

Skadar Lake National Park

Skadar Lake, as the legend goes, was created out of the tears of fairies. The first written records of the lake date back to the 14th century, with numerous archaeological sites, forts and monasteries along its banks. Benefitting from around 2600 hours of sunshine each year, the National Park’s symbol is the Dalmatian pelican but this untouched area serves as the nesting place for a myriad of other rare bird species too.
Recommended: sport fishing, hiking, educational trails, bird watching

Prokletije National Park

The stillness of the unique landscape of Prokletije, rich in endemic and relict species, green forests and rocky peaks, is disturbed only by the roar of precipitous waterfalls. The 2,000m high peaks are ideal for those who want to experience the wild beauty Montenegro is famous for. Hridsko Lake, the highest lake in Montenegro, is the guardian of Prokletije National Park and is recognized by its cup-like shape.
Recommended: mountaineering, mountain biking, sport fishing, gastronomy

Durmitor National Park

This UNESCO Cultural and Natural Heritage Site is considered by many to be the most beautiful mountain in the Balkans. Furthermore, the Tara River that passes through Durmitor in its epic valley is a recognised biosphere reserve. The largest of 18 glacial lakes within the national park is called the Crno Jezero, or Black Lake. Look out for a wide variety of flora and fauna as well as many a mountain goat, just be sure not to go too close if its young are nearby!
Recommended: rafting, hiking, biking, mountain lodges

Biogradska Gora National Park

Situated between two rivers in the northeast corner of the country this is one of the last remaining rainforests in Europe with some trees over 500 years old. The Park’s central lake is surrounded by green ‘lopur’ leaves, many over 1.5m in diameter. This is a particularly wild, verdant part of the country where visitor numbers are still mercifully low even in summer; ideal for those looking for a digital detox.

Recommended: hiking, mountaineering, local cuisine, photography

For more information on Montenegro’s national parks please visit www.nparkovi.me

This article was adapted from a text by Nela Vešović Dubak and is re-printed with the kind permission of  The Luxury Collection magazine. Photo also courtesy of The Luxury Collection.