Montenegro

Montenegro: Mountain Walks with Wildflowers


The wild, mountainous interior of Montenegro contains a network of National Parks offering inspiring upland walking and ideal habitat for birds of prey and wildflowers, especially orchids in early summer.

Surprisingly good hotels of some character provide comfortable bases from which to discover eminently drinkable red wine to accompany the distinctive Balkan cuisine; Byzantine frescoes in rural Orthodox monasteries; Venetian architecture along the Adriatic littoral; and forts and museums which help shed some light on the enormously complex history of this small, newly independent, Balkan state.   

HIGHLIGHTS of our Montenegro walking tour include:  

  • Seeing the Tara canyon, the deepest in Europe, and the spectacular Bay of Kotor, Europe’s most southerly fjord
  • Inspiring upland walk tour in the mountainous interior
  • Visiting frescoed Orthodox monasteries, dramatic fortresses, and the Venetian palaces and churches in UNESCO listed Kotor
  • A marvellous array of wildflowers, especially orchids, and many birds of prey
  • Delicious Balkan cuisine (particularly grilled lamb and fish) and very palatable red wines

Guests’ comments on this trip:

‘A wonderful and memorable trip with fabulous weather, excellent company and wonderful walking.’

‘Very stimulating trip in a fascinating area. Constantly varied programme around the walking makes it very refreshing.’

‘Small, friendly and very efficient. It was nice that almost everything was included. A wonderful holiday.’

Montenegro narcissus
Montenegro botany
Montenegro gentian
Montenegro pass
Montenegro Perast
DAY 1  
D included

After meeting at Dubrovnik airport in the afternoon, a short road transfer into the mountains brings us to the frontier with Bosnia-Herzegovina. We visit the ancient monastery of Tvrdos and see the still functioning water wheels on the river, then walk through the old Ottoman quarter of Trebinje. Our comfortable 3 star hotel overlooks the plane tree-filled square and has a good restaurant offering typical Balkan dishes such as lamb with grilled red peppers, garlic and rice.

DAY 2 
B, L, D included 

A scenic road takes us up into the mountains and over a pass into Montenegro. We have a short walk to see a 4th century Roman bridge and have lunch in a rustic restaurant with wooden terraces set above a small river, before reaching a broad upland plateau. A 2 hour walk brings views of the Durmitor mountains to the west, flocks of sheep with attendant shepherds, 13th century Bogomil carvings and Montagu’s harriers hunting the grasslands. In Zabljak, a small mountaineering and ski centre, our modern 3 star hotel (for 2 nights) has well-equipped rooms with mountain views.

DAY 3
B, L, D included

A short drive through pine and birch forest brings us to the start of a walk to the edge of the spectacular Tara canyon, the longest and deepest in Europe (at certain points the drop is a sheer 1,300 metres). Griffon vultures, crossbills, nutcrackers and red squirrels may be seen as we walk through mixed forest and meadows en route to a picnic. We circumnavigate glacial Crno Jezero, the Black lake, in the afternoon and find wild strawberries and blueberries amongst the gentians, saxifrages and wild thyme.   

DAY 4
B, L, D included

A narrow track road takes us up into the heart of the Durmitor National Park, a magnificent mountain wilderness with 27 peaks over 2,200 metres and healthy populations of (rarely seen) brown bears, wolves and lynx. On foot, we cross a pass where snow finches and alpine choughs are often seen and search for high altitude flowers, particularly gentians and crocuses as we gradually descend a wild valley with superb views of the surrounding peaks. Heading east by vehicle, we pause to see the Tara bridge, bravely detonated by a Partisan engineer in 1942, and follow the Tara canyon down to the isolated Dobrilovina monastery, where the nuns unlock the heavy wooden door to allow us to see the 17th century frescoes. We check into our 4 star hotel, strikingly designed in wood and stone, for 3 nights.

DAY 5
B, L, D included

A scenic drive along the Bistrica river valley brings us to a village close to the border with Serbia – from here we walk gradually up (300 m over 6 km) to the 17th century monastery of St Nikola, where we picnic and can sample the local apple or plum rakija (brandy). We have a short circular walk round a lake in the Biogradska National park en route home, before dinner in a typical old tavern, accompanied by Montenegrin music.

DAY 6
B, L, D included

4WDs take us up to 1,790 metres for a full day’s walk crossing the mountain range of Bjelasica, characterised by rounded volcanic tops, valleys filled with primeval beech and hornbeam forest and upland meadows with cornelian lily, gentians and vanilla orchids. We watch for soaring golden and booted eagles and have lunch with a family of shepherds at their katun (wooden summer shelter) before continuing up and over two small, steepish passes and gradually down to a mountain tarn. 

DAY 7
B, L, D included

Our route south follows beside the Morača river and we visit the 13th century monastery, with outstanding Byzantine frescoes. We reach Lake Skadar and have lunch before a local guide takes us on a boat trip on Lake Skadar, one of the largest lakes in southern Europe and a Ramsar protected site, noted particularly for pygmy cormorant colonies and rare Dalmatian pelicans. Our 3 star village hotel has a restaurant well known for fish dishes flavoured with mountain herbs collected by the owner.  

DAY 8
B, L, D included

After visiting the National Park information centre, a little-used mountain road (with long views and many wildflowers) takes us north, via the triple-arched mediaeval bridge at Rijeka Crnojevica, to Cetinje, the former Royal capital of Montenegro. After an orientation walk and lunch we drive down into the beautiful Bay of Kotor, Europe’s most southerly true fjord, and settle into our 4 star hotel in the centre of the walled mediaeval town of Kotor (a UNESCO World Heritage site). The remainder of the afternoon is free for exploring Kotor’s heritage of Venetian architecture, including St Tryphon’s Cathedral (completed in 1166) and numerous Renaissance palaces built by wealthy patricians, merchants and sea captains. There is an optional steep walk on the 15th century walls up to the Fortress and St Ivan’s castle in the cooler early evening.

DAY 9
B, L, D included

We make our way slowly up the incredible hairpin road above the Bay of Kotor and into the Lovcen National Park to visit the mountain-top Njegos Mausoleum (weather permitting) and spend the day walking on the limestone. The park is excellent for orchids – lesser butterfly, fragrant, green-winged, Bertolini, woodcock, bug and pyramidal – and birds (hoopoe, red-backed shrike, peregrine, honey buzzard and wheatears). This evening we dine in a famous old restaurant on the coast.

DAY 10
B, L, D included

We see some fine 3rd and 4th century mosaics at the Roman Villa Urbana before driving up onto the top of the massif which dominates the Bay of Kotor for a spectacular walk following the old Austro-Hungarian packhorse route. After a rest and a snack, enjoying the stupendous views, we descend to the charming village of Perast, with its Venetian Gothic palaces and small museum recalling its illustrious nautical past - in the 18th century Perast had a fleet of 1,000 ships and Peter the Great sent his officers to learn marine engineering and cartography here. We take a small boat over to Our Lady of the Rock island to see the votive church there and return to Kotor for our farewell dinner in the best seafood restaurant on the harbour.  

DAY 11
B included

We drive along the coast to cross the border into Croatia en route to Dubrovnik airport for late morning flights home, or on to Dubrovnik on an optional extension.

TBA per person sharing
TBA deposit per person
TBA 
single room supplement

Please note that the single room supplement is imposed by the hotels and not by Kudu Travel. If you are willing to share but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable. We shall endeavour to obtain double rooms for single occupancy whenever possible, but hotels in some countries do have single rooms that are small and less well positioned - in this case the supplement is simply ensuring your privacy. 

 
Price includes
  • All accommodation for Days 1 through 11, on a twin shared basis

  • All meals (with wine at dinners and restaurant lunches) as listed in the daily notation

  • All land and water transportation as described except during free periods

  • All entrance, sightseeing, guiding and National Park fees except during free periods

  • Gratuities for local guides and restaurant and hotel staff (appreciation for Kudu tour guides is optional)

 
Price does not include
  • International transportation to and from Dubrovnik airport

  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance

  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements

  • Passport, visa and health documentation

  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol besides wine and beer with group lunches and dinners, free time activities, etc.)

  • Meals noted as excepted in the daily notation

  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage

  • Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro & Croatia departure tax, if any

 
VALUE FOR MONEY - SO MUCH IS INCLUDED

On Kudu trips you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday. 

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

  • 1 night in Trebinje, in a comfortable 3 star hotel overlooking the plane tree-filled square

  • 2 nights in Zabljak, in a modern 3 star hotel with well-equipped rooms with mountain views

  • 3 nights in Kolasin, in a 4 star hotel strikingly designed in wood and stone

  • 1 night in Virpazar, in a 3 star village hotel with a restaurant well known for fish dishes

  • 3 nights in Kotor, in a 4 star hotel in the centre of the walled mediaeval town  

 

Visa and Health Requirements
Visitors from the EU, USA, Canada and Australia currently require a valid passport, but not a visa, for entry to Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest relevant Embassies.

At present there are no specific and compulsory health requirements for entry to Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO.

Insurance
It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip. We can arrange comprehensive cover for UK residents. Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Size of party 
This trip will run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 14 guests