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Amazing Tour

North of Montenegro: Mountains, Lakes and National Parks

North of Montenegro: Mountains, Lakes and National Parks

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TOUR SUMMARY:

This tour will take us to some of the most important areas for birds in the north of Montenegro. We will visit three National Parks (Durmitor, Biogradska gora and Prokletije), and have an opportunity to enjoy spectacular views of some of the highest mountain peaks in this part of Europe, rest our eyes on the crystal water of numerous lakes and rivers, admire the deepest canyon in Europe, explore deep forests and much more. We will also enjoy traditional dishes and drinks, and learn about the history and rich culture of the area.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED? 

Airport transfers, accommodations, meals, local transportation, entrances to parks and reserves, services of English speaking guide.

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?      

Flights, drinks, tips, travel insurance, any other personal expense.

 

By taking part in this trip, you support conservation activities run by CZIP, the BirdLife partner in Montenegro.

Tour Plan

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Day 1: Arrival

Arrival. Pick up at Podgorica Airport (or other) and transfer to the hotel in Kolašin. On the way to Kolašin, we will pass through the impressive canyon of the River Morača and we will have the opportunity to visit the Morača Monastery, one of the most beautiful medieval monasteries in Montenegro.
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Day 2: Komovi

Today begins the proper exploration, and we plan to start with Mount Komovi, a Regional Park located in the north-eastern part of Montenegro. It is the area bordered by the Rivers Lim and Tara, with diverse flora and fauna, clear mountain springs and creeks, high mountain peaks, and charming mountain villages are hidden in-between. We will spend the day exploring Komovi, looking for the White-backed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Hazel Grouse, Ring Ouzel, Nuthatch, Dunnock in beech and coniferous forests, as well as the Rock Partridge, Alpine Chough, Rock Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Golden Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and Honey Buzzard on the open plains and beneath high peaks. We will also have an opportunity to see how local people live in traditional mountain villages. We finish the day in the town of Plav.
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Day 3: Lake Hrid

After breakfast, we hop into 4x4s and head towards one of the most beautiful parts of the Prokletije National Park, Lake Hrid, which is hidden under the steep cliffs of Hridski Krš (2358 m) and surrounded by tall pine trees and interesting rock formations. Legend says that forest fairies are bathing in the lake, and some people believe that if they swim in the lake, it will bring them health and good fortune. As we descend further through the forest of Macedonian pine, we might have a chance to see the Red Crossbill, Nutcracker, Crested Tit, Willow Tit, Ring Ouzel, or perhaps even briefly spot the Capercaillie. Our trail will eventually bring us to one of the traditional mountain villages, where our transportation will be waiting for us.
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Day 4: Valleys of Prokletije

After two days high up in the mountains, today we will focus more on the lower parts, and what better place to start with than Lake Plav itself. It is the largest glacier lake in Montenegro and it lies at the foothills of Mount Visitor. With its waters rich with fish, as well as plants, the lake attracts species such as the Fieldfare, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coot, Little Grebe and Bittern, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Common Pochard, Common Teal, several species of Herons and Waders, while the wet meadows surrounding the lake are home to the Corn Crake. The afternoon is reserved for Grebaje and Ropojana, two amazing valleys surrounded by rocky peaks whose sides flare with snow. A short and easy walk will take us deeper into the valleys in search of hidden springs and waterfalls.
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Day 5: Biogradska gora & Tara Canyon

Today we head towards the western part of Montenegro. The first stop of the day is the Biogradska Gora National Park, the oldest protected area in Montenegro. In the heart of it is Lake Biograd, surrounded by the virgin forest. The mirror-like surface of the lake reflects all the beauty of the forest, while we try to hear and spot the White-backed Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Tawny Owl, Red-breasted Flycatcher, as well as different species of ducks resting on the lake. After a relaxing walk around the lake, our journey continues downstream the River Tara. At the gate of the deepest canyon in Europe, we will visit the reservation of Crna Poda, a forest complex of black pine, with trees 400 years old and up to 45 meters tall. Our road continues deeper into the canyon, while we admire the steep cliffs above, and the emerald waters of the Tara beneath us. Just before the road starts to climb out of the canyon and towards Durmitor, we make another stop. This time the reason is manmade, but nevertheless a must-see when in Montenegro. It is the famous Tara Bridge. At the end of the day, we reach Žabljak, a charming little town, where we will stay for the next two nights.
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Day 6: Durmitor ring

Today we plan to explore the magnificent heights of the Durmitor National Park. We will follow the road that will take us to the edge and the deepest part of the Tara canyon, the bottom of the Sušica canyon, and beautiful plateaus in-between. We will continue over high mountain passes, and we will admire the peaks that rise high above 2,000 meters. This magnificent road will surprise us over and over again, with its breath-taking views, scenes of unspoiled nature, and authentic mountain villages, where the way of life is almost unchanged for hundreds of years. In the woods, we will try to spot the Three-toed Woodpecker, Black Woodpecker, Song Thrush, Hazel Grouse, and on the open grassy plateaus, we will look for the Golden Eagle, Lesser Kestrel, Red-footed Falcon, Horned Lark, Water Pipit, Rock Thrush, and Rock Partridge.
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Day 7: Lakes of Durmitor

The plan for today is simple, we will have breakfast, visit a few lakes before, and a few more after lunch. We will start the day with an easy walk to Lake Zminje. As we walk through the forest, we will try to spot the Pygmy Owl, Ural Owl, Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Crested Tit, and Red Crossbill. The trail will eventually take us to the Black Lake, the largest glacial lake in the Durmitor National Park, surrounded by a dense forest of spruce and other conifers. After lunch, we will visit both Lakes Riblje and Vražje, trying to spot Lapwings and Marsh Harriers, as well as different species of water birds, especially waders and ducks. As the day comes to an end, the road will slowly take us from the high mountains of the north to the lowlands in the south of Montenegro. Overnight in Podgorica.
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Day 8: Departure

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Podgorica airport (or other).

GUIDE RELATED TO SOME CHARACTERISTICS OF THE TOUR

•          Type of accommodation during the tour: twin/double & single rooms 

•          Type of transportation during the tour: minibus and 4x4s

•          There will be some hiking during the tour: yes

•          Maximum number of places available on the tour: 12

•          Best part of the year for the tour: middle April to middle May

 

CLIMATE OF THE AREA AND WHAT TO WEAR

The northern part of Montenegro is a continental area, with mountains exceeding 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), and, for the most, moderate continental, while in higher parts climate quite similar to that of the Alps. Winters are cold, with snowfalls and frosts during cold spells, while summers are generally pleasant, with highs around 26°C (79°F), and on hot days even above 30°C (86°F) So, what to pack? You should bring light clothes, a T-shirt, long pants, a light jacket and a sweatshirt, but also bring some warmer clothes, an insulated jacket, a hat and gloves, just in case. For the field trips, you should have comfortable hiking shoes, a raincoat or umbrella, a water bottle, sunglasses and a hat, sunscreen, and for some days even a swimsuit and towel.

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