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Amazing Tour

South of Montenegro: Lakes, Fields & Adriatic Coast

South of Montenegro: Lakes, Fields & Adriatic Coast

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TOUR SUMMARY:

This tour includes the most important areas for birds in the southern part of Montenegro. We will visit steppe-like habitats in the neighborhood of the capital city, deep canyons, long sandy beaches, lakes and salinas. We will also have an opportunity to learn about the history and rich culture, as well as to enjoy traditional local dishes and drinks.

 

WHAT IS INCLUDED?     

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

 

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED?            

Drinks, flights, tips, travel insurance, optional excursion on Day 5, 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

Pick up at Podgorica airport (or other) and transfer to the hotel in Podgorica.
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Day 2: Skadar Lake

On the second day, we will explore Lake Skadar National Park, and for that, we will need a boat. With 280 recorded bird species, Lake Skadar is one of the most important sites for birds in Montenegro. It is home to the Dalmatian Pelican, and here is the westernmost population of this species. The Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Whiskered Tern, Ferruginous Duck, Night Heron, are only some of many species that we can see during our boat trip. One of the biggest colonies of the Pygmy Cormorant in the world is right here, at Lake Skadar, and it is not uncommon to see thousands of them in one place. In the afternoon we head south to the town of Ulcinj, where we will stay for the next two nights.
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Day 3: Ulcinj Salina & The Long Beach

Early start, since the best time for birding at the Ulcinj Salina is early in the morning. The Ulcinj Salina was created on the site of the former Zogaj lagoon, and as “zog” means “bird” in Albanian, it should give us a clue of how important this area is for birds. More than 240 species of birds have been registered at the Salina so far, and during the walk between salt pans, we can see the Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, European Roller, Common Tern, Common Shelduck, and Eurasian Stone Curlew. The Ulcinj Salina is also very important as a feeding station for birds that nest in the area that surrounds it, such as the Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, and Pygmy Cormorant. After the Salina, we continue to Velika plaža (Long Beach), a 13 km long sandy beach with a belt of brackish marshes in its background. On the way to the beach, we will pass through the field that is home to species like the Crested Lark, Eurasian Stone Curlew, and Bee-eater. During the walk on the beach, we can see species such as the Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, and Dunlin. It is also not uncommon to see the European Roller and Levant Sparrowhawk.
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Day 4: The Coast

Today we are leaving Ulcinj. Our journey continues with a visit to the famous olive grove in Valdanos. Our host will tell us all about the traditional olive oil processing method and we will have an opportunity to taste some as well. From Valdanos, we continue to Buljarica beach, a narrow strip of wetlands between high mountains and the open sea. Here we will try to see species like the Levant Sparrowhawk and Great Reed Warbler. From there, we continue further along the Adriatic coast, until we get to the Tivat Salina. In spring and autumn, it is possible to observe wader species such as the Whimbrel, Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, and Lapwing. In the late afternoon, we arrive in Kotor, where we will stay for the next two nights.
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Day 5: Kotor (rest day)

This is a rest day and Kotor is the perfect place for it. You can spend it in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its many churches, museums, excellent restaurants and bars, or explore the Boka Bay a bit more, with its charming settlements such as the baroque town of Perast, or, if you desire heights, you can take the famous 25-hairpin road to Mount Lovćen, enjoying lovely views and tasting traditional Montenegrin food and drinks. You can do this on your own, or we can arrange it for you.
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Day 6: Karst Fields & Zeta Valley

Day six is reserved for karst fields. The road will take us towards the karst fields of Dragalj and Grahovo, where we will look for the Western Rock Nuthatch, before we continue to Nikšić. Nikšićko polje (Nikšić karst field) is the largest karst field in Montenegro, with a surface of 66.5 km². We will visit Lakes Krupac, Slano, and Vrtac. Nikšićko polje has different habitats and during migration, the grasslands around Lakes Slano and Krupac become an important feeding and resting area, so here we will try to see the Common Crane, Northern Lapwing, Ruffs, and Wood Sandpiper. This is also a very important wintering site for the Common Pochard and Coot. On the way to Podgorica, we will pass through the valley of the River Zeta, a protected area and also a very important site for migrating birds.
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Day 7: Cemovsko Field & Cijevna Canyon

We start the day with a visit to the Cemovsko field, Montenegro’s biggest steppe habitat. Out of the passerine species listed in EU Birds Directive Annex I, here we can see the Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, and Eurasian Stone Curlew. Also, Red-footed Falcons, Lesser Kestrels, Montagu’s and Marsh Harriers, and Meadow Pipits migrate over Ćemovsko field and regularly stop there for rest and feeding, especially during spring migration. On the nearby Dečić hill, we will try to spot the Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting and Rock Partridge. The day continues in the Canyon of the River Cijevna, a Park of Nature and IBA, where we will look for the Golden Eagle, Eurasian Jackdaw, Alpine Swift, Alpine Chough, Western Rock Nuthatch, Sombre Tit, Subalpine Warbler and Golden Oriole.
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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 and single rooms

•            Type of transportation during the tour: Minibus

•            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: from late March to mid-June

 

THE CLIMATE OF THE AREA AND WHAT TO WEAR

On the coast of Montenegro, the climate is mild. Autumn and winter can be rainy, with average temperatures in January around 7/8°C (45/46°F), while summer is hot and sunny, though tempered by the breeze. In the area of Podgorica, the climate is still quite mild, but a little more continental than on the coast.  Winter in Podgorica is a bit cold, with an average in January of 5°C (41°F), while summer is hot and sunny, with temperatures up to 40°C (104°F). So, what to pack? You should bring light clothes, a T-shirt, but also long pants, a light jacket, and a sweatshirt for the evening. For the field trips, you should have comfortable hiking shoes, a raincoat or umbrella, a water bottle, sunglasses & a hat, sunscreen, swimsuit, towel.

 

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