The Bay of Kotor, Europe’s most southerly fjord, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site brimming with natural beauty and home to fascinating settlements, shaped by past civilizations and empires. The medieval walled town of Kotor and pretty Perast, with its Venetian-style churches and palaces lining the waterfront, are two atmospheric gems. Explore by walking and mountain biking on trails built by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, or cycle along its beautiful shoreline. The boat trip out to Our Lady of the Rocks islet is a must-do, too. Topped with a Roman Catholic church, the islet offer beautiful views of the bay and its steep, mountainous sides.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, Durmitor National Park and the mighty Tara River are a popular and impressive highlight of the Western Balkans. Peaks soaring to 2,500m, glacial lakes and dense pine forests create an alpine atmosphere, right on the doorstep of the Adriatic. Bike, trek and ride horses deep into this dramatic landscape, along the way meeting the local shepherds who maintain a centuries-old lifestyle and help preserve this unique area. Then take to the water, in the Tara River Canyon, the deepest in Europe, experiencing its sheer sides and emerald waters on a rafting trip.
Dip into the history and spirit of Montenegro, meeting the proud residents of historic Cetinje and the villages around Lake Skadar. Here, the small kingdom of Montenegro was first established, opposing the power of the Ottoman Empire. Wander through Cetinje and you’ll see the handsome homes and embassies built here by leading world powers during the late 19th century, contrasting with the simple stone townhouses that belonged to local residents.
Straddling the border between Albania and Montenegro, Lake Skadar is the biggest lake in the Balkans, and one of the largest bird sanctuaries in Europe. Many species make their home here, both resident and migratory, with the endangered Dalmatian pelican the most iconic and precious of them all. Cycling here is spectacular, and freewheeling downhill to cool off in the lake after a ride is delightful. Thanks to its warm, lowland climate, this is also wine country, where Montenegro’s famous Vranac red wine is produced. Sip a glass with fresh fish from the lake after a day exploring on foot, bike or kayak.
The Prokletije mountains, also known as the Accursed Mountains, are shared with Albania and Kosovo. This is Montenegro’s most remote corner, a wild frontier where jagged peaks and shaded alpine valleys have been carved out by glaciers, and where its cultural centre, Plav, is home to a multi-ethnic population. Our "Peaks of the Balkans" treks start and end here.
Bjelasica mountain range, in Biogradska Gora National Park, is a place of muscular mountains and rolling green pastures, studded with wildflowers in the summer. The park is also famous for its ancient forest and the mystical Biogradsko Lake, which lies at its heart. This is a fantastic region for panoramic treks and mountain bike tours, which include overnight stays in shepherd’s huts, savouring authentic local food and experiencing mountain life little changed in centuries.