Dear Visitor and Nature lover Welcome to the wonderful and unique National Parks of Montenegro! We are delighted to have you here as our guest. Before you start exploring let us give you a brief introduction about our 5 wonderful National Parks of Montenegro: NATIONAL PARKS OF MONTENEGRO Our National Parks are areas of exceptional beauty and rare natural wonders. You will be surprised to find so much ‘Wild Beauty’, untouched nature and authentic cultural sites in the middle of Europe. Montenegro is a country of tremendous natural diversity. To preserve this natural treasure about 8 % of the country was put under the strict protection and management of the National Park Organisation. You will not find a second country in Europe which offers so many highly protected areas on such a small space. Often the distance between the different parks is less than an hour by car and from one of the many viewpoints in the parks you can already see the next beautiful park in the distance. The Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro is proud to present you a Panorama Road which connects the 5 National Parks Durmitor, Biogradska Gora, Lovćen, Skadar Lake and Prokletije plus the unique Ulcinj Salina, which is as well under the management of the National Park Organisation and famous for its incredible number of birds The National Park Panorama Road, which we called Montenegro’s Road to Nature, does not connect the 5 different National Parks on the shortest but on the most scenic route. Montenegro’s nature and cultural heritage is exceptional even outside the borders of the National Parks. Alongside the connecting roads you will find as well a wonderful authentic landscape, impressive cultural sites and picturesque towns and villages. We hope that ‘Montenegro’s Road to Nature’ will be a wonderful and unforgettable experience for you.
Impressum Publisher: Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro Project Team: Nela Vesovic Dubak, Hajdana Ilic Bosovic, Dr. Thomas Woehrstein Pictures: National Parks of Montenegro, Dr. Thomas Woehrstein Design: Garaza © Copies: 2000 Please note: The Panoramic Roads of Montenegro use the existing road infrastructure. National traffic regulations are applicable. The Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism assume no liability for structural changes, diversions or extraordinary events on the route. Please drive carefully! • • • •
Low beam or daylight driving lights must be switched on at all times. The following things are to be carried in the vehicle at all times: o A safety vest for every passenger o A first aid kid. o Depending on the weather conditions – snow tires or snow chains. Do not drink and drive! The alcohol limit in Montenegro is 0.3 ‰ The general speed limits are: o 50 km/h within settlements o 80 km/h outside settlements – if not signposted differently.
IMPORTANT TRAFFIC RULES IN MONTENEGRO
BEFORE YOU START … The official starting point for Montenegro’s Road to Nature is the capital city of Podgorica. Here many visitors arrive by plane or they visit this biggest city of Montenegro as a part of their vacation to enjoy the cultural offer and the outstanding nightlife. But starting here is not a must. You can enter the circular Panorama Road from wherever this is convenient for you. Montenegro’s Road to Nature is more than 600 km long. You can do this during an extended weekend but for the real enjoyment of this route you should allow at least 6 to 8 days.
PRACTICAL ADVICE: The Panorama Road ‘Montenegro’s Road to Nature’ is paved throughout. Some parts of the route lead you along narrow, winding roads. Therefore drive carefully and be aware of sometimes difficult road conditions. On some narrow stretches it may happen that you have to give way to oncoming traffic. The highest altitude you reach on the route is the “Seddlo” in Durmitor National Park with 1.907 m a.s.l. Due to winter conditions this road is often closed until May. Therefore the recommended time to undertake this beautiful trip is between May and October. Outside this period you should look for additional information about road and weather conditions. After the winter months the roads at higher elevations may be damaged due to snow and ice and especially motorcyclists should take extra care. Parts of the route are not suitable for bigger vehicles like big motorhomes and larger camper vans (more than 7 m long, 2.3 m or wide, 3 m height). Drivers of motor homes and camper vans should be experienced in driving narrow, winding mountain roads. The Panorama Road ‘Montenegro’s Road to Nature’ is one out of five great Panorama Roads on which you can explore Montenegro. The work on a special signposting for the Panorama Roads has started but it will take some years before this can be completely finished. This Panorama Road will be signposted as Route No. 5. All public roads in Montenegro are well signposted, still we strongly recommend to take with you a good road map. GETTING STARTED … The Panorama road “Montenegro’s Road to Nature” starts in the capital Podgorica. The coordinates of the starting point are: N 42˚ 26’ 34.2’’ E 019˚ 16’ 38.3’’ Please follow the road signs to Kolasin to find your way out of the city. The good main road leads you up the Moraca Canyon with spectacular views on the canyon and past the famous Monastery Moraca. Just before reaching the town of Kolasin turn right and follow the good road towards Andrijevica, Plav and Gusinje to the first National Park along this route – the Prokletije National Park.
SOME RULES AND RECOMMENDATIONS FOR YOUR STAY IN OUR NATIONAL PARKS
NATIONAL PARKS OF MONTENEGRO
MONTENEGRO’s Road to Nature
• We strongly recommend you to ask our friendly staff in the visitor centre of the parks for further information before you start exploring. Here you will get additional information about the weather forecast, road and trail conditions. • Please use only the marked trails and signposted roads to reach your destination. • Wear adequate clothes and shoes for all outdoor activities. • Bring enough water! • Charge your mobile phone. There is good coverage in most places in our parks. • Do not litter! Take out what you have brought in. • Do not light a fire! You have Questions …? … about the National Parks or the Salina in Ulcinj? Public Enterprise National Parks of Montenegro: +382 (0)20 601 015, email@example.com, www.nparkovi.me
... about Montenegro as a tourism destination, how to get here and where to stay: National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro : +382 (0)77 100 001, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.montenegro.travel Call centre: 1300, email@example.com We are proud to have you here as our guests! Important Emergency Telephone Numbers: Montenegro Customer Care Centre: 1300 Emergency call: 112 Police: 122 Automobile Association of Montenegro/ Roadside Assistance: 19807 Mountain Rescue Service: +382 (0) 40256084
PROKLETIJE NATIONAL PARK
BIOGRADSKA GORA NATIONAL PARK
NATIONAL PARK DURMITOR
Prokletije National Park is the youngest of Montenegro’s National Parks. It was founded in 2009 and it protects an area of about 16.600 ha. Rich and diverse flora and fauna is the main feature of the mountainous Prokletije area, which makes its mountains the centre of alpine biodiversity in the Balkans, as well as an important European and global centre of biodiversity. The Prokletije Mountains, with their neverending forests, are home to brown bears, wolfs, chamois and lynx. The sound of the countless waterfalls can be heard even on mountain peaks of more than 2,000m a.s.l. The riches of endemic, relict plant species before and from the ice age, stand as a unique example of nature’s calling. The wonderful Hridsko Lake in the Prokletije National Park is the highest situated lake in Montenegro. The locals call it “Lake of Happiness”. Forests are one of the most significant natural treasure of Prokletje. The most widespread are high exploitable forests (44%), with sporadic character of primeval forest, followed by protected forests (34%) and low forests and bushes. Oak forests are followed by beech forests which come before mixed forests of beech and fir. These are superseded by spruce or mixed spruce forests. At higher zones there are relict forests of Bosnian pine and mixed forests of Bosnian pine and Macedonian pine. Upper forest zone comprises Mountain pine. Activities: Hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, educational trail, biking, snow shoeing. The best time to visit Prokletje National Park is from May to Oktober Visitor center: Is located in Gusinje at the road to the Ali-Pasa springs. Info: +382 (0)68 871550 firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: During Summer season daily 9:00 – 17:00 During winter season Monday to Friday 8:00 – 16:00 Directions: Follow the road back to Berane and further on the direction Bjelo Polje andthe town of Mojkovac. Carry on for 5 km following the signposts towards Kolasin until you reach the well signposted entrance to the National Park Biogradska Gora on the left side.
Biogradska Gora National Park is located in the mountain range of Bjelasica, between the Tara River and the Lim River. The landscape of this area comprises forests, meadows, water basins, mountain heaths and meadows. In addition to Biogradsko Lake, which is located in the centre of Biogradska Gora, there are three glacial lakes: Pešića, Ursulovačko and Šiško. The largest part of the Park is a primeval forest reserve in the basin of Biogradska River and Jezerštica River. It represents one of the oldest protected areas in the world, known as the Prince’s hunting reserve or “Branik”. The age of certain trees within this forest is estimated to be over 400 years, some of them being more than 40m high. There are 26 individual plant communities, with some 2,000 plants species, among which there are 20% of endemic species of the Balkan Peninsula and some 90 species of trees. Wildlife is also diverse with 200 bird species, 80 butterfly species, 350 insect species and typical mammals (wolf, bear, fox, deer, squirrel, dormouse). There are numerous archaeological sites, sacral monuments, necropolis, as well as special folk architecture, such as katun (summer dwellings), savardak, wooden sheds, water mills). Activities: Hiking, mountaineering, educational trail, boating, biking, photo-safari. The best time to visit Biogradska Gora National Park is from May to Oktober Visitor center: Is located at the Biogradska Lake Info: +382 (0)20 865 625 email@example.com Opening hours: During Summer season daily 9:00 – 17:00 During winter season: Depending on the weather and road conditions. Directions: Go back for a few kilometres on the road you came from and before reaching Mojkovac again turn left towards Zabliak and the Tara river valley. You will cross the boundaries of the National Park Durmitor about 13 kilometres after the turn off. Follow the road through the National Park to Zabliak and the signposting to the National Park entrance.
Durmitor is the most popular National Park in Montenegro. It has been on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1980. It encompasses the mountain range of the Durmitor Mountains, the world famous canyons of Tara, Draga and Sušica River and the deepest part of the pittoresque canyon of the Komarnica River. Numerous mountain peaks, 48 of them towering over 2,000 m.a.s.l. provide a perfect hiking paradise. The highest peak is Bobotov kuk 2,525 m.a.s.l. There are 18 glacial lakes in Durmitor National Park. The 1,600 meter deep Tara River Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe with 1,500 floral species and 130 bird species. This canyon was declared World ecological reserve. Durmitor boasts great biodiversity of flora and fauna, with many endemic and relict species. Wildlife mostly includes mountain and alpine animal species. Out of 1,325 floral species, 122 are endemic. Culture sites are numerous: Necropolises, Helenic and Roman graveyards, churches and monasteries, tombstones and traditional architecture with katuns, wooden houses (savrdak) and water mills. Ring of Durmitor The famous „Ring of Durmitor“ leads you through an exceptionally interesting part of the National Park Durmitor. The scenic “National Park Panorama Road” is 86 km long, paved but narrow and steep in some places. It is not suitable for bigger Mobile Homes or cars with caravans. But it is an extremely interesting visit by car, motorbike or a demanding bicycle-tour you will never forget. By car or motorbike you should calculate one full day if you want to have a look at the many scenic lookouts or hike some of the interesting trails along the route. Activities: Hiking, mountaineering, educational trail, boating, kajaking, rafting, biking, photo-safari, forest of reading, snow shoeing, adventure park. The best time to visit Durmitor National Park is from May to Oktober. Visitor Centre: Located in the Administrative building of Durmitor National Park. A second visitor centre is located along the educational trail around the Black Lake (open only during the summer months).
Info tel: +382 (0) 52360228 firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: During Summer season daily 9:00 – 17:00 During Winter season Monday to Friday 7:00 – 15:00 Directions: From Zabliak follow the main road to Niksic for about 3 kilometres. Turn right and follow the beautiful road through the Park over the Sedlo to the little village of Trsa. At the junction take a right turn if you want to include the famous ‘Ring of Durmitor’ in your trip. If not take a left turn and follow the small and winding road down to Pivsko Lake. Turn left and follow the road along the lake towards Niksic. Here follow the road signs to Trebinje and later towards Risan and Kotor. After passing through Kotor follow the sign to NP Lovcen up the famous 25 serpentines to the Lovcen National Park entrance. Drive through the park up to Ivanova Korita and the Visitor Information.
LOVĆEN NATIONAL PARK Lovćen National Park is known for its natural, cultural and historic features. It is located between two very different climatic zones – Mediterranean and Continental, which resulted in the development of a exceptionally rich wildlife with many endemic species on a relatively small area. Among 1,300 floral species, which makes 1/3 of total Montenegrin flora, there are many endemic, relict, medicinal, aromatic and honey herbs. The Park area is home to many animal species with numerous endemic and relict forms. Besides mammals (wolf, bear, wild boar, fox, deer, hare, hedgehog, Montenegrin vole and others), there are also many other animal groups, around 200 bird species, 11 reptile species, 5 amphibian species, 85 species of butterflies and, and, and. Cultural heritage is featured in monuments, churches, traditional architecture and old Austrian roads. The famous Mausoleum of the former Montenegrin ruler and poet Petar II Petrović Njegoš is located at Jezerski peak (1.657m.a.s.l.). Activities: hiking, biking, mountaineering, educational trail, viewpoints. The best time to visit Lovcen National Park is from May to Oktober. Visitor center: The visitor center is located in Ivanova Korita in the middle of the park Info tel: +382 (0) 41 231 570 email@example.com Opening hours: During Summer season daily 9:00 – 17:00
During winter season Monday to Friday 8:00 – 16:00 Directions: Follow the small road through the park down to Cetinje. Leave Cetinje on the main road towards Podgorica. About 5 kilometres after the roundabout leave the main road to the right and follwo the signposting to Rijeka Crnojevica and further on to Virpazar. This is a well paved but sometimes narrow road which is not suitable for big mobile homes.
SKADAR LAKE NATIONAL PARK Skadar Lake is the biggest lake in the Balkans and the only national park in Montenegro dominated by aquatic and wetland ecosystems. The National Park Skadar Lake is of international importance and protected under the roof of the Ramsar Convention. Geologically created by a tectonic depression, the water shaped an area equally marvellous for both plant and animal life. The northern wetlands of the lake (around 20,000 ha) provide ideal conditions for wildlife to thrive, particularly birds. There are 281 bird species at Skadar Lake, living, nesting, spending winter or migrating. The famous symbol of the Skadar Lake National Park is the Dalmatian pelican, which is called “panac” by the local population. Together with thousands of other migrating birds, it is a phenomenon in this part of Europe. There are 48 fish species in the Park, 50 species of mammals, numerous amphibians, reptiles and insects. There is a diverse flora both in the lake and its surrounding, with vast fields of water lily and water chestnut, spreading for many kilometres during the summer period. The park provides bird watching towers and organized bird watching boat tours for the interested visitor. Remains of human settlements from Palaeolithic age prove that the inhabitants of these areas lived in harmony with nature and adapted to it over millenniums, and in return, the nature provided the very best. Activities: cruising, sport fishing, hiking, educational trails, bird watching, sailing, boat tour to monasteries, kajaking, swimming. The best time for a visit of Skadar Lake National Park is from March to November Visitor Center: NP Skadar Lake provides two visitor centers. They are located in Vranjina and in the village of Virpazar.
Info: +382 (0)20 879 100 firstname.lastname@example.org Opening hours: During the summer season daily 8:00 - 18:00 During winter season 8:00 - 16:00 Directions: In Virpazar follow the small, winding road along the Skadar Lake towards Ostros (weight limit 5 to). Follow the small road until you reach the much bigger main road at a roundabout. Turn right and follow the main road to the town of Ulcinj. Just before reaching the first roundabout in Ulcinj take a left turn and follow the road signpost to the Salina Bajo Seculic.
ULCINJ SALINA BAJO SEKULIC The Salina Bajo Seculic was build in the 1930th on a former marsh land. The conditions here were excelent for this way of salt production because of the 2567 hours of sunshine every year and a large number of tropical days createed perfect conditions. The area has been populated by many different species of birds before the construction of the Salina but the working salt productin even improved the living conditions of the birds and so it became a important bird habitat. The Salina is part of the Adriatic Flyway of migration birds and within this corridor a very important resting place. During the winter months thousands of birds of different species including the famous Dalmatian Pelicans and hundreds of Flamingos can be spotted here and this makes the area of the Ulcinj Salina a paradise for bird lovers as well as for nature interested visitors. A thematic hiking path has been established along the old damms and several bird observation towers have been built. Activities: Walking, biking, bird watching The best time to visit is from October to April Info: +382 (0) 20601015 www.nparkovi.me email@example.com Opening hours: All year round on request (advance notification by email or phone). Directions: Go back to the road you came from and follow the signposting to Bar and later to Petrovac along the wonderful, scenic mediterranean coast. In Petrovac turn sharp right and uphil towards Virpazar and further on to Podgorica where you started.