Durmitor National Park is located in northwestern Montenegro within the Dinaric Alps. As the largest national park in Montenegro, this UNESCO World Heritage site covers an area of 79,000 acres (32,100 ha).
The Durmitor is a mountain area, locally called a massif, featuring 48 separate peaks; Bobotov Kuk is the highest reaching a summit of 8,278 feet (2,523 m). The Durmitor massif and neighboring plateau are home to 18 different glacial lakes. The massif is comprised of limestone and surrounded by European Black Pine with other rare and endemic plant species as well.
There are three canyons that surround the Durmitor massif which include Draga Canyon, Susica Canyon, and Tara River Canyon. The Tara River Canyon is 4,265 feet (1,300 m) deep and stretches 49.7 miles (80 km) long making it the deepest gorge in Europe and possibly the second largest after the Grand Canyon.
Wildlife in the national park includes brown bear, grey wolf, and the European wild cat. The golden eagle and peregrine falcon are two of the coveted bird sightings.
Durmitor National Park is a dynamic place to experience nature. A spectacular massif in Durmitor itself along with Tara River are some of the highlights of the park. Hiking, trekking, and mountaineering are the best way to explore the park and experience these different facets of the national park.
The winter season offers visitors stunning snowcapped landscapes while providing opportunities for skiing and snowboarding.
Durmitor is the tallest mountain in the area with 48 different summits. The highest peak is Bobotov Kuk at 8,278 feet (2,523 m). The massif is tremendous in size and home to 18 separate glacial lakes. The massif is dissected by the Tara River Canyon from the north, the Piva River Canyon from the west, and the Komarnica River Canyon on the south.
The top 5 peaks are all over 8,000 feet (2439 m) and include:
- Bobotov kuk - 8,274 feet (2,522 m)
- Bezimeni vrh - 8,159 feet (2,487 m)
- Sljeme - 8,054 feet (2,455 m)
- Istocni vrh Sljemena - 8,022 feet (2,445 m)
- Soa / Devojka - 8,005 feet (2,445 m)
Tara River Canyon
The Tara River Canyon or Tara River Gorge runs 51 miles (82 km) with the last 22.3 miles (36 km) of the gorge forming the border between Montenegro and neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina. The canyon reaches a height of 4,300 feet (1,300 m) and is recognized as one of the deepest river canyons in Europe.
The Tara River Canyon provides a variety of different engagements with nature. It has beaches, rocky terraces, stellar cliffs, and over 80 different caves. Of course, the wildlife of the park can be found throughout the canyon area. The Tara River has whitewater rapids and various cascades attracting those who like exploring nature from rafts or kayaks.
Trails of Durmitor National Park
There are a good handful of trails that allow hikers and backpackers opportunities to explore the massif. Most of them are rated moderate or harder.
Bobotov Kuk Trail: This is a 6.1-mile (9.8 km) trail out to the scenic vista and back. It is rated moderate. This trail provides a number of views and vistas of the surrounding terrain of the Durmitor massif.
Durmitor Ice Cave Trail: This is a 7.7-mile (12.4 km) loop trail that takes visitors up Durmitor to one of the caves on the mountain. The cave features a number of ice formations that are picturesque and one of the highlights of the trail.
Zabljak Knob Trail: This is a 10.8-mile (17.4 km) loop trail that explores the mountain area with significant elevation change. The trail is rated difficult but it provides stunning panoramic views of the mountainous terrain.
- Tara River Canyon
- Durmitor Massif
- Bear and wolf sightings
- All Trails, Best Trails in Durmitor National Park, https://www.alltrails.com/parks/montenegro/durmitor-national-park, retrieved June 2020.
- Britannica, Durmitor, https://www.britannica.com/place/Durmitor, retrieved June 2020.
- Lonely Planet, Durmitor National Park, https://www.lonelyplanet.com/montenegro/northern-montenegro/durmitor-national-park,retrieved August 2019.
- National Geographic, Durmitor National Park, https://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/parks/durmitor-montenegro/ retrieved August 2019
- UNESCO, Durmitor National Park, https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/100/, retrieved August 2019.
- Visit Montenegro, Durmitor National Park, https://www.visit-montenegro.com/tourism/national-parks/durmitor/, retrieved August 2019.