Hiking in Grebaje valley, overlooking the Accursed Mountains in Montenegro

Top 10 places to visit in Montenegro – off the beaten path

Top 10 places to visit in Montenegro - off the beaten path

Hidden bays on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, mountains with dense forests, and blue rivers are some of the top places to visit in Montenegro. Slightly larger than Connecticut (USA), Montenegro has 294 km long shorelines. Thanks to its enormous land formation, Montenegro holds the largest canyon in Europe, that of the Tara river.

Tourism in Montenegro is rising for travelers who love to go off the beaten path. Although the tours in Montenegro can be short in length, the diversity of natural beauties is epic. During the summer, the coast is busy with tourists, yet one can find unique things to do in Montenegro when driving further inside the country. Transportation in Montenegro is heavily dependent on buses, which sometimes take extra time to get you to your favorite destination. Therefore traveling by car is the best advice to explore hidden gems.

When considering visiting Montenegro, many immediately think about the beach and sun. Kotor and Budva are the most popular tourist destinations in Montenegro. But if you like to be outdoors and discover the local culture and tradition, you should travel to these must-see places.

Table of Contents

Black lake, Durmitor
Black lake in Durmitor national park


Zabljak is a village in northern Montenegro in the middle of Durmitor national park. The area has tens of glacial lakes, and the famous Black Lake is only 2 km away from the center of the village. As an alpine village, Zabljak has lots of days with snow and is a good destination for skiing. Savin Kuk ski center has a slope of 3,500 meters long, with a ski lift and two chairlifts. Hiking here is thriving, and various levels of trails are accessible to people. Bobotov Kuk is the symbol and the highest summit of the national park. Another thing to do in Zabljak is mountain cycling.

Biogradska Gora

Biogradska national park is in the northeast of Montenegro, within Kolasin municipality. The forest reserve surrounding the Biograd river is one of the only in Europe. To point out the unique species of plants, fungi, and mammals co-living in this ecosystem. As a result of these rare phenomena, Biogradska NP is listed under the UNESCO World Heritage of ancient and primeval beech forests. Things to do are hiking to Bjelasica massif, walking around Lake Biograd, cycling, or skiing at the resort town of Kolasin.

Durdevica Tara bridge
Durdevica bridge on Tara canyon

Tara river canyon

Tara river canyon is the largest in Europe and second in the world, only after Grand Canyon in the USA. With a deep up to 1,300 meters and 140 km in length, Tara river is a unique place for outdoor enthusiasts. One can explore the canyon by rafting in the clear waters. While it may be an extreme sport during winter, summer is the best time to enjoy it at a calm pace. Rafting activities start near Durdevica Tara bridge. This landmark of Montenegro was built during the Yugoslavia era and is a must-see. Next to the bridge, you can also jump on a zip line over Tara river. Another place to spot the beauties of Tara river is the Vidikovac viewpoint near the village of Zabljak.

Piva canyon

Piva river flows in northern Montenegro and offers the best scenic drive in the country. Covering a distance of 35 km long, you will see high bridges, deep canyons, and emerald lakes. The town of Pluzine located near the dam presents the best of Lake Piva. Near the town, you can hop on a boat ride around the lake. Continuing driving north, you will pass through Orthodox monasteries and tunnels and reach the border of Bosnia & Hercegovina.

Boat riding in Crmnica river in Virpazar


Virpazar is a tiny pearl on the shores of Skadar Lake. Skadar Lake or Liqeni i Shkodres is the largest in the Balkans, shared between Montenegro and Albania. Travelers choose it as a day trip to get away from the hot days and relax in the pristine nature. A boat ride into Crmnica river and Skadar lake is highly recommended to admire the water lilies. Also, Virpazar is a great place for tasting local food and wine.

Karuc, Montenegro
Karuc village


Karuc is another little hidden gem of Montenegro. Camouflaged in dense forest, this village floats gently in the waters of Skadar Lake. Karuc resides in the northern part of the lake, next to Pavlova Strana viewpoint. Tourism in Karuc is focused on family-stay houses, where you can eat delicious fresh fish. Hop on a boat for a slow ride, and bring a pair of binoculars for birdwatching. Over 280 species of birds live in the paradise of Skadar Lake.


Plav is an alpine town resting at the foot of the Accursed Mountains. It’s about 2 hours away from Podgorica, and you can also drive through the border crossing Cijevna – Grabon. Besides Montenegrins, Plav is inhabited by Albanian ethnicities. The town is a popular hiking destination, part of the Peaks of Balkan. Additionally, trails starting from Plav town lead you to the wild peaks of the Accursed Mountains. Many hikers challenge themselves by hiking to the highest summit in Montenegro Zla Kolata, or Tre Kufinjte summit (three borders of Albania, Kosovo, and Montenegro). Moreover, you can go swimming or fishing in Lake Plav or Lake Hrid.

Hiking in Grebaje valley, overlooking the Accursed Mountains in Montenegro
Grebaje valley facing the Accursed Mountains

Grebaje valley

Grebaje valley is in southern Montenegro, on the foot of the Accursed Mountains. This mountain range is also known as Bjeshket e Namuna (Albanian), Prokletije (Montenegrin), or the Albanian Alps. Grebaje village is one of the best natural places to visit in Montenegro because it is the starting point to the Karanfili massif and Vajusha (Taljanka) summit. Looking down from the valley these untamed mountains look extremely beautiful. Often travelers choose to hike to Vajusha peak as it’s easier and more accessible through the summer months. Vajusha peak is on the Montenegrin – Albanian border and offers the best views of the Accursed Mountains. Karanfili massif is a challenging hike and is recommended to hike it with a local guide.

Stari Bar

Stari Bar (Old Bar) is a fortress in the town of Bar, the largest port of Montenegro. During the past 1,000 years, the old town changed administration between the Byzantine, Serbian, Venetian, and Ottoman empires. The last built a 3-km long stone aqueduct. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1979, but it has been renovated. Balanced against high mountains and olive groves, Stari Bar offers panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea.

Buljarica beach
Buljarica beach

Buljarica beach

Buljarica is one of the best beaches in Montenegro, also an off-the-beaten-path destination. Composing an area of a 2 km long rocky beach, Buljarica is more of a public beach where one can relax and be away from noisy places. Additionally, there are places where you can rent beach beds. A cool thing to do is take the hiking trail to Luchica beach. Perhaps you can rent a bike and cycle the concrete path that stretches through the forests. Here you can enjoy the best panorama of the Adriatic Sea in Montenegro.

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Prizren old town

Recommendations to Visit Kosovo

Recommendations to Visit Kosovo

Kosovo is the youngest country in Europe and a new place to visit for enthusiastic travelers. Being a small country between different ethnicities, it unifies history and tradition. Many of you probably have heard about its country recognition process and past difficult times. Kosovo is a destination that offers history tours, in addition to incredible nature, kind people, adventure travel, and affordable tourism. Thanks to its geographical position, Kosovo has a natural beauty and is easy to travel around. In this blog, I will list my recommendations on how-to absolutely enjoy Kosovo.

Get out in the nature of Kosovo

Kosovo is a relative mountain country with an average altitude of 810m (2660ft). In the southeast is the mountain range of Sharr, and in the west is Bjeshket e Namuna, or The Accursed Mountains. Overall these mountains have a lot of peaks over 2500m, with Gjeravica peak standing at 2656m as the highest peak in Kosovo. Meanwhile, Dukagjin and Kosovo Polje create the lower plain of Kosovo.

Peja monastery in Kosovo
Views of Rugova Canyon from Peja monastery

Things to do in the Sharr mountains

Kosovo is a sensational place for hiking. Sharr mountains have several hiking trails, varying in different categories. Particularly Sharr mountains are famous for their diversity of vegetation. Prevalla is a village in the Sharr mountains, where many hiking routes start. From Prevalla you can hike to Jazhincë Lake, an 18 km long trail that takes about a 6-7 hour walk. Bring your swimsuit in summer to refresh in the cold water.

Ljuboten peak (2498m) is another challenging hike in the Sharr national park, between the borders of Kosovo and North Macedonia. It is a long hike, but very beautiful because you can see all the plain of Kosovo.

High Scardus Trail is a long hiking route in this area. In fact, the trail starts in Kosovo, passes through the mountains of Albania & North Macedonia, and ends in Lake Ohrid. High Scardus is the most off-the-beaten track you can experience in Europe.

Brezovica, Prevalla, and Brod are three ski resorts where you can have fun in winter. Brezovica is the largest ski resort in Kosovo with nine ski runs from 300m to 3500m. Indeed, it is the most popular winter destination in Kosovo.

Prevalla is 28km from the city of Prizren, lying at 1800m above sea level. Although it has a beginner ski resort, there are many good hotels.

Brod is the southernmost village in Kosovo. The hamlet of Brod rests by mountains and has a high snow density. Arxhena mountain resort has four lifts and is a cozy place for accommodation.

Hike the Accursed Mountains

The legends behind these mountains are tremendous and are a paradise for nature lovers. Accursed Mountains national park includes Gjeravica (2656m), the highest peak in Kosovo. You can reach it from the nearby town of Decan. Via Ferrata Decan is another place to visit in this area. The climbing route is 400 meters and needs about 2.5 hours to climb. From the top, you get to enjoy great views of the Decani gorge.

Rugova canyon has a length of 25km and starts nearby the town of Peje. Following the road from the Peja Monastery, continue driving along the Lumbardhi river to reach the border with Montenegro. Along the way, one can be amazed by waterfalls, springs, canyons, and green nature. The village of Boge has a small ski resort and several great hotels. Furthermore, Rugova canyon is part of the Peaks of Balkans hiking trail, that crosses through three countries; Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro.

Mirusha waterfalls

Mirusha park is in central Kosovo and has 12 waterfalls and 16 lakes. This nature reserve is a popular destination in Kosovo during summer and winter when the water freezes. Above all Mirusha is a vast place for hiking and swimming.

White Drin waterfall

The source of the White Drin river is 10 km away from Peje, and it is perfect for a day trip. At the village of Radac, White Drin creates a waterfall 30 meters high. It takes only a 10min walk from Trofta e Drinit restaurant, which is a great spot to enjoy fresh trout fish. Another 5min walk from the waterfall is The Sleeping Beauty cave. The cave has a metal rail and enough lights to admire the stalactites and stalagmites. Must be remembered that the cave is open during the summer period.

Gadima cave

The Marble Cave is in the village of Gadime. You can easily reach it by driving from Prishtina. The cave is 1300 meters deep and is rich in crystals, stalactites, and stalagmites.

Learn about religious sites in Kosovo

Kosovo is mainly a Muslim country, but the Serbian minority is of the Eastern Orthodox religion. As a result, Kosovo has four UNESCO sites, all being Serbian Orthodox monasteries.

Decani Monastery is a medieval monument from the 14th century built by king Stefan Decanski. The church has a grand collection of icons and frescos. It is an active monastery for priests and is open to curious tourists. NATO peacekeepers guard the site, so you need to show an ID at the entrance. Remember to dress appropriately when visiting the site.

The Patriarchate of Peja monastery is a group of four domed churches. It dates back to the 13th century and used to be the residence of Serbian Archbishops. Today the site serves as a monastery for nuns. In addition, you can get an audio guide for 5 Euros to learn more about the history. Also, on this site are NATO peacekeepers, so you must show an ID at the entrance.

Gracanica monastery was built during the 14th century by king Stefan Milutin. The paintings of Gracanica rank amongst the best Byzantine art in the country. The monastery is still active, and priests can help you guide inside. Remember to dress appropriately when visiting the site.

Cathedral Mother of God of Ljevis is the fourth site part of UNESCO. The monument is in the city of Prizren and is permanently closed. If you are patient and lucky enough, you can ask the police at the entrance, who might help you reach out to the priest in charge.

Monastery of the Holy Archangels is 5km from Prizren and is a complex founded by Emperor Stefan Dusan. Indeed, it was the burial church of the Emperor. Eventually, the monastery is an important Orthodox site related to the medieval Serbian empire. If you can’t visit inside Mother of God of Ljevis in Prizren, this would be an exciting replacement. Also, NATO peacekeepers guard the site, so you need to show an ID at the entrance.

Besides Serbian monasteries, there are beautiful and impressive Ottoman mosques in Kosovo.

Sinan Pasha mosque is the largest mosque and a characteristic landmark of Prizren. It was built in 1615 with carved stones from the Lumbardhi river passing by. The mosque has painted murals from the 19th century in the Ottoman baroque style. Tourists can visit all day, besides praying times. 

Hadumi mosque dates back to 1596 and is in the old town of Gjakovo. The prayer hall has unique Arabesque murals and creates a peaceful atmosphere.

The Great Mosque of Prishtina built-in 1461 is the oldest in the city. It is in the old bazaar of Prishtina. The mosque is dedicated to Sultan Mehmet Fatih II. Given that it is next to the Great Hammam and Sahat tower, it makes an Oriental impression within Prishtina.

NEWBORN monument in Prishtina
NEWBORN monument in Prishtina

Cities to go in Kosovo (Prishtina, Prizren, Peja, Gjakovo)

The main cities in Kosovo are pretty small, and one day is enough to visit the important tourist attractions. Depending on your itinerary in Kosovo, you don’t need to spend an overnight in all of them.

Prishtina is the biggest city in Kosovo. The capital was hugely affected by Kosovo War, and some monuments remain in the center city. Visiting Prishtina on a walking tour takes between 3-4 hours. If you can drive around Prishtina, try visiting the Bear Sanctuary and Sultan Murat shrine. For a pleasant walk or cycling in nature, get to Germia Park on the outskirts of Kosovo.

Prizren is the historical capital of Kosovo. During the Ottoman period, the city had the administration of Kosovo vilayet. For that reason, the city has a classic oriental old town. Prizren was the center of the Albanian Renaissance during the 19th century. The Albanian League museum is a fine place to learn about history. Take a walk up at Prizren fortress for amazing views of the city. Prizren stands at the foot of Sharr mountains, so it is a pleasant city to spend an overnight for more outdoor activities.

Gjakovo is a small town in the western part of Kosovo. It has the largest Old Bazaar in Kosovo including many handcrafted shops. Some things to do in Gjakovo are visiting Hadumi Mosque in Old Bazaar or enjoying a meal at Hani i Haracise restaurant. It is an old han from the Ottoman period converted into a pleasant restaurant.

Peja is the gateway to Bjeshket e Namuna national park. The town has a cozy vibe resting by the mountains. It is a popular destination for outdoor sports. Around the town are many cycling and hiking tracks. Stay at Shtepia Alpike Ranch or Hotel Camp Karagaq to have easy access to the beautiful nature of Rugova Canyon.

Together with a travel guide, you can visit Kosovo in the best way. Add some flavor by combining it with the nearby countries of Albania and North Macedonia. Albania & Kosovo in 9 Days and Albania, Kosovo, North Macedonia in 1 Week are two tours where you can explore the most popular attractions of the Balkans.

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How to travel in the Balkans in 2022?

How to travel in the Balkans in 2022?

Traveling has changed and everyone can agree about it. Around the world are many border restrictions, that makes travelers to plan in details and do lots of research. But not all of us have the time and experience to find this information. What do you need to know before you decide to travel in the Balkans? This article will update and make it easier to you before planning to visit this diverse region.


In the Balkan region it is sometimes even more frustrating when traveling from one country to another. Some countries are not part of EU, some are full members, and few are members of EU, but not Schengen zone. How to plan and what documents are required to cross borders during 2022?

First, you need to know the status of each country in relation with EU zone:

  • Greece and Slovenia are full members of EU and Schengen zone (an area of European countries that have removed all type of border control in their mutual borders)
  • Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria are members of EU zone, but not yet of Schengen areas (meaning there are still border control)
  • Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia & Hercegovina, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Serbia) are not members of EU or Schengen area (there are border controls)

The infrastructure in the Balkans is in the developing stage and the connections between countries are restricted due to its geography terrain as well. There are couple of air connections, but as a true explorer in the soul, consider the land transportation to get closer to the nature and cities.



There are several trains connections between Ljubljana to Zagreb or vice-a-verse. Check out Train Croatia or Rail for schedules and prices. In the rest of the Balkans aren’t available train connection between countries, unless you are an adventurer and want to consider the scenery route from Bar (Montenegro) – Belgrade (Serbia). Check out for more information Seat 61



Buses are the most popular way of transportation in the Balkans, though they are not the most comfortable and convenient in time. Not all the schedules or tickets are listed online, which requires sometimes to go physically in the main bus station and get a ticket. Keep in mind that you need to have local currency or you will be dragged around.

The well-known bus operator FLIXBUS operates in countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Slovenia, Greece, Serbia. Check out for schedules and prices Flixbus. Other website platforms like Bus Croatia or Get By Bus can be helpful to plan in advance your itinerary in the Balkans.

Tip: If you buy the bus ticket physically at the bus station or driver the prices will be 1-2 € less, but the risk is that there might not be available seats.



Sailing by boat is another amazing way to travel in the Balkans. Croatia offers many choices to visit its island from north to south. Check out for schedules Croatia Ferries

Thousands of islands of Greece can be discovered best by a ferry. You can also cross from Greek Island of Corfu to Sarande, Albania in only 45 min. Schedules & prices Greece Ferries

Other way to explore the Balkan peninsula by boat can be ferries along Danube river in Serbia or Romania.


Remember that when crossing countries in the Balkans, there is always a border control. Some are not popular, the rest might be very busy and you have to wait hours in queue, especially when travelling by bus. Passports are mandatory to be presented and the expiration date shouldn’t be less than 6 months. When traveling with children younger than 18, you need a permission from both parents. If you need a Schengen visa, please show it first the border police.


The fun part starts now. The restrictions keep changing quite often, so I will be based at the moment of writing this article. Don’t forget to be updated again, when you decide to travel. In all countries of the Balkans, you will be required to be vaccinated with 2 dozes of any Vaccine. This vaccine certification need to be printed when crossing borders. Sometimes the border police might not accept the mobile certificate.

Below you can find the links of official government sites for updated border restrictions:

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