Going along various panoramic routes of Montenegro, you will have a great opportunity to get acquainted with its amazing nature, incredible landscapes and interesting culture. One of such fascinating excursion tours passes through the wild nature and romantic mountains in the eastern part of the country, near the capital of Montenegro - Podgorica and the border with Albania.Panoramic route around the valley - Krug Oko Korita (circle around the valley), is the most popular and interesting car and hiking route in Montenegro.
It passes through Podgorica, which is the capital of Montenegro; a village with the interesting name of Kucha; Canyon of Cievna, passing through Montenegro and Albania and the Prokletije mountain range. Time travel is within one day, and the total length of the proposed route is 65 kilometers.
One of the most attractive and fascinating sights of this way is the gorge "Grlo Sokolovo"
. This canyon is one of the most interesting places of the route, which every tourist should certainly see. Other attractions include the monument to Novak Milosev and the observation deck next to it; the village of Kucka Korita, small settlements of Rudine and Rakovichi; the settlement of Fundin; the ancient city-fortress of Medun and the museum of Marco Miljanova in it and much more. More details about each place, we will discuss further. Let's just note that a few hours spent will allow you not only to plunge into the wild nature of Montenegro and enjoy an unforgettable view of local landscapes, surrounded by majestic mountains, but also with your own eyes to see the everyday life of the local population and get acquainted with their oldest national traditions and customs.
A detailed description of the route and its sights. 1.
Podgorica - the capital of Montenegro. 2.
An observation deck near the monument to Novak Milosev. 3.
Fortress Medun and the Museum of Mark Miljanov. 4.
The village of Ubli. 5.
The village of Orahovo. 6.
The valley of Kučka Korita. 7.
Observation platform over the gorge of the Grlo Sokolovo. 8.
The village of Zatrijebač. 9.
The town of Delaj (cross 10 meters high). 10.
Observation platform Stjepovo. 11.
Village of Rudine. 12.
Monument in the town of Rašovići, dedicated to the Battle of Fundina (Bitka na Fundini). 14.
Additional routes: Bukumirsko lake and Lake Rikavačko.1. Podgorica: the beginning of the road.
Podgorica, which is the largest metropolis and the capital of Montenegro, is not only the economic and administrative center of this state in the Balkans, but also an excellent place that many tourists and travelers seek to visit. In this city we recommend to visit the old quarter of Stara Varos, where the clock tower is located; the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ; the Millennium Bridge
; a monument to A.S. Pushkin
, as well as other numerous historical monuments, museums and attractions. You can also go 4 kilometers north from Podgorica to see the remains of the ancient city of Dioclea
, which was a colony of the Roman Empire in the 2nd century AD.
Panoramic route "Ring around the valley" begins exactly from this city, and the starting point is a crossroads, located near the hotel "Keto" (Skopska street). For convenience, we leave here the coordinates of the initial position - 42.442968, 19.277488
. The intensity of the rise will begin to increase by about 4 km way, when the hills of Kuchi will be reached. Note that it is here that the road leading to the right is the direction by which you will return after the end of the tour.2. An observation deck near the monument to Novak Milosev.
The first stop will be an observation deck near the monument to Novak Milosev, from which you can enjoy a stunning view of the capital of Montenegro. It is best to visit it during clear and sunny weather, as in this case you will see magnificent views of the majestic coastal mountains and Skadar Lake
Novak Milosevic was a great warrior who lived in the XIX century (1835-1892). Today he is one of the main heroes of Montenegro. According to legend, during the Battle of Fundin in 1876, he personally slaughtered 17 Turkish soldiers with his dagger. As a reward, he received from the Russian emperor a sword encrusted with diamonds, which is now kept in the National Museum in Cetinje
Climbing the stairs you can reach another monument, built in 2002 and consisting of three columns. It is dedicated to another warrior - Marco Mirkov Ivanovic (1832-1900), who conquered the Turkish tower in 1862. After walking 250 meters along the road you can see the third monument, located on the right side. It is carved names of 472 heroes who lived in the village of Kuca and who died during the Second World War and the national liberation struggle.3. Fortress Medun and the Museum of Mark Milyanov.
After the viewing platform it will be necessary to drive about 4 km. way to the intersection. If you turn right (after getting off the panoramic route a bit) and drive about 400 meters, you can see the ancient city-fortress Medun
, as well as visit the museum of Mark Miljanov. In this locality today there are no more than a hundred people. Earlier on this site there was an Illyrian city of Meteon, erected in the IV-III centuries BC. It was built on an elongated stone mound and is currently one of the oldest structures of its kind in the Balkans. In 167 BC Roman legionaries conquered Medun and captured the last Illyrian king Gentius. Only after that it became a city and began its development for two and a half centuries.
Voevoda Marko Milianov was born in Medun in 1833, and was buried in 1901 in the acropolis of the Upper City, in front of St. Stephen's Church. He was quite an important and respected man, who still has a huge historical significance for the entire Montenegrin people. Herceg Marco Milianov fought against the Turks and became part of the culture, the hero of many legends. In addition, he is known as a writer who described in his works the peculiarities of the life and struggle of his people. His life and works are devoted to the Medun Museum, where you can take an audio guide in Montenegrin or English and get the most complete information about all the exhibits of the museum.4. The village of Ubli.
The road to the village Kučka korita runs through a small village Ubli, which has about 600 inhabitants. Ubli is a traditional cultural and administrative center for the local population. In the village there is the administration building, a school, a post office, a shop, several restaurants and two churches - the Church of St. Jovana and the Church of Sv. Spasoja of the 19th century. As many residents of Montenegro assure, the best varieties of Montenegrin grapes, figs, cherries and pomegranates grow in the vicinity of this particular village. In the village of Ubli there are about 140 households, some of which specialize in the cultivation of cattle.5. The village of Orahovo.
Orahovo is the last local village through which it will be necessary to drive to reach the famous high-mountain plateau Kučka korita. Here you should pay attention to the church of St. Demetrios (crkva Svetog Dimitrija), located to the left of the road near the village cemetery and decorated with icons of Peter Colanovic. The temple was built in 1836 from stone blocks.6. The valley of Kučka Korita.
After various mountain serpentines and more than 30 kilometers of the road it remains only to cross the coniferous forest to find yourself in the stunning valley of the wild nature - Kučka Korita, located at an altitude of 1300 meters above sea level. The place is distinguished by the cleanest mountain air, fabulous views of untouched nature of Montenegro, as well as comfortable climatic conditions during the entire summer season, in winter there is a lot of snow here. The village is located right next to the foot of Hum Orahovski Mountain, 1833 meters high, which is surrounded by a large number of other impressive peaks. The name "Kucka Korita" was received because of the ancient Balkan people "heap", which used these territories as pastures and agricultural lands. In the local villages, ancient traditions are still honored, involving respect for neighbors, as well as the main values of life - family and marriage.
The word "korita" has another, Celtic origin and is translated as a "windy plateau". And this name fully justifies itself, because in the valley it is quite windy and fresh.
On the territory of the valley there are two Orthodox and one Catholic church. The most interesting story is the Orthodox Church of St. Illie (crkva Svetog Ilije), as here earlier tribal assemblies took place, at which the most important and significant decisions were made. In the middle of the last century the church suffered very badly, and after a while it was almost completely destroyed due to a strong earthquake in 1979. Despite this, in 1993 the church was rebuilt anew thanks to the local population, which exerted a lot of effort to restore it. 7. Observation platform over the gorge of the Throat of the Falcon (Grlo Sokolovo).
The absolute highlight of the whole route is a walk to the sight of the Throat of the Falcon (Grlo Sokolovo). The length of the entire route is 4.8 kilometers, and its culmination will be a cliff and a stunning panoramic view of the Cievna Canyon and Mount Prokletije from a bird's eye view! Previously, the border guard service was located at this place and a watchtower was erected, but today the viewing platform is used exclusively by tourists in order to fully enjoy the unique gorge views from a height of more than 1000 meters!
By the time the whole pedestrian tour to the gorge will take about 1 hour. This is a fairly simple route, but despite this, we still recommend that you wear strong enough and comfortable shoes, as the terrain is quite stony. We also advise you to move clockwise towards the village of Zatrijebač, as the second part of the walk, which starts from the viewing platform, is much heavier than the first. That's why people who are not ready for physical exertion, after visiting the Grlo Sokolovo gorge, it is better to go back the same way.
Among the local population there are different opinions, histories and legends concerning the origin of the name Grlo Sokolovo. According to one of the most believable theories, the name of the gorge was given by the wooded hill "Soko", located in the west of the Kučka korita valley at an altitude of 1557 meters above sea level. It is from this, to the river Tsievna, that "steep" rocky bay "descends", resembling the very throat. Hence the name "grlo sokolovo".
Despite the obvious fact, there are other less believable, but more romantic and poetic legends about the origin of this name. One of these legends tells us about a soldier who was believed to be missing, while he was lying wounded on the stone all the time and could not move. At one point the soldier saw a falcon and flew towards him. He took a handkerchief in his beak and flew to a neighboring source to moisten the handkerchief with water and bring it back to the wounded man. The mother of this warrior watched the "strange" flights of the bird for several days and thanks to them she was able to find her son.8. The village of Zatrijebač.
Further along the winding mountain road it is possible to reach the village of Zatrijebač, in which mostly Albanians, who are engaged in agriculture, live. The most widespread religion in these places is Catholicism. Today there are about 30 households, but half a century ago they were ten times more. From here you can enjoy beautiful views of Lake Skadar; Local farms and endless fields, surrounded by stones.9. The town of Delaj.
Near the road, which runs along the very edge of the Cievna River canyon, is an Orthodox cross 10 meters high
. It was erected in 2010 on the donations of believers and became a kind of spiritual symbol of these places. From the observation deck you can see a stunning view of the canyon and the Cievna river of emerald color, which flows somewhere down there, at a distance of 700 meters from you ... On a sunny day from here you can even see Skadar Lake. Near the cross there are many places for parking the car, as well as special benches for recreation, sitting on which you can enjoy the unique nature of Montenegro.10. Observation platform Stjepovo.
We also recommend you to visit another viewing platform with equally beautiful panoramic views, which is located in the town of Stjepovo. Leaving the car in the parking lot, you need to walk to the building with the inscription "Besa". Further, passing along the wall, you will get to the observation platform, from which you can see the canyon of the river Cievna. You can go back to the car in the same way. Nearby is the small church of Mala Gospa, which was built 250 years ago.11. Village of Rudine.
In the village of Rudine there is the church of St. Nicholas (Al. Kiša eShenkollit), which was recently restored with the funds of one emigrant from the United States. As soon as you pass this church, the road starts to go down for several kilometers, and after a small climb up the mountain you will see a fabulous panoramic view of the Prokletije mountain range in the east, Podgorica in the west, and again the Skadar Lake will reappear. Further the route goes down again to the place of Fundini.12. The village of Fundina.
The name of this interesting and unusual place comes from the Latin language and means "source". And this is no accident, since on the area of about 2 square kilometers there are 76 springs, which since ancient times provide local residents with clean mountain water. It is these natural sources of water that strike from the bowels of the earth that make the life and work of the local population in this territory much easier than in other mountain and karst areas of Montenegro. The most famous springs are called Rašovića točak and Ljuharski.
In ancient times these sources were actively used by the population to ensure the permanent operation of more than 30 water mills.
Thanks to the special geographical location, favorable climate, clean air, a huge number of warm and sunny days in the year, and also to the mountain springs, the Fundina place is considered to be the real "Paradise Garden". It is also worth noting that here, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level, there are two completely different climates: a warm Mediterranean and a rich mountain.
About 50 residents live in the village of Fundini, although there were more than 450 of them only 50 years ago. Moreover, this is the only village in Montenegro, where Orthodox, Catholics and Muslims have always lived and still live in peace and harmony.13. Monument in the town of Rašovići, dedicated to the Battle of Fundina (Bitka na Fundini) in 1876.
At the end of the trip, if you certainly have the strength and time, we recommend also to visit another interesting place, located only 3-4 kilometers from the main route in the town of Rašovića. Here is a monument dedicated to the Battle of Fundina (Bitka na Fundini) in 1876. It was erected in 2008 and is a bright white obelisk, weighing about 20 tons! He keeps the memory of the historic victorious Battle of Fundina on August 2, 1876. In this battle the Montenegrin army, consisting of only 5,000 military men, won the army of the Ottoman Empire, many times superior in number, in which there were 20,000 soldiers.
As we said earlier, you can visit the museum of Mark Miljanova (Muzej Marka Miljanova) and learn more about the Battle of Fundini and the whole war. In the same way, you can go back to the route.
We assure that this additional tour will certainly become a beautiful end to your trip, since it offers a magnificent view of the Skadar Lake, the majestic coastal massif, Podgorica and other settlements.14. Additional routes: Bukumirsko lake and Rikavačko lake.
During this tour, you can go to Lake Bukumir
, which is located between the settlements of Ubli and Orahovo. The only thing in this case is to calculate the time, since the trip to the lake will add to your route another 50 km. Also note that the last 1-1.5 kilometers of the way is a narrow, unpaved road.
In addition, you can also visit the inaccessible, but quite beautiful mountain lake Rikavacko
, located near the border with Albania. The thing is that the mountain dirty road to the lake is quite complicated and it is possible to overcome this path only on an all-terrain vehicle.
At any moment, having left on the main road of the panoramic route and following the signs along the whole route, you will certainly return back to Podgorica.
The journey along the route Krug Oko Korita will not let you get bored, as the landscapes differ in their variety, and the sights are monuments to various cults and civilizations. The nature here is also diverse, as the Mediterranean vegetation is gradually replaced by representatives of mountain flora.
The panoramic route around the Alpine valley is completely paved on roads with asphalt pavement, but many areas are narrow and winding, so they must be moved with caution; height is 1400 meters above sea level. There is always the possibility that a car moving in the opposite direction will meet you, so you will need to drive back to skip it. It is possible to overcome the whole way on foot, but considering its extent, not all people are ready to venture on such a journey. Many tourists prefer to combine travel by car with bike rides.
You can go on the route at any time of the year, but the most favorable period for these purposes lasts from early May to late October. When planning a trip from November to April, you must first know the weather forecast in order to take into account the possible snowfall. After winter it is necessary to move gently on motorcycles along the mountain road, since it can be partially destroyed. The route is not suitable for driving a "house on wheels", if the dimensions are 7x2.3 meters; less overall cars are able to drive along mountain roads, but the driver must have appropriate experience.
The route "Ring around the canyon" can go in different directions, but it is recommended to move clockwise. Despite the insignificant length of the route, it is recommended to allocate such a trip for at least 24 hours in order to have a time reserve for studying all the sights. It is necessary to take into account along the way there will not be a single patrol station, so you need to have enough fuel. You can stop for a rest in the restaurant "Stara Kuca", which is located in Podgorica.
Moving on roads around villages and countries allows you to observe the peculiarities of the activities of local residents. In most settlements there are restaurants and cafes, but it is recommended to try and eat from the owners, who very often sell cognac, various wines, mead, cheese, honey. All local cuisine has a special and specific flavor that ensures the use of spring water during cooking. Montenegro has always been famous for sources of fresh water, which has a positive impact on health.
In many shops and stalls, as well as with local residents, you can buy various souvenirs. Many products made of wood or wool are good for displaying the color of these places, they will give wonderful memories of a unique journey, and some of them can be useful in everyday life. Weather conditions and necessary clothes.
The maximum height on the route is 1400 meters. Weather conditions in the mountains can significantly differ from the weather on the coast, in the capital and other cities of Montenegro. Especially it is well felt during the spring or autumn season, so you need to prepare in advance appropriate clothing and means to protect against sunlight. It is recommended to take with you strong shoes, since without it movement in some areas will be very problematic.Advice to novice climbers.
Mountaineering tracks located on the territory of Montenegro, have a red or red and white markings: most often it looks like red circles, in the middle of which is a point of white color. Lines of red or red-white color show directions, all significant intersections are equipped with yellow pointers that inform about the distance to the next point.
In fact, all the Montenegrin panoramic routes imply movement on asphalt roads, where national traffic regulations apply. The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism usually provides tourists with information about all emergency situations on the roads or repair work, suggesting options for circumventing such sites.
All the tourists who have already taken advantage of the panoramic route "Ring around the Canyon" were pleased with this tour. They noted the unique nature of the visited places and the specific way of life of the local residents. The only drawback is the presence of separate sections of the path, on which nothing interesting happens and the only entertainment is the contemplation of nature around.
All panoramic routes in Montenegro began to be maintained at a high level relatively recently, the main goal was to diversify into existing tours and attract more travelers. Conditions for such trips are gradually improving: on all roads signs have been installed that do not allow tourists to get lost. Some sections of roads are broken, and it's problematic to pass through them, but the responsible services are repairing them. Such insignificant shortcomings do not deter tourists who believe that such a route is worth the time and effort expended. There are also alternative panoramic routes: 1.
Travel from Podgorica to the national park of Durmitor. 2.
The journey from Podgorica to the canyon Prokletije. 3.
Travel from Skadar Lake to the sea coast, this tour is exclusively pedestrian.
In any case, choosing the appropriate route, it is recommended to start as early as possible, giving the trip the whole day. The thing is that you have to meet on the way a lot of unplanned places that you want to visit or study in more detail, besides, you need to have a small amount of free time for rest, snacking or photographing. Many tourists who set out on a journey in the middle of the day, then very much regretted the late departure, which did not allow them to stay on certain sections of the route, which seemed to them the most attractive, or at least slightly deviate from the selected tour.Have a good rest and a happy journey!