Durmitor and the Tara Canyon

After a couple of days in the sunshine, we felt ready to explore another corner of Montenegro (by now well-established in our minds as a ridiculously pretty country). After chatting to our hosts and fellow guests on the campsite it seemed Durmitor, a national park in the north of the country, was just about reachable for a day trip. So we thought we’d take a look.

Sure enough, it was a long drive to get there, but there were some fine views to be had on the way (also a good chance to stretch the legs).

Before we knew it, the landscape was beginning to change. Durmitor’s a mountainous region, more alpine in character than the stark limestone cliffs that characterise the coast.

By lunchtime we’d made it into the heart of the park, so we stopped in a small ski resort – it couldn’t have felt more off-season. All the buildings were very much Iron Curtain era, and without any snow to hide the design crimes it all looked pretty brutal. It didn’t occur to me to take photos of the ugly stuff, and happily the natural views made up for the eyesores in town.

After a little wandering we drove up to a mountain restaurant for lunch. Even if the resort’s off the beaten track when it comes to skiing, the fairly unremarkable meal came with typical mountain prices; the bill was much more than it should have been!

Our visit coincided with a little off-season maintenance.

Lunch munched, we started heading back home via a very different route. Taking what I thought would be a picturesque shortcut eventually proved to be at least a 45-minute detour; at least I was right about the picturesque part.

Our main aim for the afternoon was to see the Tara River Canyon on the way home. Depending on who we spoke to it was either the second deepest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon), or just the deepest in Europe. Stats aside, the main draw is that it’s spectacular!

It’s also the site of the enormous Đurđevića Tara Bridge, an impressive structure that nonetheless doesn’t inspire a huge amount of confidence when you’re on it. A combination of height, missing bits of concrete and vibrations from passing traffic all added an extra edge to the view.

I’d have loved to have done this trip on my own bike; one day!

The Tara canyon was certainly worth the detour; a definite highlight of the holiday, I’d say. After that it was just a case of hopping back in the car and wending our way home, with a few more fine views to come before we reached the coast and descended back into the Bay of Kotor.

Our Chevy. Not a levy to be seen.

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8 Comments

  1. Great post and pictures… I want to do it on my motorcycle too. Thanks

    P.S. You need to add Stumbleupon, google +, tumblr and reddit share buttons. I shared this post on all of them. It would be easier with those buttons. Thanks again…

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