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Tiny Montenegro, in the heart of Southern Europe, is famous for its Mediterranean climate and stunning natural beauty. But what’s not well known is that Montenegro is also a magnet for thrill-seekers. The mountainous landscape and azure beaches make the perfect backdrop for some adrenaline-pumping experiences… all with a heavy dose of the wow factor!
The Tara Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe and the second deepest in the world, after the Grand Canyon. It’s a lush, green, wild place that falls inside Durmitor National Park. Undeniably, the best way to see the Tara Canyon is by rafting down it. Thrilling rafting tours navigate the Tara River’s rapids, which are interspersed with relaxed paddling, swimming and photo stops. The water is some of the purest in Europe and is crystal clear.
After looking up at the Tara Canyon from below, it’s time to appreciate its 50 shades of green from above… sailing across it secured only by a rope. Dangling 170m above the Tara River bed, a zipline cable connects the two sides of the Tara Canyon. Those who are brave enough to take the ride get staggering views as they hurtle across the canyon.
Montenegro’s rocky landscape makes it ideal for canyoning. Nevidio Canyon is the most popular canyoning destination, and the six-hour tour is for true thrill-seekers. Once inside the canyon, the only way to get out is by climbing, swimming, sliding and jumping through the narrow spaces between cliffs to the other end. Physically challenging, canyoning in Montenegro is a mind-blowing experience for adventure lovers.
There’s no better way to see Montenegro’s stunning scenery than from the air, and from a parachute might just be the very best way. Whether it’s gliding over some of the mountain lakes or spiralling down towards the golden beaches of Budva, paragliding in Montenegro offers a unique birds-eye view and thrills!
The Bay of Kotor’s idyllic villages and calm waters are ideal for exploration by kayak. For those who’d like to go further afield, Mamula Island’s former prison fortress makes an excellent destination. Kayaking out to Lustica Peninsula’s Blue Cave offers the opportunity to explore hidden coves, go cliff diving and snorkel in the crystalline waters. Inland, Skadar Lake has island monasteries, freshwater beaches, reed canals and wildlife that are all begging to be discovered by kayak.
Montenegro’s mountainous geography and five national parks make it a hiker’s dream. Experienced hikers love to challenge themselves in Montenegro’s remote Prokletije (meaning ‘cursed’) mountain range on the Albanian border. Durmitor National Park’s Bobotov Kuk trail and numerous mountain-top lakes are firm favourites with hikers looking for beautiful scenery and moderate trails. The coastal areas are full of easy-to-challenging trails along ancient military paths, which lead past abandoned fortresses and wow walkers with their stunning views.
Montenegro’s mountainous interior is a winter wonderland just waiting to be discovered. Snow covers the north of the country for around four months a year and there are two small ski fields, one in Durmitor National Park and one in Kolasin, near Biogradska Gora National Park. As well as skiing and snowboarding, snow-lovers can go snowshoeing, mountaineering and snowmobiling.
Again, Montenegro’s mountains provide the perfect backdrop for adventure. Whether it’s following centuries-old trails through verdant forest, galloping along open plains or splashing through a mountain lake, a guided horse trek is an unforgettable way to explore some of Montenegro’s most rugged and beautiful wilderness.
Montenegro is criss-crossed with old Austrian carriageways and trails ideal for mountain biking. The Bay of Kotor’s Vrmac Ridge offers challenging trails for all levels (world champion of downhill mountain biking Greg Minaar has ridden here). Visitors to the bay can take a guided mountain biking tour on the ridge. Inland, Durmitor National Park’s Dobri Do has a downhill track.
For those who like their two-wheel action a little more sedate, there are some fabulous rides. The 42km road around the Bay of Kotor is one of the most scenic, and riders can stop to explore seaside hamlets. The ride down the Ladder of Kotor, with its 25 hairpin turns and glorious views of the Bay of Kotor, is unforgettable. Also, Lake Skadar has a plethora of rail and forest trails that wind through Montenegro’s best wine country.
Taking the adventure underwater, Montenegro’s coastline of rugged sea caves and shipwrecks is a magical place to dive. With summer temperatures of up to 28°C and visibility of over 20m along the Adriatic coast, it’s the perfect place to take a diving excursion or diving course.
Velika Plaza beach in Ulcinj is a mecca for kite surfers looking for a trendy destination, reliable weather and waves. The 12km long stretch of sandy beach is ideal for learners and more experienced riders. The beach is also home to one of Montenegro’s best music festivals, the Southern Soul Festival, and sweet, juicy Ulcinj watermelons.