Regions

Montenegro's terrain is so unique and diverse that it can accommodate travelers of any caliber. From deep canyons, to bare limestone mountains, to the azure blue Adriatic sea, this small country offers the possibility for numerous adventures.

There are basically four main regions in Montenegro: The coast, the cliffs, the midlands, and the mountains.

The Coast

The Coast

Montenegro's coastline spreads from Croatia to the north to Albania's border to the south, creating some of the most unique scenery in all of Europe. The total length of the coastline is 293.5km (182.4 miles) out of which 52km (32 miles) are beaches. The longest beach, Velika Plaza, is in Ulcinj to the south and offers 13km (8 miles) of pure summer fun.

The coastal strip is very narrow — only 2-10km (1.2-6.2 miles) wide depending on location. The coast is separated from inland by the Rumija, Lovcen and Durmitor mountains, creating a completely different climate only a few kilometers away. Travelling along the coast, one can find many places without any beaches, but rather steep cliffs rising out of the blue water.

Head north for a few hours and you will enter one of the most beautiful fjords in Europe, Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska). It has been ruled by several large civilizations throughout its vast history. In very little time, one can really drift away to ancient times.

The Cliffs

The Cliffs

This region is usually ignored by tourists. Steep cliffs rise straight out of the water, usually bare, very scarcely populated and slightly decorated by flora and fauna. It is this region that gives life to the coast. Because of the altitude and position of these cliffs, moisture heavy clouds cannot penetrate Montenegro's interior, so the clouds release vast amounts of water upon contact with the cliffs. The limestone filters the water and drains it into the sea side. This provides the coastal area with much needed water during hot and dry summers, but at the same time makes for more comfortable living conditions. Most of these regions are unpopulate,d except by nomads, who use scarce patches of fertile land, found in depressions in mountains, as their livestock grounds. People who live here depend on mother nature, rather than modern technology, much like they have for centuries.

One of the main natural attractions in this region is Mountain Lovcen, rising above the Bay of Kotor, where Lovcen National Park is found.

The Midlands

The Midlands

This region, unlike most of Montenegro, features fertile land, especially around Zeta River valley. Lake Skadar and Nikšic polje are the only plain areas in Montenegro. Average altitudes range from 40m (131 feet) around Zeta plain to 500m (1640 feet) around Nikšic plain.

This area has the highest population concentration of all of Montenegro, supported by fertile land, fresh pristine water sources and advantageous settlement grounds. Montenegro's capital, Podgorica, is situated in this area. Nikšic, the second biggest city in Montenegro, lies in this region as well.

One of Montenegro's National Parks, Skadar Lake, lies just a few hours to the south of the capital.

The Mountains

The Mountains

The northernmost area of Montenegro features high, rough limestone mountains that range from 1,700m to over 2,000m (5600 to 6600 feet) in altitude. Some of the most well-known areas here are Mountain Durmitor; third National Park and its peak, Bobotov Kuk; and Bjelasica, Komovi. The rivers in this region, Piva, Tara, and Moraca, cut through the high limestone mountains, creating a picturesque landscape. Tara canyon is the second largest canyon in the world. In this region, tourists can find rich pasture lands and forests, as well as numerous lakes. Montenegro has 29 of these beautiful lakes. Two national parks, Durmitor mountain and Biogradska Gora, can be found here. Durmitor and Tara are both protected by UNESCO.