Žabljak and the heart of Durmitor aka “Dario… it’s ok, it’s no problem”
Durmitor lies in the northwestern part of Montenegro. It is both the name for a massif as well as for a national park. The massif has 48 peaks above 2000m and the highest of them is Bobotov Kuk, 2522 meters. But our trip, at least this time, is not going to be about climbing and hiking. Our plan is to see the Tara River Canyon. It is 82 km long and 1300 meters deep. The deepest river canyon in Europe. Of course we are going there 🙂
To Žabljak we are driving from Ostrog. The road from Ostrog Monastery down we already know and then, when you finally hope that vomit roads are behind you, comes…. Gradac. And here we are again, déjà vu (wanna know more about our adventures with the roads in Montenegro, read here). At least this time it doesn’t last long and to compensate all the curves, Durmitor gives us breathtaking views. It is like going through Alps a long long time ago, when there were no tunnels. Up and down, up and down.
We arrive to Žabljak – center of mountain tourism in Montenegro – at the end of May. It is no longer 30°C as in Kotor, instead from our window we can see snow on the highest peaks and we put all our clothes on for our evening walk. Still, it is worth it. There is something so charming about touristic places off season. They look like ghost towns, filled with echoes of the voices, squeaky doors. But whenever you dare to look around, it’s empty. Boo!
We usually don’t advertise the places we stay in. But this time we really have to do it, as it is not just about the place, it’s about the owner. Young and full of energy and great ideas. Therefore we are for it, therefore we promote it! Have you ever landed in a place where problems disappear and everything is possible? Well we’ve had in Žabljak. During our trip we were constantly moving from one place to the other, so for Žabljak we planned only one night. We booked Rooms and Bungalows Sreten Žugić and we couldn’t get a better place. We were a little bit worried before coming: a shared bathroom, with a small baby, colder weather… But it turned out there was nothing to worry about. We entered a great new house. Our host Sreten, knowing that we are coming with a baby, heated up our room as well as the common room with a kitchen. We could comfortably rest after the trip without worrying about anything. “Tea, coffee, juice?” and we were sitting and talking with the host in his lovely common living room.
What is the difference between a good host and a bad host? The first one is there for YOU: for you to be happy that you are travelling with a baby, for you to give tips about the area you’re staying in, for you to pick the best road to get from A to B, and finally for you to feel at home, when you are sitting there with a cup of tea. A bad host? Well, you know him, when you see him 🙂 The moment you pay, you can go to hell. Sreten was not just a good host, he was a great one! Need more time to pack, staying after check-out to cook for Zofia, change of plans, additional info needed???? “It’s ok Dario. It’s no problem.” And it was no problem indeed. Everything worked out, Zofia was more than happy to get so much Sreten’s attention and we were in good hands. Apart from the accommodation Sreten is a well organizing lots of activities all around the area: jeep tours, zip-line, rafting etc. Like the Montenegrin Godfather 🙂 And if something you are looking for he does not organize, it’s no problem, he will definitely know someone who does! It’s really a good thing to know him when you stay in Durmitor.
Ok, I already hear readers’ questions: Is that it? Was your trip to the north just about meeting Sreten? Of course not 😀 North was all about Tara River Canyon. If you are going to Montenegro and still hesitating, whether to visit this place, well, just check out pictures below and you will be sure 🙂 It is absolutely breathtaking. But with breathtaking things it’s a little bit tricky: you can’t really write about them, you have to SEE them. So here you go. The zip-line over the canyon Dario did, you can ask him yourself for information and how it was 🙂Feel free to share: