Walking in Montenegro travel guide

Montenegro punches above its weight. It might be small and sparsely populated, but its scenery is big, bold and dramatic – and it’s a paradise for walkers. Inland, huge, muscular peaks rear up over shady alpine valleys, mystical lakes and beech woods where bears roam. Down near the coast, rocky ranges cook in the sun, flanked by zigzagging paths and dotted with old fortresses and tiny villages.
Forget gentle strolls and postcard pretty views, this pocket rocket of a country delivers Byronic walks that stretch the calves and stir the senses.
There’s a great diversity of walks – long, short; seriously steep or delightfully downhill – and all within a country the size of Northern Ireland, so a week is long enough to discover its diverse landscapes. Talking with local guides, staying in family run accommodation and stopping to chat with villagers gives an even wider perspective than the 360 degree summit views. You’ll gain an understanding of Montenegro’s life and soul, as well as its scenery, as our Montenegro walking holidays guide reveals.

Is a walking holiday in Montenegro for you?

Go on a Montenegro walking holiday if...

… you love variety. From steep hikes through shady woods, tough treks across rocky terrain and easy descents to pretty lakeside towns where a swim and a cold beer are waiting. … you want a point to point route. Most walks in Montenegro are day hikes, rather than following a longer trek from A to B. However, many holidays move between walking hotspots around the country, so you walk through a range of scenery and stay in two or three centres in a single week. … you want to mix it up. Many walking holidays in Montenegro include a free day and optional activities, such as kayaking on Lake Skadar or rafting on the Tara River. On many walks, there’s the chance to splash in a waterfall or jump in a lake to cool off, too. … you only have a week.That’s fine – most walking holidays are only a week long. Montenegro is small, but its scenery is spectacular, and even a centre based holiday will allow you to gorge on a banquet of walking trails.

Don't go on a Montenegro walking holiday if...

… you get puffed running for the bus. Although walks can often be shortened, or particularly demanding sections can be sat out, you’ll still need some stamina to cope with the ascents, distances and in high summer, the heat, too. … you only do four-star accommodation. In many of the walking regions, particularly inland, simple katuns (mountain huts) will be your base each night, with homely, un-fancy facilities. … you’re all about haute cuisine. Wholesome, hearty food is what Montenegro does superbly. Keep yourself fuelled for walking with stews and ‘sac’ (meat and veg cooked in hot coals for hours), wonderful cheese, breakfast doughnuts dipped in honey (priganice) and potatoes every which way. … you’re hopeless with heights. OK, not all walks in Montenegro involve tiptoeing along steep sided trails, but the really dramatic ones often involve some height, sheer drops and even the odd roped section – the views alone can make you dizzy. With the assistance of a guide, this is safe and it’s definitely sensational, but if you’re queasy about heights, you may prefer to stick to lower elevations.

Best time to go walking in Montenegro

Peak season can feel too hot for walking, even on the peaks; striding out in spring and early autumn is warm and wonderful, though.
The best time to go on a walking holiday to Montenegro is from Apr-Oct, although be prepared for high temperatures in Jul-Aug, particularly in the lowland regions of Lake Skadar and the Bay of Kotor. Here, highs of 40°C are not unheard of, which makes walking tough. Come outside peak season to skip the heat. You’ll also avoid the highest prices and dodge the crowds at popular resorts or cities. In winter, cold weather, strong winds and snow can hinder walking, especially on higher ground, where 3-4m of snow can fall. Many tailor made trips do run throughout the year but will stay near the coast where it’s milder.

MONTENEGRO Weather Chart

RAIN (mm)

Our top trip

Montenegro walking holidays, self guided

Montenegro walking holidays, self guided

Self-guided walking in the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro

From €890 to €1090 8 days ex flights
Tailor made:
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Montenegro walking or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Walking in Montenegro, month by month

December, January and February can feel chilly on the coast and near Lake Skadar, down to 2°C, with November and December also pretty wet, with an average of 13 or 14 rainy days a month and snow on higher ground now. By March, the temperature begins to pull up in Montenegro, with highs of 16°C, but you can expect plenty of showers along the coast.
April, May and June are superb for walking, with temperatures ranging from 19°C to a toasty 28°C, the landscape green and wild flowers in bloom.
In July and August, Montenegro can feel too hot for walking. Even walks in the high mountains can be hot, despite the elevation, although early starts or routes shaded by trees will save you from the worst of the heat. Highs of 40°C and above were recorded during the ‘Lucifer heatwave’ that hit the entire Balkans region in summer 2017, and hiking in the Dinaric Alps was still extremely hot then.
Late September and October are great for walking. The weather cools down but the water stays warm – think between 22°C and 25°C – so a dip in the sea or Lake Skadar is bliss after a day on the trails. Pomegranates, persimmons, quinces, cornelian cherries and figs are ripening in the landscapes of southern and central Montenegro, while the beech forests that line some of the big peaks are turning golden now.
Written by Joanna Simmons
Photo credits: [Page banner: Thomas] [Walking: Thomas] [Skadar Lake: Marcus Saul]