1,094 – 2,139 meters
Home to mighty mountain ranges, glittering glacial lakes and one of the last true virgin forests in Europe, Biogradska Gora feels like one of Europe’s last insider secrets, tucked away in beautiful Montenegro.
Stretching from the summit of the Bjelasica Mountain to the majestic Tara river, Biogradska Gora is home to a unique and breathtaking landscape. Explore endless forests home to trees over 500 years old, bathe in crystal-clear mountain lakes — and do so in almost-complete isolation on the numerous hiking and mountain biking trails winding through the park. If you’re feeling courageous, take a dip in one of the glacial lakes. Just be warned: The water is ice cold, even in high summer.
Biogradska Gora National Park
Biogradksa Gora is located in the center of the stunning country of Montenegro. Due to its unique landscape, it was granted official national park status in 1952, making it the oldest national park in Montenegro. Since then, the region has been under strict preservation control: There is no hunting, no pruning, no planting, no cutting or removing deadwood (unless in case of danger) and no introduction of new species.
Together with local partners, the national park authorities are developing an intricate network of hiking and biking trails. They will take you past the five glittering glacial lakes that each come with their own stunning view: Biogradska, Pesica, Ursulovacka Big Lake, Ursulovacka Small Lake and Sisko. The lakes are shielded by the park’s three biggest peaks: Crna Glava at 2,139 m, Zekova Glava at 2,117 m and Troglava at 2,072 m. A true gem to discover!
To get into the national park, you’ll cross the bridge over the Tara River on the road between Mojkovac and Kolasin. If using public transport, ask the bus driver to drop you off at the bridge and walk the remaining kilometer to the lake.
There’s an asphalt road leading up to Biogradska Lake, ending in a coveted parking space with camping and a restaurant, a visitor centre and a small building that houses a souvenir shop and boat rental. The lake is encircled by an easy pedestrian path (3.3 kilometers) with benches and a long wooden bridge over the Biogradska River. The emerald lake is an enchanting place but can get crowded with both local and international travellers. Head a little away from here, however, and you’ll notice the visitor numbers decrease rapidly as few ever go further than the loop around the lake.
You can also start your adventure at Biogradska Gora by using smaller paths that start on the other side of the park. However, you won’t be able to get the entrance ticket. Pay up when you see a ranger or when you pass Biogradska Lake; the money is needed for the preservation of the park
Wildlife and plants
Around 30% Biogradska Gora National park is primeval forest that has been under special protections since 1878. Here, trees grow as high as 60 meters and can be up to 500 years old, serving as a picturesque home to thousands of plant species and hundreds of different types of animals.
In the park, you can find over 2.000 plant species, 86 tree types, dozens of butterflies and numerous bird species, including the majestic crusader eagle. Other animals such as the roe deer, red deer, large grouse, brown bear, grey eagle and golden eagle also call this place home.
You can obtain special permits for fishing (20 euros a day) and foraging plants or flowers (5 euros a day or 50 euros a year).
Where to stay
The camping at Biogradska Lake offers space for tents (3 to 5 euros per day), mobile homes with amenities (10 euros per day) or 4 twin bungalows and 8 triple bedroom bungalows (both 15 euros per person per day). You can also rent a tent at the visitor’s centre. If you want to use the dedicated area and wood to make a campfire, you’ll need to pay an extra 5 euros.
Throughout the national park, people live in small mountain villages of a few wooden huts that resemble the shape of an old-fashioned tent. These Katuns, as they are called, are slowly disappearing. Some have opened their doors to tourists and offer homemade food, a place to sleep, a shower or even horseback riding.
Activities in the park
When should I visit the park?
Due to the altitude and climate, it is best to visit from April until October, after the last and before the first drop of snow. It can still be chilly year-round, with temperatures dropping low at night.
Do I need to stick to trails?
Due to special protections in the park, you can not leave any of the trails. You also need a permit to pick flowers or to fish.
Can I go wild camping?
No. Wild camping, campfires and playing loud music are forbidden in the park.
Can I bring my dog?
Yes, but it’s best to keep them on a leash when approaching small mountain settlements in the park. There are no dog-waste bins anywhere in the park.
Is the park wheelchair accessible?
None of the trails in the park are accessible with a wheelchair at the moment.
Where do I park?
There are car parks located at the entry points to the park. Parking costs around €3 per day.
Is the use of drones permitted?
There are no clear guidelines on the use of drones. Ask for permission at the information centre and make sure not to disturb any wildlife or damage the existing fauna and flora.