Montenegro. Land of crystal clear waters, mountains touching the sea with their toes and where the colour ‘green’ isn’t sufficient enough to describe the lush landscape. Even though the coastline is cramped with little treasures like Perast, Kotor, Sveti Stefan and Petrovac, many ignore the beautiful scenery awaiting them in the north. And they’re right. A coastal road offers one stunning view after the other. Waves crashing onto rocks, pristine beaches, little old walled cities waiting for you to be discovered. A mediterranean fjord that leaves first time visitors with an open mouth. Hidden monasteries in mountains and islands dotting the waters in front of the shoreline. The biggest Balkan lake, which takes birdwatching to a whole other dimension. A mix of religions blending together in southern cities.
Why even bother driving up north, sweating for four hours in the car. Why would you enjoy the lush greenery, mountains rising higher and higher the further you move. Turquoise blue rivers rushing past rocks on the bottoms of canyons. Small monasteries revealing secrets hidden ages ago. Why would you admire landscapes that change from Switzerland into Canada to turn into Ireland, while staying in Montenegro? Why would you bother visiting one or maybe even three different National Parks? Why would you enjoy hot summer days swimming in the clearest bluest lakes you’ve ever saw? Why would you walk around and smell freshness and pine trees, breathing in and out clean air? Cows on the roads, a bridge crossing the deepest canyon in Europe. Ziplining and rafting, feeling adrenaline pumping through the veins. Walking, hiking, skiing, cycling, relaxing. Why would you bother to feel one with nature? Why would you miss out on that?
Even though I haven’t visited even a fraction of every thing there is to see up north, my first encounters left my speechless half the time. Eyes wide open, staring at changing panorama’s flashing by the car window. Forcing my camera to capture everything. Failing miserably in that. Impossible to catch the striking northern beauty on screen. Or paper. What you prefer. The north is there to be admired, to be cared for, the be cherished and enjoyed. And to be seen. Though the sundrenched coastline is fantastic, the rough northern mountains are at least as magnificent as the south. Already a personal favorite is the Durmitor National Park with its mirror-like Black Lake. I wish I could spend all my summer days lazy around the lake. Have a little picnic with some friends. A refreshing dive to wash away too much sun. Even though I can’t spend every single day up there, I’m pretty sure I’ll spend plenty of days around the Lake. Or in the mountains. Or at least somewhere exploring and hiking and walking and enjoying. So that I can’t only tell you why not to miss the north, but also what you absolutely cannot miss once you decide to have a little look up north.