How to visit Skadar, the biggest lake of the Balkans.

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I’m on a boat.

When you land in the airport of Podgorica and you’re heading to the Montenegrin coast, you probably don’t realize you’re about to pass through the biggest National Park in Montenegro, a.k.a. the biggest lake on the whole Balkan peninsula. Bigger isn’t always better, but in this case, big also means covered in the prettiest waterlilies and home to more than 270 different species of birds. Oh yeah, the whole shebang is surrounded by mountains, as far as the eye can reach. – all the way into Albania in this case – Nothing beats the feeling of taking a leap and jumping into the cool waters of the lake on a lazy hot summer day, hereby escaping the hordes of sun lovers on the already packed beaches of the Adriatic coast. Continue reading How to visit Skadar, the biggest lake of the Balkans.

Rafting the Tara river.

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You could see black fish in the depths of the lake. Not on picture.

When I first started doing some research on Montenegro, one of the first things that popped up, was rafting the Tara river. Awesome. Even though in the past I haven’t always been crazy about fast currents, tiny boats and especially jumping off things – not that you’re able to jump off things with a boat, but you know, the boat splashes down pretty hardly from time to time –, I changed my mind after a rafting trip in Costa Rica. White water rafting is awesome. Paddling in the middle of nowhere, only surrounded by thick bushes and listening to monkey sounds in the distance. The gushes of adrenaline flashing through your stomach the moment you ‘survived’ another rapid. Getting soaking wet wave after wave after wave and still smile. Yes, you can say that after the first time white water rafting, I was hooked. Not that I have so many chances to raft in the peacefully gurgling Schelde river near my hometown, but the moment I read ‘rafting the Tara river’ in the top-10-things-to-do-in-Montenegro, I knew who would be sitting in a raft sooner or later. Continue reading Rafting the Tara river.

Why you shouldn’t miss the north of Montenegro.

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Monastery of Moraca.

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. Continue reading Why you shouldn’t miss the north of Montenegro.