This is a quick post about how I went cycling Durmitor National Park area. I provide details that include maps, costs, logistical requirements and facts as well as links to additional details, photos and videos. This is a self-guided adventure on a shoestring. Follow the links to dig deeper into the adventure.
Let me point out that there are a lot of MTN options in and around the Durmitor National Park in Montenegro. I had a few days to kill before the start of the Highlander Adventure Durmitor trek so
I opted for what I thought would be a pretty easy day of local and off-road cycling. Things didn’t turn out as I had planned.
Using the Durmitor Biking Guide I picked the za05-njegovuda route as a starting outline that I could adapt as I went. And adapt I did.
I started my pre-trek days by exploring the town of Zabljak (meaning frogs). This included the local National Park, monuments and local.
After two days of playing tourist I decided a workout was in order. Early the next day I rented a mountain bike for $10 per day. I then set out to exit the town to the east and start my ride along a lovely country road.
After a short time the road turned into a double-track farm road and then a track through a small forest and out onto a electrical power-line clearing, before turning back into a single lane paved country road.
In short order I passed a few remote farm houses, horses and a bunch of locals sitting and drinking local moonshine under a tree. They were delighted to see me and insisted that I join them for drinks. Naturally I obliged the local custom before getting back on my bike with a parched throat.
Total Cost of this Activity is almost nothing…$10 per day mtn bike rental.
In time I climbed through a forest and into another valley (with a few more scattered farm houses) but it was obvious that I was heading into remote regions and while also getting very thirsty. Finally in desperation, at an animal water, drank my fill and then refilled my bottle.
Click to watch Video
As the day wore on the planned path back to Zabljak seemed way too far. I had a few options at this stage. Reverse my direction and head back the way I had come. Follow the map and make a huge loop that I certainly could not finish before dark. Or create my own route back. Risky since I was not sure of what I would find and if I could make it back before dark. I opted for the ‘create my own route’ option.
At a pass where the farm road connected to the next valley I opted for a side trail in hopes of cutting the za05-njegovuda route loop in half. This led me down into an isolated valley and then up the steep opposite range to a remote pass.
From the pass I headed in a south and westerly direction following random dirt double tracks. By 5pm I was in major need of water and still very far from a settled road according to my Locus mobile app. Ultimately I was saved by a remote and empty farmhouse that had a 2 liter bottle of water sitting on its front step. Clearly the owner was used to lost hikers and bikers showing up at his door thirsty.
I greedily drank the water, then re-filled my bottle with the remainder and left some money on the step in payment for the good deed. I was restored and confident that I could now make it back to the main road leading to Zabljak.
Two hours later I did indeed make it back to the comfort and safety of lovely Zabljak.
After 58 km of cycling, I desperately needed a rest day before starting the Highlander Adventure Durmitor trek. No more cycling days for me.
Maps & Facts
Download my Zabljak loop ride gpx track for your GPS app.
Link to the Durmitor Biking Guide maps guide.
E-MTN Biking Dormitor National Park Options
Visit the GPS tracks page for a list of GPS tracks that you can download (zipped) for use on your phone. Visit my adventure mobile apps (which include limited mapping and GPS features) or the Android Lotus app for more robust real-time GPS navigation.
Read the Highlander Adventure Durmitor trek blog.
Watch other videos.
Watch combined long-play 3 minute videos.