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Published: July 13th 2017
Leaving Lake Skadar we drove to the beautiful Durmitor National Park via Niksic and Ostrog Monastery. The monastery is high up and built into the cliff face, originally built in the 17th
century but after earthquakes not much of the original remains and it mostly dates from the 1920s. It’s a very popular place, lots of people visiting on coach tours. It’s Serbian Orthodox and houses the remains of Saint Basil so is a place of pilgrimage. Great views over the valley way down below. Watched a baptism service at the tiny church down the hill, the priest and family marched round and round the church, singing hymns.
We stayed in the village of Zabljak on the edge of Durmitor NP, a small village with shops and lots of accommodation; I believe it’s a popular place for skiing. From there we had three great days of hiking, it really is incredibly beautiful if you walk up above the dense pine forest and into the high meadows and valleys. There are lots of rocky peaks, too. The best walks we did were both towards the Ice Cave. One we set off quite late so just made it up to a small
lake (puddle really) next to a shepherd’s hut and camp site (he sells beer and coca cola!), kept saying to each other, this is so beautiful! Lots of lovely meadows full of flowers and the views up to the high peaks, perfect weather too. The BIG hike we did (took is nearly 8 hours) we went up towards the shepherd’s hut again but turned off on a different route to the ice cave, initially it was a lovely walk through more meadows, then became increasingly more rocky, steep and challenging with a particularly steep rock climb just before the end of the three and half hours it took to get up to the cave. The group we met at the top there said that their hostel host had told them not to go that way! The cave is really beautiful too full of ice columns and snow. We took the steadier route down, past the puddle of the previous walk and very welcome soft drinks. The main lake is also very pretty, and popular with coaches of people stopping off there each day. The hiking trails were surprisingly very quiet.
We took the easy route to the top of
Savin Kuk, using the two ski lifts that take you up to the 2,300m peak. Stunning views from the top down to the lake and forest below as well as the rocky peaks around where we had been hiking. We are not skiers but it looked an absolutely terrifying run down, maybe it looks less challenging covered in snow?
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