Traversal of the massif from Pluzine to the Durdevica bridge, passing through Trsa, the Sedlo pass and Zabljak. I would say that this is one of the most impressive mountain roads in Europe. Important is also the ascent, since the start at Pivsko Jezero is at 630 m, and there road reaches 1900 m, which become 2522 if you pack also the ascent of the highest summit, namely the Bobotov Kuk.
The road starts from near Pluzine with an impressive series of hairpins and tunnels. The two concepts are not disjoint, since there are also several hairpines inside tunnels! After this spectacular take-off, the road continues more quietly up to Trsa, a very suggestive group of houses, which is also the basis for a wide range of outdoor activities. Turning right you start traversing woods and then huge pastures, after which the roads begin ascending again, up to the saddles of Prijespa and Sedlo. Before the two, you find the spot where the trail to the Bobotov Kuk begins. Even better would be to reserve more time, and to descend also to the spectacular Skrcko Jezero, which can be seen from the summit, hidden inside its deep rift, and reachable only by foot. It is a pleasure to walk on these mountains: consider also that there is no problem of getting lost on the Durmitor. The locals claim that this is the mountain group with the best signalled and maintained trails in Europe, and perhaps they are right!
The Sedlo is followed by a nice descent o Zabljak. Longer is the final descent into the Tara canyon, crossed by the highly spectacular Durdevica Bridge. For the sake of completeness, I have included in the trail also a visit to the monastery of St Michael Archangel, which can be reached by few more kms beyond the bridge.
Let me also report the text that I wrote for the 360° panorama from Bobotov Kuk:
The Durmitor is perhaps the most beloved mountain group in Montenegro, and a very wide range of sports is practised on it. Trekking is of course the number one, with a choice of very well marked paths. The locals claim that their Durmitor is one of the best massifs in the whole Europe under this respect - and they are more than right. Since Durmitor is delimited by the Piva and Tara canyons, rafting (especially on the latter) is also very popular. Most of the agencies organizing tours (mainly of several days, due to the length of these canyons) are based in Žabljak, the only village of the region which can in some way be called a "town". Off-road cyclists find a challenging 90 km loop around the heart of the massif, but also a variety of tracks, marked as well as the trekking paths. On the same paths and/or tracks, or around the several lakes (the main of which being the Crno Jezero, the Black Lake, only 2 km from Žabljak) you see also people riding horses. If you like base jumping or traversing valleys attached to a cable, you need only to move down few kms to the impressive bridge of Durdevica, reaching a height of 172 metres over the water of the Tara.
My Durmitor adventure seemed to be finished already before beginning. I had come up the hard way from Plužine, sleeping on the wide high-plains of the mountain, under full moon. But the awakening proposed rain, and I was tempted to follow two Austrian moto-cyclers who knew very well the place and were abandoning the mountain. Luckily, when riding a bicycle you think two or three times before abandoning what you have conquered so hardly, and I was promptly rewarded by an encouraging improvement of the weather conditions. I parked the bicycle and headed to the main summit, a powerful limestone cliff which dominates by at least 100 m every other elevation in the surroundings. The way to the summit is fairly easy, the climbing passages should be rated no more than I, maybe II- if one wants to exaggerate. The sight that I enjoyed from up there was far from memorable, due to the amount of haze, but - I hope - instructive nevertheless.
For the panoramic operations I stood a little away from the summit, in order to gain the sight also on what is perhaps the hidden treasure of the massif, namely, the Škrcko Jezero which looks out as beautiful as the pronunciation of this name sounds awkward!
People in Montenegro often consider the Bobotov Kuk to be their highest summit, at 2523 m. This is not true since in the Prokletije no less than three summits beat it, although only for a handful of metres: Zla Kolata / Kolata e Keq, 2534; Dobra Kolata / Kolata e Mirë, 2524; Maja Rosit, 2524. But all these summits are shared with Albania, as the double names show. The Durmitor instead - as well as the Lovcen, which I will show sooner or later - lies in the heart of Montenegro, as well as in the heart of every Montenegrian!
Bridge on Pivsko Jezero before Pluzine
Start of the path to Prutas.
First high saddle on the road
Here begins the trail to the main summit
Optimal viewpoint of the typical rock stratification known as "Zeleni Pasovi"
At this point of the ridge the path meets the path from Zabljak
The main summit of the Durmitor, truly Dolomitic in nature.
Very thin lake not far from the main track
Seemingly an abandoned touristic resort
This is the highest point reached by the road, although not the unique saddle on it between Trsa and Zabljak
A point which is even more panoramic than the Sedlo itself
A good place to look at the Stozina, the little Matterhorn of the valley
A small group of houses along the road
Reference point and most famous sporting centre in the Durmitor. Also occasional tourists like those depending on the "Lonely Planet Europe" guidebook stop here for some minutes.
The most known lake of the Durmitor, also because of its proximity to the centre of Zabljak.
A remarkable viewpoint during the descent from Zabljak to the Tara valley.
Located little beyond the Tara bridge, this orthodox monastery it is worth a detour.
High bridge on the Tara canyon