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The Awe Inspiring National Park Prokletije

National Park Prokletije, which stretches over Montenegro, Albania, and Kosovo, is a breathtaking display of natural splendor. Known as the “Alps of the Balkans,” this remarkable park captivates visitors with its towering peaks, rugged terrain, and breathtaking views. It’s a paradise with hikes ranging from peaceful valley walks to thrilling climbs up jagged cliffs. Prokletije is a magnificent blend of nature’s best, offering a diverse paradise for thrill seekers as well as a tranquil hideaway for those who enjoy the great outdoors. This national treasure is a perfect representation of the Balkans’ unspoiled splendor.

This is Montenegro’s most recent addition to its national park system, having been officially declared as such in 2009. Montenegro has four other national parks, including Lovćen, Lake Skadar, Durmitor, and Biogradska Gora. Each of these parks contains multiple peaks and some of the region’s major lakes, demonstrating the country’s unique and rich natural history.

Although it may be the newest, this national park in Montenegro stands out as one of the most extraordinary and impressive destinations you’ll ever experience.

A photo of National Park Prokletije
National Park Prokletije Photo Credit:

What has yet to be fully established is the motive for which this mountain range has been named Prokletije (pro-kle-tiy-e). Numerous myths surround the name’s origin, with some even suggesting that the devil unleashed the mountain range from hell. However, the most widely accepted explanation is that these mountains were viewed as untamed and impassable.

Prokletije National Park, which covers around 16,000 hectares, is a treasure trove of natural wonders, including glacial lakes, tumbling waterfalls, and a diverse range of Balkan flora. The park’s crown jewel is the Prokletije mountain range, which is known for its towering peaks, including several that rise above 2,500 meters. Among these is Zla Kolata, Montenegro’s tallest peak at 2,534 meters, and the scenic Grebaja Valley.

Hiking and trekking at National Park Prokletije

Guests at Prokletije National Park can partake in a variety of outdoor pursuits, including hiking, trekking, and mountain biking. The park offers an array of hiking trails, ranging from leisurely strolls to demanding multi-day excursions, all of which reveal stunning vistas of the encompassing scenery.

One of the best hiking trails in this national park is the Talijaka Loop which goes from Grebaje Valley (1100 meters) to the plateau of Volušnica, following further to Mountain Talijanka (Maja Vajushes – 2057 meters), then back to Grebaje Valley. 

The second trail is Veliki Vrh, which goes by Krošnjina vrata, South Peak, and Eko-Katun Grebaje. 

Hiking trails are marked, but still, it is recommended to go hiking accompanied by equipped guides. 

A photo of hikkers during a hiking tour at National Park Prokletije
Hiking at Mount Prokletije Photo Credit: Monte Mare Travel

Unsurprisingly, every ascent on Prokletije is a real challenge, even for the most experienced mountaineers and alpinists. More than 50 peaks have a height of over 2000 m, while 20 exceed 2500 meters. 

Lake Hrid

The park has numerous glacial lakes, of which the most beautiful is Hrid Lake. The lake is located at 1.970 meters above sea level.

Hridsko Lake, one of the area’s lovely alpine lakes, is a swimmer’s dream. Immersing oneself in its waters is said to bring health, good fortune, beauty, and inner calm. It is commonly referred to as the Lake of Happiness and is claimed to have the ability to grant wishes. According to folklore, the gods created this lake to provide a concealed haven for them to swim away from mortal eyes. The lake is also a home for many flora species, which contributes to its magical and calm atmosphere. This is one of many myths and legends from Montenegro which bring a sense of wonder about some of its great locations.

A photo of the Lake Hrid, surrounded by woods at National Park Prokletije
Lake Hrid Photo Credit:

Besides Lake Hrid, Lake Plav and Visitor Lake (vee-see-tor) are worth a visit. Visitor Lake, at 1.820 meters above sea level, is of glacial origin and known for its island that floats around.  

A photo of the Visitor Lake, with a floaring island, at National Park Prokletije,
Lake Visitor Photo Credit: Panoramio

The park is also home to several small villages where visitors can experience the local culture and cuisine. Traditional dishes include lamb, cheese, other dairy products, local wines, and rakija (fruit brandy).

Cultural-historical places at National Park Prokletije

The park is home to many cultural-historical sites that are worth exploring. It boasts a rich cultural heritage, teemed with archaeological sites, fortresses, churches, mosques, settlements, and burial sites.

One of the most famous cultural-historical places in Prokletije National Park is the Redžepagić Tower. This tower was built in the 17th century in Plav. It served as a fortress for the Redžepagić clan to protect themselves from the attacks from the Banjani tribe. The tower has been restored and is protected as a cultural and historical monument of the second category.

A photo of Redžepagić Tower in Plav, National Park Prokletije
Redžepagić Tower Photo Credit: Turistička organizacija Plav

The Old Mosque in Plav is another significant cultural-historical place in National Park Prokletije. It is located in the town of Plav and is one of the oldest mosques in the region. The mosque was built in the 15th century during the Ottoman Empire’s rule over the area. Sultan Abdul Hamid himself financed the construction of the mosque.

The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, located in Plav, is one of the oldest sacred monuments. It is a Serbian Orthodox monastery that was built in the 14th century during the reign of Emperor Stefan Dušan Nemanjić. The monastery is on a hill overlooking Plav Lake, and a beautiful forest of beech and pine trees surrounds it.

A photo of The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, National Park Prokletije
The Monastery of the Holy Trinity Photo Credit: TO Plav

Bio-diversity of the National Park Prokletije

The most dominant feature of the Prokletije National Park is its biodiversity, which is the most diverse in the Balkans.

This region is home to a multitude of endemic species, including several with medicinal properties. The park is a habitat for over 1,700 species of plants, encompassing nearly half of Montenegro’s flora. This includes a variety of glacial flora, unique to this environment. The park’s borders also encompass a rich animal kingdom, thriving in the alpine climate. This specific setting allows for the survival of distinct plant types and animal species, highlighting the area’s great biodiversity.

How to reach the National Park Prokletije

The entrance to this national park is €1. The park doesn’t have one main entrance, as you can access the park from three different directions: Grebaje Valley, Ropojani-Gusinje, and Gradine-Plav.

From Podgorica, you can take a bus to Plav or Gusinje. Then, you can take a taxi that will take you to one of the entrances. From Kotor, take a bus to Podgorica, and proceed to the same route.

Accommodation at National Park Prokletije

Ethno House Bektesevic in Gusinje, Montenegro, is a delightful choice for travelers exploring the region, especially given the scarcity of hotels in the vicinity, where the majority of accommodations are holiday homes. Situated just 11 km from Plav Lake and 14 km from Prokletije National Park, it offers a serene and authentic experience. Guests have access to a garden, a terrace, and a shared kitchen, with the option of free WiFi and parking.

The holiday home also features mountain and garden views, ensuring a peaceful and picturesque stay. Whether you’re looking for a cozy retreat or a base for exploring the stunning landscapes of Montenegro, Ethno House Bektesevic provides a unique and comfortable stay, highly rated by previous guests for its excellent location, facilities, and hospitality.


The Montenegrin Prokletije National Park, located on Montenegro’s southern border, is a stunning getaway that offers the ideal combination of breathtaking landscape, adrenaline adventures, and rich cultural experiences.

This enchanting oasis is excellent for everyone, from ardent hikers looking for spectacular climbs on high slopes to those seeking a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of city life. Prokletije National Park, with its diverse activities set against a breathtaking backdrop, is a must-see for everyone looking for unique travel experiences. Whether it’s exploring new horizons or seeking peace, this park promises a memorable adventure that will stay with you in your heart and memory.

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