Montenegro Weekend Road Trip: Take Two

Risan

Last weekend we ventured out for another Montenegro Weekend Road Trip like the one we did a few weeks ago. This time the destination was Kolašin. To get there we drove down the coast to Budva, over the mountains through Centinje (previously the Royal Capital) and past the current capital city of Podgorica.

The trip through the Tara Canyon was familiar to me. At least up to Kolašin, as I had done this route once before last winter on a previous Montenegro weekend road trip. This time, the roads were dry and free of snow, but it can be pretty nerve-wracking along the steep canyon which is reminiscent of driving through narrow Rocky Mountain gorges.

Within a couple hours we arrived at Kolašin 1450 Ski Resort. The off season is lovely there. Families are stocking up on firewood for the winter, and there a scent of wood burning fireplaces and stoves in the air. The town is very quiet. It really does come to life when the ski season starts. We had drinks in an old pub style bar that was full of tributes to Tito and dined on traditional foods at a local restaurant. Both “Konoba” (traditional national restaurants) we wanted to go to were closed for pre-season renovations. Bianca Hotel & Spa was warm and welcoming, with a huge fireplace in the lobby. Again, the scent of burning wood warmed the surroundings.

After a night at Bianca, the next morning we drove about an hour up the valley to Tara Canyon Bridge. The bridge is an incredible 172 metres (that is 577 feet) above the river below. A dramatic sight by any standard.

Tara Canyon Bridge
Tara Canyon

We continued our drive to Žabljak Ski Resort. This was my first time. The scenery was completely different than the canyon. The wide open flat plains with rolling hills and wandering cows were beautiful. It was Sunday which was also election day. There were over 1,000 polling stations open and we saw many along the route from the bridge to the ski resort. Some where just small huts in remote communities.

Cow in Zabljak
Cow in Zabljak

The road from Žabljak down to the Bay of Kotor has been recently re-done, so the trip only takes about an hour and a half. The rains from the night before brought down a rock slide just above Risan which left just enough room to squeeze by in the car. Luckily nobody was hurt.

The Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor

A must do for anyone wanting to see the stunning variety in the geography of Montenenegro: the superyachts of Tivat – the old town of Budva – the capital of Podgorica – the quiet mountain town of Kolašin – breathtaking Durmitor National Park – beautiful Žabljak – Nikšić and its beer factory – Risan tucked away at the end of the bay – World Heritage site of Kotor.

In just a few hours on the road, you will see so much and feel like you have traveled through many diverse lands.

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