About as close as you can get to being inside a postcard, the Durmitor National Park is a stunning massif in northwestern Montenegro. There’s a series of incredible hikes in the park — unless you arrive in early November during the first snowstorm of the season.

Note: Yeah, I didn’t know what a massif was either. Take it away Wikipedia!

In mountaineering and climbing literature, a massif is frequently used to denote the main mass of an individual mountain. The massif is a smaller structural unit of the crust than a tectonic plate and is considered the fourth largest driving force in geomorphology.”

Okay, so basically a mountain. That’s what I thought.

There’s still plenty of areas to explore even with a few inches of snow of the ground. The main attraction from the village of Žabljak (where I stayed) is The Black Lake. This scenic body of water is divided up into the Veliko Jezero (Great Lake) and Malo Jezero (Small Lake). There’s a small strip in the connects them and a 3.5 kilometer trail around the lake.

The trail is a mix of easy footpath and slippery dirt paths, especially with a light coat of snow on them. It shouldn’t take more than 90 minutes to get around the lake and it’s beautiful the whole way.

With plenty of time in the day still left for wandering, I followed a path to a small ski area. As you can see from the photos below, just walking around the surrounding villages is breathtaking.

Final Thoughts
An absolutely beautiful area and a complete surprise in my journey, I’m glad I decided to come here at the last moment. The village makes for an excellent spot to explore the entire Tara River Canyon — more on that in the next article.