The Five National Parks of Montenegro

Lake Skadar, Montenegro.
Lake Skadar, Montenegro.

The Southeastern European nation of Montenegro is one of the continent's most biodiverse countries. The country records 0.837 species per area unit index, which is the highest in Europe. The terrain of Montenegro is also highly varied and includes mountains, coastal plains, river valleys, and a large Karst region. Montenegro’s mountains are rugged and steep, with elevations greater than 2,000 m. Additionally, 1,200 species of freshwater algae, 3,250 species of vascular flora including several endemics, 354 species of marine mollusks, 333 bird species, 38 species of reptilians, and 18 species of amphibians can be found in Montenegro. The country's national parks help protect the flora and fauna. There are five national parks in Montenegro, which cover 10% of the nation's territory. The National Parks of Montenegro, a government body, manages the country’s national parks. Durmitor National Park is the first national park established in Montenegro, and Lake Skadar National Park is the country’s largest national park, with an area of 40,000 ha.

5. Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar is located on the border between Montenegro and Albania, and is Southern Europe's biggest lake. The lake and its surroundings in Montenegro are included as part of Lake Skadar National Park. The park encompasses an area of 400 square km and was established in 1983. The Albanian portion of the national park is part of the Managed Nature Reserve. The area of Lake Skadar varies between 370 square km and 530 square km, depending on the season. The lake is a biodiversity hotspot with a rich collection of mollusks. More than 270 species of birds are found in the area, making it one of Europe’s most famous bird reserves. Fish are abundant in the lake, including 34 native species and 7 endemics.

4. Durmitor

Durmitor National Park encompasses the Durmitor massif in northwest Montenegro. The park is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was inscribed in 1980. The massif has 48 peaks with an elevation greater than 2,000 m, the tallest of which is the 2,522 m tall Bobotov Kuk. There are also 18 glacial lakes in the area that add to the beauty of the landscape. Established in 1952, Durmitor National Park also includes the canyons of three rivers. and the Tara River Canyon is Europe’s deepest canyon. The national park is the country’s biggest protected area and encompasses 390 square km. Popular activities in the park include skiing, snowboarding, hiking, water sports, ziplining, mountaineering, all of which attract large number of tourists each year.

3. Prokletije

Prokletije National Park was established in 2009 in the Prokletije mountains area along Montenegro’s border with Albania. The national park is endowed with great natural beauty, and its landscape features deep gorges, steep mountains, scenic river valleys, glacial lakes, rivers, and mountain ponds. The park also hosts a unique collection of flora and fauna, including more than 1,700 species of plants. Mammals like the brown bear, wild boar, lynx, and deer live in the park, and the rivers and lakes have a significant aquatic biodiversity. Prokletije National Park also includes several ancient monuments with architectural and historical significance.

2. Lovćen

Lovćen National Park located in southwestern Montenegro. Mount Lovćen is the park's central feature, which has two peaks, Štirovnik and Jezerski vrh, that have elevations of 5,738 ft and 5,436 ft above sea-level, respectively. The national park covers an area of 62.20 square km and includes the central and higher parts of the mountain. The park was established in 1952 to protect the biodiversity, cultural and architectural heritage of the region.

1. Biogradska Gora

Biogradska Gora National Park is located in the Bjelasica region of central Montenegro. The park’s landscape features mountains, temperate forests, and glacial lakes. It has an area of only 54 square km, but hosts pristine forests as well as archeological and historical sites of great importance. Despite its small size, Biogradska Gora National Park has a great diversity of flora and fauna. 10 mammalian species, 150 species of birds, 350 species of insects, 86 species of shrubs and trees, as well as other species of flora and fauna thrive in this protected area. Some of the trees in the park's virgin forests are over 500 years old.

The Five National Parks Of Montenegro

RankNameArea Year Established
1Lake Skadar National Park40,000 ha1983
2Durmitor National Park39,000 ha1952
3Prokletije National Park16,630 ha2009
4Lovćen National Park6,220 ha1952
5Biogradska Gora National Park5,650 ha1952

More in Environment