• Jamal Sabet

CYCLING THE DURMITOR RING ROAD



Before setting off on our adventure, we had no plans to head to Montenegro's Durmitor National Park. In fact, we hadn't even heard of it. By chance, a few local tips, and the promise of cooler weather (10 degrees cooler in the mountains than on the sweltering summer coast) we landed at the gateway to Durmitor National Park - Zabljak, a sleepy alpine-esque village geared at hikers and bikers in summer and snow seekers in the winter. While the town itself is lovely, and set within the beautiful mountain ranges of the National Park, it wasn't a mind blowing experience (except finding our first Montenegrin craft beer!).

It wasn't until we set off on our overnight cycling adventure into the National Park that our jaws began to hit the floor. We chose to cycle what is known as the 'Durmitor Ring Road', a panoramic circuit that takes you through the heart of the National Park. It is roughly 80(ish)km, which is definitely a possible day cycle but for us, when you add in the exploration, cheese and photo stops along the way, we thought better to make it an overnighter. We booked a guesthouse in the town of Nedajno, which is roughly half way around the circuit if leaving from Zabljak. The road can be traveled in either direction though they recommend travelling counterclockwise in a car and clockwise in a camper. For a bike, it doesn't really matter (we traveled clockwise). The road falls within the National Park so runs on the strange payment system that if the ranger sees you, you pay a daily fee (which is minimal) but often times you go a day without seeing anyone.


As often in Europe, it's a two way road that comfortable allows for the passing of two horses (or bikes). However, most ring-roaders are in cars, so at times there are some hairy moments. For the most part though, the road is pretty quiet. It's very well sign posted (just follow the brown signs with the Panoramic Roads logo and number 2) and the roads are in good cycling condition the whole way around. Beware, there is pretty significant elevation changes throughout the circuit, particularly in the north (so I would recommend being very fit or having eBikes). We fall into the latter category. The most scenic part of the journey is called the 'Sedlo Pass' and runs the southern section of the loop. If you can, it's worth timing it so you are in the Sedlo Pass during sunset or sunrise as the views are breath taking.


There is even an incredibly in depth (and not well advertised) audio guide you can download for free that gives insight into the history of the area, and provides information about certain key points along the journey.


How to get the audio guide:

Install the izi.TRAVEL app now for Android, iOS or Windows Phone.

In the App, look for the Panoramic road 2 “Durmitor-Ring” and start your experience!


For a detailed map and information about the pass click here


We stayed at Guest House Nedajno, one of about three choices along the Ring Road. Pleasant basic village accommodation with breakfast included.