Hiking Bobotov Kuk: a complete guide to Montenegro’s most epic day hike

by | Dec 10, 2023 | Europe, Montenegro | 0 comments

The ultimate guide to hiking Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro
The ultimate guide to hiking Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro

Durmitor National Park in Montenegro is a stunning national park boasting jagged mountains, deep canyons, dazzling mountain lakes, and vast alpine meadows. And it is a hiker’s playground, renowned for offering some of the best hiking in Montenegro.

One of the most famous hikes takes you to the summit of Bobotov Kuk. Rising to 2.523 meters, Bobotov Kuk is one of the highest mountains in Montenegro and the highest peak at Durmitor National Park.

Hiking Bobotov Kuk is one of the best things to do in Montenegro!

There are various hiking trails to the summit of Bobotov Kuk, meandering through the incredible landscapes of Durmitor National Park. Hiking Bobotov Kuk is no easy feat, but the view from the top really knocks it out of the park and will make you forget about the struggles in seconds.

Hiking Bobotov Kuk is truly a must-do while visiting Montenegro, and in this post, I will tell you everything you need to know about the hike

Hiking at Durmitor National Park in Montenegro

Where is Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park is a national park in Montenegro, one of Europe’s best-kept secrets. For now at least, although Montenegro has definitely started to creep onto people’s travel radar. And rightly so! Montenegro is jam-packed with jaw-dropping landscapes, fabulous viewpoints, magnificent beaches, and charming towns.

Located in northeastern Montenegro, Durmitor National Park is one of the most impressive and stunning places to visit in the country. Spanning 390 km2, it boasts an incredible alpine landscape of jagged limestone peaks, steep valleys and alpine meadows, dotted by dazzling mountain lakes and small local villages.

In addition to some of Montenegro’s highest peaks, Durmitor also boasts the deepest canyon in Europe.

The magnificent Tara canyon cuts through the mountains of Durmitor National Park, at a maximum depth of 1,300 meters (just 200 less than the Grand Canyon, making it the second-deepest canyon in the world).

Traditional house in Zabljak
View of Durmitor National Park through the window

Where to stay near Bobotov Kuk

Zabljak, the main town in the area, is the ideal base while hiking Bobotov Kuk. It features plenty of accommodation options in and around town, various restaurants and cafes, a decent-sized supermarket, and even some outdoor stores.

We stayed in one of the chalets at Mountain View Lodges. The chalets are located about 6 km out of Zabljak, nestled in the picturesque countryside. The chalets have a fully equipped kitchen, a cosy lounge, two upstairs bedrooms, and a generous terrace with sweeping mountain views.

We truly enjoyed our stay there, but I’d like to mention that checking in was a little complicated, because we weren’t able to reach the owner. Make sure to message +382 68 820 419 on WhatsApp ahead of your arrival and you will be fine (this is the person managing the place).

 
View from Sedlo Pass in Montenegro
Hiker on a small trail on a mountain slope

Bobotov Kuk hiking routes

Route 1 | Sedlo Pass – Bobotov Kuk – Sedlo Pass

Distance: 10 km return | Duration: 4-5 hours

The shortest and easiest route to Bobotov Kuk summit starts and ends at Sedlo Pass, a mountain pass about 20 minutes driving from Zabljak.

If you’re planning to return to Sedlo Pass after summiting Bobotov Kuk, I’d recommend driving there in your own car. The short drive from Zabljak takes you along a narrow, winding road with incredible views (like most roads in Montenegro!). There is ample parking at Sedlo Pass and you shouldn’t have an issue finding a spot.

Park your car, buy your permit from the guard stationed at Sedlo Pass, and then it is time to head off on one of the best hikes in Montenegro!

Unique rock formations at Durmitor National Park

The trail from Sedlo Pass begins with a gentle ascent and great views of impressive rock formations and a small settlement with traditional cottages. It then takes you across grassy slopes, gravel fields, and past some small tarns.

You’ll have time to warm up your legs before the arduous climb to the saddle. This part involves some clambering and climbing, but there are enough rocks to hold on to. This is the hardest part of your hike, but the views just keep getting better and better.

Once you’ve summited Bobotov Kuk, head back to Sedlo Pass the same way. You should be able to complete this whole loop in 4-5 hours.

Hiking trail at Durmitor National Park
Rock signposting the route to Zabljak
Trail leading across rubble
Hiking trail at Durmitor National Park
Trail leading across rubble

Route 2 | Zabljak – Bobotov Kuk – Zabljak

Distance: 24 km return | Duration: 10-12 hours

The longest and most challenging route to Bobotov Kuk summit starts and ends in Zabljak. From the town centre, follow the road to Crno Jezero (the black lake), where you can get your permit.

The trail starts with a pleasant stroll along the lake shore and a first ascent through the beautiful forest surrounding the lake.

After this first incline, the trail starts getting harder and more challenging. It takes you across difficult terrain, scree and many steep parts. The final ascent to the saddle is even more strenuous than coming from Sedlo Pass because it involves a steep zigzag up a field of rubble.

After summiting Bobotov Kuk, head back to Zabljak on the same route. Be prepared for a long and tough day of hiking if you pick this route.

Sign at the Bobotov Kuk hike in Montenegro
A hiker in front of impressive mountains

Route 3 | Sedlo Pass – Bobotov Kuk – Zabljak

Distance: 17 km | Duration: 7-8 hours

This is the best route for the Bobotov Kuk hike. It’s the perfect length for a full-day hike, allowing you to spend more time at Durmitor National Park, and experience Sedlo Pass and Crno Jezero.

You need to arrange transport from Zabljak to Sedlo Pass for this route. You can visit the tourist information across the road from Voli supermarket in the town centre on the morning of your hike, and ask them to call a taxi. We paid about 22 euros for the 20-minute drive.

Steep mountains surrounding a valley

From Sedlo Pass, follow the trail to Bobotov Kuk. After summiting Bobotov Kuk, head back down to the saddle, but then follow the sign towards Zabljak instead. You’re in for a challenging and rather long descent through some of Durmitor’s most spectacular mountainscapes.

7 to 8 hours after heading off on the Bobotov Kuk hike from Sedlo Pass you’ll be able to end this awesome hiking day with a cold drink at the restaurant overlooking Crno Jezero!

Hiker on a steep trail
View from Bobotov Kuk summit
Hikers on a trail
Hiker on a steep trail
View from Bobotov Kuk summit

The final ascent to Bobotov Kuk Summit

From the saddle, it will take you another 30 to 40 minutes to Bobotov Kuk summit. Initially, the trail meanders across a gravelly slope, then it loops around the mountain before ascending almost directly to the summit.

This last part involves a bit of climbing and some parts are secured by ropes, although I found it easier to hold onto the rocks. If you thought the views were epic before, just wait until you reach the summit. The view from the summit is breathtaking, offering a 360° panorama of deep blue lakes and layers of mountains that will leave you speechless!

Views of a mountain lake and surrounding mountains
At the top of Bobotov Kuk summit

While researching the Bobotov Kuk hike I’ve read some mixed reviews about the final ascent to Bobotov Kuk, so I didn’t quite know what to expect.

This last push to the summit is definitely the trickiest part of the Bobotov Kuk hike. Some parts are quite exposed and gravelly, and you’ll need shoes with a proper grip to complete it. With the proper footwear, summiting Bobotov Kuk is doable, and will be the absolute highlight of your trip to Montenegro.

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Golden meadows with mountains in the back

Important Things to know before hiking Bobotov Kuk

You’ll need a permit for the Bobotov Kuk hike

As Bobotov Kuk is located inside Durmitor National Park, you’ll need to buy a permit to do the hike. Depending on your route, you can get yours at Sedlo Pass or Crnjo Jezero near Zabljak. The permit costs 3 euros per person (2023), and you can pay by card or cash.

Start your hike early

Hiking Bobotov Kuk will take you anywhere between 4 and 12 hours and you want to avoid getting home after dark. If you’re planning to hike from Sedlo Pass to Zabljak, aim to leave your accommodation between 8 and 9. If you plan to start and end your hike in Zabljak, I’d recommend leaving even earlier.

Bring enough food and water

Once you leave Zabljak or Crno Jezero behind, you won’t have any opportunities to fill up your water bottles or stock up on snacks. Pack enough food and water (I’d recommend at least 2 litres per person) for the Bobotov Kuk hike.

Wear appropriate gear

As mentioned earlier in this post, hiking Bobotov Kuk involves climbing and scrambling across rubble fields. Sturdy hiking boots or trekking shoes with a good grip will be your best friend on this hike, and I do not recommend attempting it in sneakers. In addition, I would have loved to have some hiking poles, especially for the descent to Zabljak.

Did you enjoy this Bobotov Kuk hiking guide? Make sure to pin it on Pinterest to save it for later!
The ultimate guide to hiking Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro
The ultimate guide to hiking Bobotov Kuk in Montenegro

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Hi, I’m Sara, a twenty-something Swiss on a mission to become a full-time travel writer and digital nomad.