Exploring Black Lake in Montenegro
During our time in Montenegro, we wanted to find the most beautiful scenery and the best hikes in the country. After a bit of research, we stumbled upon Black Lake.
Black Lake, also known as Crno Jezero, is a gorgeous glacial lake in Durmitor National Park, one of the most impressive national parks in Montenegro.
If you’re looking for an adventurous itinerary during your trip to the Balkans, I highly recommend adding Black Lake and Durmitor National Park to your agenda.
How To Get To Black Lake In Zabljak, Montenegro
Black Lake is located in a small mountain town called Zabljak, Montenegro. Unfortunately, Zabljak is not pronounced like Apple Jacks, which was very disappointing for us. Regardless, we instantly fell in love with this town.
Zabljak is situated in northern Montenegro, surrounded by the famous Durmitor National Park. The easiest way to reach Zabljak is by hiring a car. Incredibly, rental cars are extremely affordable in the Balkan Peninsula.
Most travelers come to Zabljak from Kotor, Tivat, or Podgorica. Luckily, driving between these destinations is straightforward and easy. With few cars on the road outside of major cities, you’ll feel confident during the entire drive.
Once you’ve reached Zabljak, Black Lake is located just 2.5 kilometers from the town center.
Pro-tip: If you’re up for it, I recommend walking to Black Lake from your hotel in Zabljak. This will add more adventure to your trip and save you a few Euro on parking.
Entrance Fee To Black Lake In Montenegro
Since Black Lake is located in Durmitor National Park, there is a small fee of 3 Euro per person to enter. Considering we spent 2-3 hours roaming around Black Lake, this seemed like a fair price. Plus, we are always supportive of national park upkeep.
Best Things To Do At Black Lake
Before we visited Black Lake in Montenegro, we were told that it is relatively boring; that there isn’t a lot to do there. After visiting, I’m confused by these people and what they meant. There is plenty to do at Black Lake!
1. Black Lake Hike
The hike around Black Lake in Montenegro is one of the most dramatic scenes you’ll see in the entire country.
Begin your hike at the ranger station at the end of the parking lot. Once you reach the lake, you’ll notice several paths that hug the shores. We decided to start hiking counter-clockwise, but you can choose to hike whichever way you’d like.
The hike around Black Lake in Montenegro is relatively flat and easy. Be sure to wear proper walking shoes during your hike; the path can be rocky at times and there are several spots where you can walk on boulders to get to the shoreline.
Our favorite part about the hike around Black Lake was exploring the back half of the lake. When you arrive at Black Lake, it’ll be difficult to tell, but there are actually two separate sections of the lake: Big Lake and Little Lake.
As you hike around the backside of Black Lake, you’ll see a small stream (or dried up river bed, depending on the time of year) that leads to Little Lake. In actuality, this is still considered Black Lake and it’s much less visited than the Big Lake.
I highly recommend spending time hiking around Little Lake when visiting Black Lake. The serenity and isolatedness of this area will make you feel like you have the entire national park to yourself.
Hiking Distance + Difficulty
The hike around Black Lake in Montenegro is approximately 3 miles. Due to a lack of elevation gain, this hike can be accomplished by people of all fitness levels. This is one of the easiest hikes to enjoy in Durmitor National Park.
Although Black Lake is a glacial lake, it is possible to take a dip during the summer months. The lake warms up considerably in the summer and therefore it’s easier to tolerate, however, you should still be prepared for cold water.
Since we visited Montenegro and Black Lake in November, we weren’t keen on hopping in the freezing lake. Regardless, we did find several spots that would make a perfect swimming hole or beach.
I recommend hiking around to Little Lake and swimming there. The water might be a bit colder in Little Lake, but you’re likely to have the entire lake to yourself.
3. Mountain Biking
Bring your bike or rent one from in town! Black Lake is an excellent place to explore on two wheels.
During the summer months, small boats are available for hire at the docks on Black Lake. I recommend coming early in the morning to avoid waiting in line.
The boats on Black Lake carry up to four passengers and they cost 8 Euro per hour.
As we were hiking around Black Lake, I couldn’t help but think about how perfect it would be to have a picnic there. Stop at the local grocery store for some lunchtime snacks and set up your picnic with Black Lake and the Dinaric Alps as your backdrop.
Where To Stay Near Black Lake In Montenegro
During our time in Zabljak, we stayed at a sweet Airbnb in the town center. The price of this Airbnb was remarkable and we were very pleased with our stay. If you decide to visit Zabljak, I recommend checking out Villa Vjerra.
If you haven’t used Airbnb before, I highly suggest it. Use this link to sign up for Airbnb and receive $40 off your first stay (psst! That’s a free night in Zabljak! Or anywhere your heart desires).
More Adventures Near Black Lake
Black Lake is located in the famed Durmitor National Park. For more adventures, be sure to explore this national park far and wide. Our favorite hike in all of Durmitor National Park was Bobotov Kuk, which happens to be the tallest mountain in Montenegro.
For more about hiking Bobotov Kuk, read our post: Bobotov Kuk: How to Hike to the Top of Montenegro.
Another amazing location near Black Lake that is filled with adventure is the Tara River Canyon, which is the deepest canyon in Europe. While you’re exploring the Tara River Canyon, be sure to go white water rafting, hiking, and gear up for the extreme zipline.
The Wrap-Up: Black Lake in Montenegro
Black Lake is an amazing destination to add to your Montenegro itinerary. With the lake’s green-blue hue and the prominent mountains in the background, you’re sure to be stunned by its beauty.
Pack your swimsuit, a picnic, or just your hiking shoes for a fun day at Black Lake in Montenegro.
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