If you want to go hiking in Durmitor National Park, one of the easiest trails is the hike to Škrčko Lake. The start of the hike begins at the foot of a nondescript hill in Dobri Do, at Šarban. There was a parking lot only big enough for a handful of cars, and when we got out of ours, I thought we’d stopped at a lookout point for some photos. Our guide, Vanja, told us to get our gear, so I dutifully put on my backpack and raised my walking sticks, still wondering where we would go.
Starting the Hike into the Durmitor Mountain Range
We began the hike ascending the hill. There was a trail, but I could barely make it out among the jutting limestone rocks that peeked out all over the grass and on the trail itself. The first few minutes were not particularly interesting, climbing with the incline of the hill in front of me. Then, quite quickly, the landscape levelled out and we were on a path cutting through the beautiful grassy plain of the valley before us.
Caution: Potholes along the Durmitor Hike
Along this portion of the hike, we came across huge potholes in the limestone rock. They were deep vertical shafts that descended deep into the rock for many meters. Sometimes, I felt the trail cut too close for comfort to these holes. Some of the holes are also partially covered by the long grass. During some stretches of the trek, the path got quite narrow and we had to skirt very close to some of these holes. However, our guide assured me that no hiker had fallen into any of these holes in living memory.
An Easy Hike in Durmitor National Park
The trail we were on was the easiest hike in Durmitor, and it would lead us to a mountain pass called Škrčko Ždrijelo, looking up at Bobotov Kuk, the highest peak in the Durmitor massif. The climb up the pass was quite an effort, but the view was thoroughly worth it. On one side, Bobotov Kuk and several adjacent peaks, reaching out fiercely into the heavens, on another, the side we had come from, a gentle grassy plain. Forward, the landscape was more temperamental, with the trek before us leading into a hilly vale.
After we descended from the pass, the landscape turned from dry and grassy to verdant green, our path at times cutting through the cracks of huge limestone boulders, sometimes treacherously close to those vertical shafts I dreaded passing. This portion of the hike looked like a hike through a Disney forest, all rich green dotted with bright wild flowers and white boulders that gleamed in the sun.
Our Destination – Škrčko Lake
Three hours into the hike, we got to our destination. Škrčko jezero, a lake hidden amidst the peaks of Durmitor, only reachable by foot, the easiest route of which was the one we’d taken. Yet here, we encountered three guys camping. Their tents were set up and they were cooking food over wood fire. There was cold beer at hand. I wondered at the dedication it took to bring all that gear, food and a crate of cold beer through that path we’d taken.
Fun Fact: How Montenegrins Enjoy Life
Our guide told us that the Bosnian language had a word, appropriated throughout the Balkans, for such a person as the ones we encountered – “meraklija”. It means someone who indulges in the little things in life. There is no word that means quite the same in English, at least not any I can think of.
When it was time to return the way we came, we felt quite exhausted. Nevertheless, we had to find the energy to hike three hours up to the pass and down through the valley to return to the car. Oddly, the way back felt faster – I supposed it is because we were now somewhat familiar with it. We did not hurry, despite the threat of rain in the clouds, so by the time we reached the parking lot, it was sundown. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, in fact it was a blessing in disguise.
The sunset over the mountain peaks on the way back was truly majestic, quite unlike any we’ve seen before. It was a sunset to be remembered. This was proof of the efficacy of the Montenegrin spirit – good things come to those who take it easy.
We’ve created a compilation of timelapses from a few of the best lookout points in Montenegro. In this collection is a timelapse of Modro Lake, a few minutes drive away from the beginning of our hike to Škrčko Lake.