As promised, below is a step by step guide for a loop walk in Lovćen National Park. This is purely a walking guide, if you would like to read our blog about the National Park you can find it here.
We parked at the National Park Visitor Centre but you can also park in front of the Hotel Ivanov Konak and start from there. We had been told by the lady in the visitor centre that a majority of the trail markers in the park are confusing and contradictory and we found this to be true. You will see that I have said on a couple of occasions to ignore the trail markers entirely, it didn’t sit well with me either but we did end up going the right way. A classic example is this particular junction where the correct way to go was in fact left:
This walk could probably be done in trainers, particularly if you don’t go up to the viewpoints, but we always prefer to wear boots. The loop itself is about 9km and you can add a kilometre or so for each of the viewpoints. It’s an easy walk, suitable for any level of fitness. Hay fever sufferers may struggle at times because there is a lot of pollen in the air.
The Walk: Come out of the Visitor Centre on to the main road and turn right, walk about 500m until you reach the Hotel Ivanovic on the left-hand side of the road. Turn off the main road and walk up the road the runs along the left-hand side of the hotel.
The tarmac road continues winding up through the beech forest, keep going until you reach this really unhelpful sign.
Turn left along the gravel/rubble track.
You will reach a fork, take the left.
You will reach another fork, go left even though there are multiple signs telling you not to.
You will reach another fork, go left again.
You will come to a notice board at a junction in the path. (Incidentally, this notice board was the first thing to inform us that there are bears in the park, the woman in the visitor centre obviously felt that this was not vital information for us to have.)
One path runs straight ahead which is the loop, the other is a switchback which takes you up to a viewpoint at the top of the hill. We will include some directions to the viewpoint in red first, if you don’t want to include this bit just skip ahead to the next bit of black text. (NB. We do recommend going up to one of the viewpoints on the track, you get a great view of the park)
To the viewpoint: Face the noticeboard and turn left up the hill. The trail leads through the forest and then zig zags back and forth across the hill. You walk along the top of terrace walls most of the way.
It’s a fairly easy climb but some of the switchbacks aren’t immediately obvious so just keep an eye out for them on your uphill side
After the terraces you clamber up through the last bit of forest to get up to the viewpoint.
Trestenski peak is at 1489 metres and has gorgeous views over the park.
To get back down simply retrace your steps to the notice board and then carry on around the loop walk, the detour takes about 45-60 minutes.
The Loop Walk: Keep the notice board on your left and keep walking straight along the path.
The area opens out as the forest thins.
You will round a corner and come to a fork in the path with a sign.
Left will take you up to the second viewpoint, right continues around the loop. We kept right this time. You come round another corner to an absolutely gorgeous viewpoint.
The next section of the walk looks over the sea across steep hillsides covered in wildflowers and butterflies, when we were there in early July the smell of the herbs was incredible.
Follow the path round until you come in to a valley which is almost Alpine in appearance.
Keep following the path, walking away from the sea. There is a switchback up to your left but you should ignore this and keep going straight ahead.
You will hit a tarmac road, go left on the road.
Keep following the road for a couple of hundred metres until you reach a point where it swings to the left, it’s underneath a powerline and the tarmac is crumbling really baldy.
From here on the trail isn’t obvious until you are right on top of it. To your right (and just visible on the right of the picture above) you will see a red marker on a stone, step off the road and head that way through the rocks.
There are occasional markers as you pick your way across the hillside.
Take a look back across the valley
After about 200 metres the path curves up to the left until you reach this wall.
Turn left and walk alongside the wall, following it around the corner and around the edge of a meadow.
Keep following the wall around the next corner until you are on the far side of the meadow to where you started. Leave the wall and turn to your left, heading down the hill towards the trees.
Keep left through the wood.
You will come out of the trees, walk straight towards the view.
Keep going straight ahead down the steep track.
When we were there, there was an area with a metal fence around it just at the bottom of the hill, you can just walk around this on the right-hand side.
Look to your right as you do, there’s a ski lift just hanging out.
Step back on to the tarmac road, turn right and walk the 50 metres back to the hotel or another couple of hundred metres back to the visitor centre.