Amazing off-road in Montenegro

There are so many places in Montenegro, unspoiled and almost unreal, but unknown among tourists. These places, by rule, lay somewhere hidden from the crowd, forgotten even by local people, covered by silence but filled with sounds of nature. They can be reached only off-road and this is the story about one of them…

If you are nature lover and seek for a place not far from the coast, but very local and picturesque, you should plan your lunch in Karuč, one of the most beautiful panoramic assets of Skadar Lake. Road taking you there is narrow and winding (used by cars only) and at the beginning it even doesn’t look promising. But, suddenly, as if someone placed it there by a magic, view becomes breathtaking.

Once typical fishing village, Karuč was mentioned in 15th century, when the first houses were built for housing fishermen equipment for locals from surrounding villages. From 19th century this small peninsula was continuously populated. Nowadays, most of the houses on the shore are roofless and deserted, but even in that state they give place some charm which is hard to describe.

Stone houses which preserved their genuine features are simple and harmonious, having next to them square, stone troughs in which the fish was once salted. Place is dominated by tower of St. Peter of Cetinje, fifth ruler from local Petrović dynasty, being, just like surrounding buildings, not so well preserved.

After being completely asleep in wintertime, small place awakes in spring. Guests are warmly welcomed by local restaurants owners. Fish prepared here is one of the best you will have possibility to try in Montenegro and guess what-not expensive at all. People, who visit the place once, enjoying the view combined with perfect lunch, according to the words of local people, keep coming back frequently. Alan, one of my tourists said something I won’t forget: “I wish I could wrap up this view and take it with me”…

Our journey took us further to another fishermen settlement known as Rijeka Crnojevića, once Montenegrin center of political and economic life.Some amazing views met us along the way there…

In the mid of 19th century there was 60 different objects serving as shops and craftsmen’s workshops. Many travelers, writers and artists couldn’t hide their thrill in front of the picture of boiling settlement on a market days. Hundreds of typical small lake boats would flood the riverbank and the town was full of people in different local costumes, haggling and trading with each other: Montenegrins, Albanians, Venetians, Muslims and sometimes even people from far, far away.

Lively place got its recognizable symbol in 1852 when a bridge was built by Prince Danilo, in a memory of his father. Today, the Old Bridge is one of the most beautiful structures of this kind in the country. In the glorious days of King Nikola’s rule, his summer residence was built in town and a number of buildings of coastal style appeared near the market.

One of the most historically important buildings is also one of the oldest-house of St. Peter of Cetinje. This Montenegrin secular and spiritual ruler used to spend his time here in a house characterized by nice mixture of oriental and seaside architecture, with a small chapel on a ground floor.

On the way back we took another, less known road, the old road from Rijeka Crnojevića to Virpazar. We crossed the bridge by the Factory (place had the first weapons factory and the factory for conservation of fish) and even though the road offered wonderful visual experience, it was a narrow and winding road with poor visibility, one could even call it a dangerous road. Every turn showed us different sight, unique, colorful.

I felt privileged to have one more opportunity to explore this part of my country and enjoy in the blessings that nature has given us. And then we sow Virpazar in distance, knowing that this journey unfortunately has to be over…

Warning: If you are going there by car, be especially careful and it would be wise to get a local guide since there are no many road signs along the way.

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