Destination Montenegro: A winter sporting paradise
Given that Montenegro’s very name is a clue to its stunning, mountainous interior, it’s perhaps surprising that the country remains little known as a winter sports destination – yet the skiing here is world-class.
Exceptional snowfall, stunning pistes and charming boutique accommodation all await you in the Bjelasica mountain range, north of the capital Podgorica.
If you’re looking for a winter sports destination that is off the beaten track, affordable, and offers something a little different from the large Alpine or US resorts, then Montenegro should be on your radar. The long ski season here extends through till March or even April – so, while the temperature on the coast becomes balmy, you can still take to the slopes in the mountains. It’s the best of both worlds.
It’s a two-and-a-half hour drive along picturesque roads from Luštica Bay to Kolašin, the town closest to the principle ski centres. If you’re travelling direct from Podgorica and its international airport, then Kolašin is just one-and-a-half hours away. While it may be too far from Luštica Bay for a day trip, the journey time gives you the perfect excuse to check into Bianca Resort for a couple of nights. This is a chic, warm and welcoming boutique-style hotel surrounded by pine forests, with a large and well-equipped spa that is at the disposal of every guest.
Montenegro’s ski resorts also offer spectacularly good value for skiers and snowboarders, with ski passes and equipment hire available at rates far below those charged in better-known resorts.
The two principle ski centres nearby are Kolašin 1450 and Jezerine, both offering runs to suit beginners through to experts, adults and children alike. A wide range of winter sports is on offer in addition to downhill skiing – try your hand at cross-country skiing and winter hiking routes, or even take a snowmobile for a spin: they are available to hire at extremely reasonable prices.
With the pistes relatively unfrequented by visitors from outside the region, it’s not unusual to find yourself sharing a mountain with fewer than a dozen fellow skiers, skiing on untracked powder all day long.
After a day on the slopes, hearty, traditional Montenegrin cuisine is served along with a glass of mulled wine in the rustic cabins on the slopes. Or you could travel back to town, and try to decide which of the two restaurants at the Bianca Resort you like best. Montenegro in winter truly is a secret you might want to keep to yourself.