Adjacent to Cetinje is Lovćen national park, normally approached by car, but accessible on foot. Covering 6.400 ha, the national park is dominated by Mount Lovćen and the Njegos Mausoleum, descending to the marshes of Skadarsko Jezero. Mount Lovćen has twin peaks, Stirnovik at 1.749 meter and Jezerski at 1.657 meter. The road from Kotor on the Boka Kotorska to Lovćen mountain is made up of a series of serpentine’s, each curve disclosing a yet more sensational vista below.
When you come out of number 32 you have arrived in the center of the Lovćen national park, the magnificent summit of which the Montenegrin’s consider their Mount Olympus. It is here on the summit of Jezerski that the Mausoleum of Petar 2 Petrovic Njegos, a symbol to his people and a message to all corners : the heart of Montenegro is unassailable.
Geography and Flora & Fauna of Lovćen
Due to its specific natural characteristics, Mount Lovćen was pronounced a national park in 1952. It has an area of 6,400 ha and represents a unique whole viewed from bio-geographical and tourist aspects. It is characterized by exceptional geographic phenomena, rich flora and fauna as well as delves and caves. There are 1158 plant species out of which four are endemic. In Ivanova Korita, which is a part of the national park, located at 1200 meter altitude, there are several tourist facilities designed for recreation.
There is a modern road leading from Cetinje to Ivanova Korita and the Njegos’ Mausoleum, which makes the national park easily accessible during both summer and winter. Beside the natural beauties, there are many sights to explore like old villages, wooden cottages, Holy Transfiguration church, Njegos mausoleum built in 1974 and represents the most stunning attraction of the National Park “Lovćen “.
“I want to tell you something about Lovćen , about a beautiful Montenegrin hill. The first thing that emerges in front of you, that is it; the first spoken Montenegrin word is its name; the first step on the Montenegrin soil is the stone of the Lovćen mountain. Wherever you go, you can see it; it is a polar star for Montenegrins.”
The mausoleum of Petar Petrovic Njegos built of limestone and granite can be found on top of Mount Lovćen . It was Njegos’s last wish, the greatest ruler of the Montenegrin’s who was a bishop and a poet at the same time to be buried there. The big statue in the mausoleum was sculpted by Mestrovic. The statue was getting dusty for a long time in a store-room but later it was carried up to the peak with the help of big haulers and winches.
The Njegos Mausoleum was dedicated by Duke Danilo in 1855 in a church built by Njegos himself. Each Montenegrin sees in this man the personification of all that he or she holds sacred. The road climbs 20 kilometer from Cetinje to the car park, from which 461 steps lead to the Mausoleum, and in clear weather, a stunning 360 degrees view of the mountains and the coast. For an unworldly experience try it in a thunderstorm. On a clear day its even possible to see the Italian coast.
Tourist information about the park
When entering the Lovćen national park in touristic season there must be paid a fee 3 euro a person. The entrance costs for the Njegos mausoleum are 3 euro for adults and 2 euro for children. A tip for those who’d like to taste the traditional smoked ham Pršut or white grape brandy Rakija, make a stop at the small shops aside the road. Because here the best Njeguški Pršut can be found. In summertime there are also some traditional Montenegrin events held in the park. On 13 July there is the festival of Viteske Igre, sport games with rock throwing, running, shooting and more old disciplines.
Accomodation in the Lovćen park
According to the laws that apply to national parks in Montenegro to preserve the natural resources and cultural heritage of the parks, no new projects may be started. An exception to this is only for existing foundations on which a new project may be realized. For the Lovćen national park, this means that only two private hotels are located in the park, next to the state hotel which is not used for commercial purposes. The nearest city is Cetinje where several hotels are located. Kotor is also a possibility but is at a greater distance and also involves a much longer travel time. You can also rent one of the bungalows inside the park that are that operated by the tourist organisation. These cost €40 per night and you can book them by emailing the parks tourist organisation. For those willing to pitch a tent there is a small fee of €3 for a small tent and €5 for a large tent. Once again the the parks tourist organisation needs to be contacted for arranging.
Hotels in the park
- Hotel Monte Rosa – Located in the heart of the park in the Ivanova korita part. The 4-star hotel offers views of the Njegos mausoleum and the surrounding mountains. The Njegos mausoleum is a 10-minute drive away. The area around the hotel is very quiet. Several walking routes through the park are available here. Cetinje the former capital is 15 km away.
- Facilities : Restaurant / Café, Swimming pool, Hotel bar, Parking, Free Wi-Fi Internet Access Included, Car-Quad and Bicycle Rental, Luggage Storage, Airport Shuttle (surcharge), Terrace, Garden, Express Check-In / Check-Out, Ski Equipment Hire (on site), Fitness Center, Ironing Service (surcharge) ), Laundry (surcharge), Ski Storage, Bar, Mini Bar, Breakfast in the Room, Wake Up Service.
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- Hotel Ivanov Konak – Hotel Ivanov Konak is located in the Lovćen National Park, at 1,250 meters above sea level. It offers rooms with satellite TV, a restaurant and free Wi-Fi and parking. There is a ski slope in front of the hotel. All rooms feature a minibar, hardwood floors and a private bathroom with a shower. Guests can also relax on the terrace with barbecue facilities, in the bar or in the restaurant serving local specialties. The hotel has basketball and handball courts, tennis courts and a football pitch. There are many hiking and cycling trails around the hotel. Excursions around and in the Lovćen national park can also be arranged.
- Facilities : Free Wifi, Free parking, Picnic area, Terrace, Garden, Ski equipment hire (on site), Restaurant (à la carte), Bar, Mini-bar, Breakfast in the room, On-site coffee house, Bikes available (free), Tennis equipment (surcharge) Entertainment staff, 24-hour front desk, Tennis court (nearby), Ironing service (surcharge), Laundry (surcharge), Ski equipment hire (on site), Airport shuttle (surcharge).
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Hiking in the Lovćen Park
The Lovćen park contains marked hiking trials covering the whole park. All starting in Ivanova Korita the center of the park. The red and white dots will lead you through the nicest scenery in the park.