A Day in Life of the Durmitor Highlanders – Exploring Montenegro’s Rural Life

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  • 1 to 2 PersonsPrivate TourStart Time: 06:00
  • 3 to 4 PersonsPrivate TourStart Time: 06:00
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6659
9 hours
Availability : April to November
Žabljak (Montenegro)
Žabljak (Montenegro)
Max People : 8
Tour Overview

Spend a day with real Durmitor highlander nomads, learn their customs, traditions, way of life, and in one day totally detach yourself from the modern and material. Enjoy the opportunity to experience rural life of Durmitor highlanders up close.

Experience all this in a real semi-nomadic environment, while absorbing centuries-old stories about the way of life in these isolated areas. Experience what Durmitor means to the local population, and how generations have grown up living in harmony with nature.

Highlights

What's Included

INCLUDED
  • Tour itinerary offers maximum flexibility.
  • Home hosted breakfast and lunch.
  • English speaking local-expert guide.
  • Durmitor style home-hosted breakfast and lunch with available vegetarian options.
  • No hidden costs. All government taxes & entrance fees included in the price.
  • Cancellation Flexibility. Cancel 24hrs before departure or change dates.
  • Pay safely online with a credit card. We accept payments for all types of credit cards.
NOT INCLUDED
  • Private Tour
  • Personal travel insurance is not included. Please buy it at home country.
  • Tips are not included in the tour costs. If you receive excellent service, please consider tipping.

Getting There

Pickup Time Tour from Žabljak departs at 6 AM, meaning we are picking you up at your accommodation.
Pickup Locations We shall pick you up in whole region of Žabljak or Durmitor National Park.

Itinerary

Activity Note: Our Durmitor hosts have spent their entire lives in harmony with nature, living on the slopes and peaks of the Durmitor massif. From nature they took only what she generously gave them, without disturbing the harmony. 

In the perception of people from urban areas, this way of life has so many virtues but also flaws that are often invisible to the average observer. That is why the goal of this universal experience is to show all the beauties of rural life, but also to point out those shortcomings that unfortunately today in the entire Balkans cause domestically and abroad, mass emigration of people from rural areas to urban areas. 

When Funky Tours works in tourism, it tries to work in accordance with the interests of local communities, and gladly directs its share of income to these communities, because these local communities are our main stakeholder, and the guarantor of thriving life in this area.

Meet & Greet

This is a daily tour, and since the important activities of life in the village begin with the first rays of the sun, it is necessary to be in the village of Trsa, as early as 7 am. In case your accommodation is in Žabljak, it will mean that we leave at 6 AM in the morning, because we have a little more than an hour’s drive to the village of Trsa, or if you decide to sleep in the village, you can consider and book our two-day tour.

Trsa Village and the canyon of Piva river in the distance

>Trsa village and Piva river canyon at Piva mountain

Early Morning

In the early morning in the village we work with cows. The cows are milked twice a day, early in the morning and later in the afternoon, usually 12 hours apart. Morning milking usually happens around 6 in the morning, and afternoon around 6 in the afternoon. Our first activity that morning will be to milk the cows, partly with modern pumps, and for those who want to, with manual milking techniques.

Life of local people at Trsa Village at Montenegro

>With the first rays of sun in the morning, around 7 AM we are learning how to milk cows. Today villagers use modern techniques for milking, but every once in a while use of hands and traditional techniques must be applied.

After that we use milk to learn how to make cheese, cream and whey. Every technique we use is a centuries-old, authentic Durmitor way of preparing dairy products.

Durmitor locals use milk to produce cheese, kajmak and other dairy products - Trsa village - Durmitor National Park

>Durmitor locals use milk to produce cheese, kajmak and other dairy products – Trsa village

Traditional Breakfast

After an early morning work around the cows and milk, we are ready to make breakfast. Durmitor breakfast is powerful. Since ancient times man has been engaged in physical work, for which he had to make up for this huge loss of calories. And how else than a traditional Montenegrin breakfast.

We learn how to make “priganice” (eng. doughnuts), which are traditionally eaten with cheese, “kajmak” (eng. cream), dried meat and various types of homemade sweet spreads.

Hosted for traditional Durmitor breakfast by the local people

>When to Durmitor locals host you for a breakfast make sure to know you will taste plenty of food.

We shall also learn how to make traditional “kačamak” (eng. porridge), as one of the most popular local dishes in Montenegro.

We serve all this with traditional coffee, tea made of local herbs and homemade juices.

In addition, during the morning we will make dough for homemade bread, which we will bake in the afternoon and have the best mountain bread you can imagine for lunch. 

Homemade food by the local families in Durmitor National Park

>Learning process on how to make traditional Durmitor bread and other food products.

Mid-Day Activities

After a delicious and powerful breakfast, the rest of the morning and the middle of the day is reserved for activities in the countryside.

Rural activities depend a lot on the season (month of the year), and according to the time of your visit, we will choose a set of activities that are the best choice for that time of year.

For example, during the month of May and part of June, we have the opportunity to work on vegetable crops: black and white onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, beans, peas, zucchini, spinach, etc. Here we will learn all about tillage and soil preparation, and the sowing techniques themselves.

Regional Products of East Bosnia

>Planting and picking up local vegetables with local families.

In the month of July we will learn all about mowing and preparing hay for cattle for the winter. An indispensable part will be the active stacking of hay in the traditional Durmitor way.

In August, it is the best time to pick and collect blueberry berries and prepare juices, liqueurs and jams in a completely natural way.

Fruit picking in Bosnia

>Picking up blueberries and other types of fruits or herbs at Durmitor mountain is very common activity local people do.

September is the month when we harvest all the vegetables we sowed during May and prepare it for the coming winter.

In October, winter preparations go further and we go into the woods to cut firewood and pull them out of the woods with oxen, a century-old technique. This is done in small quantities, as the state has introduced limits on logging.

Pulling out the fire wood by oxen, with Durmitor locals - Durmitor Nationa Park

>Pulling out the fire wood by oxen, with Durmitor locals – Durmitor National Park

In any case, no matter which part of the year you plan to visit Durmitor, we will always prepare a great mix of activities and work in the countryside, with the aim of understanding the life of Durmitor rural communities.

Afternoon Lunch

In the afternoon, after a very active day, we are back to the village and we start lunch preparations. 

Lunch will be made in the traditional way, where we prepare food under the “sač” (eng. under the bell). The traditional technique of preparing food under a metal bell, on which a burning wood or ember is placed, and the food is slowly baked for a couple of hours, is still the best and most delicious way of locally preparing food.

Meat and potatoes stewed under the sac and served with kajmak and cabbage salad

>Meat and potatoes stewed under the “sač” and served with kajmak and cabbage salad

Under “sač” we bake all kinds of meat with vegetables, bread that we prepared in the morning, and of course, the most popular thing in the Balkans that is prepared under “sač”, is “pita” (eng. pie).

In the wider region of the Balkans, known as burek, the pie is made from thinly stretched dough, which is rolled and filled with meat, potatoes, cheese, spinach, pumpkin, and thus becomes one of the world’s most popular dishes.

We serve a delicious lunch with a tasting of locally produced brandies.

Pita a specialty traditional for the Balkans regions

>Traditional “pita” (eng. pie) is one of the most beloved dishes of Balkan people.

Return & Farewell

After lunch and enjoying the traditional Durmitor delicacies, it’s time to return to Žabljak. We were guided by the idea since Žabljak is the most popular place on Durmitor, that you stay in Zabljak and the price of the tour includes a two-way transfer from Žabljak to the village of Trsa and back. Starting this tour elsewhere in Montenegro is no problem at all. Just let us know about your preferred place of pickup and we are happy to work around it.

Return to Žabljak is around 6 p.m.

What to Bring

What Do I Need to Bring?

  • Comfortable shoes
  • Sun protection (hat, sunglasses, sun block)

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is this tour for me?
    This tour requires normal level of fitness and is doable for anyone of normal level of fitness.
  2. Can I pay this tour online with credit card?
    Yes of course. We accept all credit cards.
  3. Is the lunch included in the tour?
    Yes, locally prepared breakfast and lunch are included in the price of this tour.

Trip Photos

Life of local people at Trsa Village at Montenegro
> Cow milking at 6.30 AM – Durmitor National Park
Hanging out with the locals at Trsa village - Montenegro
> Hanging out with the locals at Trsa village and listening a stories of life – Durmitor National Park
Pulling out the fire wood by oxen, with Durmitor locals - Durmitor Nationa Park
> Pulling out the fire wood by oxen, with locals – Durmitor National Park
Local man showing big jar of cranberries, locally picked and preserved in sugar at Prokosko lake - Bosnia and Herzegovina
> Picking up cranberries
Gorazde
> Cutting the fire wood at Durmitor is still the mans job
Cow milking - Durmitor National Park
> Cow milking – Durmitor National Park
Homemade food by the local families in Durmitor National Park
> Homemade food by the local families in Durmitor National Park
Hanging out with locals villagers at Durmitor National Park
> Hanging out with locals villagers at Durmitor National Park
Hosted for traditional Durmitor breakfast by the local people
> Hosted for traditional Durmitor breakfast by the local people
Experiencing the annual cutting and dragging out wood fire logs by ox power.
> Experiencing the annual cutting and dragging out wood fire logs by ox power
Lifestyle of Durmitor highlanders is not easy - Durmitor National Park
> Lifestyle of Durmitor highlanders is not easy – Durmitor National Park
Durmitor locals use milk to produce cheese, kajmak and other dairy products - Trsa village - Durmitor National Park
> Durmitor locals use milk to produce cheese, kajmak and other dairy products – Durmitor National Park
The Balkans best of the best - VW Golf II - Durmitor National Park
> The Balkans best of the best – VW Golf II – Durmitor National Park
Gorazde
> Making traditional dough for “pita” (eng. pie)
Rural toilette - Durmitor National Park
> Rural toilette – Get ready for adventure – Durmitor National Park
Traditional stewed meat and potatoes under sac
> Traditional stewed meat and potatoes under sač

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