Orjen (1894m)is the highest mountain of the east Adriatic coast. When seen by sailors from far away the mountain’s peak served as a clear guide marketing east-oriens in Latin. Orijen’s massif rises above Herceg Novi, reaches its highest peak just 14 km from the sea and descends to the north and west, well into Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia. This unkind mountain has the highest precipitation in the whole of Europe due to warm air from the seaside cooling quickly while ascending its sides and forming rain-heavy clouds.
The enormous amount of rain falling on its limestone rocks forms the most rugged karst terrain in the Dinaric Alps with countless pits (many with snow on their bottoms all year long), sinkholes and caves which make it a heaven for speleologist especially as most of these formations are unexplored.
In winter the mountain looks much more serene as the heavy snowfall covers the coarseness of its surface. Here one can enjoy snow or even ski (through there are no ski lifts) up to the end of May and then go for a swim in the already warm sea.
Its southern sides are also used for paragliding with amazing views of Boka Kotorska and the open sea. If planning with amazing views of Boka Kotorska and the open sea.If planning hike on this mountain note that the most rainy months are May and October, while in August the weather is sizzling in this waterless area.
The rough terrains of Orjen are easily accessible by the road leading to Trebinje. One of the favourite excursion points for local is the mountain hut “Borići” 18km from Herceg Novi, reached by talking the right turn after passing the Kameno village. The mountain hut lies underneath the cliffs of Dobroštica, one of many unassailable ridges of this mountain.”Borići” got its name after a pine (bor) forest planted at the beginning of the 20th century in the barren area. Unfortunately a good deal of it disappeared in a forest fire in 2002. Here one can enjoy a view of Herceg Novi’s bay, have lunch or stay overnight. From “Borići” there is 2 km long marked path to the north, over the Vratilo ridge to the “Za Vratlom” mountain hut.
The path follows the stone road built by the Austro-Hungarian army at the end of the 19th century towards one of the many fortress that secured Boka and kept the local populace calm. Real hiking lovers can reach the hut by following a marked route starting from the bus station in Herceg Novi (4h). The hut has fifty beds and electricity but is not open all year long and you should announce yourself to “Subra” mountaineering association in Herceg Novi. The hut is the usual starting place for climbing the peak Odijevo (1571m) on Dobroštica ridge: a marked path leads through a birch forest to Kabao and then along the ridge (2h) allowing for marvelous views of the Gulf. The most impressive (trough not the highest) peak of the massif is Subra (1679m) reached from the hunt in 2h while passing through heavily karstified terrain with views on endemic Macedonian pines clinging to the cities. One should watch for poisonous snakes, especially in high summer. Subra in the best viewing point on Orijen and on a clear day one can see several ridges further inside Montenegro and Herzegovina, as well as the islands of the south Adriatic. Underneath Subra opens an amazing stone “amphitheater” where cliffs fall vertically for several hundred meters on three sides.
Other point of interest reachable by car is the village of Vrbanj (27km from Herceg Novi), on the west side of the mountain, reached by the other branch of the road after Kameno village. Otherwise you can use the deserted mountain hunt, which is decent condition. The starting point of the highest peak on the massif-Zubački kabao (otherwise simply called Orijen)- is deserted mountains hut on Orjen sedlo (1580m). This point can be reached by a very bed winding road from Vrbanj or from Crkvice above Risan. The hut has 12 while water can be found in a nearby well (studenac). From here to the highest peak of Orjen will take you 30 minutes. To the east lies the 8km long Reovačka greda ridge whose steeps sides are a challenge even for the most seasoned climbers.
Montenegro Hostel Team