Activity holiday in Bar
The municipality of Bar is the right choice for all lovers of activity holidays, who are looking for a special experience in rare and unique locations.
A warm and clean sea offers possibilities for various activities such as: sport fishing from land or on the open sea, sailing, exploring the rich underwater world with hidden reefs and caves, but also archaeological sites and shipwrecks. For those who are not into strenuous activities, there is a cruise along the coast and guaranteed enjoyment of the view and gastronomic specialties.
Skadar Lake and its surroundings are considered an ideal destination for an activity holiday: lovers of hiking and biking can enjoy beautiful landscapes and cultural property along tens of kilometres of marked hiking and biking trails throughout the year. There are also water sports: discovering lagoons, islands and fishing villages by kayak is a unique way to experience Skadar Lake, and warm lake water with mild wind in the open air blowing almost daily, make it an ideal spot for sailing. In the hidden lagoons, covered with reed, it is possible to go birdwatching, including rare and protected species.
Cruising the Adriatic Sea
Cruising the Adriatic along 46 kilometres, gives you the opportunity to enjoy the unique contrast of the sea surrounded by high mountains, sandy beaches, hidden coves, swimming in the crystal clear water, sun bathing and the cuisine rich with traditional seafood specialties.
Marina Bar is an ideal starting port for sailing through the picturesque Montenegrin coast, bays and harbours. It is located in the heart of Bar Bay, next to the town beach, and surrounded by quality tourist and infrastructural facilities.
There are also many taxi boats that offer full-day excursions, day and night rides and tours of beaches that can only be reached by sea, such as the Queen’s Beach or the beach behind Volujica hill.
Cruising Skadar Lake
Cruising Skadar Lake is a breathtaking experience.
Cruising Skadar Lake is a breath-taking experience. The view of many small islands with medieval monasteries and rare bird species is a unique bond of history and nature. The fishermen’s villages with an authentic architecture, beaches, coves and opulent vegetation, carp and bleak as local specialities, wine from Crmnica and loza brandy – make this region even more impressive.
Cruising Skadar Lake offers the opportunity to enjoy its natural beauty, wetland shores covered with reeds, water lilies and water chestnut, numerous islands – gorice (small hills) and cultural and historical monuments. Hidden beaches and swimming in the lake are an integral part of this adventure. The tourist offer also includes a ride on traditional wooden boats called čunovi. The view of numerous islands with medieval monasteries and rare birds is a unique blend of history and nature. Fishermen’s villages with authentic architecture, beaches, bays, and diversity of flora add to the richness of this area.
The cruise on the lake is organized by licensed entrepreneurs. Ships depart from the port of Virpazar. Some entrepreneurs hire guides for natural and cultural monuments.
Due to the high water level, it is possible to do kayaking – the sport which includes outsmarting the river and its rapids, throughout the year in Montenegro, on the rivers Tara and Lim.
Apart from the rivers, you can do this dynamic sport along the Montenegrin coast, while kayaking on Skadar Lake is a unique experience.
While paddling on the lake you can explore the most intriguing and mysterious islands – gorice and unusual villages along the shores of the lake.
The circumstances for practicing sailing as a sport on the Montenegrin coast work in your favour: winds which create excellent conditions for practicing, sun and climate. Fifteen regattas are held during the year, mostly for memorial purpose. The most important one is the Montenegro Cup, a competition for small sailing boats which takes place in July. Local clubs provide classes or can arrange a sailing trip for guests.
Those wishing to add more excitement to their holidays will enjoy ideal sailing conditions with warm sea and lake water and a mild daily breeze
Walking and Hiking
Hiking and walking fans will enjoy the beautiful landscape and the specificities of the cultural heritage down the dozens of kilometres of marked trails alongside Skadar Lake and the Adriatic Sea coast.
- Volujica – Bigovica – 5 km
- Sutomore – Haj Nehaj Fortress- 2,7km
- Sutorman – Vrsuta – Sutorman – 3,3km
- Sutomore – Sozina – PPT – 7km
- Limljani – Klisići – Sutorman – 11km
- Old Bar – Kajnak – Džidžarin – Rikavac Bridge – 6,5km
- Podgor – Virpazar – 13km
- Along the coast of Krajina through olive groves – 7,7km
- Along Sutorman riverbed – 4,1km
- Lunj – Lisinj or Mikulići – Lunj – 12km
- Bijela skala – Pinčići – Murići – 6,5km
- Bijela skala – Gornji Šestani – Đuravci – 7,3 km
- Zupci – Mužice – PPT (connecting with Coast-Mountain Transversal trail) – 6 km
- Šušanj – Gornja voda – Vučja spilja – Kolijevka – Sutorman – PPT – 9 km
- Gornja Briska (Šestani) – Rumija – 5,1km
- Zabes – Godinje – 4,5km
- Along Orahovštica river valley- 13 km
- Old Bar – Baltina – 5,5km
- Dobri do – Rumija – 4km
- Tuđemili – Kunora peak – PPT – 2,5km
- Viewpoint „Zekova glava“ – 3,9km
Cycling tracks can be used all year round. Most of them are marked and thus easy to use by the tourists. They run through picturesque villages and areas with ample vegetation.
- Rijeka Crnojevića – Virpazar – Ckla – 65km – 470m upwards
- Rijeka Crnojevića – Karuč – 9,5km – 180m upwards
- Virpazar – the field of Crmnica – Virpazar – 17,5km – 260m upwards
- Virpazar – Limljani – Boljevići – Virpazar – 20km – uspon 375m
- Virpazar – Sutorman – Bar – 34km – 730m upwards
- Dodoši – Žabljak Crnojevića – 10km – 10m upwards
- Virpazar – Orahovštica / Opački bridge- 8km – 120m upwards
Bar has five canyons intended for all those who want to experience this adventure activity while simultaneously enjoying the fascinating landscapes and direct contact with nature. Those are five masterpieces of nature – unbelievably beautiful canyons with steep cliffs, gorgeous waterfalls and rivers that shaped them and gave them a soul.
Rikavac Canyon – It is located near Old Bar. There is a 10-minute walk from the place designated for parking cars to the canyon entrance. The canyon is one kilometre long and has 6 verticals.
Međureč Canyon – It is located 17 kilometres away from Bar. There is a 20-minute walk from the place designated for parking cars to the canyon entrance. The canyon is about 2 kilometres long, and it takes approximately 3:30 hours for a group of up to 5 people to travel through the canyon. It has 12 verticals, the highest one rising to 32 meters.
Vruća Rijeka – The entrance to the canyon is located about 30 kilometres from Bar. It is 7 kilometres long and can be accessed by car. It takes 10 hours for a group of up to 5 people to travel through the canyon. It is necessary to take on more than 30 verticals, the highest one reaching 22 meters. This canyon is recommended only for more experienced adventurers.
In addition, there are the canyons of Suva Rijeka and Nikezića potok which can only be visited by professionals. Vruća Rijeka, Suva Rijeka and Nikezića potok canyons are accessible only when the water level is high, while Rikavac and Međurečje canyons are accessible in the summer season.
Bird watching in Skadar Lake National Park
Skadar Lake, one of the most beautiful destinations with the most diverse bird world, is located in Bar.
Skadar Lake is home to 280 species of birds, which makes up about 50% of the total number of European species, and is one of the richest wetlands in Europe. A rare specimen of the Dalmatian pelican is a symbol of the National Park.
During the winter, birds from all around the world including western Siberia or Africa visit the Shkodra shelter. Even the very rare black African heron feels good here. The birds’ paradise is diverse, with various species of ducks (wild, mallard, Eurasian wigeon, Northern pintail) and geese (graylag, Eurasian teal, northern shoveler) roaming, grebes, cormorants, herons, ibises walking around, eagles (Eastern imperial, lesser spotted, Bonelli’s eagle, steppe), gyps vultures and bustards circling. European herring gull chose the lake island instead of the sea one as their nesting ground. The island of Omerova gorica, the only known colony of herons on laurels is located nearby.
The best time for birdwatching is winter or autumn, when large flocks of migratory birds fly over Skadar Lake. Those interested in birdwatching have to inform Skadar Lake National Park at least one day in advance. It is organized from čun or from the observatory platform in Raduš, which offers a unique vista of the lake’s flora and fauna.
Diving is the best choice for those wishing to experience something new and venture into the opulence of the underwater world, turbulent history hidden in the underwater archaeological sites, numerous ship wrecks and reefs, and mysterious local caverns and unexplored caves.
The reef of the Royal Bay, which is great for beginners, and the Mikovića Cave for tourist diving, the hydro-archaeological site of Bigovica, the remains of a sunken ancient temple in the shallows of Maljevik Bay, the wreckage of sunken ships from different eras, are just some of the treasures of the Bar submarine, which are waiting to be discovered.
Bar’s underwater treasure
Get ready to dive into the blue of the Bar's underwater and discover its hidden treasures
Near the beach of Čanj there is an Italian military plane wreck, hit during World War II. Its both wings and two engines are well preserved, while the tail was destroyed in the explosion. It is located at 54 metres depth, with excellent visibility.
Located near Čanj, in the sand at 54 metres depth, it is still a home to dozens of lobsters and red porgy. So far, this wreck has been visited by a small number of divers, gathered on a specialized diving boat “Down Under”. Recent discovery found out that it was a German twin-engine medium bomber “Junkers Ju 88” from World War II, which was serviced by a four-member crew.
Both unmarked wings which are 5-6 metres long, one of them yellow, as well as two engines are clearly visible. The propellers are not visible, except for their small part. The fact that the plane remained intact and did not disintegrate has led to conclusion that the pilot managed to land the plane on the sea surface before it sunk. Located at great depth, the plane is available only to very experienced, technically equipped divers – recreational divers and divers under “three stars” should not even think about touring the plane, as it can be dangerous.
Bar’s underwater hides several other attractive hydro-archaeological sites at great depths.
These are amphorae sites from the 3rd century B.C. and 2nd century B.C, as well as a sunken sailing ship from the 18th century with two bow cannons, located in front of Bigovica. Most recent sites deep under water include the American B-25 bomber, as well as one German “Messerschmitt” ME109 and one British “Spitfire”, shot down in World War II near Bar.
Other interesting sites in the vicinity of the Bar underwater are the reef of the Royal Bay, which is great for beginners, and Mikovića Cave, 150 metres long, which ends partly above the water surface and is decorated with red stalactites. It is located on the south of the Volujica peninsula, near the bay of Bigovica. Those lucky ones who had the opportunity to visit it consider it the best cave for tourist diving in Montenegro. The entrance to the cave on the south side is at 7 to 8 metres depth. Immediately after the entrance to the cave, it forks in two directions. On the right, the cave stretches through a series of labyrinths which are very poorly visible and quite narrow. The left side of the cave is more spacious and more suitable for diving. The entire length of the left side of the cave is marked by a steel cable which serves as a good signpost towards the end of the cave. At the very end there is a siphon into which fresh and cold water flows, forming a lake. It was named after the legendary Miki Munja, Miodrag Mitković, a civil engineer and diver.
Hydro-archaeological site of Bigovica, which originates from the ancient period, is located near the port of Bar. Due to its location which protects it from the wind, this natural bay was used as a winter port from the 3rd century B.C. to the 16th century A.D. Several amphorae sites, the remains of an ancient shipwreck from the 4th century, as well as numerous remains of other archaeological material dating back to the 16th century have been discovered here. In front of the ancient site of Bigovica there is a large sailing ship with cannons that has an unusual story. It remained intact because it was at a fairly great depth.
The famous King Nikola Petrović’s yacht “Rumija” was sunk in the Bar’s waters, 80 metres from the main breakwater, at 18 metres depth. It was the pride and the most beautiful ship of the Montenegrin flotilla, with two masts, 47.78 metres long and 6.10 metres wide. It was bought in England by Sultan Abdul Hamid, who donated it to King Nikola. Initially, it was used to transport the royal family from Kotor to the river Bojana, and to transport war material and the army during the Balkan War. In World War I, it was used to supply the Montenegrin army, transporting food, ammunition and war material from Bar to Medova in Albania. Austro-Hungarian warships torpedoed the yacht and it sank at the entrance to the Bay of Bar. This yacht is one of the few underwater facilities that have been placed under state protection, although the ship was “cleared” of all its valuable load by underwater treasure hunters. A conservation project has recently been developed, containing measures that will contribute to the preservation of this national heritage.
The modern French warship from the beginning of the 20th century, the destroyer “Dague”, is considered one of the most popular among divers. It is located near the Port of Bar. The ship was built in 1908 in France. Before the accident in 1915, it was anchored not far from the Port of Bar. “Dague” was hit by a strong bora, which dragged it away from the shore together with the anchor. It then came across an Austro-Hungarian underwater mine and sank after a big explosion when 39 sailors died. The ship could have reached a speed of 30 knots, operated on steam propulsion and had weapons including two 37 millimetres cannons and 4 torpedoes. The site is located at 18 metres depth, with good visibility.
On 31 December 1940, south of the town of Bar, below the bay of Bigovica, near the cliffs of Šogavica, the Italian cargo ship “Quinto” collided with the Greek submarine “Katsonis” and sank, suffering serious damage. The ship was completely destroyed, and the details of its interior, as well as part of the cargo it was carrying can be seen at the bottom. Barrels containing oil are scattered around the ship. The location is at 32 metres depth, while visibility for divers varies.
The Bar Riviera hides one of the most intriguing secrets of the Adriatic Sea. This ship was accidentally spotted in 1993 by underwater cinematographers. It is located on the seafloor in a horizontal position, with two cannons on its left wing, which seemed to be ready to fire before the ship was sunk. The site research has only led to new mysteries. The materials used in the construction of the ship date to the 19th century, and its weapons originate from the 18th century. Perhaps in the future, archaeologists will analyse this unexplored wreck in more detail and be able to give answers to all the questions. The ship lies at about 30 metres depth.
After the sensational discovery of the remains of a submerged ancient temple from the 2nd-4th century in the shallows of Maljevik bay in Sutomore in September 2009, Public Company Cultural Centre Bar started cooperating with the English University of Southampton, which is famous for underwater archaeological research. Enormous pieces of pillars with about 90 centimetres in diameter were discovered, lying together with other architectural elements, weighing several tons, at a depth of about two meters. The remains are also visible from the sea surface, when the water is clear and free of waves. After the valorisation of this discovery, the location became one of the most important underwater attractions for tourists-divers. Due to the importance of the underwater-archaeological discovery of the sunken and forgotten temple, Maljevik is recognized and included among the most relevant underwater-archaeological sites in the world.
An international diving team of archaeologists has begun researching the submerged ancient city, which is believed to date to the 3rd-4th centuries. The goal is to research the architectural elements that belonged to the ancient temple and carry out a thorough field survey of the Maljevik bay.