Hiking in the Orjen Massif

The thing I love the most about Herceg Novi are all the mountains, and the fact that the hiking trails start right in town. The Orjen massif towering behind the city is simply amazing and there are a lot of hikes available here.

map for hiking the orjen massifThe blog Hiking is Good has more information about this and other hikes in and around Herceg Novi (thanks for the tip about this map!)

You can start down in the city and I was told that it would take between 5 – 6 hours to hike up to the top. If you go to the busstation (there is only one) and then follow the red marks heading up you will eventually get up into the mountains. 

≫ This post is a collaboration between me, Nordic TB and the Tourism Organisation of Herceg Novi ≪

The trail goes up very slowly though, crossing many main roads along the way so if you want to hike up in the massif I suggest finding a guide or that you take a taxi up there (which is pretty cheap here) and have them drop you off as high up as possbile.

You could also go on an organised hike with Montenegro Outdoors and besides hiking trails you can also find both mountain bike routes and trail running paths here.

≫ Read more about active holidays on Herceg Novi’s own website

One of our days here we had two wonderful mountain guides, Saša and Željko take us up by car. We drove on winding roads up, up, up – headeding for Subra, a part of Orjen mountain and a peak that is 1679 m high.

Driving up windy roads of the Orjen massif

The conversations in the car where equal parts funny and interesting. We talked about how this place was once born from glaciers, and about folk legends; ghosts, vampires and thunder gods. Meeting locals, especially those with a passion and knowledge of an area is by far the best way to explore a new place if you ask me, and I loved driving up the mountain with these guys.


“You will see a beautiful place. No, not beautiful – different, strange. Wild”

– Saša


Mountain guide in his car

hiking signs in the mountains of Herceg Novi

≫ This post is a collaboration between me, Nordic TB and the Tourism Organisation of Herceg Novi

We met both cows and goats on the road, which slowed our ascent. We also made a stop to admire the view and have Željko shows us some edible plants. He likes to gather food and herbs in the wild which immediately made me like this guy even more since I am quite interested in that as well and know a bit about that with Swedish plants.

Mountains in the Orjen Massif

car on windy roads in the mountains

driving up the Orjen massif

wild salvia

This is what salvia looks like out in the wild, a beautiful plant and it smelled amazing!

driving amongst the mountains

Orjen massif, Montenegro

Željko knows all about the mountains here, but he doesn’t trust his english so Saša translates. Željko is the one that marks the trails here and he says that he doesn’t need a language for that, everyone understands the signs, and he is not wrong. All the trails are so well marked showing you where to go and where you can find water as well.

Our hike takes place at the base of Subra, called Markov kos (Markos basket) and it looks like a natural Greek amphitheater. Besides hiking trails you can also find both mountain bike routes and trail running paths here. I really wanted to hike higher up / at the top of a peak but I guess I will have to come back!

≫ Read more about the peak Subra here

trail mark in the Orjen massif

flower with green beetle

This flower reminded me of the meadow sweet we have in Sweden. Also, the beetles here where big and beautiful!

Mountain guide taking a photo of the view

trail mark for water in the Orjen massif

mountain guide walking

Orjen massif


hiking in the Orjen massif

We stopped to pick more edible plants to use for our lunch, like these tender dandelion leaves.

gathering edible plants

gathering edible plants

The nature here was just like Saša said, different and wild. Mountains and boulders mingled with forests consistent of both coniferous and deciduous greenery.

hiking in the Orjen massif

hiking in the Orjen massif

hiking in the Orjen massif

We started hiking in the morning but it quickly got very hot and the sun was strong. I would probably not hike here during summer, and definitely during the day. An evening hike here would be lovely. And probably offer more interesting light and skies for photography too, something I think about way too much when I am out and about.

At one point we reached a cave though, and it went from being hot and humid to really cold and we found quite the pile of snow. Talk about contrasts?!

Turns out Saša had brought some lemonade and vodka which he used together with the snow to mix drinks for us, topped with some wild salvia – first time ever I’ve had a drink in the middle of a hike! A very wild, natural drink haha.

drink made of snow, lemonade and wild herbs

After our hike we went down to the village of Zlijebi where we marvelled at this old city made completely out of stone.

This is also where we were treated to an amazing lunch in Taverna Sikimić, with the wild edibles we’d foraged for together with homegrown vegetables, meat from their own animals and even their own wine!

Taverna Sikimić

Orjen massif

I know I’d just been hiking a mountain, but the view in this village wasn’t too bad either.

Orjen massif

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  1. Wow, what an incredible place. Looks a little bit like alpine tundra, at least that one photo above the text that talks about how one of the guides know and makes all trail markings, which also is so incredible and cool. I fell in love with mountains over here, so I have all of Europe to explore at some point too, and I guess the rest of the world too!

    1. Yeah, really spectacular! Mhm it does indeed, doesn’t it? And at other spots it looked completely different. It was a very interesting place. Riight? So nice to meet the passionate people making sure the trails are well taken care of and that the beauty of the mountains is accessible for everyone! Mountains are awesome and to see them in different places of the earth is truly spectacular :D

  2. Very nice! I was in HC last summer and found a guide book to hikes in the area which really intrigued me. You’re right, they start right in town. However, it was July and blazing hot so I wasn’t too keen on climbing the 600m rise.

    1. Thanks! That’s cool, I would’ve loved to flick through a book like that. It is great that the option to start right in town exists, but yeah it is quite the climb and in summer that would certainly not be favourable. I’d much rather spend my energy hiking and enjoying the tops of the mountains :) Did you end up going up to hike anything at all during your stay there?

      1. Actually, I ended up buying a house in HN! I thought it was quite a unique combination of seaside and mountain plus a really nice old town. I didn’t hike to the top but did a nice drive throughout the mountain. It has fantastic potential.