Route 4: The Circuit around Korita

Total distance: 63.17 km
Max elevation: 1371 m
Min elevation: 48 m
Total climbing: 1996 m

GPS

A stone town on top of a hill, a duke.The first gate between dimensions.A look down the throat of a falcon.Slopes and rocks as therapy for body and mind.

The circuit over Korita always draws one’s attention because of its beauty. It is especially precious when your time is limited: a few hours will be enough to wander off and sink deep into the extraordinary ambience of landscapes that look like they are very far from the capital city. In the language of science fiction, somewhere on a narrow road through Ubli, Korita and Stjepanovo, there is a gate between dimensions and you will go through it twice: once by jumping over seven hills, seven seas and a couple of centuries into the exotic spaces of the former Montenegro, and the second time by happily returning and landing into the everyday life of the 21st century.

The Climb

You will start your journey in Podgorica, at the intersection in front of the Hotel Keto. The long Skopska Street will lead you north-east, and you will start to climb once you leave the city. From the 4-kilometre mark, the climb becomes more intense – you are entering the hills of Kuči. Near the 8-kilometre mark, you will arrive at a crossroads from which you will continue straight on, towards Medun. On the right, there is a road towards Fundina – this is the direction from which you will return at the end of this tour. Very quickly, you will arrive at the remains of the ancient fortified town of Medun. Nowadays, only about hundred people live within its walls.

Medun

The Illyrian castrum of Meteon, which existed in this place before the medieval fortress, was built between the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. on an elongated rocky hill. This makes it one of the oldest constructions of its kind in this part of the Balkans. Roman legions conquered Medun in 167 BC, and captured the last Illyrian king, Gentius. Although it was built as a fortress, Medun later became a town, and as such it survived and developed for two and a half millennia. Duke Marko Miljanov (1833–1901) from Kuči was born and is buried in Medun. He was a very important person in Montenegrin history and a large part of the nation’s culture and tradition, a legendary fighter against the Turks and a writer who described the life and struggle of his tribe in Montenegro and Albania. Today, the house in which he was born is the most important memorial museum in Montenegro, and it should be seen in order to revisit an interesting, though at times tragic time, and learn about life in this place during the 19th century. The remains of a medieval fortress are another site that can be visited in Medun, and there is also a necropolis north of the upper part of the town. It is worth taking a walk there and stepping on original Illyrian steps. Also, Medun offers a great view over Podgorica and the entire surrounding area.

Thirty-Kilometre-Long Descent

Back on your road because the excitements are not over yet! A beautiful, thirty-kilometre-long descent towards Podgorica begins in Korita. The winding asphalt will lead you through the villages of Deljaj and Stjepovo towards new viewpoints above the Cijevna Canyon. Finally, you will go across Doljani and into the capital of Montenegro. Aside from the residents, Albanian Catholics, the villages in this area are also special because of the gardens and fields bordered by low stone walls. Stjepovo is a place that is possibly “the rockiest” of them all. Behind Stjepovo, the descent is broken by a climb lasting a few kilometres: from the ridge, you will again have a beautiful view over the Prokletije Mountains and Podgorica. Then, even Lake Skadar will show you a large piece of its blue mirror. At the exit of the small village of Deljaj, the asphalt touches the very edge of the canyon. The river here is still over 700 metres beneath us, so one should definitely stop and enjoy the new views.

On Foot to GrloSokolovo (Falcon’s Throat)

Along a winding and picturesque road, which will show you glimpses of local life, you will go through a small place called Ubli and go down deeper into the wide spaces of the rocky Kuči region. After numerous serpentines, you will reach a plateau where there were summer pastures, but today it is more of a weekend resort, Koritakučka (or Koritahotska). You will reach a crossroads where your road towards Stjepovo separates to the right and doubles back – but there is a good reason why you should go all the way to the centre of the settlement. You should ask for direction so that you can find the former patrol path of the border guard near the military barracks. After half an hour of easy hiking across meadows and through the woods, the path will take you to a fantastic place with a fitting name: Grlosokolovo (Falcon’s Throat). From the edge of this viewpoint will look straight into… the explosion of the mighty canyon of the River Cijevna, the daughter of the snows of the Prokletije. Through the bluish haze, the kind that covers depths and widths, you will catch a view over the endless raw walls and bows of the Prokletije. They make up the other side of the world; in this place where the power of nature gives way only to two sides of the world: the one where you are and the one where you are not.

Alter Ego of Cijevna

The Cijevna Canyon will turn into a tiny crack near Podgorica. You have seen its grandiose beginning, and if you want to see what its very different ending looks like (a few metres deep and wide in a rocky plain), you should head from Podgorica down the 4-km road towards Tuzi. The bridge over the Cijevna is a place where one should embark on a short and easy, although disproportionately attractive, exploration of this new “personality” of the canyon.

The Road from Korita is Special

This long descent from sky to the earth has a therapeutic effect, and it can be recommended to everyone who wants to feel really awake and enjoy life. You should fully enjoy the ride! In this place, it would be a shame to go fast and waste those precious moments, images and feelings.

In all towns in Montenegro there are local tourist organisation info centres where you can get additional information and explanations.

Food, Drinks and Souvenirs

Montenegro is rich with sources of fresh, healthy water. To the taste of spring water add the superior taste of the local cuisine. On the roads you will notice signs for paths of wine, cheese and honey, but besides these also do not miss the opportunity to buy food from the hosts. Also try their brandy, mead and of course – great wines. Authentic souvenirs made from wool and wood will be not only memories, but also very useful items.

Types of vehicles

Montenegrin attractive roads are oftenvery narrow, winding and withsignificant slopes. In order to specifythe road conditions for different vehicles,we have defined the followingcategories:

1. Motorcycles (m)
2. Cars (c)
3. Small camping vehicles (S)
Length up to 5.60 m
Width up to 2.30 m
Height up to 2.70 m
4. Medium-sized camping vehicles (M)
Length up to 7.00 m
Width up to 2.30 m
Height up to 3.50 m
5. Large camping vehicles (L)
Length 7.00 m and more
Width 2.30 m and more
Height 3.50 m and more

Note:

At this point the routes are not recommended forlarge camping vehicles (L) and drivers with noexperience.Different seasons entail a variety of challenges.

Cultural Resources:

1. Fortress of Medun
2. Kruševac Court Complex
3. Duklja–Doclea

Natural Resources:

1. Biogradska Gora National Park
2. Prokletije National Park
3. Durmitor National Park
4. Lovćen National Park
5. Lake Skadar National Park
6. Cijevna Canyon

Just one part of the natural and culturalheritage of Montenegro along the panoramic roads.

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