Not surprisingly the best views in Montenegro require the most effort to reach. Work up a sweat with this challenging uphill ride along a steep, rocky path that winds its way through a dense forest towards the summit of Vrmac Ridge and its highest peak, Sveti Ilija. The ride down to Porto Montenegro is equally intense but your hard work will be rewarded at every turn with spectacular vistas of Bay of Kotor, Montenegro and beyond.
Distance: 5km in total, first 2km will be up a rocky, steep incline and the remaining 3km being split between an equally-rocky downhill mountain path and smoother roads.
Duration: Approximately 3 hours total; 2 of which will be cycling.
Start Time: Typically, 07:00 (summer) to avoid the heat; otherwise please inquire for best times depending on the season.
Transport: We’ll pick you up/drop you off from your preferred location in Tivat or Kotor and transport you to/from the start/end point of the tour.
Difficulty: HARD—this tour is quite strenuous and requires significant previous mountain biking experience as well as a high level of physical fitness, please send us an inquiry before booking.
Additional Information: All rider heights must be known at the time of booking for the bikes to be properly fitted. Suggested minimum age is 16.
Pickup, drive, safety brief – We collect the group from your respective locations in Tivat or Kotor and then we take a 30-minute drive to our starting point on Vrmac Ridge. Before we start, the guides demonstrate how to properly navigate rocky terrain with the mountain bikes and give a number of tips on how to operate the gear.
Fort Vrmac – Take your time to walk around and explore the old, abandoned fort before we start cycling
50-minute uphill cycle on old Austro-Hungarian carriage ways after which we stop to secure the bikes before walking up to the summit
10-minute hike up to the highest peak on Vrmac Ridge - Sveti Ilia. After spending a few minutes admiring the view, we head back to the bikes and ride downhill for 30 min to Gornja Lastva
Gornja Lastva – Usually we make a quick stop to check our bikes and have a look around before launching on the last stretch of the journey
30-minute cycle down to Tivat and our end destination in Porto Montenegro. Once we reach the pickup point in Porto Montenegro, we grab snacks from a nearby supermarket while waiting for our van transit and then we drop you off at your respective location.
WHAT YOU'LL EXPERIENCE:
Get ready to work up a sweat and earn some of the best views Montenegro has to offer! Right from the start, you’ll be met with the smell of oak wood and clean mountain air in the dense forrest. We like to spend a few minutes running through with everyone how to best utilize the bike’s gears, handle the steering on different terrains, and navigate the route before making a start on what will be a tough, yet rewarding journey. We'll take a 5-minute detour and walk up to the Austro-Hungarian Fort Vrmac, built in 1860, to explore the surrounding area, diving deep into Montenegrin history and being left with more questions than answers.
We then jump on our bikes and begin our ascent up a sharply-inclined, rocky path that runs along the whole length of the Vrmac ridge—formerly an Austro-Hungarian carriage road. Continuing our exhausting climb, we reach the crossroads checkpoint. Here, we secure our bikes and hike up to the summit, Sveti Ilija, highest peak of the Vrmac Ridge. High up, surrounded by incredible vistas of both the Bay of Kotor and Lustica Bay, your efforts up until this point will all seem well worth it.
You’d be wrong if you imagined the downhill part of this tour to be easier – it’s certainly not. Prepare for a bumpy ride once we get back down to the checkpoint and begin an equally rocky, high-speed descent. Winding down the mountainside on an exhilarating bike trail, we approach the next point of interest, Gornja Lastva. Wander around this charming, traditional town tucked snugly away in Vrmac Ridge, overlooking Tivat and Lustica Peninsula while the guides check the bikes to make sure they’re all working fine after their taxing journey from the summit.
With the hard part over, the road heading from Gornja Lastva into Tivat is gentle and a perfect way to end the ride. Once we reach the shores of Kotor Bay, you’ll know that we’ve just entered Donja Lastva; a sleepy coastal town on the northern side of Tivat. We head south through the yachting marina towards our end destination - Porto Montenegro! We end the tour outside Hotel La Roche, where you can buy snacks from a range of nearby supermarkets while we wait for our van pickup.
Free shuttle pickup – we’ll pick you up and drop you off at any location within the Tivat/Kotor region.
All required mountain biking equipment – we take pride in providing the best equipment for our biking tours. You’ll be fitted on a Giant hardtail mountain bike (Talon 27.5” for men and Tempt for women) with a touring helmet. Also, one of the guides will have a bicycle repair kit, including extra tubes.
Small groups for extra attention – 2 to 10 people with 1 to 2 expert tour guides who know every corner and every story of the landscape
What to Bring:
Loose, airy clothing - ideally breathable sportswear
Trainers/sneakers – our mountain bikes are equipped with flat pedals
Water – we recommend bringing at least 1L of water
We closely monitor weather conditions and follow local forecasts. This tour can be run year-round but in case of inclement weather, we’ll notify you as soon as possible and try to reschedule immediately.
We take all the necessary precautions to ensure that everyone is safe and using the proper equipment at all times during this mountain bike ride.