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South Montenegro Birding Tour - 8 Days

South Montenegro Birding Tour

South Montenegro Birding: Lakes, Fields & Adriatic Coast

This 8-day South Montenegro Birding trip is leisurely-paced and available on request. In contrast to the mountainous north of Montenegro, the southern region of the country is renowned for its wetlands and sandy beaches where more than 280 bird species have been identified.

This south Montenegro birding trip will give you a chance to explore the Lake Skadar National Park by boat, looking our for Dalmatian Pelicans, Glossy Ibis, Whiskered Terns, Ferruginous Ducks, and Squacco, Purple  and Night Herons. the lake  also has one of the world's largest colonies of Pygmy Cormorants.

The greatest time for birdwatching at the Ulcinj Salina is early morning when you can find Collared Pratincoles, Little and Common Terns, Kentish Plovers, Black-winged Stilts, European Rollers, Common Shelducks, and Eurasian Stone Curlews while walking through the salt pans. The area is also a nesting site for Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egrets and Spoonbills. The 13-kilometre Velika Plaa (Long Beach) has a brackish marsh belt in the background that's home to Crested Larks and Bee-eaters, while the sandy beach itself is visited by Ringed and Grey Plovers, Dunlins, European Rollers and Levant Sparrowhawks. Further along the Adriatic coast, the Tivat Salina is popular for Whimbrels, Redshanks, Black-winged Stilts and Lapwings.

Other essential destinations visited on this South of Montenegro birding adventure are the karst lands and their population of Western Rock Nuthatches, and Montenegro's largest steppe habitat, the Cemovsko field, where Calandra and Short-toed Larks, Tawny Pipits and Eurasian Stone Curlew are among the passerine species. We also explore the Cijevna Canyon, in search of Golden Eagles, Eurasian Jackdaws, Alpine Swifts, Alpine Choughs, Sombre Tits, Subalpine Warblers and Golden Orioles.

There will also time for leisurely stops at the famous olive gardens at Valdanos, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor Old Town and the baroque town of Perast.

By taking part in this trip, you support conservation activities run by CZIP, the BirdLife partner in Montenegro.

South Montenegro Birding Tour Highlights include:

  • Enjoy the unspoiled region renowned for its beautiful coast, high mountains, lovely lakes, and deep canyons.
  • The opportunity to see up to 350 bird species registered so far in the country.
  • Search for migratory species traveling the Adriatic Flyway.
  • Visit the Skadar Lake National Park, the largest lake in Southeastern Europe, a Ramsar site, IBA, and home to 280 bird species.
  • Visit Nature Parks Ulcinj Salina and Cijevna Canyon. Ulcinj Salina is one of the most important resting points on the Adriatic Flyway migratory route and also one of the most important nesting grounds in Montenegro, and in Europe as well, with more than 250 species recorded so far.
  • Visit Tivat Salina Nature Reserve, an important resting point for the migration of birds.
  • Explore amazing Boka Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world, with cultural gems such as Old Town Kotor, charming town Perast, and many other secrets waiting to be discovered.
  • Expert guides will reveal the wide biodiversity of the region and introduce you to the vibrant history and culture of Montenegro.
  • By the end of the tour, you will already be planning your next trip to Montenegro.

If you’d like to try an alternative tour, look at what this Montenegro Wildlife Trekking Tour has to offer.

Alternative Tour Name: South of Montenegro Birding: Lakes, Fields & Adriatic Coast
Day 1
Day 1 - Arrival

Pick up from the Podgorica airport (or another location) and travel to the Podgorica hotel.

Day 2
Day 2 - Skadar Lake

The second day will be spent exploring Lake Skadar National Park, which will require the use of a boat. Lake Skadar is one of Montenegro's most important birding destinations, with 280 species recorded.

The Dalmatian Pelican can be found here, and it is the species' westernmost population. During our boat trip, we will observe the Glossy Ibis, Squacco Heron, Purple Heron, Whiskered Tern, Ferruginous Duck, and Night Heron, to name a few. At Lake Skadar, lives one of the world's largest colonies of Pygmy Cormorants, and it's not uncommon to observe thousands of them in one place. We go south in the afternoon to Ulcinj, where we will spend the following two nights.

Day 3
Day 3 - Ulcinj Salina & The Long Beach

The greatest time for birdwatching at the Ulcinj Salina is early in the morning, so it will be an early start. The Ulcinj Salina was built on the location of the previous Zogaj lagoon, and the fact that "zog" in Albanian means "bird" should indicate how essential this place is for birds.

More than 240 bird species have been recorded at the Salina so far, and we can spot Collared Pratincole, Little Tern, Kentish Plover, Black-winged Stilt, European Roller, Common Tern, Common Shelduck, and Eurasian Stone Curlew while walking through salt pans.

The Ulcinj Salina is also essential as a feeding place for the Glossy Ibis, Cattle Egret, Spoonbill, and Pygmy Cormorant, which all nest in the area surrounding it.

We continue after the Salina to Velika plaa (Long Beach), a 13-kilometer-long sandy beach with a brackish marsh belt in the background.

We'll pass through a field that's home to Crested Larks, Eurasian Stone Curlews, and Bee-eaters on our approach to the shore. Species such as the Common Tern, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, and Dunlin can be seen when walking on the beach. The European Roller and the Levant Sparrowhawk are also common sightings.

Day 4
Day 4 - The Coast

We're leaving Ulcinj today. Our tour continues with a stop at Valdanos' famous olive garden. Our host will inform us about the traditional olive oil processing method and give us the opportunity to sample some.

We continue from Valdanos to Buljarica Beach, a narrow wetlands strip wedged between steep mountains and the open sea. We'll look for species like the Levant Sparrowhawk and the Great Reed Warbler here.

We continue along the Adriatic coast from there until we reach the Tivat Salina. Wader species such as the Whimbrel, Redshank, Black-winged Stilt, and Lapwing can be seen in the spring and autumn. We arrive in Kotor late in the afternoon, where we will spend the following two nights.

Day 5
Day 5 - Kotor (rest day)

This is a day of rest, and Kotor is the ideal destination for it. You can spend it in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many churches, museums, excellent restaurants and bars, or further explore the Boka Bay with its charming settlements such as the baroque town of Perast, or, if you prefer heights, take the famous 25-hairpin road to Mount Loven, enjoying lovely views and sampling traditional Montenegrin food and drinks. You can do it on your own or have it handled for you.

Day 6
Day 6 - Karst Fields & Zeta Valley

The karst fields take up the sixth day. Before continuing on to Niki, the road will lead us to the karst lands of Dragalj and Grahovo, where we will search for the Western Rock Nuthatch. With a surface area of 66.5 km2, Nikšićko polje (Nikšić karst field) is Montenegro's largest karst field. Lakes Krupac, Slano, and Vrtac will all be visited.

The grasslands around Lakes Slano and Krupac become an important feeding and resting place during migration, so we'll be looking for Common Cranes, Northern Lapwings, Ruffs, and Wood Sandpipers here.

The Common Pochard and Coot use this area as a critical wintering ground. We'll drive through the Zeta Valley on our approach to Podgorica, which is a protected area as well as a major migration route for birds.

Day 7
Day 7 - Cemovsko Field & Cijevna Canyon

The day begins with a visit to Montenegro's largest steppe habitat, the Cemovsko field. Calandra Lark, Short-toed Lark, Tawny Pipit, and Eurasian Stone Curlew are among the passerine species included in EU Birds Directive Annex I.

Also, during spring migration, Red-footed Falcons, Lesser Kestrels, Montagu's and Marsh Harriers, and Meadow Pipits migrate over emovsko field and halt there for rest and feeding.

We'll look for the Blue Rock Thrush, Rock Bunting, and Rock Partridge on neighbouring Dei Hill. The day will continue at the Cijevna Canyon, a nature preserve and IBA, where we will seek for Golden Eagles, Eurasian Jackdaws, Alpine Swifts, Alpine Choughs, Western Rock Nuthatchs, Sombre Tits, Subalpine Warblers, and Golden Orioles.

Day 8
Day 8 - Departure

Breakfast at the hotel, then transfer to the airport in Podgorica (or other).

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this tour are:

Alpine Chough, Alpine Swift, Black-winged Stilt, Blue Rock Thrush, Calandra Lark, Cattle Egret, Common Crane, Common Pochard, Common Shelduck, Common Tern, Coot, Dalmatian Pelican, Dunlin, Eurasian Jackdaw, Eurasian Stone Curlew, European Roller, European Roller, Ferruginous Duck, Glossy Ibis, Golden Eagle, Golden Oriole, Grey Plover, Kentish Plover, Lapwing, Lesser Kestrels, Levant Sparrowhawk, Little Tern, Marsh Harriers, Meadow Pipits, Montagu’s Harriers, Night Heron, Northern Lapwing, Pratincole, Purple Heron, Pygmy Cormorant, Red-footed Falcons, Redshank, Ringed Plover, Rock Bunting, Rock Partridge, Ruffs, Short-toed Lark, Spoonbill, Squacco Heron, Subalpine Warbler, Tawny Pipit, The Glossy Ibis, Western Rock Nuthatch, Whimbrel, Whiskered Tern, Wood Sandpiper

What is included?

  • Airport transfers
  • All accommodation or lodgings based on twin/double & single rooms
  • Single occupancy available for an additional charge/cost
  • Professional bi-lingual guide(s) and support staff, or
  • Specialist guide fees
  • Local transfers and all ground transport throughout the tour
  • Entrance fees to all National Parks, Nature Reserves and/or use of Hides where applicable
  • All meals
  • All activities as specified within the tour itinerary
  • Personalised checklists
  • All Applicable Taxes

What is not included?

  • All international or domestic airfares
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Travel & medical insurance (incl. personal equipment and repatriation)
  • Airport departure taxes or visa fees
  • Items of personal nature (incl. binoculars and telescopes)
  • If providing binoculars and telescopes then add within above
  • Optional tour extensions where applicable
  • Tips & gratuities
  • Drinks & snacks
  • Other personal expenses
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why should I book with Monticola?

Monticola is the only specialist birding operator in Montenegro offering bird-watching tours and different types of ecotourism activities in Montenegro and neighbouring countries. By taking part in this trip, you support conservation activities run by CZIP, the BirdLife partner in Montenegro.

What is the climate of the area and what to wear?

When you live on the coast of Montenegro, the weather is mild. Autumn and winter can be wet, with average January temperatures of 7/8°C (45/46°F). Summer is hot and sunny, but the breeze cools it down a little. It's still warm in the area around Podgorica, but it's a little more country than on the coast. When it's winter, it's a little cold. In January, the average temperature in Podgorica is 5°C (41°F), but in the summer, it can get as hot as 40°C (104°F). So, what should I pack? If you want to stay warm in the evening, you should bring long pants, a light jacket, and a sweatshirt. You should also bring light clothes, like a T-shirt. Comfortable hiking shoes and a raincoat or umbrella are needed for the field trips. You also need sunglasses and sun cream. You should also bring a water bottle with you.

What sort of accommodation and vehicles do you supply?

We offer 3*+ accommodation. When planning our tours, we prefer to choose authentic accommodation that reflects the local nature and culture. All our accommodations are in the vicinity of locations that we visit during the tour. We supply vehicles such as Dacia Duster, Renault Trafic, and Mercedes Sprinter (or equivalent).

Internal flights, for example, or boats/ferries

No flights on tour. There is a boat trip on the tour, and it is included in the price.

What are your group sizes?

Maximum 12 person.

Do you arrange airport pick up/drop off?

We arrange airport pick up/drop off from/to Podgorica and Tivat airports.

Do you offer a single supplement option? Can you accommodate a third person/family?

We do offer a single supplement. It is an additional cost.

Do you include meals?

Yes, we do, up to full board.

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

8 Days

Price & Availability

EUR1,650 / per person
Single Supplement EUR 185
This tour is operated by: Monticola

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • Southern Montenegro
  • On Request
  • Multi-Day Tour
  • Birds
  • 1 to 12 pax
  • 8 Days
  • From late March to mid-June
  • + 10 years
  • Leisurely
  • No
  • English
  • Podgorica Airport
  • Podgorica Airport