Žabljak Crnojevića

Ruins in Lake Skadar National Park

For a brief time in the 15th century, between the fall of Skadar (now Shkodra in Albania) and the founding of Cetinje, this was the capital of Zetan ruler Ivan Crnojević. Now the enigmatic ruins stand forlornly on a lonely hillside surrounded by lush green plains with only some rather large snakes and spiders as occupants. The 14m-high, 2m-thick walls look intimidating enough, yet even these couldn’t withstand the hammering the Ottoman invaders gave them in 1478.

In summer, you can rent quad bikes and jet skis from the small village at the base of the hill. A local family sells drinks and ice creams from their front terrace, near the beginning of the path.

The site’s a little hard to find but well worth the effort. Turn off the Virpazar-Podgorica highway towards Vukovci and, after the railway track and the one-way bridge, turn left. Continue for about 4.5km until you see a bridge to your left. Cross the bridge and continue to the car park near the village. Take the stone stairs heading up from the path near the river and follow your nose past the village church and along the overgrown path.