To begin to understand Montenegro you must come here high above the Bay of Kotor.

Biogradska Gora, an area of pristine forest, is another of the national parks – but it is outshone by the road that leads to its gates. The ribbon of tarmac that runs north out of Podgorica is surely one of Europe’s greatest unknown highways, clinging to the mountain on one side while a steep gorge lurks on the other, the thread of the River Moraca winding at the bottom.

This scenic showing-off continues as the road climbs to Durmitor, the most northerly of the national parks. Here you find Montenegro’s foremost natural marvel. The Tara River Canyon is the second of the country’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites – but that tag barely does it justice. Fifty miles long and 1300 metres tall at its deepest point, it lays claim to being the second largest canyon in the world, behind the Grand Canyon.

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