The Train Through Montenegro

The Bradt travel guide for Montenegro (the only one that I know of) recommended taking the train from the coast of the country if you decided to cut inland to Podgorica or onward to Belgrade. I really prefer trains over buses, so it seemed like a no-brainer to take the train. The only catch is that you had to take the train from Bar, which is a sucky town.

But, getting over Bar, the train ride is nice. Actually, it’s really nice. Stunning I would even say. It’s a fast trip to the capital of about two hours. Onward to Belgrade is a slogging six and a half from there, or even longer as the train is often delayed. It took us ten and a half, which was two hours longer than it should have been. But the view you’re treated to along the way is akin to taking Yosemite and stretching it out to the size of a country. There are jagged, looming mountains the entire way that jut out of the valleys you pass through. At times, it seems like you’re in tunnels more than outside of them. These mountains made for one hell of an engineering feat to run a train through. Not to be outdone by the Swiss, the Yugoslavs did pull it off, but the price is that there is just this one line through Montenegro. Regardless, they actually have their own state-run rail company. I’m guessing it must have two trains.

There is one real highlight along the trip and that’s when you pass over Lake Skadar. This is gorgeous. Someday I’ll have to make it back to this lake and spend more time in Albania and Montenegro to see it properly. It’s unfortunate that due to this being a very straight section of track, they really fly through here, so you need to be ready with your camera.

One last bit to add is that you really don’t want to take the train from May through September when it is: very hot, hot, or mildly hot. There is no air conditioning and the 37C that it was outside for the duration of the trip made for a miserable time inside the car.