Montenegro is heavily hilly with mountains that are among the steepest in Europe. The country has a narrow and steep coastline towards the Adriatic. The country’s coastline is 293.5 kilometers. Just north and west of Lake Skhoders there is a larger plain with swampy areas by the sea and a larger plain at the top. The country’s average height is 900 meters above sea level. The Kotor Bay is the only cut in the coastline. Inland, watercourses have excavated river valleys in the limestone strata; The Tara River Valley is the deepest and longest river valley in Europe, and one of the world’s largest canyons.
Road intersection above Budva showing the calcareous, bright karst mountain here. Kalkfjellet originates from the cementary processes and is folded, but little transformed.
The country has a rich plant and animal life considering that it covers such a small geographical area. The number of plant species is about 3000. The calcareous landscape of the Karst landscape provides a good basis for plant cover, while the geology is young and golden in the mountain and coastal areas with pronounced garrigue vegetation. About half of the land is wooded. There are warm-cut deciduous forests in the lowlands, mixed and bare forests on the mountainsides and alpine high mountain vegetation (grass, heather) in the highest areas. At Lake Shkodër (Lake Scutari), there is a large swamp and wetland area that has protection status under the Ramsar Convention.
Inland there are, among other things, brown bears, badgers and deer. Along the coast, snakes, lizards and amphibians are common, and here and in wetland areas there is also a rich bird life.
Climate in Montenegro
The climate in Montenegro is Mediterranean, with mild, humid winters and hot, dry summers on the coast and in the lowlands, while the interior of the Republic has a more continental climate. Especially the coast and the west and southwest slopes of the coastal mountains receive very large rainfall in the winter season; Crkvice at the Bay of Kotor is thus one of Europe’s wettest places with over 4,600 mm of precipitation a year.
Lovcen National Park with typical karst and garrigue landscape between Cetinje and Neboshi. The landscape is dominated by delicate plant species such as pine, cypress, some deciduous trees, and Eryngium amethystinum.
Plant life in Montenegro
The high calcareous landscape of the map landscape provides the basis for a rich plant life. With an area similar to Buskerud county, Montenegro has well over 3,000 wild plant species – slightly more than Norway. About half of the land is wooded. There are warm-cut deciduous forests in the lowlands, mixed and bare forests on the mountainsides and alpine high mountain vegetation (grass, heather) in the highest areas. In the valleys and on the hillsides there are open forests of chestnut, beech, maple and oak species, mixed with cypress and aleppo fur. Up against the forest border at 2000 m there are pine forests of fir, precious spruce and pine.
The geology is young and golden in the mountain and coastal areas, with distinct garrigue vegetation. On the Adriatic, there is both maquis and garrigue vegetation, and many of the flower species are austere and adapted to a golden mountain landscape, such as the widespread Eryngium amethystinum. All the way to the south we find large olive groves dating from the Middle Ages.
The Orjen mountain in the west is especially known for a rich and graded flora in the different altitudes. This mountain and adjoining areas (Lovcen National Park, etc.) further east in the coastal mountain range are protected, to preserve the rich and varied plant life of this pristine mountain landscape.
At Lake Shkodër (Lake Scutari) there is a large swamp and wetland area that has RAMSAR protection status.