Geography of Montenegro

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Montenegro is located in the southern part of the Balkan peninsula. To the west, north and east it borders on Croatia, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Serbia and Kosovo, and to the south borders on Albania. Montenegro is a maritime country, with 200 km of the Adriatic coastline. One of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean is the Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Boka).

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Montenegro's territory measures 13,812 square km. (about the size of Connecticut) and its population numbers about 620,000.

Most of the country is covered by high and extensive mountain massifs intersected by river gorges and deep valleys. Larger lowland areas are to be found in the south, near the coastline.

The Montenegrin seacoast is a narrow strip of land running from Herceg-Novi to the Bojana river on the frontier with Albania. It is famed for its sandy beaches and abundant sub-tropical vegetation.

The high Dinaric mountains of Orjen, Lovcen and Rumija rise steeply from the sea, forming a magnificent background to the coastal strip, but a great obstacle to communications between the coastal and inland parts of Montenegro.

The Zeta plain in the area of Lake Skadar, together with the valley of the Zeta and the Niksic Polje, comprise the biggest lowland region of Montenegro and its most fertile area.

North of this stretch the high limestone mountains of Durmitor, Komovi and Sinjajevina. The Moraca, Tara, Piva and Ceotina rivers and their tributaries have cut deep gorges through these mountains.

The rivers of Montenegro are swift with large drops in elevation and large volumes of water resulting from the high precipitation. They are exceptionally clear and unpolluted, suitable for rafting, fishing and other water sports.

Some have carved themselves spectacular canyons; those of the Tara, Piva and Moraca are up to 1200 m deep --- among the deepest in the world.

Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans, is over 40 km. long and on average 10 km. wide. Two-thirds belongs to Montenegro and one-third to Albania.

The old capital of Montenegro is Cetinje. Podgorica, Niksic, Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Berane, Kotor, Bar and Herceg-Novi are the larger urban settlements.