Area name: Orjen mountain
Date of the ride: 30-Oct-2009
Length (km): 77.0
Elevation gain (m): 2320
Technical difficulty: ●●●●●
GPS tracklog: download
Overview of mountain biking route:
MTB route Herceg Novi – Orjen is situated in south west Montenegro. I did this MTB route in honour of Vjekoslav Novotni. He was the general secretary of Croatian Mountaineering Association and he was the pioneer of MTB in Croatia. In 1904 Vjekoslav Novotni reported his ride from Trebinje to Orjen in Croatian Mountaineer Magazine (No 1 & 2, 3 & 4 ). His ride was dated on 25-Jul-1903. The peak Zubački Kabao is the highest elevation point of Orjen mountain and Vjekoslav Novotni rode to the peak. From Zubački Kabao he descended to Crkvice and than to Risan. Due to border line between Bosnia & Hercegovina and Montenegro I was not able to repeat the original Vjekoslav Novotni’s route. From the elevation of more than 1000 meters over the sea level to Zubački Kabao peak our routes are very similar and I am very happy that I am in position to give the second report of the MTB ride to the peak of Orjen mountain.
Getting there: Europe, Montenegro, Podgorica, Herceg Novi or coming from Croatia follow the direction from Dubrovnik to Herceg Novi.
Map of mountain biking route:
Description of MTB route:
Elevation profile of MTB route:
Notes & references:
The route is recommended during summer, fall and late spring. During summer time is very hot. Take some decontamination filter if you want to drink the water from the lake near the saddle. The ride to Orjen’s saddle is easy and technical difficulty does not exceed ●●. The ascent section from Orjen’s saddle to Zubački Kabao peak is for hiking only. On the descent section from Zubački Kabao peak to Orjen’s saddle AM risky ride is possible on some short sections only. In this case the technical difficulty is ●●●●●. GPS unit with uploaded route is a must.
For the reference I used Vjekoslav Novotni’s reports. Vjekoslav Novotni was born on June 21st, 1843 in Petrinja, Croatia. From 1901 to 1907 he was the general secretary of Croatian Mountaineering Association. In his itinerary Novotni described MTB ride dated on summer 1903 from Trebinje town to Zubački Kabao peak on Orjen mountain in Montenegro. On 1904 the itinerary was published in Croatian Mountaineer Magazines no 1 & 2, 3 & 4 in Croatian language only. The name of the article is From Zagreb via Orjen to Kotor, in Croatian language: Iz Zagreba preko Orjena do Kotora.
The quoted & translated sentences from the article: “We scuttled along the rocky path. My wheel starts to catch the stones, tough arms of low pine tries and grass.” are the proof of the first documented MTB ride. In other itineraries Novotni mentioned MTB rides along the canyon of Neretva river, Prenj and Medvednica mountains too. Instead hiking Novotni rode by the bicycle to speed up the trip on the mountains and to travel and monitor more sections per day. In 2008 I discovered the story about Novotni and in honour to Vjekoslav Novotni I did above MTB route Herceg Novi – Orjen.
Gallery of mountain biking route: