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Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Montenegro

Geography

Montenegrin Geography - Bratimin waterfall
Bratimin waterfall

Montenegro is positioned on the Adriatic Sea in the Balkan Peninsula. It borders Bosnia & Herzegovina (northwest), Croatia (west), Albania (south), and Serbia (northeast).

Geographically, Montenegro is exactly as its name implies: "black mountains." Most of these mountains rise up in steep cliffs making transportation and settlement quite difficult or at least isolated. In the country's south and along the Adriatic Sea coast the land is flatter, but in many instances (particularly along the coast) the mountains rise up too quickly to allow expansion of any city. Only in Podgorica and the adjacent lowlands do any substantial communities exist.

Weather

Montenegrin Geography - Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan

For a small country, Montenegro's seasons are very distinct due to geographical variations and they receive a large amount of precipitation year-round, especially in the winter. Winters (December-February) can be cold as much of the country receives snow; Zabljak and other mountain villages can get over 10 feet of snow (3 meters) over the season. Meanwhile, the coast averages about 45˚ F (8˚ C) during this time and gets a lot of rain.

The spring and fall (autumn) tend to be warmer than the winter, but the mountains can still be impassable due to snow. During this time water temperatures also change; from May until about November water temperatures in the Adriatic average between 65-73˚ F (18-23˚ C), which warms up the air temperature as well.

Summers are the best season for the mountains and not too hot along the coasts. Budva, on the coast averages 74˚ F (23˚ C) and Zabljak, in the mountains has daily highs of about 70˚ F (20˚ C).

Wildlife

There are a number of large mammals that live in Montenegro, including the bear, deer, and the boar, while smaller mammals are also found through the country. Sitting on the Adriatic Sea, there is a significant amount of sea life; however the country's mountainous interior and sharply rising mountains lead to few rivers and lakes that boast any significant amount of sea life.

There are a number of migratory birds that pass through Montenegro and there are also a few species that are well adapted to find life either on the water or in the mountains to be an ideal home.

This page was last updated: March, 2013