Is Rijeka Crnojevica the strangest town in Montenegro?

Whilst we were staying in Montenegro we opted to stay in a small town called Rijeka Crnojevica for a few days. Named after its river which leads to Lake Skadar it is a quiet village and if you’re looking for a rural retreat in laid back Montenegro, this might be the place.

Bridge of Rijeka Crnojevica.

The bridge in Rijeka Crnojevica.

Rijeka Crnojevica

A small, tranquil town located to the north of Lake Skadar, Rijeka Crnojevica is not somewhere most tourists would stay.

One end of the village benefits enormously from tourism and has a number of nice restaurants, a restored and well-kept bridge and boats whilst the other end does not receive any visitors and is, sadly, crumbling down around the residents that remain. However, this is what makes it a truly unique place, for people looking for an off the beaten track experience in Montenegro.

Rural Montenegrin village

The town’s square.

It Might Be Historically A Place Of War

We rented a house here for five days and the lady showing us around informed us that Rijeka Crnojevica was the location of battles and bad history.

A little research suggests that a war was started there but back in the 1400s although there is a rather large and dominating memorial to those lost in WWII. The town has an eerily, quiet feel to it that some travellers might find appealing.

Abandonned building Montenegro

A double entranced door

The Town Has Seen Better Days

The town has definitely seen better day, but this adds to its rustic charm and if you like exploring abandoned buildings, this is a perfect opportunity.

Could this have once been a school or maybe a factory? It had a grand entrance with two sides of steps that were covered in green undergrowth and plants. The back of the building seemed to fare worse as it was now used as a rubbish disposal area.  The inside had been decorated with graffiti long before nature took over. It seemed to be full of rubbish too but really didn’t look that old.

Rijeka Crnojevica

Rijeka Crnojevica

Rijeka Crnojevica

Derelict Houses In Rijeka Crnojevica

This house seemed to have been used as an animal shelter. Maybe a goat herder had been using it? There are still numerous animal herders in Montenegro but I never saw any near Rijeka Crnojevica.

The allure of this area is the friendliness of the locals, the rough and ready charm of the town and the beauty of the river.

Rijeka Crnojevica.

Rijeka Crnojevica.

Rijeka Crnojevica

Houses near the main square were dilapidated, crumbling down but still had people residing in them.

I Now Know Why This Town Is Suffering

Before moving to Bulgaria, I’d never seen a town like this. However, I now know that it’s because there’s not enough local employment for the younger generation who leave to go to university or to find jobs. Houses are passed down on death to the younger generations who just cannot afford to renovate them or keep them in good condition.

These ancestral homes fall into disrepair and eventually collapse. You are unlikely to see this in coastal areas because they attract investment and offer employment. So by visiting this town and other rural towns, you can help local people stay in their towns and remain employed.

Stay In Rijeka Crnojevica

We booked our accommodation through AirBNB

Relevant Posts

Spread the love

Sign up for the FREE newsletter with exclusive travel tips and advice.

As a small child my favourite book was 'People of the World' which featured Inuits from Alaska, children from China and farmers from Peru. It was a glimpse into another world that would inspire me to wander the globe in search of something special.


Form submitted successfully, thank you.Error submitting form, please try again.