In the late summer days toward the last part of August, my family and I decided to escape the summer heat of Podgorica in exchange for the fresher air and cooler temperatures of the mountains. We booked a farm stay option through Meanderbug.
Meanderbug is a sustainable, social enterprise which helps underdeveloped areas through rural tourism. With a variety of options spreading across all of Montenegro, Meanderbug has created a network of partners surely to offer something for everyone to enjoy a rural tourism experience.
We made our choice to stay on a family farm just outside of the mountain town of Kolasin, a growing winter desitnation regionally for its skiing. However, Kolasin and its villages have an opportunity to capitalize on a longer season offering a more profitable opportunity for a large spectrum of citizens.
We also have a few friends from Kolasin and more specifically Lipovo so it made the stay more intimate for us. During our stay, we found out that our hosts are related to a few of our friends.
Here are a few reasons to enjoy the Dulovic Farm in Lipovo.
Lipovo is set about 12 kilometers from the northern Montenegrin town of Kolasin. The Dulovic Farm is set at the end of Lipovo village. More importantly, the village is set in the middle of three or four peaks which are all accessible for a day hike. This location makes Lipovo advantageous for adventurers or families who enjoy exploring nature together. The farm serves as the perfect base for multiple mountain outings during a Montenegro farm experience.
Gordana and Dragan are some of the most hospitable people that I have met in Montenegro. Hospitality is characteristic among the cultures in this part of Europe. I have seen it displayed personally on a variety of occasions in different ways. Gordana and Dragan went above and beyond in their care for us.
Our three small boys took them very quickly, and followed Dragan closely when he made any moves toward the barn. He welcomed them warmly to help take fresh eggs, pull vegetables from the ground and witness the process of making “Kolasinski sir” a local, layered cheese to go with the fresh bread for the morning’s breakfast.
We have lived in the capital, Podgorica, for a few years now. Before moving to Montenegro, we have lived in Dallas, Portland area, etc. We are used to city life. The quicker pace and active lifestyle is comfortable for us.
However, a stay in Lipovo offers a completely different perspective of life in Montenegro. Some say, “more authentic,” but I feel this is too strong. Farmers have a different way to gauge life around them, a different approach and mentality. I believe it was healthy to experience this as a family.
Our kids learned about pulling fresh vegetables from the ground, taking fresh eggs from coop, and caring for animals. As a family, we were forced to slow down, enjoy a slower moment, and allowed to breathe in a little deeper. To be honest, I was uncomfortable. I didn’t know exactly what to do. But I enjoyed it!
As you can see from the pictures, the environment and surroundings is quite specatacular and awe inspiring. The dramatic cliffs of the mountains presented a backdrop perfect for any sunset. The sunset itself presented an array of colors. The coolness of the evening contrasted greatly with the warmth of the late summer sun.
However, the local environment also presented some of the struggles that farmers and those living in rural areas face. Living at the end of Lipovo village makes trash collection a desperate problem to solve for the country of Montenegro as a whole. Farming as a way of life has its own challenges for providing a sustainable future, however, the country which prides itself as an ecological state can do more to address trash strewn throughout the country.
Rural tourism brings great potential and promise to Lipovo and other villages like, however, proper solutions to trash disposal need to be adopted especially for these areas.
Let me be clear this is a challenge to be conquered. It definitely was not a reason to pass on visiting the Dulovic farm in the small village.
I would recommend visiting Lipovo and staying with the Dulovic family especially for those who want to slow down and enjoy the outdoors a bit more. It is a wonderful place to launch for a hike, a place to unplug, and location to connect who you are with as well as a new culture.