Montenegro Travel Guide
Montenegro is one of Europe’s smallest countries but it packs a punch in spectacular landscapes and shimmering beach resorts. Bursting at the seams with wild mountains, Adriatic beaches and enticing resorts, Montenegro should be on top of your list while planning an exotic trip.
Discover the mountains, gorgeous beaches and pretty cities of Budva and Kotor.
Montenegro’s nature will blow your mind. The serene Adriatic Sea and the islands of Saint George and Our Lady of the Rocks will take your breath away with their sheer splendor and wonderful history. Montenegro’s inland massifs are as equally beautiful as its coast. Durmitor National Park is the country’s highland area with the most beautiful and domineering mountains, picturesque villages, and a well-organized tourist infrastructure.
Cities, Towns & Attractions to see
Tivat is a coastal town in southwest Montenegro, located by the bay of Kotor. It’s the home of the country’s second airport, and it’s pretty close to most of the major attractions in Montenegro, making its location quite strategic. The Tivat region is also home to the new Porto Montenegro luxury resort and marina.
This place is for you if you like yachts, shopping and international cuisine. Port Montenegro is a multiple award winning superyacht marina that offers a full homeport solution. It is a year round facility that offers an extensive range of incredible activities that cater to the most discerning guests as well as the younger crowd. Activities include sailing regattas, farmer markets, modern art exhibitions, and super yacht shows in the Adriatic. Porto Montenegro brings grace and grandeur to the glittering shores of the Adriatic.
Kotor has a very lengthy history dating back to when it was a settlement of ancient Romans. It is a fortified town in Montenegro situated on its Adriatic coast. The atmospheric Kotor is wedged between dark mountains and a corner of the bay. Surrounded by staunch walls, this town is a maze of churches, museums and squares strewn with cafes and Venetian palaces. Kotor is a medieval town with some of the oldest buildings in this region, like the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon. It is filled with Romanesque architecture.
Budva is also referred to as the “Montenegrin Miami”. It’s Montenegro’s party capital and home to many beaches and nightclubs. It also has a small port and a charming little old center.
One of the most spectacular sights along Montenegro’s 295km shoreline is Sveti Stefan. It consists of beautiful jumbled 15th century stone villas which overlook an impeccable beach with pink sand and glittery waters. It was even once described by actress Sophia Loren as reminiscent of “the most beautiful fairytale of my childhood”.
Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro, and the largest city too. Many regard it as drab and unattractive and bemoan the fact that it’s boring and there’s absolutely nothing to do. When you compare it to some of the towns lining the Adriatic coast like Kotor and Budva, it’s quite understandable why people don’t desire to spend time in Podgorica. But if you look deeper, the city is changing for the better. From fascinating architecture to a dazzling nightlife, plenty of green spaces and a plethora of sights of historical importance, Podgorica is a destination that you need to visit when you’re in Montenegro.
Bar lies in the southern part of Montenegro. It is a coastal town and a seaport. It is a large industrial area that is overlooked by many as a holiday highlight but it serves as a transport hub that welcomes ferries from Italy and trains from Belgrade. Bar can be used as a base to visit the Stari Bar in the mountains. Bar has a fairly modern feel to it but you will notice more mosques and Ottoman buildings once you head towards the Albanian Border.
For a sneak peak at Albania without actually crossing the border, head down south to the beautiful and buzzy Ulcinj. The graceful minarets of innumerable mosques give it an Eastern feel, as do the Kebab stands around mala Plaza. Ulcinj is also home to several birds which include flamingos.
National Parks and UNESCO world heritage sites to visit
Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National park lies within the Dinaric Alps in the Northern part of Montenegro. This beautiful national park was formed by glaciers and traversed by underground streams and rivers. This place is visited by many tourists for hiking, climbing, canoeing and mountaineering activities. The flora and fauna of Durmitor National Park is extremely diverse. Mammals like the Brown Bear and European Wild Cat can be found here. It’s also the home of Tara River Canyon which is the second largest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon.
A vast fresh water lake straddling Montenegro and Albania and the largest lake in the Balkans, Lake Skadar National Park houses pristine beaches, traditional fishing villages, more than 260 species of birds like The Dalmatian Pelican, and medieval monasteries. It’s the perfect place for nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts.
Whitewater rafting down the Tara River is Montenegro’s most popular outdoor adventure sport. It is a must do! The river cuts across some of the world’s deepest canyons, and flows past divine forests, ancient monasteries and pretty waterfalls.
It’s worth mentioning that Montenegro is not just a destination for warmer months but also a great and affordable ski destination in the winter.
– Montenegrins revere their heroes and deities. The country has a considerable number of shrines. Petar II Petrovi Njegos was prince-bishop and a poet. His magnificent mausoleum in Mt Lovcen National Park is exquisitely perched atop a hill which overlooks almost the whole of Montenegro.
– To the north of the country, the 17th century Ostrog Monastery is situated, and is a pilgrimage site for Orthodox Christians. Nonetheless, you do not need to be a believer to visit the monastery. Everyone is welcome..
Food and Drink
One Euro will buy you a cup of tea, coffee, or a refreshing bottle of Niksic Beer. Ham and cheese are their specialty particularly those of Njegusi. Balkan foods like Burek and Cevapi (kebabs) are the popular fast foods. And make sure to try their Rakija which is a brandy made from plums and grapes that is offered as a welcome drink.
Montenegro is truly a postcard coming to life!
Recommended Tours & Excursions
Helicopter Tour over the Bay of Kotor with Discover Montenegro: An incredible experience where you’ll get the opportunity to witness stunning views of the Bay, Kotor Old Town, Our Lady of the Rocks islet, Sveti Marko Island and Porto Montenegro from the air.
Recommended Places to stay
The Regent Porto Montenegro: This five-story terracotta roofed luxury hotel is inspired by the Renaissance Venetian style of the countless Italian palazzi found in the Bay.
– Freedom Hostel is perfectly located in the center of Budva’s Historic Old Town, only 30 steps from the nearest beach, surrounded by historical monuments, restaurants, bars, clubs.
– Montenegro Hostel4u: Hostel 4U is in an unbeatable location on the main beach strip of Kotor featuring a social common room with kitchen facilities and an outdoor area designed to bring guests together for drinking games. Every window in Hostel 4U provides a view of the crystal blue bay of Kotor or the breathtaking mountain landscape.
Recommended places to eat
Byblos Lebanese Experience: Byblos Lebanese Restaurant offers an authentic Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dining experience with a relaxed, cool vibe and warm ambiance.