Montenegro is a naturally diverse country, with beautiful mountains, forests, bays and beaches.
In the past it was occupied by Venetians and Austrians. Venetians christened the area Monte Negro (meaning black mountain) which became the country’s name. It was annexed by Yugoslavia in 1918 and it became a country in 2006, when it declared independence from Serbia.
Kotor is a beautiful UNESCO medieval town, with a charming fortified old town and a busy harbour. The Old Town of Kotor was built between the 12th and 14th century. The Bay of Kotor is known as Boka Bay and it is considered Europe’s southernmost fjord.
The Old Town of Kotor is a collection of Venetian architecture buildings, churches (the 12th century Romanesque-Gothic St Tryphon Cathedral, the Church of St Luke and the Orthodox St Nicholas Church), a 17th-century clock tower, a naval museum, seafood eateries and chic boutique hotels in cobblestone streets that date back to the Middle Age.
If you want to have amazing views over the bay, climb up to the castle of Saint Giovanni. Climbing the 1,500 steps will take you around two hours. The entrance fee is 3 euros and there are two routes, a low risk and a high risk one. Take the low risk one.
RESTAURANTS IN KOTOR
– Tanjga. Suranj Bb, Kotor 85330.
– Cesarica. Stari grad 375, Kotor Old Town
Porto Montenegro is a marina on the Bay of Kotor that was formerly a naval base. It is full of luxury yachts, nightclubs, restaurants, bars and sailing clubs.
Perast is about 11 km distance from Kotor.
The village is made up of old stone houses, overlooking two small beautiful islands, Sveti Đorđe (St. George) and Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks). “Our Lady of the Rocks” church was built in 1630 on an artificial island, which was built by fishermen from Perast. The entrance to the church of “Our Lady of the Rocks” with the English speaking guide costs 2 euro and it lasts about 30-45 minutes.
The islands can be visited by boat from the waterfront in Perast. Some of the boats leave near the main square (Trg Sv Nikole).
If you are planning to visit Perast from Kotor, Blue Line bus will take you there. You can pick up the bus outside the Kotor walls (no bus stop, it is after the market stalls, a little ‘park’ with trees and seats) or outside the Kamelia Shopping Centre (no bus stop, it is a little bus shelter located about 100 metres beyond the left end of the Kotor walls). The bus leaves Kotor every hour at 15 minutes past the hour. The main stop is in the centre of Perast, across the city square. There are also two bus stops located at the beginning and the end of the town. The return bus departs Perast every hour on the half-hour (09:30; 10:30; 11:30 etc.) until 22:30. If you prefer to get a taxi, there is a taxi rank beside the bus stop in Kotor outside the Kamelia Shopping Centre or at the Port. There are no taxis in Perast.
If you like fish, you can stop by any of the small restaurants on the Perast coast where you will be able to taste great fish specialities.
Herceg Novi is a 700-year-old town with a beautiful baroque Monastery called Savina and nice beaches on Luštica peninsula.
Budva is another town on the coast, and is rated as the “tourist capital of Montenegro”. The city of Budva is 2,500 years old and is known for its Old Town (Stari Grad), medieval walls, sandy beaches and vibrant nightlife.
Budva has cobbled alleys, Venetian-era buildings and many restaurants and cafes.
Don´t forget to see the Dancing Girl Statue, the small 14th century Church of Saint Sava and the reconstructed Budva Citadel.
During the summer, there are usually theatre plays and performances, music events and entertainment programs. If you have time, try to go up to the city wall to enjoy the best views over the city.
If you are planning to use the public transport, Budva is very well connected with the rest of the cities in Montenegro. The bus station is in the city centre, around 20 minutes walk to the north of the old town, in Popa Jola Zeca.
Sveti Stefan is located about 15 mins drive from Budva. It used to be a fishing village until it was turned into a luxury five-star resort. Some of the houses in the village date back to the 15th century.
Many of the best beaches in Sveti Stefan are reserved for the private use of the guests of the luxury hotels. An example of this is the one located on the right side of the islet.
If you do not want to pay for being on the beach, there is a public beach on the left side of the islet which has fabulous views. This beach has more pebbles and is less well kept if we compare it with the private ones.
Petrovac is a beautiful coastal village filled with restaurants, shops, cafes and a 600 metres sandy beach. It is much calmer than Budva.
Bar is in Montenegro´s south coast. ‘Stari Bar’ means ‘Old Town’.
There are several things to visit in Bar, such as the remains of St Nicholas’ Church, a fortress from the 11th century, the remaining foundations of St George’s Cathedral and King Nikola’s Palace.
Ulcinj is one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic coast. There is a combination of different cultures in Ulcinj, with many minarets and mosques that reflect its Albanian majority.
You should visit the Balsica Tower and the Renaissance Church Mosque, which is also home to the City Museum.
THE OSTROG MONASTERY
Spectacularly carved in rocks above the Bjelopavlic valley, the Ostrog Monastery is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage in the Balkans.
This Serbian Orthodox Monastery was founded in the 17th century by Metropolitan Vasilije (Saint Basil of Ostrog).
The Ostrog monastery consists of Upper and Lower monastery.
The most amazing side is the Upper one, where is said that miracles happen. It has two churches: the church of the Presentation, where Saint Basil of Ostrog´s relic lie, and the Church of the Holy Cross.
Lower monastery was built in the 19th century and consists of the Holy Trinity church, monastic residences and a religious school from the 18th century.
The companies globtourmontenegro (www.globtourmontenegro.com) and hostel-kotor.me (www.hostel-kotor.me) organize day trips to Ostrog Monatsery if you don´t want to drive up there.
DURMITOR NATIONAL PARK
Durmitor National Park is located in the northwest of Montenegro. It was founded in 1952 and UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980. It is bordered by Tara River Canyon on the north side, Piva River Canyon on the west, Komarnica River Canyon to the south and Sinjavina to the east.23 of Durmitor’s peaks reach over 2,300 metres and there are 17 glaciers within the park. Apart from hiking, there are plenty of other outdoor activities to do, such as skiing, biking, kayaking, bungee jumping and rafting. The highlights are Bobotov kuk (which is the highest peak of Durmitor) and Crno Jezero (the Black Lake).
Tara canyon is the deepest in Europe, stretching for 144 kilometres. Tara River has a beautiful turquoise colour and is surrounded by mountains full of trees and bushes. It is a great place for practicing adventure sports such as rafting, canoeing and bungee jumping. Tara river canyon is World Natural Heritage.
LOVCEN NATIONAL PARK AND NJEGOS MAUSOLEUM
Lovcen National Park has been a national park since 1952. The biggest part of the park is Mountain Lovcen, which is believed to be sacred and is considered by Montenegrins to be a symbol of national identity.
A Mausoleum of Petar Petrovic II Njegoš was built on the national park´s second highest peak, Jezerski. He is buried in a sarcophagus in the Mausoleum. Petar Petrovic II Njegoš was a poet, philosopher, prince-bishop and statesman from the 19th century, who was born in the village of Njeguši below the Lovćen Mountain. You can go by car up to the top but after you will have to climb 461 steps. Once you reach the Mausoleum, you can enjoy the amazing views from the top.
Cetinje used to be home to the Montenegrin royal family and capital of Montenegro. It has a few big and faded mansions, once the residences of ambassadors. Nowadays Cetinje is still the official home of the president and other government agencies.
The main pedestrian street is called Njegoseva and is full of shops and cafes. The National Museum of Montenegro is in this town as well.
Lake Skadar, located on the border between Montenegro and Albania, is the largest lake in the Balkans, with the size of 391km2. Two thirds of the lake belongs to Montenegro and one third belongs to Albania. The Lake is surrounded by mountains. The area is abundant in flora and fauna and is a great place for bird watching, with over 270 different types of birds.
The best wines from Montenegro come from near Skadar Lake. Vranac is a robust red and Krstac a decent white wine.
Located between the rivers Tara and Lim in the middle of mountain Bjelasica, it was created as a national park about 60 years ago. This national park has beautiful virgin forests, green pastures and clear lakes. In the middle of Biogradska virgin forest you will find Biogradsko Lake, which is the largest glacier lake in the National park.
If you do not want to drive in your holidays in Montenegro, there are some tour companies that offer a good selection of tours by bus. The main companies are Hostel Kotor (www.hostel-kotor.me), Globtourmontenegro (www. globtourmontenegro.com) and Montenegrohostel (www.montenegrohostel.com)
BIG BEACH – ULCINJ
Ulcinj has one of the longest beaches of the area. The name of this fine sandy beach is Velika Plaza and is 12 km long and 60 m wide. It is one of the favorite beaches for tourists because of its pretty sand.
CRVENA PLAZA (RED BEACH) – BAR
Located near Bar, this beach is covered by small-grained gravel and with reddish colour sand.
QUEEN‘S BEACH – MILOCER, BUDVA
This beach belongs to Aman Resort complex, so it is not open to general public at all times, and they can charge you for the entrance. It is 200 m long and is surrounded by cypress and olive trees.
BECICI BEACH – BUDVA
This wonderful beach was considered as one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is a couple of km far away from the centre of Budva and is really touristic.
DROBNI PIJESAK – BUDVA
Drobni pijesak is 11.4 km away from Budva. It has white pebbles, mountains on the background and a forest on the surroundings. Due to the fact that you have to walk to reach the beach, is quite well preserved.
JAZ – BUDVA
Jaz is considered as the best beach in Montenegro. Located west of Budva, it is a lovely long beach of 1.2km length. The beach has fine pebbles and it overlooks a turquoise colour bay.
PLAVI HORIZONTI or przno beach – TIVAt
This beach is considered to be one of the most attractive beaches in Montenegro, and is mainly visited by locals. You can go there by car or taxi, or by tourist boat from Tivat port. The waters are calm, low and with small white sands. There is a pine forest, several parks, picnic tables and a restaurant in the surroundings. It resembles a bit a tropical beach.
PETROVAC BEACH – PETROVAC
This is the most central beach in Petrovac. The sea is clean and it is surrounded by thick pine forests and olive groves. Petrovac has wonderful beaches in its surroundings, so it is a great place to stay if you are looking to explore the different beaches in the area.
MILOCER BEACH – MILOCER
This beach is a great place for swimming and sunbathing.