Do not overlook Montenegro for its size. It is super diverse, and it is quite difficult to select only few places – the most honest would be to say YOU SHOULD SEE EVERYTHING, but that would not ease up your holiday itinerary, so let’s pick “the most important ones”.
Not only the fact that Kotor is, when it comes to Montenegro, the leading photo of all book covers, tourist guides and world media campaign, but its true charm is felt in the first moment you step into the Old Town and get easily bewitched by the guarding rocks above. Narrow streets, stone palaces and vivid atmosphere is only a fragment of the beauty this place radiates.
PERAST AND OUR LADY OF ROCKS
The architectural brother of Kotor, Perast, is only 12 kilometers away down the bay and it’s not to be missed! It offers a window into the Venetian times, and being UNESCO protected, you can be certain not much has been changed ever since. Besides these picturesque streets, Perast’s main attraction is artificial island Our Lady of Rocks and it is very easy to get there with 5€ taxi boat.
LOVĆEN MOUNTAIN AND NATIONAL PARK
Trip to this glorious mountain is guarantying the best bird eye’s views of Boka Bay and elevating to the areas abundant in rocky peaks. On top of Lovćen you will find the highest mausoleum in the world, where the greatest ruler of Montenegro rests in peace.
LAKE SKADAR, RIJEKA CRNOJEVIĆA
This largest lake in the Balkans, shared between Montenegro and Albania, is ideal for relaxing boat ride, swimming and bird watching. Escaping busy coast to this wildlife will bring you an insight to the real life of Montenegrins, often gathered around tasty domestic food and homemade wine.
TARA CANYON, TARA BRIDGE, RAFTING
First sight of Tara should be definitely from famous piece of art – Tara River Bridge (Đurđevića Tara Bridge), and second from the canyon itself, experiencing the river fully with going for rafting! “The Tear of Europe” is the longest river in Montenegro (144km), creates the deepest canyon in Europe (1300m), and it is completely drinkable! The beauty of this region is impeccable and will make you forget coastline and beaches.
DURMITOR MOUNTAIN AND NATIONAL PARK
Huge limestone massif that spans over 39,000 acres, shaped by glaciers, is real hiking heaven in summertime! Numerous lakes (known as “mountin eyes”) and hiking trails are to be explored, and don’t forget to conquest the highest peak of the country Bobotov Kuk at 2,523 meters. In wintertime, the main settlement at Durmitor, Žabljak town, turns into a ski resort, with the sloops nearby at Savin Kuk peak.
The most sacred place in Montenegro is surely Serbian Christian Orthodox Monastery of Ostrog. Visit to this place is not only reserved for strong believers, but for people across the world, from different religion and nation, connecting them with its undeniable energy.
This 17th century monastery is located on a mountain cliff 900m above sea level, and the road up is winding and very narrow, so it is not recommended to drive on your own. Many people take the way up by foot, some even with no shoes at all. It is spectacular to witness all those people praying and being somehow part of this important pilgrimage.
BUDVA OLD TOWN, BEACHES AND ST. STEFAN
Budva is considered to be the center of tourism in Montenegro, not only with rich cultural and historical heritage, but having some of the best beaches, hotels and nightlife at the coastline.
The Old Town is small Mediterranean jewel, crossed with narrow streets and bars and souvenir shops.
Pebbled beaches may not be your first choice, but as you enter crystal clear water, you’ll forget the rocks, especially if your visit to the beach gets bewitched by a sunset.
Island of Saint Stefan, the most common picture of Montenegro, now stands as the most expensive luxury resort in the country mainly for its exclusivity, while the town firstly emerged on the rock in the 15th century as a fisherman’s village.
To experience wildest places of Montenegro where sunlight doesn’t break thorough, it is mandatory to go through the canyons, but among many to explore, one is the most spectacular - the magnificent “Nevidio” (Unseen) canyon. With well-trained instructors and guides you have no worries passing this narrow mountain crack naturally carved by the river Komarnica but do expect multiple adrenalines rush every time you need to jump into freezing water.
“The Alps of the Balkans” uncover neglected and wild side of Montenegro - needle-like peaks and snow that stays on some parts even on the hottest summers – will unquestionably leave you breathless. If you want to embrace dramatic scenery of this National Park, always join a group for hiking, or hire a local guide, as the mountain can be very hostile for foreigners to explore on their own. Do not skip Grbaja Valley, Gusinje town, and Plav Lake.
Old Royal Capital now stands a symbol of Montenegrin history, culture and arts. Original architecture from the past times is being preserved so the town seems to be frozen in time and numerous museums here will provide detail insight into Montenegrin vast legacy. Located in between the coast and the new capital Podgorica, it is easily accessible and quite different from Kotor, Boka Bay and Budva.
ULCINJ AND ADA BOJANA
The southernmost town of Ulcinj is located at the border with Albania, so the impact of different culture is immediately noticed, starting with signs on the road in different language, to architecture, and lifestyle in general. Ulcinj is a different world also due to long sandy beaches - quite different than the ones you’ll see in Budva.
This kitesurfing paradise will stay in your memory mainly for the mind-blowing sunsets and horse riding along the beach.
Ada Bojana has long reputation being a nudist beach, but if you are not that type, make sure to visit it anyway and go kayaking along the river or just treat yourself with some freshly caught fish in one of the restaurants on the water.
PORTO MONTENEGRO TIVAT
Formal navy base now is turned into luxury marina town with more than 450 berths for mega yachts, high-rate hotels, international restaurants, designers’ shops and exclusive sea view apartments. However, Porto Montenegro is not reserved only for wealthy people, as locals like to take a walk around, have a nice meal in the evening, or come for their morning routine.