5 Montenegro Top Destinations
Montenegro may be a small country but it boasts a surprisingly rich variety of dramatic peaks, edgy coastlines and beautiful, walled medieval towns and is one of the rising stars of Europe’s tourism scene. The beautiful Adriatic coast, is its principal draw, where you can enjoy wonderful seafood overlooking the Riviera and swim in crystal blue waters surrounding by cliffs that rise up seemingly out of the water itself. However, if you can tear yourself away for a moment you will find a country marked by the historical fluctuating East-West frontier between competing empires, ideologies and faiths. In short, a little country that combines the best of the Balkans and the Mediterranean.
During our stay in Montenegro we managed to hitch-hike our way from the Croatian border to the Albanian border relatively painlessly. Accommodation was a little more tricky, as finding couchsurfing hosts was next to impossible. Instead, we found the cheapest hostel in Podgorica, and camped when we could.
5 Montenegro Top Destinations
The winding, fjord-like, Boka kotorska (Kotor Bay) is one of southern Europe’s most stunningly dramatic landscapes. Kotor Stari Grad (old town) is perhaps the principal attraction, a maze of narrow streets, pressed tightly against the seemingly sheer mountain face. Expect sky high prices and hordes of tourists in the summer, but also be prepared to coo over the stunning architecture and impressive natural surroundings. Whilst in town, be sure to climb up to the fortifications for breathtaking views across Kotor Bay.
The little town of Perast is situated at the foot of St. Elijah Hill, where the innermost bays of Risan and Kotor converge. Attractions include the islands of Lady of the Rocks and St. Đorđe with their ornate churches and the remains of a Neolithic culture in the caves above the town.
The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979.
Durmitor National Park, established in 1952, contains the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara, the Sušica and Draga rivers and the higher part of the canyon plateau Komarnica, and covers an area of 390 km². The dramatic landscape, formed over millennia by ice and water eroding the limestone, contains over 45 peaks, the highest being Bobotov Kuk (2523 m) and 18 glacial lakes, scattered over the mountain massif and Jezerska Površ plateau. During the winter skiing is the most popular activity whilst in the summer, hiking and rafting down the Tara Gorge, one of the deepest gorges in the world, are undertaken.
The main town tourist base Žabljak, lies on the eastern edge of the range, and is the only town within the boundaries of the national park. Pretty, it isn’t, but it does have all the necessities namely a supermarket, post office, bank, hotels and restaurants.
Durmitor National Park has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1980.
③ Podgorica – 1 day
Montenegro’s capital and largest city, Podgorica, is unfortunately not one of Europe’s most happening places, but looking beyond the communist destructive architecture, there lies lots of green space and some excellent galleries and bars. Stara Varoš is Podgorica’s oldest neighbourhood, and retains some faint traces of its former Ottoman glory including a blocky clock tower and Doganjska Mosque. Perhaps more impressive is the 18th-century Osmanagić Mosque, which was restored using Turkish money.
During the summer be prepared for oppressive summer heat, however the pebbly city beach Morača does come complete with a summertime bar, deckchairs and sun umbrellas.
Cetinje is the historic capital of the country and as such carries enormous historical and spiritual importance to Montenegro. Today, what remains is a charming mix of former capital grandeur and provincial village where cottages and stately mansions and cottages sit side by side. Highlights include the wonderful Cetinje Monastery, the most important Serb Orthodox monastery in Montenegro, and a number of interesting museums: Ethnographic Museum, National Museum of Montenegro…
Tip! Purchase the €10 accumulative ticket that allows you to visit all the museums in Cetinje.
What should be our number 5 in your opinion? We are very curious to hear where you’ve been and what you liked, so please share your knowledge and experience in the comments!
Montenegro Top Destinations Map