Montenegro is a small and naturally-diverse nation, nestled between the Balkan nations of Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo, and Serbia.
Whereas few Canadians think about Montenegro as a European vacation spot of selection, this little nation welcomes 1000’s of vacationers (Brits and Russians particularly), each summer time. We selected to go for 10 days in early September and it was excellent—it was nonetheless heat and had only a few vacationers! I’ve additionally heard that Might and June are additionally good months to go to, for a similar causes.
Getting round Montenegro
Arrive by airplane and drive throughout the nation
Whereas we opted to fly out and in of Dubrovnik, Croatia (it’s solely about 35 minutes from the Croatia/Montenegro border), you can even fly into Tivat or Podgorica, the nation’s capital metropolis. From the Dubrovnik airport, we rented a automobile to street journey throughout Montenegro. Having a automobile allowed us to set our personal tempo and itinerary—I extremely advocate it! Our rental automobile was superior on fuel, and parking was available; I additionally selected the place to remain in Montenegro based mostly on which Airbnbs and lodges provided free parking.
Arrive by practice, bus or cruise ship
Among the best issues about Europe is the number of transportation choices! If you happen to’re seeking to arrive from one other nation, doing so by practice or bus are extra economical methods; should you’re on the lookout for a extra luxurious strategy, think about a cruise!
My High 5 Locations to Go to in Montenegro
1. Kotor – travel again in time
My favorite Montenegro vacation spot is (hands-down!) Kotor. The street down from the border runs alongside the Bay of Kotor; alongside the best way, you come throughout a number of must-see cities, like Risan and Perast. You too can select to chop down on the drive to Kotor by taking a ferry from a small city referred to as Lepetane.
Upon arriving in Kotor’s “Stari Grad” or Outdated City, you’re rapidly swept again in time. As you stroll into the doorway of this walled metropolis, you’ll be able to’t assist however be charmed.
By day, you’ll be able to eat and store to your coronary heart’s content material. Dine within the open-air cafes, quiet down with gelato, take within the metropolis’s little architectural particulars, and meander via the abundance of jewelry shops and present retailers. There’s no scarcity of “Kotor City of Cats” souvenirs, to take again residence with you. Learn on to my “5 travel tips” beneath to search out out why…
By evening, the Outdated City remains to be bustling, however with a youthful crowd. The pubs and evening golf equipment replenish rapidly with travellers and pub crawl teams. We opted for quieter nights, exploring the slim mazing streets and alleys throughout the Outdated City’s partitions.
If you happen to’re planning your personal itinerary, take observe: cruise ships have a tendency to return in on Sundays and Mondays and town turns into full of vacationers. To keep away from the crowds, plan to go to the Outdated City on different days of the week, or later within the evenings.
For us, Monday was the right day to hike as much as the fortress of San Giovanni / St. John, from Outdated City. The trek took about three hours and was fairly steep, so it deterred many cruisers from heading up. If you happen to select to do the hike, be ready; the climate within the space modifications in a short time! It may be gray and overcast one minute, however extraordinarily scorching the following. Put on layers and correct footwear, and produce a water bottle (or two).
2. Durmitor Nationwide Park – marvel at nature’s wonders
Even should you’re not the most important out of doors fanatic, Durmitor Nationwide Park will probably be a spotlight for you. This UNESCO World Heritage website is a pure surprise with its beautiful inexperienced vegetation, craggy rocks, serene glacial lakes and wildlife. If you happen to’re not into climbing or climbing, driving via can be an choice… that’s, until the sheep determine you’re in their method.
three. Skadar Lake Area – lush solely begins to explain it
Do your self a favour and rent an area boat or fisherman to take you out onto the lake. We employed a personal boat for simply the 2 of us that price the equal of $40 CDN; it was nicely price it! We went to the guests centre, which is correct off the primary street. There are lots of fisherman there, able to make a deal.
The opposite spotlight of this space: it’s wine nation! Be sure you plan a go to to the close by village of Virpazar. If you happen to’re a wino, plan a day of it as a result of there are greater than sufficient vineyards to discover. A lot of them additionally supply meals.
However take observe: should you go to in September like we did, many of the vineyards are closed on the finish of August. However we lucked out and acquired to go to one, a family-owned property referred to as Vinarija Durisic. Our host was so pleasant, spoke fluent English, and took the time to share the household’s historical past and complicated particulars of every particular person wine and liquor. After our tastings, we wandered across the household property, taking within the lovely panorama, in addition to the home-grown grapes and olives.
In case you have a delegated driver, you are able to do a self-guided wine tour, since many of the wineries reside on two streets operating via the city. You too can pre-book guided (and pushed) wine excursions. Different choices embody taking the native bus or practice, or perhaps a bike, and keep the night at one of many native inns.
four. Stari Bar – quaint village life
If you happen to’re a foodie, keep in Stari Bar, Bar’s Outdated City. There isn’t rather a lot to do aside from discover the ruins of the unique city and loosen up with good meals, good bevies, and good firm (particularly should you like cats).
I might advocate exploring the ruins nearer to nightfall; we cherished the sundown from that view level. Stari Bar’s one most important cobblestone road is so charming. Every thing is just some steps away; there are a variety of distinctive eating places, in addition to olive oil and memento retailers galore.
5. Budva – seaside and get together away
Budva is a beach-goer’s heaven; the water is heat, crystal clear and there are a ton of water sport actions. The Outdated city is much like Kotor in its walled options.
Budva is the wild baby of Montenegro; by day, its boardwalk is carnival-like with video games and cubicles; by evening, it turns into a night-owl’s delight—with themed evening golf equipment that pump dance music into the early morning hours.
Not too far exterior of Budva, plan to make a fast cease at Sveti Stefan. Right now, it’s an extremely unique and costly resort, however as soon as was a fortified city. If you happen to plan to seaside there, plan to pay for it; solar beds have been going for 30€ a bit! There’s a public space, however it’s fairly crude with its rocky seaside, versus the beautiful white sands of the non-public seaside (and so they’re actually side-by-side).
5 Journey Tricks to Keep in mind
- As soon as you understand how lengthy you’re planning your journey for, be certain your passport is legitimate for a minimum of 6 months following your return date and that you understand Montenegro’s entry and exit necessities for Canadians.
- Don’t stress if locals don’t welcome you with open arms; Montenegrins aren’t overly-friendly to vacationers. Our host in Kotor defined that Montenegrins will probably be respectful and deal with your questions, however have little interest in pretending that they know you and such as you. As she described it, “We aren’t fake (like some other cultures are)”. If you happen to’re respectful, they are going to reciprocate.
- If you happen to’re planning to hire a automobile, add on the additional navigation system; we selected to not, and regretted it. We had a knowledge plan, so we thought Google Maps would direct us all over the place we needed to go. Nope. We quickly discovered protection was spotty in lots of areas and surprisingly, Google maps pointed us in a number of improper instructions… we actually spent two hours sooner or later, driving across the Podgorica space looking for one in all Montenegro’s hottest wineries. We have been despatched to the precise vineyards and the pinnacle workplace (the place nobody spoke English and weren’t happy about being interrupted by vacationers), however we by no means ended up on the property the place the excursions have been held!
- Be sure you do your analysis on rental automobile travel insurance. If you happen to Google round in the course of the planning section, you’ll see that many travellers warn of rental automobile vandalism and/or theft in Montenegro. Due to this, I used to be nervous this might occur to us and I didn’t need to get caught with one other expense, if it did. Fortunately, we didn’t need to undergo that sort of travel nightmare, however I used to be ready for it… simply in case.
- If you happen to’re a cat lover like I’m, you could be upset in regards to the variety of stray cats. However don’t be alarmed; our host assured us that they’re fed nicely by locals. Vacationers are suckers and feed them from their plates as a result of many cats roam round, howling at you beneath your restaurant chair. However like several grasping animals, they need your meals… not theirs. Cats are stored and fed to maintain away the rodents, particularly in walled cities like Kotor and Dubrovnik.
I hope the following tips will assist you to in planning your adventures in Montenegro!
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