Montenegro is a small Balkan country on the Adriatic. While it is often overshadowed by its neighbor Croatia, Montenegro is the perfect choice if you want the beautiful rocky coast and Croatia's old walled cities, but with fewer crowds and stunning scenery that you won't find anywhere else.
Although it is possible to see all the locations on this list by bus or tour, the best way to get around Montenegro is to have your own transportation. Cars or scooters can easily be rented in Kotor, Budva or Podgorica.
However you want to get around, here are the best places in Montenegro and some tips on how to visit them.
If you fly to Montenegro or travel by bus from Dubrovnik, you will probably arrive in Kotor. Kotor is the main tourist city of Montenegro and with its beautiful bay and old town towered over by a fortress, you should spend at least a few days here.
One of the most important things to do in Kotor is to climb to the top of St. John's Fortress. It's a steep and sweaty walk, so it's best to do it early in the morning or late in the afternoon. The latter also has the advantage that all cruise ship tourists have left for that day. From above you will be greeted with a view of the orange roofs of the old town in front of the turquoise blue water of the lake. Add the gray-green mountains in the background and you have an impressive view.
Otherwise, the most important thing in Kotor is to just walk around and enjoy the city. With countless alleys full of medieval churches, cute art galleries, bakeries, street artists and ice cream parlors, it's easy to spend your days here. And if you want to relax after all the food that you will undoubtedly eat, there are a number of pebble beaches in the bay where you can lay a towel and take a nap.
Travel tip: Take half a day from Kotor to visit Perast, a small and extremely pretty village about halfway around the Bay of Kotor. It is lined with pretty oceanfront guest houses and restaurants, and a great place for lunch with a view.
Many people continue to visit the coast of Montenegro, but drive inland and are greeted by a breathtaking mountain landscape. Zabljak is a small mountain town about 3 hours from Kotor. It is located in the middle of the Durmitor National Park and therefore offers many hiking opportunities. One of the most popular is the hike to Lake Crno (Black Lake), the largest lake in the park.
Another popular but more demanding hike leads to Bobotov Kuk. This is Durmitor's highest mountain and from above you can fully enjoy all the lakes and other mountains that the National Park has to offer.
One of the best things to do in Zabljak is white water rafting on the Tara River. With a depth of 1300 m, the Tara River Canyon is the longest canyon in Europe. If you raft through it, you can really estimate the size of the canyon, as the walls of the canyon rise up on both sides of you.
If you're looking for more adventure activities, visit the Djurdjevica Tara Bridge, where you can drive across the canyon at speeds of up to 50 km / h.
Driver's tip: If you drive from Zabljak to Podgorica, take the more indirect route across the Djurdjevica Tara Bridge and Kolasin. The road runs all the way along the canyon and the scenery along the way is breathtaking. If you haven't hiked enough yet, stop by Biogradska National Park, where you can stop and walk around if you want.
writer and traveler
Sophie has been traveling through South America since September 2019. Born in London, she lived and worked in Vietnam for 4 years before deciding to pursue her passion for full-time travel. She loves exploring new destinations, experiencing adventures, and trying local cuisine. She loves to share her pictures on her Instagram and her portfolio sophiesmall.contently.com.
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