Mendacity on the identical Adriatic shoreline as Croatia, Montenegro is defined by towering mountains, fjord-like bays, Mediterranean beaches, deep canyons, and well-preserved medieval towns. Driving the nation tip to toe takes a mere 3 hours.
Yet regardless of its minuscule measurement, Montenegro packs a sizable punch.
I spent the previous month traversing Montenegro, a country most declare needs not more than 10 days to “see it all.” Yet I still really feel as if a month weren’t enough.
How might it’s in a place where at some point you’re sunning on Europe’s longest seashore and the subsequent you’re mountaineering around glacial lakes? I fell for this Balkan country the minute I crossed the border and dedicated 30 days to exploring previous the more frequented towns of Kotor and Budva to convey you an entire information on the most effective things to do and see in all of Montenegro.
There is something right here for everyone. Whether or not you favor enjoyable on the coast, birdwatching in nature-rich reserves, rafting down gushing rivers, strolling well-preserved medieval towns, sampling native wines and spirits, or kayaking by means of off-the-beaten path lakes, there’s no scarcity of actions to partake in.
I hope the great submit under evokes you to go to Montenegro. Or, in case you already bought that ticket, lets you plan your personal journey!
- 1 Desk of Contents
- 2 Travel By way of Rental Automotive
- 3 Taking the Public Bus
- 4 Practice Travel in Montenegro
- 5 Hitchhiking
- 6 Budva
- 7 Cetinje
- 8 Niksic
- 9 Podgorica
- 10 When to Visit Montenegro
- 11 What Issues Value in Montenegro
- 12 Packing for Montenegro
- 13 Travel Insurance
- 14 Additional Studying on Montenegro
- 15 The place to Subsequent?
Desk of Contents
Most residents of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the US don’t need a visa to enter Montenegro. They will sometimes keep visa-free for as much as 90 days. To verify the official necessities in your specific nation take a look at this hyperlink right here.
The country’s official language is Montenegrin. However English is spoken in most of the larger cities. Even in cities where it isn’t as extensively spoken, getting round solely talking English continues to be comparatively straightforward.
Learning find out how to say thanks (hvala) and whats up (zdravo) in Montenegrin will go a great distance. Regardless of which nation you’re visiting, it is all the time respectful to study a number of primary phrases within the native language. Locals will recognize you making an effort and also you’ll find they’re extra prepared to speak in confidence to you.
The official foreign money of Montenegro is the Euro. Despite the very fact Montenegro is NOT a member of the European Union.
A very good majority of locations in the country do not accept credit cards. I discovered it simpler to make use of credit cards at a couple of restaurants in Kotor’s touristy Previous City but most outlets, restaurants, and hostels I visited throughout the rest of the country did not settle for them.
Nevertheless, every grocery store I shopped at accepted playing cards. And I shopped at numerous grocery shops in each larger and smaller cities. There could also be an exception on the market but when so, I didn’t discover it!
ATMs are plentiful throughout the country. I never had a problem getting access to cash.
Tipping is just not a factor in Montenegro. Probably the most locals might do is roundup to the closest Euro.
Haggling can also be not a factor in Montenegro. Vendors at road markets, retail outlets, bus stops, and so on. will anticipate you to pay the listed worth and gained’t budge on negotiation techniques.
Okay, there are a number of exceptions to the haggle rule. For those who stroll in to any hostel (i.e. – with out pre-booking) you possibly can negotiate on the worth. It doesn’t all the time work but I’ve had a few 60% success fee. My pal and I also haggled down the worth of a zipline excursion at Tara Bridge. There are Three competing corporations inside 30 seconds of one another so your probability of scoring a reduced worth there’s high. As is true of all over the place else on the planet, in the event you climb into an unmetered taxi, all the time negotiate and agree on a worth first.
WiFi is definitely found throughout Montenegro. Most accommodation options, cafes, and restaurants have respectable wifi connectivity. I solely relied on WiFi to remain related during my 30 days in the nation and never had problems.
SIM playing cards are straightforward and low cost to buy. In case you have an unlocked cellular phone, buying an area SIM card is the best way to go in the event you don’t need to rely on WiFi. There are a couple of choices out there. A good friend I spent two weeks in Montenegro with purchased one from a cellular retailer in Ulcinj for five Euro and it provided 10GB of knowledge that lasted for as much as 30 days.
You’ll need an ID to buy a SIM card. So don’t overlook to deliver one with you.
For EU residents, the European “roam like at home” telephone plan does NOT work in Montenegro. Keep in mind, Montenegro just isn’t a part of the European Union.
Smoking cigarettes is a nationwide pasttime here. Sadly this is true of most Balkan nations. If cigarette smoke bothers you, you might wrestle in Montenegro as individuals can (and do) smoke just about in all places within the nation. This consists of inside restaurants. I’m not lying once I say I watched a lady at a BBQ restaurant in Kotor prepare dinner meals whereas holding a lit cigarette in her left hand. My clothes and hair all the time reek of smoke after a night out and even my bus driver to Ulcinj walked down the aisle with a cig dangling between his lips.
Scams are nonexistent in Montenegro. Locals are trustworthy and are usually not trying to rip you off. Hassling can also be stored to minimum here. General, Montenegro is a particularly protected and stress-free destination. I by no means once felt remotely uncomfortable in all my time within the nation. As a solo female traveler, I found it very protected and straightforward to travel alone via Montenegro.
Unfortunately, Montenegro isn’t progressive relating to homosexuality. Montenegro could be very a lot a patriarchal society that values conventional gender roles. This leads to not only a sexist bias, but in addition lends discrimination in the direction of homosexuals. Being homosexual isn’t socially acceptable and as such, there are not any homosexual golf equipment or venues in the country. Gay and lesbian travelers can learn extra on the matter right here and right here.
Throughout my 30 days in Montenegro, I took every mode of transportation listed under – which is pretty much each choice out there in the country!
Travel By way of Rental Automotive
Renting a automotive is by far one of the simplest ways to get round Montenegro. For probably the most part, the primary roads are in good condition (even ones up in the mountains) and they are getting better all the time with ongoing maintenance and enhancements. Take a look at Rentalcars.com to match costs for various rental automotive corporations in Montenegro.
DISCOUNT ALERT: I try to regulate present journey deals for you guys and simply observed Europcar is offering a discount of as much as 30% off leases in Europe for journey between September 1st and December 16th. You will need to ebook by August eighth to get the low cost!
Be sure to specify with the rental company when you want an automated car. Because most automobiles are guide. If you understand how to drive a stick, you’ll clearly be advantageous.
The smaller village roads off the primary highways typically turn into one lane. Which means each side of visitors use the identical street. Take caution, drive sluggish, and pull off as a lot as you possibly can to the shoulder of the street to let the automotive coming at you head-on move.
FUN FACT: In case you don’t need to lease a automotive, you’ll more than likely meet other travelers who have a rental. I rode up to Zabljak with journey associates I met in Bar and in addition received a journey with someone from Zabljak to Bosnia and Herzegovina who had a car.
Montenegrin drivers are dauntless. So all the time be alert and aware when driving. Locals don’t draw back from overtaking blind curves at breakneck velocity and infrequently keep in their very own lanes.
You’ll be able to convey your personal automotive into the nation. In the event you do, remember that at the border you’ll need to offer an Worldwide Driver’s License and proof of insurance coverage (known as a Green Card). An insurance Inexperienced Card can alternatively be purchased on the border if your coverage doesn’t cover Montenegro.
Taking the Public Bus
The native bus system in Montenegro is reasonable, environment friendly, and straightforward to use. I personally by no means had a problem with the buses here (that’s not to say that others haven’t!). Mine have been all the time on time and I never had hassle buying a ticket on the station 10 minutes earlier than my departure.
Having stated that, in the excessive season (July and August) it’s in all probability greatest to pre-purchase a bus ticket. Simply to be protected.
The bus ticket worth typically does not embrace baggage storage. To stow your giant bag or backpack in the undercarriage is a further 1 Euro cost.
Probably the most accurate and up-to-date bus schedules for the Montenegro bus system may be discovered at Busticket4.me. This website is very beneficial by Montenegrins and I used it extensively; though I observed in many smaller cities not every bus time (or company) is listed on the location. For those who don’t see a time that works for you, double examine with the bus station on to see if there’s a bus leaving at your required departure time.
If you are going to buy a ticket on-line by way of Busticket4.me, remember to print out a bodily copy of your ticket. Until your receipt specifically states an eTicket is accepted in your bus. More often than not they will not let you board with no printed ticket.
In the event you pre-purchase a ticket on-line, it is value double checking with the bus station to verify that they’ll settle for it. Because some don’t! I’m unsure how that is authorized and also you shouldn’t have an issue together with your bus ticket if departing from greater cities like Budva or Kotor (I had no problems with my online-bought tickets here). But in Ulcinj, the proprietor of my hostel warned me that its bus station turns away individuals who attempt using tickets they purchased online because they don’t need to pay a fee. Like I stated, I’m unsure how that is authorized however it’s value asking around when in smaller cities.
Practice Travel in Montenegro
There aren’t many trains servicing Montenegro but there’s one that runs from Bar to the nation of Serbia. And vice versa, making native stops along the best way. They embrace: Virpazar, Podgorica, Kolašin, Mojkovac and Bijelo Polje.
The practice is cheaper than the bus. And upon boarding you possibly can see why – the trains are outdated and not in the most effective situation. I took the practice from Bar to Podgorica and it only value 2 Euro.
Regardless of how they appear, the trains are dependable and cozy. The views from the route are beautiful as properly.
You should purchase tickets immediately on the practice. In cash solely. No want to worry concerning the practice ever being full either.
The official timetable for the trains in Montenegro might be found right here. It’s extraordinarily accurate.
Hold an eye fixed out in your stop. As a result of it’s very straightforward to overlook. There are not any announcements on the practice and most “stations” consist of 1 tiny platform (in case you may even name it that). A couple of buddies and I missed our cease in Podgorica and needed to turn around and board a practice heading again.
In case you are flying in or out of Podgorica you possibly can stroll from the airport to the “Aerodrum” Practice Station. It’s only a 20 minute walk however it feels longer with all of your luggage! We hopped off the practice and walked to the airport to satisfy associates and then decide up a rental automotive for the drive as much as the mountains of Durmitor Nationwide Park.
Hitchhiking is widespread and very protected in Montenegro. Virtually everyone I met in Montenegro had hitchhiked sooner or later and locals tended to advocate it to me every time I requested tips on how to get someplace.
The route along the coast connecting Kotor, Budva, Bar, and Ulcinj is straightforward to hitch a experience from. Although in the event you’re traveling a longer distance (like from Kotor to Ulcinj) you could have to divide your journey into two or three rides as it is rare to seek out somebody driving the complete approach. You’ll most probably get dropped in Budva, should hitch a journey to Bar, and then hitchhike once more the rest of the best way to Kotor. Clearly all of it is determined by who you flag down and the place they are going.
Zabljak and Durmitor National Park are additionally straightforward to hitchhike around. This is where I did all my hitchhiking as a number of the trailheads have been too far to walk to and buses don’t cease at them. I all the time was able to find somebody to select me up inside 5 minutes of sticking my hand out.
Caffe tradition is large and you gained’t escape Montenegro without visiting a couple of caffe bars. This is true in all Balkan nations. Caffe bars have tiny indoor areas but boast giant outside patios of wrought iron chairs and tables cushioned to perfection. An array of espresso and alcohol – and typically food – is served from early morning to late evening. These cafes are where locals gather, lingering over a beer or an espresso and accompanied by the smoke of a lit cigarette propped towards their ashtray. Caffe bars are hottest for a morning or midday coffee and then an early or late evening alcoholic beverage.
Caffes, restaurants, and bars will current your bill instantly after you order. And every time you add to your order, be it a drink, meals, or digestif, one other small verify will probably be placed on your table (observe: you aren’t anticipated to pay until you’re completed eating/consuming). Figuring out the whole amount on the finish can typically be a ache – especially when eating with others because the checks usually are not separated per individual and depending on how much you order, you’ve got plenty of little checks so as to add up.
Tipping shouldn’t be a factor here. I discussed this earlier in the article nevertheless it’s value repeating in this part. At most, locals will roundup to the nearest Euro.
Espresso and cigarettes are what’s for breakfast. But actual meals? Not a lot. Most locals head to caffe bars in the morning hours and linger with a espresso in one hand and a cigarette in the other.
Espresso is usually served Turkish-style. Which means the grounds are unfiltered and lie in a thin layer alongside the underside of your coffee cup.
Lunch is the primary meal in Montenegro. Not shocking contemplating breakfast isn’t much of a thing right here.
Montenegro just isn’t variety to vegetarians and vegans. This country’s delicacies is heavy on the meat and it can be onerous to dine out when you’ve got dietary restrictions. Vegetarians have a neater go of it than vegans but anticipate to need to prepare dinner a few of your personal meals in case you don’t need to be eating the identical issues everyday. For pescetarians, seafood is plentiful alongside the coast and trout is well-liked in most inland cities. Joyful Cow is an effective useful resource for finding vegan-friendly eateries when touring around the globe.
Make sure to attempt a plate of the native cevapi. Montenegrins love grilled meat and cevapi is a popular selection among the many young – almost certainly because of its affordability. Cevapi is usually made by combining two totally different kinds of minced meat, often beef and lamb, earlier than throwing it onto a grill.
Burek can also be a should attempt food. This minced meat-filled phyllo dough is chargeable for the 8lbs I gained whereas in Montenegro. Priced between 1 to 2 Euro, the tasty dish can also be straightforward on the wallet. It’s the preferred “fast food” within the Balkans.
Kajmak on bread is straightforward yet delicious. If a Montenegrin does eat breakfast, it’s often something as straightforward and quick as this. Kajmak is a dairy product most often in comparison with clotted cream. It’s made in personal local households and bought at most green markets round Montenegro. It’s greatest eaten recent, usually inside a day or two.
The faucet water is protected to drink in Montenegro. Most public squares and plazas even have regularly flowing fountains for you to refill your water bottle.
Rakija is unavoidable. You’ll be hard-pressed to go away Montenegro without making an attempt this native spirit as locals love nothing more than sharing it with you. I never as soon as ordered or paid for rakija throughout my complete month in Montenegro yet I in all probability had at the very least 20 servings of it. House owners of eating places introduced this selfmade fruit brandy (personally I feel it tastes nothing like actual brandy) to me after meals, locals handed it to me from the trunk of their automobiles, and one guy even got here out of his home to provide me a shot when he noticed me passing by. It was 10 in the morning which leads us to the very fact…
Locals typically drink one shot of rakija along with their breakfast coffee. Hey, when in Montenegro!
Opposite to what backpackers consider, rakija is supposed to be sipped. Not thrown again in a single go.
Nikšićko Pivo is the native brew. A 2L bottle could be purchased for 2.50 Euro.
There is a wine scene in Montenegro. With Vranac being the most typical grape variety. Vineyards and tasting rooms might be visited in sure areas of the nation and a bottle of Vranac wine may be bought for four Euros. I’ll be trustworthy though – I don’t love Montenegrin wine and like the wines of Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Watch sunset from atop an deserted fort. Situated on a hill above the cities of Kotor and Tivat is Fort Gorazda. The fort was built in the 1800s and was used all through the First World Conflict in addition to the newer Yugoslav wars. Now it’s utterly abandoned. Locals are recognized to deliver a bottle of wine and sit atop the abandoned construction for probably the most spectacular view of the solar setting over the town.
Kayak – don’t take a boat – to Kotor’s Blue Cave. Most vacationers take the motorboat tour to Kotor’s famous Blue Cave attraction. The boat ducks underneath the doorway, tourists snap a quick pic, after which the boat leaves. However on a half-day kayak tour you’ll be able to swim and snorkel in the cave earlier than going to another blue cave no boat can maneuver into. I loved this second cave rather more than the primary one. Kayaking around the Adriatic Sea was a Montenegro highlight for me and I went with the two guys who run the tour linked above.
Order the combined meat grill platter from Tanjga. An area informed me about this restaurant just outdoors the Previous City partitions. “It’s the best food in Kotor. All places in Old Town are sh*t.” Did I mention Montenegrins are frank? Anyway, I shared the 1 Individual Massive Platter with one other traveler and never solely was it more than enough for both of us – it was probably the greatest meals I’ve had within the Balkans up to now.
Wander the Previous City within the early morning or late night. Kotor is a recognized stop along the Mediterranean cruise ship tour and as such, the Previous City will get utterly swarmed by vacationers in the midst of the day. Whereas not as dangerous as Dubrovnik, it is still quite disagreeable – particularly through the summer time months. To keep away from the cruisers (and day-trippers from different nearby cities) visit the Previous City between eight and 10am or anytime after 6:30pm. Having stated that, in case you are solely in Kotor for a short while and are busy at those occasions, the Previous Town continues to be value visiting and taking a strolling tour is one of the simplest ways to study the history of this charming previous village.
Explore Kotor’s in depth submarine tunnels. Throughout World Struggle II, caves have been carved into the Adriatic coastline for the purpose of concealing secret submarines. At this time, you’ll be able to take a tour to stroll, swim, and bounce from the unique tunnels.
Perast is beautiful and well worth the hype. So be sure that to visit this tiny village on the sting of the bay that’s stood for over 1000 years. You can even take a boat journey out to Our Woman of the Rocks in the midst of Kotor Bay. For those who’re brief on time and need to visit both locales with the convenience of a tour, I like to recommend this one here.
Channel your internal cat woman at Kotor’s Cat Museum. As I’m positive you’ve surmised, this curious little museum within the Previous Town celebrates all issues feline. You possibly can even enroll your personal cat as a member. The nominal entrance payment goes toward feeding the stray cats dwelling on the town’s streets.
Get off-the-beaten path with a day trip to Herceg Novi. Solely an hour’s drive from Kotor, this town has all of the allure of Kotor with out the crowds. Strolling its Previous Town, sailing around the bay, and biking its pedestrian-only promenade are the perfect ways to see the town. Frequent buses run forwards and backwards day by day between Kotor and Herceg Novi. To be trustworthy, if I had it to do over once more I might have finished the reverse – staying in Herceg Novi whereas taking day trips into Kotor. Longtime readers understand how a lot I detest giant crowds!
In the event you do go to Herceg Novi, take a taxi boat out to the Lustica Peninsula and luxuriate in the perfect beaches around. They undoubtedly surpass the so-called “beaches” of Kotor and are far-less crowded. There are such a lot of secret coves and seashores to explore on Lustica. Go to them now before the world finds out about them.
Take the alternate route and climb Kotor’s previous fortification walls totally free (and minus the crowds). Regardless of a steep incline, climbing the previous city partitions operating up the mountainside is a superb expertise. What most visitors don’t know is there is a path situated outdoors the East Gate of the Previous Town that takes you up to the highest of the partitions. On the best way you’ll move a sweet woman’s house (she is often outdoors selling selfmade cheese) and the ruins of a small church. Simply up from the church is a stairway main by means of a big window within the previous partitions where you possibly can cross over and climb them back right down to city. The hike up this path takes half the time as climbing the actual walls and you still get one of the best of the views on the stroll down. When you have hassle discovering the trail just ask the receptionist at your home of lodging how one can get there.
Spend some time in close by Tivat. Only a 20 minute drive from Kotor, Tivat is a small city on the Bay of Kotor value visiting. Go superyacht recognizing in the built-up (albeit costly) area of Porto Montenegro, dine on recent shellfish from considered one of Tivat’s many outside seafront restaurants, ramble alongside the waterside esplanade, or hike up to the traditional settlement of Gornja Lastva.
ACCOMMODATION: I’m a finances traveler so stayed at Previous Town Hostel in Kotor. I was there in Might they usually had a special promotion where in the event you stayed Three nights, you bought 2 further nights without spending a dime. In case your price range is extra midrange you’ll be able to explore different lodge choices right here.
A wild, dramatic area situated in Montenegro’s northwest hall, Durmitor Nationwide Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Website with a panorama formed by glaciers and rivers. Most visitors go to benefit from wonderful mountaineering trails, raft down the gushing Tara River, and enjoy scenic landscapes any stock photograph can be envious of.
Base your self in the town of Zabljak. You possibly can plan and achieve access to most activities in Durmitor and the encompassing area from this former ski resort town.
Stay at Hiker’s Den when you plan on trekking in Durmitor Nationwide Park. The Montenegrin proprietor’s information of the trails is unparalleled. He is aware of the ins-and-outs of them higher than anybody else. Each morning he sits down with anybody wishing to hike that day and in a no-nonsense method tells them what hike they should undertake after considering the day’s climate, the trail circumstances, what number of hours they really feel like mountaineering, and their fitness degree. Nobody knows Durmitor like him and his recommendation is greatest heeded. The hostel also has mountaineering boots and clothes you possibly can borrow free of charge in the event you show up unprepared.
DURMITOR HIKING TIP: Download the Maps.me app as it really works even whereas offline and nearly all of Durmitor’s trails are included on it. Relating to mountaineering paths, maps.me is extra correct than Google Maps.
Summit Bobotov Kuk, Durmitor’s highest peak. This was my favorite hike in Durmitor Nationwide Park. Alex, the owner of Hiker’s Den, despatched me and a pair other new associates on the trail leading up to the 8,277ft summit. It was difficult in one of the simplest ways attainable as we scrambled over unfastened rocks, navigated across slowly melting glacial fields, and skirted frigid lagoons. The surroundings wasn’t dangerous both.
Stop in Pekara for the most effective meat burek in all of Montenegro. For my part at the least. The small bakery additionally makes superb tres leches muffins and different sweet and savory treats.
White-water raft down the Tara River. The cerulean-blue waters of the Tara River minimize by way of the deepest canyon in Europe, winding along the Montenegro/Bosnia border to create a pure playground for watersport lovers. White-water rafting is the preferred solution to navigate the Tara River and excursions leaving from Zabljak, Kotor, Dubrovnik, and extra, run from mid-April to October. The rapids are at their most enjoyable through the months of April and Might.
Attempt all the native meats on Luna’s menu. Luna is one of the best restaurant in Zabljak and serves up traditional Montenegrin dishes.
Zipline alongside the previous bridge and out across the Tara River Canyon. You possibly can take a bus, drive, or hitchhike from Zabljak to the previous Tara Bridge. At the time of its completion in the course of the start of World Warfare II, it was the most important concrete vehicular bridge in Europe. It spans a length of 1200ft and rests slightly below 500ft excessive. Located around the bridge are a couple of zipline corporations and for as low cost as 10 Euro you possibly can zip over the canyon with views of the Tara River under. No have to ebook ahead. You’ll be able to just show up and hop on a zipline instantly.
Drive via Durmitor’s mountain roads, stopping each time impulse strikes to soak within the views. Beautiful vistas lie along the park’s snaking roads and are outfitted with picket benches dealing with hanging natural panoramas.
Picnic on the Black Lake. Pack a bag for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as it doesn’t actually matter if you go because the Black Lake space is gorgeous all day lengthy. Most of the trailheads in Durmitor Nationwide Park start from the lake so likelihood is you’ll be visiting it it doesn’t matter what. In case you’re brave, bounce into the freezing chilly water after a strenuous trek.
DURMITOR NATIONAL PARK FEE: It prices 3 Euro each time you enter the park. You also have the choice to purchase a 3-day cross for six Euro but please word it is just valid for 3 consecutive days. You can’t go to the park two days in a row, skip the third day, and then attempt using the move on the fourth day. Tara Bridge shouldn’t be situated contained in the park so there isn’t a payment to go to it. Additionally, the park payment is already included in all rafting tours.
You need to visit the less-traveled city of Ulcinj. Buzzing with a particular vibe found nowhere else in Montenegro, Ulcinj simmers with the Japanese flavors sometimes reserved for the coastal cities of Albania. Stacked kabab meat churns on rotisseries. Slender minarets monopolize the skyline. Fragrant smoke wafts from quite a few hookah lounges and its residents are largely Albanian. Quite a lot of seashores span the shoreline, nature reserves lie tucked inland, and the Previous Town exhibits off the town’s deep history. A laid-back environment mixed with rich Albanian culture makes Ulcinj a singular spot to not be left off any Montenegro itinerary.
Go au naturale at a nude seashore. There are lots to choose from. Sunning in the buff is a well-liked sport in Ulcinj and lots of spots cater to each women and men. Ada Bojana Seashore is a ravishing off-the-beaten path choice with a piece reserved solely for nudists. Women’ Seashore is extra lowkey and, as the identify suggests, is solely for ladies.
Kitesurf at Lengthy Seashore. Long Seashore is the longest sand seashore on the Adriatic coast. The summer time season’s steady winds appeal to kitesurfing fanatics from different Balkan nations and from additional afield. Dolcinium Kitesurf Membership and Kiteriders each supply respected rookies’ kitesurfing courses in addition to refresher classes.
See majestic flamingos and different spectacular species on the Ulcinj Salinas. Referred to as one of the premiere birding locations in Europe, this artificial ecosystem covers 1500 hectares of land and is residence to over 250 species of birds – that’s greater than half the variety of chook species present in all of Europe.
Dine on the catch of the day at Fisherman Hari’s. Every morning, Hari and his buddies take to the ocean, casting their nets extensive and raking in fish to fill his restaurant’s ever-changing day by day menu. His ready seafood is just the best and freshest in town. Amplifying his cuisine is the accompanying panorama from the restaurant’s outside terrace.
Go back to the age of pirates and explore Slave Square. The Ottomans established a pirate base in Ulcinj in the 1500s and terrorized the Adriatic Sea. Should you sail straight from the coast of Montenegro, you’ll hit the Apulia area of Italy where a majority of their slaves have been captured. Pirates ransacked the province’s wealthy estates, captured their house owners, and brought them to Ulcinj the place hefty ransoms have been demanded. The primary square in the Previous City is the place the slave market as soon as thrived.
Pattern Montenegrin wine at Milovic’s Vineyard. The Adriatic coastal climate of the world round Ulcinj is right for growing the Vranac grapes used to supply the vineyard’s signature Vranac Standing Barrique, a medium-bodied pink with notes of berries, caramel, and chocolate. Milovic Winery produces some 20,00zero bottles yearly and has been open to guests since 2007. Tastings, tours of the cellars, and a plated lunch featuring regional cuisine can all be arranged direct with the winery.
READ MORE: A Information to Ulcinj, The Montenegrin Town Filled with Albanian Taste
Keep at The Grove as a result of it’s a destination in its own right. I am not exaggerating once I say this is the perfect place I’ve ever stayed. The Grove is an previous olive manufacturing unit. Its current house owners bought it and converted it into the beautiful venue it’s at this time. Olive timber still encompass the property, backyard trailheads lead to beautiful waterfalls and lagoons, and Bar’s charming Previous Town is simply a 10 minute walk away. To prime it off, the employees are unimaginable and make the whole place feel like house. I used to be supposed to stay for Three nights and wound up staying for eight.
Loosen up at Lake Skadar Nationwide Park. This beautiful physique of water stretches into Albania and is the most important lake in the Balkans. Choices for exploring Lake Skadar are plentiful. You can do what my pals and I did and rent a boat for a number of hours to seek out secluded swim spots, visit an previous Alcatraz-type prison, and discover tiny coastal fishing areas. You’ll be able to browse a number of other excursions around Lake Skadar here.
Go canyoning off-the-beaten path in the Medjurečje Canyon. Bar is a place of leisure; however look arduous sufficient and also you’ll find it has an adventurous aspect. Lively Travels Montenegro runs canyoning excursions the place visitors scramble over rocks, rappel down waterfalls, and leap over cliffs as they make their approach by way of the little recognized Medjurečje Canyon.
Go to the oldest olive tree in Europe. And probably in the complete world. The tree is over 2000 years previous and – much more impressive – it still bears fruit.
Wander by way of the lovable streets of Stari Bar. It looks like every town in Montenegro has a cute Previous City to discover and Bar is not any exception. The quaint area is Bar’s unique settlement. Stroll the cobbled quarters in the late afternoon earlier than heading to Bedem for a refreshing glass of native beer. Department out and check out ordering the pomegranate-infused brew. You gained’t be disillusioned.
Do what the locals do and chill on the non-touristic beaches. Bar basically is left out by most vacationers so you’re assured to be one of the only non-locals on the important seashore. Steps away from the shore is the former palace of Montenegro, King Nikola’s Palace. At this time it’s a museum housing royal antiquities.
Go chasing waterfalls and hidden lagoons. There are several climbing paths spanning out from the Grove’s yard that lead to secret waterfalls and cool lagoons the place you’ll be able to take a dip in your personal personal (and natural) tub.
Go wine tasting. The world round Bar and Lake Skadar is ripe with wine-producing vineyards – lots of which you’ll be able to visit. The Grove (or any lodge concierge) may also help organize a wine tasting room go to for you. Or you’ll be able to ebook a personal wine tour with options to go away from Bar, Podgorica, Budva and extra.
Take a ferry to Italy. Solely after you’re accomplished exploring Montenegro in fact. Bar is the one place within the country the place you’ll be able to depart for (or arrive from) Italy by way of this ferry service.
Get together the night time away. This is the one metropolis in Montenegro with any real nightlife. No marvel it’s referred to as the nation’s social gathering capital. In the event you’re into music festivals don’t miss out on probably the greatest fests within the Balkans – Sea Dance. It’s held each summer time on an area seashore just 30 minute outdoors of Budva.
Take pleasure in Budva for what it’s. Truthfully, I feel it’s a bit overrated and means too touristy – with a lot of the crowds consisting of holidaying Russians. I knew it’d be busy moving into so I made a decision to only take pleasure in it for what it was and set my expectations low.
Visit the beatific Previous Town. As a result of whereas it’s crowded, the sweetness still shines via.
Go underground at Lipa Cave. This cavern is significantly cool and can deliver out your inside explorer as you wind your approach by means of its subterranean passageways.
Cetinje is the most effective kicking off level to explore Lovcen Nationwide Park. Which is residence to Montenegro’s famous hilltop Njegos Mausoleum – the very best mausoleum on the planet. Should you’re brief on time you possibly can visit this entire area, the mausoleum, and the nationwide park on a day trip from Kotor.
Wander via the pastel streets and you’ll want to attempt prsut ham. This city is significantly pretty and lots of of its streets are pedestrianized. The world in and around Cetinje can also be recognized for their Njeguši prsut ham – a dry-cured ham that rivals the flavors found within the prosciuttos of Italy.
I’ll admit, I only passed via Podgorica briefly and was unable to discover Montenegro’s capital. But the people over at Chasing the Donkey are specialists on Balkan travel they usually put together a useful publish on the most effective issues to do in Podgorica.
When to Visit Montenegro
The shoulder season is all the time the most effective time to visit Montenegro. On this case that may be Might, June, September, and October when the weather is sunny, the crowds are nil, and the costs are cheaper.
Keep away from moving into July and August if in any respect attainable. These are the busiest occasions, costs escalate, and Montenegro is HOT.
Prices are least expensive November by way of April. Until you go to the ski resorts up in the mountains. Ski season is at its peak December via February. Notice: a number of locations and activities shut down during these months so verify ahead to ensure what you need to visit (or where you need to keep) is open. Through the colder months Montenegro will really feel like a ghost city.
What Issues Value in Montenegro
Under is a categorical breakdown of what I spent during my time in Montenegro (prices in USD).
No. of Days in Montenegro: 30
Complete Spent: $1077.71 (avg $35.90 per day)
Accommodation: $528.47 (avg $17.60 per night time)
Transportation*: $50.95 (avg $1.70 per day)
- $22.75 for bus from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Kotor, Montenegro
- $9.00 for bus from Kotor to Ulcinj
- $6.95 for roundtrip personal shuttle (ordered for 10 individuals from my hostel) to the Bobotov Kuk trailhead in Durmitor
- $2.91 for bus from Ulcinj to Bar
- $2.36 for practice from Bar to Podgorica
- $2.32 for bus from Zabljak to Tara Bridge
- $4.66 for local taxis
Meals: $302.37 (avg $10.10 per day)
Alcohol: $73.77 (avg $2.50 per day)
Activities and Excursions: $118.68 (avg $four per day)
Misc: $3.47 (avg $zero.10 per day)
*transport notice: I additionally hitchhiked and met a number of pals alongside the best way who provided me free rides of their rental automotive so these costs might have been larger. On the flipside – if I had hitchhiked extra these prices would have be decrease. I do know several people who hitchhiked the whole country and never spent a dime on public transport.
Packing for Montenegro
Under are a number of recommendations on what to pack for Montenegro.
Sturdy sandals. Most of the so-called “beaches” in Montenegro have pebbled shores or are nothing greater than rocky outcrops that aren’t variety to the naked ft. Even strolling into the water is painful for the soles (Long Seashore in Ulcinj is the one exception). I wore my water-friendly Luna Havianas for all seashore excursions they usually have been a godsend. I like the Luna design because they’ve a strap across the ankle which secures the sandal to my foot. That is good when going in the water with them!
A swimsuit. Because hiya beaches.
Sunscreen. Because sunburns don’t pair properly with vacations.
A Dry Bag. I used mine to guard my telephone and wallet whereas kayaking the Adriatic, boating across the Bay of Kotor, and white-water rafting down the Tara River.
A light-weight jacket or cardigan. The evenings can get cool in April/Might and Sept/Oct. A cardigan is sweet to have when visiting mosques, churches, and monasteries as some might require you to cover your shoulders and knees. Subsequently a pair of pants, an extended skirt, or a maxi gown are good things to have in your suitcase as nicely.
Climbing boots/path footwear. You only need these in the event you plan on visiting Durmitor or one of the different nationwide parks. I journey with this actual pair of path trainers as they take up less area than climbing boots but are built for numerous forms of path circumstances. I’ve hiked all over Montenegro and South America (together with to Peru’s Machu Picchu, Colombia’s Misplaced City, Huaraz’s Laguna 69, Arequipa’s Colca Canyon and lots of more) with them they usually have never failed me. Word: in the event you keep at Hiker’s Den in Durmitor Nationwide Park, they’ve mountaineering jackets and footwear you’ll be able to borrow free of charge.
A pair of pants and a heavier jacket. This actually depends upon the time of yr and the places you go to in Montenegro. I by no means wore pants or jackets while on the coast but Durmitor National Park was chilly. I wore this Northface fleece jacket on all Durmitor hikes together with my light-weight athletic leggings. I additionally wore my jacket and pants at my hostel every night because the temperature was quite cold while I used to be there.
A refillable water bottle. Sadly, Montenegro isn’t up to scratch in terms of recycling they usually solely rid their seashores of trash in the course of the excessive season. Plastic bottles overflowed from trash cans while I was there and I didn’t need to add to the waste. I never bought bottled water and took benefit of the various public fountains within the country, refilling my Camelbak with the extremely-safe-to-drink tap water.
Mosquito repellent. I do know, I was stunned too when the mosquitoes began attacking me in Kotor and Bar. Repellent would have been clutch. On the constructive aspect, the itchiness of the bites fade shortly – in contrast to bites from South American mosquitoes.
The Basics (for Ladies)
A couple of brief sundresses and…a pair of sun shades. A hat if you’d like added face safety from the sun. Shorts and a few tops (a mix of informal tops, nicer blouses, and cozy tees). Snug strolling footwear (I really like my Converse). Health club shorts and a light-weight understanding/mountaineering tank prime. Underwear. Bras. Socks. Toiletries and a first help package. Travel adapter. Moveable charger.
MY FULL PACKING LIST: I packed my entire life into a carry-on backpack for this 12-month journey all over the world. You’ll be able to see each single item I’ve with me here.
That is the only most necessary merchandise each traveler should have. It doesn’t matter when you’re gone for one week or one yr. Something can happen on the street and having insurance will provide you with peace of thoughts and shield you must the worst case state of affairs occur. I’ve already filed two claims this yr – one after I was mugged in Ecuador and the opposite after my telephone went lacking in Spain.
I presently have a 12-month coverage with World Nomads who I like as a result of they’re one of many few corporations who permit you to acquire and renew your policy while in another country. Many insurance corporations within the US do not supply this. World Nomads is on the market to individuals from 140 nations and it covers abroad medical emergencies, evacuation providers, baggage points, and a variety of journey sports activities and actions (which can cowl all of your lively Montenegrin excursions).
You don’t need to be a longterm traveler to use them. They provide coverage for shorter journeys as nicely. You’ll be able to generate an excellent fast quote under to get an concept on how much journey insurance will value you:
Additional Studying on Montenegro
Lonely Planet Montenegro Guidebook: whether in digital PDF type or in hardcopy, these journey companions by no means disappoint.
10 Things to Do in Bar that Don’t Involve Going to a Bar: written by my associates Chelsea and Kane. I met them while staying at The Grove. They’ve been dwelling within the small town because the winter and it’s protected to say they know the world pretty properly. I indulged within the majority of actions included on this record they usually have been all unimaginable experiences. Chelsea and Kane also run a charity out of Bar referred to as Save the Road Canine of Montenegro. Unfortunately, strays are an enormous drawback in Montenegro and canine usually are not treated properly. Kane and Chelsea have finished a lot to assist clear up this drawback. You possibly can read certainly one of their dog-saving success stories here.
Prime 13 Issues to Do in Podgorica: some additional information on Montenegro’s capital metropolis since I didn’t have time to explore it.
Lovely Balkans: Montenegro, Off the Crushed Path: this article features info on a number of different locations in Montenegro I by no means made it to.
The place to Subsequent?
Proceed up north to the unimaginable country of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The lesser-known city of Trebinje makes the right first cease and might be reached by way of direct bus departing from Ulcinj, Bar, Kotor, Budva, Podgorica, Niksic, and extra. For extra information learn: Why Visit Trebinje: The Greatest City in Bosnia and Herzegovina You’ve By no means Heard Of
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I hope this complete information to Montenegro helps you propose your personal journey. For those who’ve already been and have much more ideas, add them to the comments under. I’d love to verify them out and I’m positive other readers would too!