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Best things to do in Montenegro
Montenegro is a small and relatively undiscovered country in the Balkans. Home to dramatic landscapes like mountains, limestone cliffs, waterfalls, and expansive national parks, classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. There are some wonderful places to visit across the country, which can all be accessed by car or plane. Many choose to combine a trip to Montenegro with a Croatia cruise and it’s obvious why. We have put together some of the best things to do in the country but for further information on any of them, please get in touch with our travel specialists.
Hike through the Durmitor National Park
Founded in 1952, Durmitor National Park is located within the Durmitor Massif – a huge landscape in the north of Montenegro. This park sits in the foothills of the Dinaric Alps so naturally, mountainous landscapes and dramatic cliffs can be found here. For those active travelers, this is a park you simply must visit during your stay in Montenegro. There are plenty of hikes you can do that take you through native forests, high plateaus and along wild rivers.
The Wild Tara River is home to the deepest gorge in Europe (approximately 1,300 meters) and is a sight to see. As you hike along riverbeds and past glistening lakes, you will see pass small communities and villages residing in the mountains. For example, Zabljak village which sits on the country’s tallest mountains. For skiers, the Durmitor National Park offers some fantastic slopes and resorts to head to. This is a much quieter destination to ski in compared to other countries and resorts. In summer, these stunning hills and mountains attract travelers who come to hike, cycle, fish and even swim in the rivers and expansive lakes.
Explore Kotor Town
This town is a charming maze of historic buildings, museums, palaces and medieval square. Today, although many the old buildings of the Kotor have been restored to some extent, some have turned into a hub of cosmopolitan cafes, restaurants and bars. With a beautiful backdrop of mountains and lakes, exploring Kotor is an enjoyable thing to do in Montenegro, especially when the weather is warm. We would recommend a couple of days to explore Kotor as, although there are not many ‘things to tick off’, the enjoyment of Kotor comes from wandering aimlessly, taking in the peaceful old town, cobbled streets and independent restaurants and bars.
The Seaside Road is an iconic path to walk or, for those runners and active travelers, it makes for a great jogging route. As the name suggests, the sea hugs the path and you will come across beautiful bays and picture-perfect mountain views. Inland, you will see fjords, castles and old ruins that bring a medieval feel to the town.
Visit the Ostrog Monastery
This is one of the most jaw-dropping monasteries in the world. Although you cannot miss the monastery that is carved into the mountain, the Ostrog Monastery does have an element of ‘mysterious’ to it. Keeping this monastery relatively hidden to tourists is probably a good thing as it is still an active pilgrimage site for Roman Catholics and Muslims. The Ostrog Monastery is accessible via road and on arrival, there are various parts that you can walk around and explore. As it is an active monastery though, please make sure to be respectful and maintain the tranquillity as much as possible.
Photograph the most elusive destinations – Sveti Stefan
This exclusive village of the Sverti Stefan can be identified by a small community of orange-tiled buildings surrounded by a large stone wall. Sveti Stefan is the most photographed place in Montenegro and in some ways, it can be compared to Croatia’s Dubrovnik. That said, the island is owned by the 5-star Aman resort which means that public access onto the Sveti Stefan island is limited. From the bridge (connected to the mainland) you can photograph the island. The old stone buildings contrast beautifully against the bright blue turquoise waters.
Hike through one of Europe’s remaining rainforests – Biogradska
Located in northern Montenegro is the beautiful national park of Biogradska. This expansive park, which is approximately 54 square kilometers, is home to a range of environments including alpine woods, glacial lakes, virgin forests, and is title to one of the three remaining rainforests in Europe. Views across the national parks truly are breathtaking, offering the very best of Montenegro.
Some of the hiking trails take you past glacial lakes such as Šiško, Mali Šiško, Pešica, and Ševarina Lakes. For travelers interested in photography, this is definitely the place for you. The vibrant green mountains reflect off the glacial lakes which creates dramatic symmetry to photograph. The national park is also home to over 220 species of plant, over 80 types of tree and home to 150 bird species – both native and migratory. For those who are coming from Croatian cities which can be quite busy and overwhelming, the serenity of Biogradska is certainly a great contrast.
Wander the cobbled streets of Budva Old Town
Budva Old Town is bordered with dramatic mountains, intimate bays and the gentle waters of the Adriatic Sea. Further in land, the town is characterised by cobbled streets, historic landmarks and ruins and foundations of the Romans. The Old Town itself is bordered by a fortress wall which dates back hundreds of years. You can enter the Old Town through the main gate named Porta di Terra Ferma, and wander through the architectural site at your own pace. Like other European historic towns, Budva has now been gentrified to some extent, with cafes, bars and open-air restaurants lining the alleyways. The Church of Holy Trinity (built in the early 19th century), the Church of St. John and the Citadel inside the Old Town’s walls are all intact and offer a blend of colorful art, scenic views and awe-inspiring architecture.
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