Montenegro is becoming similar in populaity of its sister country Croatia. It is a country that many cruise ships stop off at, and so the level of tourism has risen quickly.
Despite the increase, Montenegro is a country that should definately be on your list.
Last year, my husband and I hired a car and explored Montengro and Albania for 1 week. It was so much fun, and we loved seeing the differences in scenery from the North to the South of the country.
Here are some reasons why I think you should visit Montenegro:
I always said that New Zealand is one of the only countries I have been to where when you turn every corner you are in awe. However, Montenegro too has a similar effect. Hiring a car was a really great idea for us as we got to see a lot of off the beaten track places, within our own time. The scenes are absolutely incredible.
We spent more of our time in the old town of Kotor, and would highly reccommend the climb up St John’s Fortress for the views. It is quite the climb, with many 1350 steep steps, but totally worth it for the views.
As a top tip, pack a lot of your own water for the climb, or else face paying €3 for a 500ml bottle from street vendors on the way up.
The old town charm
Like Croatia, the charm of all of the old towns is so alluring. Kotor is stunning with its grand lake, and backdrop of rolling grey mountains which frankly look like they have painted on. There are the historic stone walls of the old town, which make wandering around all the more interesting. You’ll often find deserted alleyways, with maybe the odd few cats around.
Further north of Kotor is Perast, a quiet little village, with an equally grand lake and stunning mountains.
We found Perast to be less tourist heavily, but still had so much charm and character.
If you’re visiting Montenegro, I would highly reccommend heading off into the National Park.
Durmitor National Park is approximately a 3 hour drive from Kotor. There will be plenty of tours ready to drive you there. However, as always I would recommend that you drive yourself there. The roads are quite an experience, but it makes for a great adventure.
Durmitor National Park is an incredible place, and famous for its stunning black lake.
This was the point in the trip where I realised there was something so similar to New Zealand, but in Europe.
There is a small entry fee to the park, but you can spend all day there, trekking right around the lake. We only passed a handful of people along the way. It felt so secluded.
If you are more of a beach person, then don’t fret. Montenegro caters for you too. Just south of Kotor is a larger, more developed town of Budva. Here you will find higher end resorts and hotels.
There are a few beaches around, as well as Sveti Stefan which is a private island with its own old town.
The water here is so clear and mesmorising.
Getting to Montenegro
Montenegro is approximately 2.5 hours flight from the UK. Flights are relatively inexpensive. Tivat airport is the best to fly into for locations such as Kotor, the National Park and Budva. Otherwise you can fly into Podgorica, the capital city, which is closest to the Albanian border.
You can also choose you do a cruise around the med, which often has Kotor as a stop.
We loved Montenegro, and the Balkans in general. An amazing region to explore continuously. Just go around October/November, when there aren’t the additional 6,000 tourists there.