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Luna Keira Olsen

Travelled to 22 countries / regions

Written 19 briefs
Visited Montenegro in May 2018 for 14 days

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Europe > Montenegro > Trip Briefs
Updated on Jan 16, 2019 Trip Brief

How to best visit Montenegro

Montenegro is a small country in Europe that has many things to offer. It’s gradually growing in popularity and becoming the new trendy destination ant the rival for its next-door-neighbor Croatia. But so far, Montenegro preserves its charm and offers its guests a huge variety of attractions to dive into and enjoy this marvelous country.

From hiking in the mountains to swimming into crystal clear lakes and wandering old towns. There are so many fascinating spots to visit in Montenegro and it is all so close to explore in just a couple of weeks.

From breathtaking views to delicious food—and outdoor activities to keep your heart pumping—this often country might be the most remarkable place you visit.

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Landscape

Despite its small size, the topography of Montenegro is impressively diverse. In the northwest, you’ll find the turquoise-blue waters of Lake Piva. You can easily find a boat and book a cruise between the razor-sharp cliffs, peer into Oteša Cave and later chill in the largest lake in Europe.

The journey to Blue Grotto is a delightful day trip from the Herceg Novi marina.

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Food

Balkan, Turkish, Austrian and Italian influences mix up winning experience of gastronomy. You must try garlicky seafood and squid-ink risotto on the coast, and Njeguši prosciutto that has been dried and smoked for five months while inland.

At Byblos in Porto Montenegro must try is cashew baklava, what they say - is the best in the country.

Montenegro has some excellent budget-friendly food choices on offer.

Visit your local bakery in the morning for a slice of burek, the Balkans’ meat pie. Layers of filo pastry are filled with meat or cheese and baked until crunchy and golden. Some bakeries also offer vegetarian choice - potato or spinach burek. Pair it with a tub of natural yogurt and you’ve have breakfast for a couple of euros. Fresh bread from the local bakery is also very cheap and delicious in Montenegro.

Every city has a farmers’ market and those are the best places to shop. You can find seasonal produce like tomatoes for just a few cents a kilogram.

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Beaches

Beaches of Budva – are called the “Montenegrin Miami” – because of its lively bars and beach clubs.

A small distance away from Budva you will find Bečić. It’s still far enough from the main tourist anchor to remain relatively unknown.

Bordering Montenegro and Albania, freshwater Lake Skadar is also charming with its pretty with sandy coasts and a handful of ancient villages.

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Getting to Montenegro

Getting to Montenegro is easier than you might think. Although a small country, there are two international airports: one in the capital city, Podgorica, and one on the coast in Tivat.

  • There is an option of flying into Dubrovnik airport in Croatia, which is just 20 minutes from the Montenegrin border. If you’re flexible with your travel plans, look for cheap one-way flights into one airport and out of another.
  • Renting a car and driving yourself can save you money. Driving yourself to the Tara Canyon for a rafting trip will save around 30 euros per person compared to booking a tour with transport, and it will allow you to stop at some of the sights along the way.
  • Day tours to places such as Durmitor park are possible and getting along the coast and main sights simple enough with public transport. Montenegro is a lot more developed than most people believe.
  • taxis also aren’t overly expensive.


What to see

  • Ostrog Monastery

This is a very impressive monastery that can be reached with your own car or as a day trip from Podgorica. The monastery dates back to the 17th century and is built into a cliff. There are not a lot of accommodation options nearby so it is best to visit during the day and stay in Podgorica or continue your journey north or south for the night.

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  • Budva

Budva has become hugely popular over the last few years and although it has an old town the new town area is filled with masses of bikini tourists, bars and traffic. It is called the “Montenegrin Miami” for a reason.

  • Perast

A little farther from the Bay of Kotor is the small village of Perast. Perast is much smaller than Kotor and of course more peaceful. The town is right on the coast of the water with lots of nice cafes.

There are also boat tours to the little island of Sveti Dorde.

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  • Tara Canyon

A 150 meter-high bridge on the Tara River is widely known as one of the most beautiful in the world. The dense pine forests and clear lakes, the 82-kilometer canyon is one of the world's deepest and largest, joining the mountains of Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Well-known for its rafting, jeep safaris, canyoning and zip-lining satisfy the adrenaline junkies.

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  • Durmitor

Created by glaciers and underground streams and rivers, the Durmitor National Park limestone traverses across north-western Montenegro and Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Glacial lakes and rocky outcrops, and the tallest peak in Montenegro, Bobotov Kuk at 2,523 meters.

Eighteen glacial lakes are known as "mountain eyes" bejewel the land, of which Black Lake is largest. The park also houses 12-16th-century Stecci; elaborately decorated carved tombstones and blocks.

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  • Sveti Nikola

An offshore island lying in the Adriatic Sea, lush and uninhabited Sveti Nikola is Montenegro's largest island.

With deer as the only permanent inhabitants, it's a favorite getaway for locals and tourists in the summer, who cross on regular boat ferries from Budva.

A small 16th-century church, Crkva Sveti Nikole sits in the island.

Locally known as Hawaii, but don't be fooled. There are no sandy beaches. But the waters are warm and rocky shores have a rough charm. A water taxi from Budva costs €3 return per person for the 10-minute crossing. Food and drinks are available on the island.


  • Blue Grotto Cave, Lustica Peninsula

Swimming or boating in these vibrant waters feels magical. Blue Grotto is on cruise ship itineraries, so summers can get busy.

Try to visit it during the off-peak time if possible, as there's nothing better than kayaking into the 9-meter high cave, without the massive summer tourist crowds. Kotor Bay Tours have group itineraries by boat with skipper.

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