We chose to visit Montenegro not because of anything we knew about the country but purely because it had the only connecting flight for us to get to Northern Greece. So of course we knew nothing of the country and had nothing planned for when we arrived.
We had 3 nights booked and knew we had to certainly fill in those days with much more than just visiting the beach. So we decided to spend the first day exploring on foot and the second by car (€50 for the day with Oasis Car Rentals). Here’s what we got up to:
This is one of the main attractions the city of Kotor has to offer. It sits high up on the mountainside overlooking the old town and offers spectacular views of the bay. We started our walk just after 8 am and by about 8.45am we arrived at the top dripping in sweat. Despite the breathlessness, the effort was well worth it as the views were spectacular! Entrance is normally €3 but because we started so early the ticket sellers hadn’t yet arrived.
Very similar to the dozens of old towns across Croatia except the walkways are a lot wider and there are lots of cats around (there’s even a museum dedicated to them). The town is full of souvenir shops and restaurants but somehow didn’t feel as touristy as the Croatian towns, probably because there were less people and no one was trying to sell you stuff.
Roughly a 30 minute bus journey from Kotor lies the old town of Budva. It happened to be blistering hot and eerily quiet in the old town but the beach was packed with sunbakers. Budva’s border is surrounded by hundreds of boats offering tourists tours to ‘James Bond Island’, known for its unusual triangular shaped hill. We boarded a public ferry for the measley price of €3 and spent the afternoon chilling on the free part of the beach (i.e. not on the sunbeds).
Our Lady of the Rock and St George’s Island
These are some of the most photographed sights in Montenegro. Lying on a few minutes out of Kotor, these two islets are beautiful for their simplicity. Legend has it that local seamen discovered an icon of Madonna and child, and since then, each time they returned from a successful journey they threw a rock into the water which eventually formed ‘Our Lade of the Rock’. Tourists can access these islets via ferry.
Located in Niksic, it is one of 3 artificial lakes built in the area for a hydro-power plant.
Durmitor National Park
We wished we had known about this park earlier – it is absolutely stunning and well worth an overnight stay to be able to get through some of the hiking trails. Given our limited time, we did a very short 20 minute walk to the black lake. This is the main attraction here and rightly so. We enjoyed a delicious lunch of tuna and crackers on the rocks and eventually made our way back to the car. Along the path there are numerous stalls set up selling dried mushrooms which seemed a bit odd, but I guess tourists must buy them.
This bridge is not known for it’s architectural brilliance, but more its historical significance. It was built between 1937 and 1940. During World War II, much of Montenegro came under Italian occupation. In 1942 group of Yugoslavs blew up the bridge with the help of one of the original bridge engineers which ultimately halted the Italians advancement into the country.
This lake lies on the border of Montenegro and Albania and is the largest lake in Southern Europe. It was a little on the dry side when we arrived but beautiful nonetheless.
Overall it would have been nice to have a few more days in Montenegro to do some hiking. We were blown away by how much this little country had to offer and would certainly recommend it to those who love the outdoors.
Til next time
Ann & Jason xo