Montenegro is the jewel of the Balkans. A tiny, yet precious country. It has so much to offer in a small space, which makes it a great vacation destination, from beaches to scenic mountains and a rich history, to modern skyscrapers and a buzzing nightlife. The majority of the highlights are on the west side of Montenegro and can be seen in a short span of time. Here is a list of the places you should visit when on a vacation in Montenegro.
Budva is the heart and soul of Montenegro which hibernates in winter but is most popular tourist destination in summer. It’s 35 km Riviera vaunts 15 crystal clear water beaches with scenic mountain back drops which makes it an ideal summer destination and the top place within Montenegro for a dip in the Adriatic sea. Some of the beaches are private to the celebrity resort Sveti Stefan, which is the most iconic landmark on Budva’s Riviera.
Sveti Stefan is beautiful to look at but expensive to live in. Expect to pay at least €2000 per nights as it is frequented by high class personalities including film-star Sylvester Stallone, the world-class tennis player Sharapova and celebrities. The best public beach is Slovenska beach where you can enjoy a swim or Bunge jump over the beach. From this beach many boat tours to explore Montenegro’s coast and caves are available. From here you can catch a taxi boat to Sveti Nikola where you can explore more beaches on this only island.
You can never get bored in Budva, with its wide variety of restaurants to eat from, pubs and nightlife. The night market is also a great spot to stroll around in the evening and holds many stalls selling souvenirs and food. But Budva is not only about its beaches, the Old Town on the water’s edge is a historic place which undergone so many war misfortunes, where you can stroll down its narrow cobbled streets and indulge its rich history.
Kotor is set deep in the Bay of Kotor which is a port of many high class cruise liners. The Gulf of Kotor is pleasantly surrounded by mountains reflecting in its waters which is the best sight in this lovely town during the day.
Kotor has a charming old town that attracts people from all over the world. Its narrow maze streets and beautiful squares and palaces display the rich architecture of previous cultures living here. The walls of the fortress surrounding the old town stand 20 meters high, and can be hardly during the day since it is camouflaged in the landscape of the mountains. But at night, Kotor turns into an enchanting town as it fortress lights up and stands high on the mountain. The old towns in Kotor Bay & Budva can be seen in a day, that would thrill all history enthusiasts.
Perast is my all-time favourite and possibly, the prettiest Baroque Village in Eastern Europe. With its Venetian buildings at the water’s edge and tall bell tower, this is definitely a great spot to visit. Set opposite the channel of the Gulf of Kotor this village had so much importance to the gulf as it was the one to protect enemies from entering the bay. The best you can do in this village is to climb the 50 meter Bell Tower from which the scenic view of the Bay of Kotor and its islands can be witnessed. A boat ride to Our Lady of Rocks is also a must and it’s great legend and history can be read here.
Serpentine 25 & Njeguši
Serpentine 25 is the name of a road. But this is no ordinary road, and that’s why is listed as one of the most fascinating places to visit in Montenegro. This road has to be in the bucket-list of all driving fanatics. The Serpentine has 25 hairpin curves along the mountain that leads to Njeguši, a small village that is famous for its cheese and meat production. From this road you can see the wonders of the Gulf of Kotor and the Adriatic coast.
Lovcen National Park
Lovcen National Park is a gorgeous national park in Montenegro close to the Adriatic Sea. You can see from limestone rock formations to deep forests and alpine meadows. But what attracts people the most to this park is the Mausoleum of the great Prince Bishop Peter Petar II Petrovic Njegoseva. The Mausoleum stands high at 1657 meters above sea level on the Locven Mountain peak and walking to it is your stairway to heaven.
You will know once you have set foot in the area of Rijeka Crnojevića because immediately, you’ll be enjoying jaw dropping scenery of the river. The highlight is the river curve, from where a full 180 degree turn of the river can be seen from an aerial view. Alongside the Crnojevia, you can stop to eat fresh river fish. You can also enjoy a scenic boat ride on the river that leads to Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula. This river boat cruise should be on your to do list while visiting Montenegro as it makes you feel like you are sailing through a postcard.
If you are intrigued by what Montenegro has to offer, here you can find more information about the best of central Montenegro. Here’s some more pictures about the best places to Visit in Montenegro. Our visit to this beautiful country was part of a 2 month Europe Road Trip. So if you’re willing to do the same, here’s our 5-day Road Trip Itinerary in Montenegro.