Situated on the southern Adriatic coast of Eastern Europe, Montenegro has a certain charm to it. Imagine picturesque medieval towns, timeless river valleys, beautiful beaches, glassy lakes and towering mountains. Caroline from Passport and a Toothbrush shares her experience in beautiful Montenegro and highlights some places you to need to experience for yourself, no matter what type of traveller you are:
As I write, I promise to try and avoid travel literary cliches such as “hidden gem” and “off the beaten path”. Certainly it’ll be a challenge as I write about a European destination quite dear to me: Montenegro. This once underrated Balkan coast destination has been readying itself for the spotlight. Perfect for sea lovers or mountain worshipers, this small and young nation (it gained its independence in 2006) has lots to offer for passport stamp seekers. Here are 4 genuine Montenegrin experiences perfect for the upcoming summer.
For the Beach Lover : Budva Riviera
The Adriatic coast of Budva is perfect for lazy afternoons worshipping the sun, whether it be by laying on the beach or jumping aboard one of the many sail boats along the shore. Budva and the neighbouring town of Milocer is a popular playground for Montenegrins and foreign tourists, whatever your style. High rollers (or if you’re like me, pretend high rollers) can sport along their trendiest sunnies and head for Budva where cafes and seaside lofts rule all. However, my favourite thing to do was to walk the path from Milocer to Budva. Start in the beautiful wooded area in Milocer, pass the luxurious island of Sveti Stefan and follow with the olive groves of Pržno. There are 12.5km of beaches on the Riviera so if you ever get tired you can easily hail a taxi boat to get you to your destination.
For the Culture-Craver : Kotor
When it comes to being a photogenic destination with old town charm, Kotor means business. Lined with the bay of Kotor, this fortress town is the perfect place to transition from a sightseeing afternoon into a wild night of dancing. A 10 minute walk from the central bus station, the main gate to the medieval city is lined with vegetable and fish market vendors yelling the day’s best deals.
Inside, a labyrinth awaits. Search for the tiny Chapel of Our Lady Salvation or admire the Bisanti mansion, two buildings that shine on camera. If a big picture is what you’re looking for, head for the winding uphill steps to the fortress of St-Ivan. At the top, get ready for a view – and workout – that will leave you breathless. I remember reaching the summit, marked by the beautiful Montenegrin flag, as the sun set. I was blown away by the view of the deepest fjord in southern Europe, pinching myself to assure I was truly there.
Kotor also turns in one of our favourite nightlife destinations in the country. Bands and DJs never miss this stop.
Personally, I think if one must experience only one nightlife in Europe, Montenegro takes the cake. From colourful laser shows to women decked out in fur coats, this tiny country knows how to have a good time.
For the Adrenaline Junkie: Tara River Canyon
Inside the Durmitor National Park lays Tara River Canyon, a natural wonders worthy of one thousand hyperboles. Tara River, the longest in the country, hurtles through the longest and deepest canyon in Europe. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1980, it’s possible to do some camping if vertiginous views are your thing. If grilling some hot dogs by the banks of the crystal-clear water isn’t thrilling enough, conquering the rapids may quench the thirst for adrenaline. Come in the summer for its world-famous white water rafting or hiking, brave the winter for some epic skiing and snowboarding.
For Local Life: Cetinje
The former royal capital of Montenegro (Podgorica being the new one at the job, except, without the whole royal thing) really struck a chord with me. After living it up in the Budva riviera, Cetinje is all I hoped a small eastern european town would be. Here, the linden-shaded streets are best explored by foot. The house are colourful, and so are the locals. I especially enjoyed Cetinje’s several parks where days go by as you take in the the view of the majestic Lovcen mountain range!
The wild beauty of Montenegro is no longer a secret. Add to the mix the spirit of the locals and you have yourself the perfect European summer getaway.
Ready to experience Montenegro for yourself? Contact a Flight Centre Travel Consultant at 1-877-967-5302, visiting your closest store, or connecting with us online!