MONTENEGRO – THE UNKNOWN JEWEL OF THE BALKANS

Nestled in the heart of the Western Balkans, Montenegro enjoys a mysterious reputation gathered over the years in which tourism has been neglected, adding to the problems in the region. Meanwhile, Montenegro has gained a certain opening, mainly through the recent massive investment from Russia.

For those who want to fly directly into the heart of the country and explore the mountains first, the country capital Podgorica is the best choice. Besides the capital city, you can go to Tivat, which is situated on the coast and offers the great option to enjoy the Adriatic Sea; you can start by sinking your feet in the shallow waves and breathe the fresh air of the surroundings. If you want to make Montenegro a part of a circuit through several countries, then, for more adventure, you can fly to Bosnia, Sarajevo and then go towards the south; or if you want to go through Croatia, discover the charming Croatian coast town, Dubrovnik before everything.

The tip we want to offer you is to make sure you find a taxi driver who speaks English well while at the airport. If you grant a better price, then he will give you a discount and will take you to all the interesting places that are not entirely known.

Another tip we must give you is to avoid the busy season. This is a very important issue in order to have a successful vacation in Montenegro because this country is known to have the particularity of being a paradise for lovers of the summer sun who arrive all the way from Russia, Ukraine, Serbia and other countries. The season between July and August make locations like Costa del Sol, the Canary Islands and the Greek islands seem deserted. If you do not want your elbows scuffing on a bumpy shore, and if you are looking for more silence, then May, June and September are a much better option. This thing goes for resorts inside the country as well, although the scenery provided by a ski holiday is a cheap and pleasant alternative for the winter months.

Signs of recovery in Montenegro. Given the historical alignment with Russia, it was only a matter of time before the little Orthodox country was noticed by the Russian oligarchs. Previously, in Montenegro there had been an influx of Irish investments before the economic downturn of Ireland; afterwards there was a free way for people like Roman Abramovich, who pumped a lot of money to revive the dormant coast.

Enjoy the delights of the coast. There is something for everyone on the road located on the southern border with Croatia, where the town of Herceg Novi exerts influence over a significant number of Montenegrin traditional towns in the south. Once you get in the old town, you are taken down to the Bay of Kotor which makes its way around towering steep but beautiful cliffs. Perast is worth a stop, while Kotor itself is a haven for seafaring community, often hosting  extravagant yachts during the summer months in the port. Tivat is known primarily for its airport and therefore the next valuable destination is Budva, despite the incredible boom of the buildings and real estate, which captured the hills behind. If you can see beyond them, you can even hear the echo of old Dubrovnik with its streets of marble, and before the next stop, there is Sveti Stefan, which is located five kilometers south and attracts the admiration of tourists and locals alike.

If you want to know the charming hospitality of Montenegrins then look for Petrovac town, where you can roam around. And also Lucice beach, located a few minutes away, by foot – an idyllic place where you can enjoy the sun and crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, the last important tourist location before arriving in Bar a nice little town known for its industrial port, Ulcinj – which was mostly Albanian than Montenegrin.

Our little piece of advice is to watch the price grammage in restaurants, which proves to be quite high. Ask the price of each plate when you order, especially when it’s over, otherwise you will be surprised to pay more than you originally planned.

Lovcen National Park makes up the perfect scenery for the Adriatic Sea glitter, but once you start to climb the hills, you will feel like you have arrived in another country. Quite sparsely populated, their peaks seem to be a mirror that reflects the spirit of the coastline. Mount Lovcen watching over the ancient capital Cetinje from above – a peculiar blend of royal splendor and rural life. Moving towards the east, you will find Lake Skadar National Park, which is a paradise of birds that stretches almost to Albania. If you have more time available, there is a small town on the way that suddenly takes you back in time.

The capital city Podgorica is emerging fro between the mountains, passing through a vast plain; from the outside it looks very picturesque due to the tree-lined streets and rivers that cross this place. From a cultural standpoint there is not much to see here, so you can relax in one of the cafes in the area, you can hang out in the main square or you see a football game on the national stadium, in exchange for a pound.

The local bus lines are cheap and run regularly in Montenegro. Enquire at the reception, or looking for the central station, where daily circulation schedules are displayed at hand.

Once you see the coast and central region, you can venture up north to the Ostrog Monastery, sheltered by cliffs above the Zeta Valley – a place to be seen because otherwise you can’t immagine so much beauty. After that, it’s time to pay a visit to Durmitor National Park, where you can unleash your adventurous spirit, surrounding the 18 glacial lakes scattered in the area. Whether you crave for rafting on the Tara River’s white waters, or after skiing in the cold, here’s everything you need. Walking and tracking in this area is wonderful if you take into account the amazing wildlife.

The Biogradska Gora National Park offers a great variety of amazing touristic opportunities for the active ones, which include the challenge provided by the town of Kolasin and the local skiing offers granted by a country which has finally entered with boldness into a new travel light.

Hurry up and discover Montenegro abd the wonders that you can find here before it gets too crowded!

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