Montenegro – small is beautiful!
I’ve been thinking about trip to Montenegro for a long time. Actually, the first guide I bought was just about this country. It was during my studies, when I dreamed of travelling, but my finances limited me to the see the world only from the perspective of tourist guides.
After studies, directions of my trips depended mostly on promotional air fares. Finally when the opportunity arouse, 35€ for return ticket, it didn’t take me long to buy it.
The main attraction of Montenegro is the stunning Gulf of Kotor, also known as Kotor Boka, famous for amazing landscapes and the medieval towns.
I started my journey from little town – Herceg Novi, located in the north, close to the border with Croatia.
It was Sunday, late afternoon when I finally got to the town after an exhausting sightseeing in Dubrovnik. My trip coincided with Easter in Poland, while the Orthodox church was celebrating Palm Sunday.
Actually, I hadn’t planned additional “attractions” like participation in church ceremonies. Meanwhile, in Herceg Novi, I was “welcomed” with richly laid tables with local delicacies and a festive ceremony including colourful procession. Better first day in Montenegro I couldn’t have imagined.
Herceg Novi is a small, cosy town. The main tourist attractions are two fortresses: Kani Kula – located high above the city and Forte Mare – which is close to the promenade. The promenade is actually the main meeting place and an ideal spot for an evening walk.
It is also worth visiting historical old town and simply get lost in narrow streets.
A little further from the centre you can visit the historic Savina Monastery. This is one of the most valuable sacral places in Montenegro.
Driving south towards Kotor is worth visiting the picturesque town of Perast. There you can see churches, houses and palaces in the time when Montenegro was under Venetian rules.
However, the greatest attraction is a cruise to the Our Lady on the Rocks island , where you can visit historic church. It is the only island on the Adriatic that has been artificially created.
The next point of the trip is Kotor – the most beautiful town in Montenegro, I’ll write about this town soon. Kotor surroundings are as much interesting as the town itself. While being here, visiting National Park of Lovćen is a must.
The main attraction is the Niegosz Mausoleum, dedicated to the former ruler of Montenegro. It’s located at the top of the mountain called Jezerski Vrh, which guarantees an amazing view of the surroundings.
The narrow, winding road to the top is an attraction itself, it leads through about 20-30 sharp turns. As you drive up to the height of 1657 metres, you can enjoy amazing views of the surrounding cities, the bay and the Vrmac Peninsula.
There’s a small free parking on the spot. But it’s not over. To get to the top you have to go up 461 stairs. The mausoleum is located just outside the long tunnel which looks like a concrete bunker.
When you go to this place, it is worth taking something to cover, because of the high altitude there can be quite chilly. Actually, during my trip, at the end of April, was a bit snowy.
However, in Lovćen Park you can find much more attractions. Don’t go back from mausoleum to Kotor the same way or you’ll miss the further part of one of the most beautiful mountain routes in Europe. Instead take the road in the direction of Cetinje, the former capital of Montenegro. In Centije you can visit the historic Orthodox men’s monastery.
Next stop Budva – Montenegro’s most popular resort. Unlike Kotor, Budva offers excellent sunbathing conditions and variety of catering and entertainment options. Personally, the city didn’t impress me, but its old town is certainly worth taking a look.
The characteristic point of the old town is the Citadel, which consists of old city’s fortifications.
The Citadel offers a beautiful view of the city and port, as well as the nearby island of Sveti Nikola. It’s commonly called Hawaii by local residents because of the restaurant “Havaj”, which is located on it. Boats from nearby port regularly operate to the island.
Right next to the citadel is the church of St. John The Baptist – the largest sacral building in the city.
Less than 10 km from Budva is another tourist attraction – Sveti Stefan. This small rocky peninsula has become the most recognisable place in Montenegro.
I don’t think there’s a person who hasn’t seen this spot in many photos of Montenegro. Unfortunately, it isn’t open to explore, as it’s available only for the guests of exclusive hotels. However, Sveti Stefan attracts many tourists due to the marvellous surroundings and free beach.
Petrovac na Moru
Petrovac na Moru is an ideal place for people who want to rest from the hustle of typical tourist resorts.
However, this small, cosy town has much more to offer. In addition to the colourful promenade and sandy beach, it’s surrounded by high cliffs and ruins of the former fortress.
In Montenegro you can also visit impressive Skadar Lake. It ‘s the largest lake in the Balkans, partially located in Albania. A large part of the lake is the National Park, which has been established to protect a large number of birds, including pelicans.
Taking into account the area, Montenegro is very small country. However, it’s surprising how many different places you can visit on just 14 thousand square meters. Montenegro has so much to offer, that it’s worth dedicating a little more time to visit it.