Montenegro is a firm favourite with in-the-know holidaymakers, but word is spreading - so get there fast! It’s often overlooked in favour of Croatia, however, there isn’t a huge difference between the two. Expect sandy beaches, sunny climes and a beautiful landscape - just like Croatia - but without the hordes of tourists.
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Here’s a snapshot of what to expect if you’re planning a trip to Montenegro…
Montenegro is incredibly affordable when compared to the likes of Italy, Spain and France. You can expect to pay around £10 for a decent 3-course meal. Farmers’ markets and small bakeries are where you’ll discover the most competitive prices.
If you’re planning to visit, choose to stay in a self-catering villa and you’ll be surprised at how affordable general living costs are. Alternatively, look into staying in smaller inland villages rather than near the coastline. There are often cosy cabins to rent surrounded by idyllic countryside.
Despite its compact size (it’s about half the size of Wales), Montenegro boasts a beautifully diverse landscape. As well as perfect beaches, the country is dotted with natural splendours. In the northwest, you’ll find the emerald blue waters of Lake Piva. Take a cruise around the lake and embrace the fresh air, or pack your fishing equipment and catch your lunch.
Durmitor National Park is home to 23 forest-covered mountains, including the largest in the country, as well as deep gorges, winding rivers and caves. You can find over 314 species of animal in the park, including bears and wolves.
3) The quaint old towns
The city of Kotor has a picturesque old town with cobbled streets, narrow alleyways and bustling squares. Its medieval architecture and ancient fortifications are a must-see. Our Lady of the Rocks, a church dating back to the 12th century, overlooks the Bay of Kotor and makes for a fantastic viewpoint.
We’d recommend that curious travellers join a guided tour of the city to learn about its long history from a passionate local.
With Balkan, Italian and Turkish influences, you can expect a wide range of dishes on a typical menu in Montenegro. There’s a huge focus on local ingredients and seasonal produce. National specialities include seafood salad, kebabs and chunky soup.
We’d recommend a visit to Byblos in Porto Montenegro, a Lebanese restaurant, meze lounge and shisha bar right on the water’s edge. Expect mouth-watering spices in appetizers and succulent dishes including authentic hummus, kebab platters, tabbouleh salads and fish specialities.
5) The beaches
Although Croatia dominates the Adriatic coastline, Montenegro has around 295km of blissful beaches. There is plenty of space for sun worshippers, varying from intimate coves to long stretches brimming with deckchairs and sun loungers.
Mogren beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic coastline. Located just a short walk from the centre of Budva, it’s made up of two smaller beaches which are connected by a tunnel. It’s crystal-clear water has even won awards! It’s perfect for snorkelling as it’s easy to spot fish and other marine life below.