Having been to both Croatia and Montenegro, my personal choice is magical Montenegro. Once you’ve been to Montenegro, you’ll experience the country’s magical beauty in both seascapes and landscapes. I will try to highlight a few reasons why I prefer Montenegro if I had to choose. Just like Croatia, this tiny Balkan country offers a vast variety of sightseeing and outdoor activities.
The number one reason to visit is the country’s unsung beauty. Secondly, it’s far more affordable here than in Croatia. Accommodation and eating out are much cheaper than in Croatia (as of August 2020). You can enjoy a luxury holiday at a fraction of the cost you’d pay in Croatia.
Montenegro is also known as Black Mountain (Črna Gora). It is believed that its inhabitants named it as such because of the towering mountains climbing into the dark clouds. Another version is that it simply was because of the forests, looking almost black. Especially around Lovćen National Park.
Budva is known for the ballerina statue or also referred to as the gymnast statue. Pack a picnic basket and watch the sunset, waiting for the perfect moment to snap a photo of the ballerina holding the sun!
It’s hard to believe that there is a place that is 2,500 years old with only about 20,000 inhabitants! That is Budva, one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coastline. dating back to the 5th century BC.
Previously under Italian rule, Budva was incorporated into the Socialist Republic of Montenegro (SRM) in 1944. At that time the SRM was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The land where, today, humanity and nature live in perfect harmony became an independent country in 2006.
During this time on 15 April, 1979 Budva was hit with a devastating earthquake of 6.9 magnitudes. Despite the devastation, Budva was restored to its original form and today we have Budva as the primary tourist destination.
Most probably Montenegro’s most iconic destination with a uniquely atmospheric setting of cobbled lanes, stone cottages, and handsome courtyards!
Another coastal beauty of Montenegro is Kotor with a city population of just over 13,000 in 2011. The limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen create an impressive landscape of this World Heritage Site, dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor. Incidentally, Montenegro has four (see above and below) UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Korto is a double Unesco World Heritage Site because the city is also part of another World Heritage Site, i.e. Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar.
Cetinje is the secondary capital of Montenegro and also the official residence of the country’s President. The entire municipality of Cetinje had less than 20,000 inhabitants in the 2011 census.
This 15th-century city is surrounded by limestone mountains.
Despite bursting at its seams with majestic mountains and breathtaking beaches, this magnificent country is not yet “a Croatia” in terms of mass tourism. For instance, you still experience a sense of authenticity. Unlike Croatia, it is easy to shop what the locals shop, without salespeople trying to push a sale.
Magical Montenegro? Yes, for sure. When you tell your friends and family you’re off to Montenegro, chances are they won’t be advising you where to eat, or what to do! This is only because they have not been YET. So, you’re up to exploring all on your own. Magic stuff! You’ll have many stories and photos to share and I bet they’ll be making plans to visit as well! This time you can advise them on the choice of restaurants, why they should visit Perast for a romantic excursion, visit the Ostrog Monastery, take a boat trip to the Blue Caves, and another boat trip to our Lady of the Rocks.
No matter what the season, there is a reason to travel to this unsung travel destination all year through. The annual carnival sets off in Boka Bay and flows over to other coastal towns when the colder weather moves into Boka Bay.
It features a lovely promenade along the harbor with good cafes for coffee and cake. If you’re into hot chocolate you should try Topla Chocolader. Delish! And don’t miss out on Minjon – Italian ice cream, better than the Italians make it.
A great choice to stay in Montenegro is indeed Tivat because it is very central to most tourist attractions. That said, without the hassle of staying in one.
Tivat Aiport is the larger of the two international airports in Montenegro.
Yes. That is if you’re not staying on a beachfront and intend to spend all your time there. If you’re staying inland you sure need a car to go to one of the nicer beaches.
With Booking.com you’ll find over 400 approved lodging options, varying from luxury hotel stays to self-catering apartments, guesthouses, and more.
There is no shortage of the wonders of nature in Montenegro. Enjoy walking on the beach, hiking, fishing, cycling, swimming, and a variety of water sports.
Hiking the mountains of Zabljak is a must for keen hikers. You can join a tour group or hire a local guide to show you the hidden gems of the lakes, alpine forests, ice caves, craggy mountains, and amazing views.
Hiking can take up quite some time. You may want to pad your itinerary with some extra time to allow for those unplanned stops taking in the breathtakingly beautiful views.
If you spend one full week in Montenegro you’d be able to cover Montenegro’s highlights. Of course, if it is in peak summer you may want to pad your stay with a few extra days for lazing on the beaches.
It may sound annoying and like a big brag, but it sure feels good to say you’ve explored a country before it was hit by mass tourism. The time to explore its unparalleled beauty is now.