The Baltic country of Montenegro has remained undiscovered for many years. However, it’s now firmly on the map, and with good reason. Its fantastic climate of warm dry summers and mountainous terrain make it a geographically beautiful country. Its position, located on the Adriatic coast, is well suited to those who enjoy swimming, diving and kicking back with a glass of wine. The country is home to many beaches, from small bays to larger stretches of sand. Tuck into some delicious local cuisine such as a hearty baked potato or the bread-based breakfast of ‘popara’. A holiday to Montenegro in 2017 also gives you the opportunity to indulge in some action and adventure. The country has recently become renowned for its adventure tourism. Head to the mountains to trek, bike and get up close and personal with all that Montenegro has to offer.
Despite its small size, Montenegro has much to offer those who visit. The Bay of Kotor is thought to be one of the most beautiful in the region and features on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. This quintessentially Mediterranean town is surrounded by mountains and is adorned with churches, museums, as well as the old city walls that were once the city's primary defence against invaders. The port of Montenegro is a state-of-the-art marina, which has incorporated the facilities which the Yugoslav Navy was built upon. The area has now developed into a vibrant community with many waterfront restaurants and bars, as well as stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. If you're looking for breathtaking landscapes, then the town of Persat should be your destination in Montenegro. The small restaurants and quaint churches of the area set against the backdrop of mountains makes this area incredibly unique. The areas surrounding the water are collectively known as the Budva Riviera. It's an excellent place to base yourself, even if you want to discover the natural parks and lakes of Montenegro's interior.
Wine and Dine
Sampling the food and drink is one of the most fascinating aspects of visiting any new country. While heavily influenced by the food of the Mediterranean, Montenegro retains a distinctly unique feel and offers something quite different to its neighbours. Popara is regularly eaten at breakfast times. This cheap and cheerful dish consists of mixing bread with milk, oil and cheese and is ubiquitous in many streetside cafés and restaurants. Baked potatoes and hearty soups are incredibly popular in the winter moths with the emphasis moving to salads once the warmer weather arrives. Japraci, one of the staples of the country's cuisine, is a kind of stew made with beef, rice, vegetables, and a range of herbs and spices. Many of the most popular restaurants are located around the coastal areas. Some favourites include Byblos, La Bocca and Catovica Mlini. Stari Mlini is a real culinary treat for those who visit. This former farm-turned-restaurant serves a range of fish-based meals along with excellent service and beautifual traditional interiors.
The laid-back nature of Montenegro is ideal for children. Montenegrins are known for loving children and babies, and they're happy to cater to their needs. There are plenty of options for keeping the kids entertained while on holiday here. The beaches of the Budva coast are calm and sedate, giving you the opportunity to relax without worrying about the little ones too much. Tara Canyon is the longest of its kind in the country. As well as being a wonder to behold, several agencies also offer rafting experiences for older children and their parents who enjoy a walk on the wild side. If you're seeking something a little calmer, then how about renting a kayak? Explore the seas, lakes and rivers at your leisure in a way that the kids will remember forever. The Adriatic Sea is known for its fascinating underwater world – grab a mask and get snorkelling, and make the most of this fun, free activity.
Action and Adventure
The mountainous inland of Montenegro is the perfect destination for those looking to explore their adventurous side. During treks through the countryside, you'll be rewarded with endless panoramic views of the coastal areas. Head further inland and you'll discover gems such as Lake Skadar. This beautiful freshwater lake, which is partly situated in neighbouring Albania, is perfect for bird-watching and walking. The whole area has been designated a national park, including the many small fisherman's villages which populate the local vicinity. The country has recently developed a reputation for adventure tourism and there are several respectable companies that can provide equipment and training for activities such as rafting, mountain biking, sailing and windsurfing. Diving has also become popular here. Famed for its semi-exotic species and interesting underwater landscapes, its calm waters make it ideal for both experts and beginners to the sport.
Life's a Beach
Despite its small coastline on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro certainly punches above its weight when it comes to its amount of spectacular beaches. All of the beaches boast their own unique charm and breathtaking beauty just waiting to be discovered. Sveti Stefan is a small residential village and also a popular holiday spot for movie stars of a bygone era. The white sandy beaches and fantastic hotel attract visitors year after year. Dobrec Beach is only accessible by boat and is one of the lesser-known destinations in Montenegro. The secluded cove will give visitors a sense of tranquillity and peace. There’s a small restaurant which serves up freshly caught fish and other excellent local dishes. Jaz Beach is one of the liveliest in the country and is considered a hub of activity for music lovers. You'll also find a range of water sports here which include windsurfing and waterskiing.
Montenegrin vineyards are of an excellent standard, and the region sells a stunning collection of wines. White wines are most commonly consumed here – they’re also some of the best quality you'll drink anywhere in Europe. Beer and brandy are also popular drink choices, and served at all bars, restaurants and most cafés. Most of the bars here are relatively small in size, and have a friendly and welcoming atmosphere. NK Pub is known for being a cultural and entertainment venue, but is also an excellent place to stop for a few drinks. It’s particularly popular with a younger crowd. In the old town of Kotor, you'll find Snack Bar As. This modern and lively drinking hole is a fun place to spend the evening after you've been for dinner. Legally, all the bars have to close at 1am – if you want to continue your evening after this time, then you'll have to head to a nightclub or casino such as Trocadero or Illusion.
A holiday in Montenegro would suit those looking for a laid-back rather than a party holiday. The calm shores of the Adriatic provide the perfect beachside locality for those who enjoy calm and relaxation. Spend your mornings exploring the old town of Kotor, discovering delights such as Sea Gate of 1555 and the Triphon Cathedral. Hiking is a popular activity here, and the trek from Kotor to Krstac is an excellent place to start. The steady three-hour trails will see you traverse a range of terrains, taking in the stunning scenery as you go. Couples will also enjoy dining on fresh fish in the many local restaurants and sample the wine in the alfresco shoreside cafés. If you want to escape the, albeit small, crowds, in favour of somewhere more secluded and romantic, then head to one of the country’s interior regions. The North Montenegrin Mountains are famed for their stunning natural beauty. You can rent a small house or cabin here, and enjoy some well-deserved quality time with the one you love.
Podgorica is the capital and largest city in Montenegro, and thus one of the country's cultural epicentres. The Old Turkish Town is a fascinating area to spend some time. It comprises a clock tower and many old mosques, and is well worth a walk around. Kotor's ancient centre is probably the region's most famous attraction and is packed with relics from days gone by. There are a number of churches in the area, all of which will be easily discovered as you walk around the quaint, cobbled streets. St Tryphon's Cathedral is the standout ecclesiastical building and can be visited for a few euros. The island of Our Lady of the Rocks is just one of the fascinating islands in Kotor. A visit here will give you an evocative insight into the country’s culture and eccentric folklore. Cetinje is the former royal capital of the country and is home to a wide array of structures of cultural importance.