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I had never been to Montenegro before, and didn't know much about it; but I figured Croatia was just north, and Greece just a bit south, so Montenegro must also be beautiful.

I was right.  It is gorgeous!

Head down to the beach communities that line the Adriatic Sea, go up into the mountains in the eastern part of the country. You can even spend some time around the Bay of Kotor and you will feel like you are in the Fjords of Norway. 

The size of this nation is very manageable. It only takes about 3 hours to drive the length from north to south, and about the same from east to west.  

The capital and largest city, Podgorica, is in the southern part of the country.  Though the metro area around the capital contains about a quarter of the population of Montenegro, I kept my visit mostly to the sea and mountains.  With a brief stop in the capitol.

The history of Montenegro goes back to the Illyrians and Romans, and periods of independence start in the 11th century, But, the last century and a half has been the most tumultuous time. 

Montenegro formed its first constitution in 1855, and The Ottoman Empire recognized the independence of Montenegro in 1878.  Continuing to find its way and establish borders, it was an Allied Power during the first World War, and after the war was absorbed into Serbia and finally into Yugoslavia in 1922. 

After the fall of Yugoslavia in 1992, Montenegro stayed with Serbia but in 2006, finally achieved independence, once again. 

Today, Tourism accounts for about 25% of Montenegro's GDP and they see about 3 tourists each year for every citizen. 

Compare that to France and Italy where tourism is 8-10% of GDP, you will see that they take tourism seriously down here. But, in many ways, it is still in its infancy and will develop further as the years go.  You should probably go see it before it gets as busy as Croatia!


Budva from above.jpg


City on the sea with great history, and even some beach space.  There are not many places that you can Roman ruins, and a 15th century citadel, then just walk down to the beach and have a drink.

Durmitor National Park

Get out to the mountains!  Hiking in he summer, and skiing in the winter...just beautiful!

Black Lake Durmitor National Park.jpg

Getting around Montenegro

I am sure it is possible to truly backpack it through many towns around Montenegro by catching the buses. For example, there are more than a dozen buses per day from Budva to Podgorica and prices start under 10 euro. And, major companies like Flixbus go from Dubrovnik to Budva in about 3 hours, with prices starting around 30 euros. 

But, you would be stuck just on the bus routes. This is a country that simply requires a car to fully appreciate.    

If you are coming from the north (Serbia, Bosnia or Croatia), it will not be a problem to bring a rental car down to Montenegro. But, depending on the company, you may need to notify them so you have the proper paperwork. Just don't take the car further down into Albania. Most companies do not allow that.  When, I visited, I rented a car and did a 3 week drive starting in Zagreb, down the Croatian coast to Montenegro, and back up through Bosnia and Herzegovina.  There were no issues at all.   (I returned the following year to visit Albania, North Macedonia and Kosovo)



An up and coming beach community to give a budget option to Croatian cities to the north.

This is a town that has seen it all over the last 2500 years. It has been part of the Illyrian Empire (from 5th century BCE) and also the Greek and Roman Empires.  Later has been under the rule of the Byzantines, Serbs, the Venetian Republic, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was even ruled by The French from 1807-1813. 


Old Town

Walled medieval city with an archeological museum, a citadel, and a number of churches including The Church of Sveti Ivan (St. John) and Holy Trinity Church.  Just outside the walls on the water side, you will find Plaža Ričardova Glava, a popular pebbled beach. and outside the walls on the land side, you will find a modern tourist city teeming with hotels and restaurants. 

Mogren Beach

When you are ready for some beach time, head down the walkway from Old Town and enjoy, but be prepared for crowds. If you want, book a room at a beach hotel and they may have a private beach. Otherwise, just prepare to not be able to find any space on the beach. Budva is up and coming, but you wont be the first!

For more options, head to the other side of Old Town, and there is a mile of beaches including Beach Greco, Budva Riviera, down to Aquacity Budva. 

Fort Kosmač

Ruined fort on the hills above town, come for the view! It takes about 20 minutes to drive the 15 kilometers to get up here.  There is no tourist infrastructure here, and safety needs to be watched.  But, you may be the only one there, also. If you insist on even more seclusion, hike the 30 minutes south from the fort to Viewpoint Lipa. 

Budva from Kosmac Fort
Budva Montenegro  from above
beach in Budva Montenegro
Ballerina Statue Budva Montenegro

Durmitor National Park

Come in the winter for skiing, and in the summer for hiking. There are bears and wolves in the park. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I didn't see either. 

The beauty here just begs to be explored.  Just a 2-3 hour drive from the coast, the park is home to more than 50 peaks that climb over 2000 meters.  It is dotted with lakes and canyons throughout, and even has Europe's deepest gorge at the Tara River. 

The town of Zabljak is Montenegro’s primary ski resort. And, for me at least, it was a supply location for my summer visit. 

The park itself wasn't founded until 1952, but Black lake within it was protected since 1907. UNESCO recognized the park in 1976. 

Black Lake Durmitor National Park
Virak Montenegro
Virak Montenegro
Virak Montenegro
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