A small nation that encapsulates a various panorama and is well traversable, Montenegro is, by far, one in every of my favorite Balkan nations, after Croatia & Slovenia. After visiting Serbia in Spring 2021, I knew I had to return for Bosnia & Montenegro in summer time. Not solely did I like how cheap these nations had been, but additionally the meals was wonderful (oh, Cevapcici), the native wines are distinctive, and the individuals are so pleasant!
In a 1-week itinerary for Montenegro, you possibly can cowl quite a lot of floor, particularly in case you drive. From the beautiful Adriatic coast so the breath-taking mountains and lakes of Durmitor Nationwide Park, you will notice the surroundings change inside a span of some hours. That is what makes Montenegro unique- the nice and cozy, sunbathing-worthy seashores on the coast distinction drastically with the contemporary cool air of the Dinaric Alps, although the 2 are hardly 2 hours by highway from one another. We visited in summer time (July-August) and needed to ready with each summer time and light-weight winter clothes.
My 1-week itinerary for Montenegro covers every part from among the most stunning seashores I’ve seen to magnificent lakes, rivers, outdated cities & historic locations, wonderful nightlife, and nice meals.
There are two worldwide airports in Montenegro and also you’re more likely to land in both of them – Podgorica & Tivat. Neither of the 2 cities have rather a lot to supply so whichever you’re touchdown at, you probably have solely per week, I like to recommend you hire a automotive & get your self to Kotor. Whereas Kotor is about 1.5 hours from Podgorica, it’s solely a 30-min drive from Tivat.
Self-driving is one of the best ways to discover Montenegro. Most roads are good, well-paved & drivers are disciplined and arranged, however often, you’re more likely to come throughout slender, gravel, windowing mountainous roads, so I like to recommend renting a small automotive that’s simple to navigate. I discovered a really fairly priced web site, myrentacar.com from the place I managed to get a automotive at €500 for 13 days. Not solely did I discover it fairly low-cost but additionally, the comfort of getting the automotive decide and drop location as per my alternative was an additional benefit. The one disadvantage was that we needed to pay the entire quantity in money. I normally purchase insurance coverage from a third-party web site, rentalcover.com at a worth of $8.5 a day which is approach under what you’d get on the automotive rental desk.
1-week itinerary for Montenegro:
Day 0: Arrive in Tivat
Day 1: Kotor & Perast
Day 2: Lovcen Nationwide Park & Budva
Day 3: Sveti Stefan & Bar
Day 4: Ulcinj
Day 5 – Day 7: Podgorica & Durmitor Nationwide Park
Day 1: Kotor & Perast
Begin your day by exploring Kotor Fortress. That is greatest achieved early within the morning to keep away from the warmth and crowds later within the day. When in Kotor, I extremely advocate staying within the Outdated City in order that every part is shut by. Proper after breakfast, get able to climb 1,400-steps to the highest of the mountain the place the St John’s fortress ruins will be discovered.
The Kotor Fortress hike begins inside the Outdated City. Open from 8 am – 8 pm, there’s a small charge of €3 to enter the fortress which will be skipped in case you handle to make it previous the entry publish earlier than 8 am. In contrast to industrial locations which have a correct entrance gate, the Kotor fortress is generally simply ruins and the doorway is only a small desk arrange with some tensabarriers. Though there isn’t an actual fort remaining anymore, the climb gives some extraordinary views of the Bay of Kotor and Outdated City which make the marginally arduous and tiring hike completely price it.
Kotor is a well-liked port for cruise ships, which start to reach round 10 am so earlier than the crowds start to pour in and the warmth begins to beat down, it’s in your greatest curiosity to recover from with this 2-hour journey to the highest and again. There aren’t any cafes, eating places and even bathrooms on the way in which up so be sure to hold sufficient water and relieve your self earlier than you start the journey. Put on comfy sneakers and be able to climb steep steps!
After returning to Kotor Outdated City, you possibly can simply stroll across the cobbled stone streets, sit at a pleasant patio café, and luxuriate in some iced drinks, get misplaced within the meandering, slender lanes and take images of the stunning structure. You’ll come throughout a number of palaces, museums, church buildings and memento retailers. And oh, stray cats! SO MANY STRAY CATS!
Or in case you want to keep away from the crowds, it’s greatest to attend till night when the cruise ships have sailed away (previous 4 pm) and head to Perast to spend the afternoon.
I personally preferred Perast greater than Kotor not solely due to its extra laid-back vibe and fewer crowd but additionally due to the beautiful ocean views. Hardly a 20-min drive from Kotor Outdated City, is that this stunning gem of a city, providing views of the deep blue Adriatic Sea with the purple roof buildings, church buildings, and the looming grey-brown mountains within the backdrop. I’d advocate taking a pleasant stroll in Perast, discovering native wine-vendors promoting distinctive pomegranate wines on the road, climbing up the steps of Saint Nikola Church for beautiful hen eye views, or just having fun with a meal at one of many seaside platform eating places.
Among the best issues to do in Perast is to take the boat journey to the small island, Our Woman of the Rocks. And whereas the church itself is gorgeous from the within, it’s price going to the island not just for the church but additionally for the beautiful views of the Bay. A number of boat operators will supply these excursions for as much less at 5€/return journey. Preserve apart about 3-4 hours in your go to to Perast from Kotor.
Within the afternoon / night, return to Kotor. Relying on the time out there, it’s possible you’ll select to do the Blue Cave tour. The boat journeys depart from proper exterior Kotor Outdated City, the place you will notice a number of operators promoting the excursions. If you happen to take this boat journey from Kotor, the journey normally lasts 3 hours and takes you by way of Our Woman of the Rocks in Perast too. Alternatively, you possibly can drive your self to Herceg Novi and take the boat tour from there as an alternative.
Blue Cave excursions from Kotor normally depart 3 instances a day, 9 am, 12 pm and three pm and prices about €3. When you might select to e book the tour on-line prematurely, you may additionally select to maintain your schedule versatile and purchase the tour on web site. Bear in mind to hold swim put on in case you want to swim contained in the blue cave (it’s beautiful so I’d advocate you do) and sunscreen as a result of the solar can actually burn down upon you in summer time/ fall/ spring months.
At evening, it’s possible you’ll select to benefit from the nightlife in Kotor Outdated City to move for a sophisticated dinner on the high-quality eating place, Restaurant Galion, situated hardly 5 min away from the Outdated City. The nightlife in Kotor outdated city is nice, so in case you’re a celebration lover, then you’ll get pleasure from your keep in Kotor!
Tip: If you happen to’re self-driving, then there’s a big public parking proper on the entrance to Kotor Outdated City. Though it’s a bit of expensive, it’s safer to pay and park right here in a single day slightly than on the road. We paid about €18 for the evening.
Steered finances place to remain in Kotor Outdated City: Visitor Home Forza Lux
Day 2: Lovcen Nationwide Park & Budva
As a result of scarcity of time, I skipped Lovcen Nationwide Park but it surely’s one in every of my regrets. Hardly 30 kms into the mountains from Kotor, driving to the highest of the granite cliffs may very well be barely difficult however gives iconic views of the fortified metropolis of Kotor under. One fashionable place to go to right here is the round viewing platform of Njegos Mausoleum. Montenegrins typically go to this place to pay respect to the poet prince, Petar II Petrović-Njegoš however the place makes for an awesome vacationer vacation spot for these on the lookout for a peaceable getaway from the crowds amidst nature, and wonderful views from a vantage level.
If you happen to skip Lovcen, Budva is about 30-min drive from Kotor, whereas it’s an hour from the Njegos Mausoleum. If you happen to’re driving from Lovcen, take into account a pit prime at Cetinje to go to the Cetinje monastery & a stroll on Njegoseva ulica. When arriving in Budva, you’ll cross a restaurant referred to as Restoran Vista Vidikovac. The place gives unparalleled views of the Adriatic coast and Budva Outdated City under. I extremely advocate stopping for a espresso or a meal right here.
From right here, head to Budva Outdated City (one other 10 min drive) and end up a parking proper exterior, because the outdated city is a cobbled-stone pedestrian road solely. Take a ticket (€2) to stroll the partitions of the Citadela Fortress, an expertise that jogged my memory of Dubrovnik. Providing 360-vistas of the beautiful blue waters of the ocean under, the monument is historical and holds historic in addition to cultural significance for town. There’s a restaurant in addition to a museum on the fortress terrace.
Later within the afternoon, go to one (or all) of the prettiest seashores Montenegro boasts of – Mogren, Kalipso or Jaz seaside. One of the simplest ways to get to those seashores is to stroll the trail from the Outdated City, alongside the platform created on the fringe of the cliffs, which gives an awesome stroll alongside the coast. That is additionally the place you’ll come throughout the well-known bronze sculpture of a lady, frozen in a swish pose (the dancing lady statue).
For dinner, head to Budva Riviera. You’ll find ample eating places providing contemporary seafood and native delicacies right here. You haven’t been to the Balkans in case you haven’t eaten a meal of Cevapi, with chips and ajvar on the facet, and a glass of native Montenegrin wine!
Steered place to remain within the coronary heart of Outdated City, Budva: Sailor Home
(Beware, the outdated city can get very crowded and loud till late hours.)
Day 3: Sveti Stefan & Bar
If you happen to really feel you haven’t had sufficient time in Budva, you can begin your day by visiting one of many seashores or strolling the cobbled stone streets of Outdated City.
Thereafter, head to Sveti Stefan, one of many highlights of my 1-week itinerary for Montenegro. Hardly a 20 min drive from Budva alongside the Adriatic coast lies this beautiful island in the course of the ocean. Sveti Stefan at present is residence to a 5-star luxurious resort that was sadly closed after we visited throughout the pandemic. Nevertheless, even in case you’re not in a position to enter the island itself (solely these staying or eating within the resort can enter; so in case you want to go, I extremely advocate making a reservation at one in every of their eating places, Taverna being an excellent one), you possibly can nonetheless get pleasure from pretty views from a number of different locations. One among these is Adrovic Restaurant situated on the terrace of Resort Adrovic.
The waters of the Adriatic Sea are actually inviting for a swim so you possibly can spend a couple of hours lounging or sunbathing on the South Seaside, which is free to enter. A number of bars, cafes, and eating places with a relaxed vibe, chilled out music and funky cocktails line your entire seaside. If you happen to’re into viewpoints and vantage factors that supply 360-degree views from a peak, then head to Church of St Sava, situated about 25-min drive from the seaside or simply 15 min from the Adrovic Restaurant. Many individuals select to hike as much as the church, however you can too drive there, if you’re okay to drive part of the gap on an unpaved, muddy highway. The views, when you’re up there, are completely price it!
Bar is yet one more coastal city situated about 45 min away from Sveti Stefan. Nevertheless, it’s Stari Bar (the outdated city) that I like to recommend you go to, up within the hills within the interiors of Bar. Approach much less touristy than the remainder of Montenegro that you’d have seen to this point, Stari Bar is quaint & charming. Take pleasure in a espresso and a stroll alongside the cobbled stone streets, alongside the ruins of what would have as soon as been a powerful fortress. Lined with eating places, retailers promoting native delicacies & handicrafts, that is additionally an excellent place to buy souvenirs. You may go to the Stari Bar Fortress the place you can find historical arches & towers, now in ruins however standing tall, amidst bush and flowers rising throughout them. There’s a very small charge to enter the fortress (€2) which is like an open air museum.
Chances are you’ll select to spend the evening both in Bar (alongside the coast, the place its more likely to be extra energetic) or drive forward to Ulcinj, the place you possibly can spend the subsequent day enjoyable by the seashores or indulging in watersports.
Day 4: Ulcinj
To be sincere, Ulcinj was my least favorite city and in a 1-week itinerary for Montenegro, it’s possible you’ll select to skip it altogether and head to Podgorica & Durmitor Nationwide Park as an alternative. Nevertheless, if you would like a brief break, to calm down by the seashores or take up some water sports activities, then Ulcinj is a pleasant place to do this. A number of beachside lounges and eating places line the 13-km stretch of the white sand Lengthy Seaside, the longest on Adriatic Sea. Take pleasure in SUP, kayaking, paragliding or jet snowboarding, or just lay on a recliner sipping on cool cocktails and listening to social gathering beats in one of many lounges.
You might also head to Ada Bojana, a cute city situated on the Bojana river which can also be residence to a nudist seaside. If you happen to like a quieter expertise, hidden far-off from the raucous metropolis, amidst nature, then that is the place to be! There’s additionally a restaurant the place you possibly can get pleasure from a pleasant meal or drinks.
You probably have the time and the power, head to Mala Plaza (or the Small Seaside, nearer to Ulcinj metropolis centre), the place you possibly can go for a pine forest stroll amidst the tall pine wooden timber. Throughout the summer time months when it might get extremely popular, a stroll on this forest is usually a refreshing break!
The world close to Small Seaside is basically energetic but additionally actually crowded. Within the night, you possibly can head to Ulcinj Stari Grad (or outdated city) up the hill, from the place you possibly can catch wonderful sundown views, stroll the cobbled stone streets & end up a restaurant providing beautiful views of the coast and town of Ulcinj under. Ulcinj Outdated City is sort of small however has wonderful locations to take pleasure in some Montenegrin delicacies, native wines & patio/terrace seating with views.
Advice: Situated within the pine forest close to Small Seaside is a restaurant referred to as Higo: pleasant setting, pretty views and wonderful meals, particularly for seafood lovers.
Really useful place to remain: You may select to remain close to the Small Seaside which is much more energetic, lively & has an awesome nightlife. Resort Senator is a superb finances possibility on this space.
If you happen to like some peace and quiet, and proximity to the Lengthy Seaside with quick access, Adriatic Residences are a superb alternative. The view, the placement, the setting of the residences with a large terrace overlooking the seaside, make it a extremely good finances possibility for this space.
Days 5 – 7: Durmitor Nationwide Park
Put together for an extended however stunning drive in the direction of the mountains. In a 1-week itinerary for Montenegro, Durmitor Nationwide Park deserves at the least 3 days. Beautiful lakes, unmissable hikes/ drives & adventurous actions akin to rafting, ziplining, canyoning, ATV rides are what make the mountains in Montengero price spending time in.
Click on right here for an in depth itinerary for Durmitor Nationwide Park.