Things to do in Montenegro

Montenegro is a wonderland, the new darling of the Mediterranean.  Protected by giant limestone mountains overlooking beautiful lakes, a fjord-like bay, and fertile valleys leading to coastal sandy beaches where turquoise waters meet.things to do in montenegro

A small country with hundreds of bird species, 650 medicinal herbs, and a variety of wild flowers, pine tree forests, and ancient towns throughout.  This Adriatic gem holds a rich history from centuries past.  An idyllic land where locals are ready to invite visitors to taste smoked ham and traditional pastry “priganice” served with honey and cheese.

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Before driving over the border , I met Ivo, my private chauffeur, who promptly greeted me at the Dubrovnik, Croatia airport and escorted me to see some Montenegro highlights. He shared some great insights and recommended fantastic stops along the way as we drove south towards the tiny islet of Sveti Stefan.

After meeting the locals, I gathered some recommendations and “best kept secrets” on where to go in Montenegro from the Bay of Kotor to Sveti Stefan.

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Bay of Kotor 

Known as Montenegro’s fjord, the Bay of Kotor is surrounded by medieval towns, including two favorites – Perast & Kotor.

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  • Perast  This was my favorite village in the Bay of Kotor. The town has churches from the 15th century, and some of the best preserved Baroque architecture.  It’s not as visited as Kotor, so it’s less developed for tourists, and you get a more authentic experience with locals. There are fisherman boats and some restaurants on the waterfront. From Perast, you can see the famous small islands – Iles of Lady and Rocks. Very quaint!things to do in montenegro things to do in montenegro

 

  • Kotor  Kotor is a UNESCO protected town, one of the best known medieval villages along the Bay of Kotor. Visitors enter through the massive city wall’s town gates, and visit the Palaces, churches and monasteries in this charming old village. There are restaurants, café and many shops. For those you love to hike, you can trek up to the village fortifications. Don’t Miss! Heard some of the best photos are taken from the bridge next to the River Gate (North Gate).

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Ostrog Monastery  This monastery is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Montenegro, and dates back to the 17th century.  It’s located in a large rock with a dramatic vertical wall.

Podgorica  The capitol and largest city of Montenegro.

Cetinje  Head inland from the Bay of Kotor, and visit the old royal capitol from the 15th century.  Be sure to see the Cetinje Monastery, and museums, and follow the main street to see former buildings and palace.

Budva  This 5th century town sits on the Montenegro peninsula. Walk the alleyways, squares, see the Church St. Savva frescoes, fortress, and get swept back in time.

Lake Skadar  The largest lake in the Balkan Peninsula, and only fresh water lake in the Mediterranean. It’s one of the favorite national parks in Montenegro, and most locals and tourists explore the lake by boat.  My guide told me that the legend was based on a love story on how the lake came to be. She shared, “Each day, women came to the fountain to fill their containers and carry water back to the village, always shutting off the flow before they left. Then one day, a young bride heard wonderful news that her husband would return from abroad and left the fountain running. All through the night, the sweet fresh water flowed and created Lake Skadar”.

Ulcinj A beautiful old village located in the far southern corner of Montenegro along the Adriatic Sea.

Sveti Stefan  This little island is so picturesque! It’s the iconic image that people recognize and think of Montenegro. This is where I stayed for 24 hours. It’s magical and here’s why.

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Stay * Dine * Spa

Aman Sveti Stefan: After staying one night at Aman Sveti Stefan, I wanted to move in to my stone cottage on this UNESCO protected island.  I opened my shutters and saw the morning sun rays bounce off the sparkling blue-green waters, listened to some of the happiest notes from singing birds, while the Adriatic sea breeze flowed into my bedroom.

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Aman is a 5-star luxury resort situated on the Sveti Stefan Island that’s connected by a tiny causeway to the mainland. This island has an intriguing history dating back to the 15th century when 12 families from the Paštrovići Tribe lived here.

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Today, the Aman resort has worked with the village’s families and the clan’s descendants to restore the 50 rooms & suites, 4 churches and tiny squares of this fortified village.  Walking its cobbled lanes, you sense this village has a soul.  A very deep soul.

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The traditional, red-roofed stone buildings are interlaced with pathways, surrounded by cypress trees, with vistas of the dramatic coastline and sea.  It’s a little paradise here.  Everyone makes you feel so welcome, you’ll leave feeling like you’re a member of the Paštrovići clan.

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Aman Spa: Don’t leave without getting pampered at the Aman Spa – it’s heavenly. Don’t Miss! Take the 15 minutes walk from Sveti Stefan to the Aman Spa. You cross from one beach and climb up a small hill where there are towering ancient cedar and pine forests.  Then continue around the bend to another beach cove where you will see Villa Milocer, former summer’s residence of Queen Marija, before reaching the spa. It’s the perfect way to relax and prepare for a spa treatment.

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RESOURCES

TOURISM OFFICES Montenegro

TRAVEL AGENCY Exeter International: Need help planning & booking your trip? Contact Alex Datsev to customize your travels.

DRIVER Dubrovnik to Montenegro:  We received reliable, on-time pick up, and professional service from Premium Limo Service .

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Dubrovnik Limousine Service is the premier ground transportation company in Dubrovnik, and offers full service luxury chauffeured transfers throughout the country and surrounding area. For reservations, Email Ivo Kirola at: premium.dubrovnik@gmail.com

TRAVEL PRODUCTS & SERVICES DK Travel:  Excellent travel guides with helpful maps, inspiring images, and lots of great information to help you plan your travels.

TravelPro: High quality luggage, preferred by flight crews, frequent travelers, and the Global Adventuress Team.

TRAVEL INFORMATION & ADVISORIES

U.S. Passports & International Travel: The U.S. Department of State provides helpful information at this site including passport & visa requirements, embassy locations, and safety & security.

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