During this summer period, we have set out on a journey to explore the cultural and natural sites of the country surrounded by high mountains, abundant water and greenery – Montenegro. Montenegro is a small country by territory, but has its own Adriatic Sea coast with hundreds of peaks over 2.000 meters, five national parks and a rich history dating back to the 11th century.
Short Facts about Montenegro
Area: 13.812 km2
Population: 620.029 (according to the 2011 census)
Medieval names of Montenegro: Duklja and Zeta.
Old town Kotor
Our first destination on this summer journey was Kotor, a beautiful town on the Adriatic Sea coast, nestled in the Bay of Kotor. We chose this town as our stay during this journey. A town with only 13.000 inhabitants, but also a part of the programs of the largest cruise companies in the world, so there were 1 or 2 cruisers anchored every day. Our friend and tour guide, Djordje, welcomed us in Kotor, with whom we had lunch in a restaurant in the old town. Later Djordje, guided us through the old town and explained about the rich history of the town of Kotor. The old town is filled with old medieval churches and houses, restaurants, cafés, boutiques, souvenir shops, while the catholic cathedral Saint Tryphon rises as a central building, built in 1166. Everywhere around the streets of Kotor, especially in the Old Town, sleepy lazy cats can be seen. Montenegrins believe that the numerous street cats that pose for tourists day and night were formerly saviors of the town, while today they represent a symbol of good fortune and a symbol of the town of Kotor itself.
Short Facts about Montenegro
The Petrovic dynasty had seven rulers, of which the first five rulers were also bishops and were not allowed to have their own children.
The Montenegrin ruler and bishop, Petar Petrovic the Second – Njegosh (1830 – 1851) wrote the book “The Mountain Wreath”
In 1918, Montenegro was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later called the Kingdom of Yugoslavia
After completing this tour and hanging out with Djordje, we said goodbye and continued with our intention to explore this region in detail. Everywhere around the old town of Kotor excursions are sold, the most numerous being speed boat excursions. We decided to experience one of these water adventures by choosing the Kotor – Perast– Mamula – Blue cave excursion. We enjoyed in this three-hour excursion, where we had the chance to visit the church “Our Lady of the Rocks” on the tiny artificial island, and later see the uninhabited island Mamula and swim in the waters of the Adriatic Sea, near the Blue cave. In the evening, we headed for dinner to the small medieval place, Perast, which captivates with its beauty, where the church “St. Nickolas” from the XVII century is the central building. Having dinner at the restaurant “Conte” and tasting delicious seafood specialties by the sea is an experience we will remember for a long time.
Tips for travelling to Montenegro
Renting a car is the best way to get around Montenegro
You don't need an ID to purchase a SIM card
The tap water is safe to drink
Camping is allowed almost everywhere.
The following day we visited the town of Tivat, where Porto Montenegro is located, an exclusive marina and yachting paradise of the Adriatic Sea. Tivat is a town with 14.000 inhabitants, which has a beautiful city promenade with numerous restaurants. Nearby can be found the airport of Tivat which has connections with all the largest European centers. Later, we headed towards the most popular sandy beach of this region, “Plavi horizonti”. In the evening we visited the place Milocher and the popular island St. Stefan. The island of St. Stefan was wonderful at sunset and in the evening hours and was simply inviting us to take pictures from different angles. The island itself is not accessible to outside guests, but one may enjoy the view sitting in the luxurious catering facilities around it or strolling through the beautiful woods through which one should pass to get to the island.
Da - Yes
Ne - No
Dovidzenja - Good bye
Zdravo - Hello
Hvala - Thank you
Kako si? - How are you
Ziveli - Cheers
Prijatan dan - Have a nice day
We had the following day reserved for visiting Cetinje, Old Royal Capital. Cetinje is a city founded in 1482 by Ivan Crnojevic, and was the seat place of the dynasty Petrovic from 1696 to 1916. Today Cetinje represents a must-place for visit, to be more specific: King’s Nikola Museum (dedicated to last king of Montenegro, Nikola I), Bilijarda (museum of Petar II Petrovic – Njegosh), Cetinje monastery and Vlaska church. After the visit of this city, we traveled through the mountain Lovchen, which is also a national park. There we saw the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic – Njegosh (1830-1851), the most famous ruler from Montenegro. From here we had a beautiful view of the entire region. Heading back to Kotor, we drove on the famous Kotor Serpentine, taking beautiful pictures of the entire Bay of Kotor. In the afternoon, we headed towards the famous beaches of Budva, packed with tourists mainly from the Balkan countries.
Dubrovnik was our destination for the next day, the most popular Croatian tourist center, only 90 km away from Kotor. In the last few years, Dubrovnik has become the most fashionable place on the Adriatic Sea, visited by people from the world jet set. If you want to avoid the one-hour wait at the border, this excursion should be planned for the morning hours. Dubrovnik is known for its old town, the Stradun Street, the Onufri fountain, the patron saint of the town of St. Vlaho. There are several cruisers coming to the city every day and this has contributed for the increase in the prices which you will certainly feel if compared to Montenegro. The city full with history is proud of its freedom, kept for centuries and “Libertas” inscriptions can be seen everywhere. After а few hours of sightseeing, we headed back to Kotor. On the way back from Dubrovnik, we stopped in the first larger Montenegrin town, Herceg Novi, and strolled the crowded promenade Pet Danica walkway. In the evening, we enjoyed the peace and the small waves on the beach, and then we relaxed in one of the many restaurants overlooking the sea.
On the last day of our stay we visited Budva, the most famous destination for tourists from the neighboring countries, but also from Russia and Ukraine. We strolled the Old town of Budva by the sea and the popular “Slovenska” beach. Then, we headed to Bar, the place where King Nikola I had his “summer residence”. We also visited the Old Town of Bar, which is 4 km away from the modern city of Bar. Today, Bar is the main port of Montenegro from where you could go to Bari or Ancona in Italy. The visit of the Old Town of Bar, was the last stop on our visit of Montenegro, which exceeded our expectations and showed us that such a small country in territory has so much beauty and history indeed. We simply told us that we have to go back and explore places like Podgorica, Kolashin, Zabljak and many others…