Montenegro with kids: the perfect 10 day itinerary


Montenegro is a small country but with a lot of variety, from high mountains to beautiful beaches. If you plan your trip carefully, you will be able to see and experience the best of Montenegro. If you are looking to combine beach, historical villages and National park, don’t look further. Here you ahve the perfect 10 day itineray for Montenegro with kids.

Montenegro has three airports, but normally you can fly cheaper to Dubrovnik (search in skyscanner for the prices). We paid for the flight Dubrovnik – Amsterdam with Easy-jet less than 50€ p.p.

You can also arrive to Montenegro by sea, either by a ferry from Italy or, like us, with a cruise. We dismarked in Kotor, a day earlier than the rest of the cruise.

Day 1 – Kotor

Naming the Bay of Kotor as the southernmost fjord in Europe is justified. When we entered the bay with the cruise, we saw small villages along the coast surrounded by high mountains. Simply beatifull!

Kotor lies at the end of the bay surrounded by Mount Lovcen (1,749m) and the Natural Park of the Vrmac. The old town of Kotor is one of the best preserved urban settlements in the Mediterranean. The little streets, the terraces and the nice piazzas make Kotor very cosy. As there’re no cars, everyone strolls through the streets at a slow pace. So relaxed!

Kotor is surrounded by city walls. The walls are 5km long, up to 20m high and 10m wide. There are two places where you can climb the walls to enjoy a beautiful view of the bay and Kotor.

From the city walls, you can continue walking / climbing to the Fort of Sant Giovanni. 1.350 steps take you to a height of 1.200 meters! At the top, the view is breathtaking. Is this climb suitable for children? Our 4-year-old son walked the 1.350 stairs all the way up and down. I have to admit that last part was a bit scary. The steps are high, irregular and occasionally not very wide, plus there is no guardrail or similar. That’s why we didn’t let him walk alone, but hand by hand with us. We also carried our 2-year-old son in a baby carrier. He slept almost the whole way up 🙂 If you want to go to
Fort of Sant Giovanni with kids, I would recommend going as early as possible in the morning. In the afternoon is very warm and there is little shade.

Day 2 – Budva

Budva wordt beschreven als “a riviera of beaches and nightlife”, maar wij kwamen daar niet voor. Wij houden van historische, schattige en oude stadjes. En dat is Budva ook! Het oude centrum van Budva is erg uniek qua architectuur, omringd door middeleeuwse muren. Als je binnen de muren bent, lopen de straatjes als een labyrint en in elke hoek is er een gezellig café of restaurantje.

Budva is described as “a riviera of beaches and nightlife”, but we did not come here for that. We love charming old towns and Budva has one too. The old center of Budva is very unique in terms of architecture, surrounded by medieval walls. If you are inside the walls, the streets run like a labyrinth and in every corner there is a cozy café or restaurant.

Montenegro with kids: Budva – Citadel

On the south side of the old centre, at the most elevated place, the city fort Citadel was built. The Citadel is also where the city walls begin and end. The fort is mentioned for the first time in the 15th century and you can visit it for a few Euros. There is a library, a “museum” and a restaurant. With the entrance, you can also tap yourself a drink, (I warn you that the wine from the machine was not that good :P). From the Citadel you also have a very nice view of the coast and the sea.

Montenegro with kids: Budva – Citadel

If you want to see more of the sea and the islands, you can rent a boat at the harbour or take a trip in a semi-submarine.

Rose

Our accommodation (Villa Palmera) was in Krašići and not very far from this old fishing village. We wanted to have dinner here and enjoy the beautiful sunset. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy, but otherwise it is really beautiful here. Rose is one of the oldest settlements in Montenegro, the local swimming platform is located at Forte Rose, an ancient Austro-Hungarian citadel, now equipped with an open-air bar and a restaurant. So do not forget your swimsuit and towel.

Day 3 – Stari Bar

Stari Bar, the old town, is only 4km away from the city centre. On a hill and surranded by walls from the 11th and 12th centuries, with narrow stone streets and the Oriental atmosphere of an old Turkish settlement.

In addition to a two-thousand-year-old olive tree, there are the city gates from the 11th century, Venetian buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries as well as the only aqueduct in Montenegro. On Fridays, there is also a market where you can buy local products.

Stevi Stefan and
Lučice beach – Petrovac

Are you looking for a very exclusive holiday destination? Then Stevi Stefan is “the place to be”. This island is now one of the most exclusive hotels in the Mediterranean. Stevi Stefan was built more than five centuries ago as a refuge from pirates. The first half of the beach next to this island is also from the hotel, the other half is a public beach.

Petrovac is only 17 km from Budva and yet a whole lot quieter. With more than 2,000 hours of sunshine per year, sandy beaches and beautiful promenades, Petrovac is the perfect city for families. We were here one afternoon and we visited Lučice beach. This is slightly further away from the centre, but less crowded and with free parking under the pine trees (a great advantage if you don’t want your car to be like an oven when you return to it). There are a few beach bars and you can rent a chair with umbrella. In the high season there is also a slide for the children.

Day 4 – National Park Lovćen and Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos

On our 4th day, we went to National Park Lovćen and took the Kotor Serpentine road. This road has 16 hairpin bends in 8.3km! After driving the Trollstigen (11 hairpin bends) in Norway, we could not miss this one. During the ascend, you have beautiful views over the Bay of Kotor.

Lovćen or “Black Mountain”, after which Montenegro is named, rises to 1.749 meters and the park itself is 6.220 hectares. In Ivanova Korita, the heart of the National Park, there is a visitor centre with lots of information and panels with natural and cultural exhibitions. Here, there is also an Adventure Park with seven trails. If you want to stay a little longer, you can camp here for a small price (5 € for a tent, 10 € for a camper). Furthermore, there are many hiking trails.

But the National Park Lovćen is best known for Njegoš Mausoleum. You can enter the mausoleum via a long staircase of 461 steps. Once at the top, you will be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the surrounding mountains. Certainly, something that you do not want to miss. Both, our 4-year-old son and I with our two-year-old on the back made it to the top without problems 😀

Montenegro with kids: Njegoš Mausoleum is a must do
Montenegro with kids: view from Njegoš Mausoleum

Day 5 – Rijeka Crnojevica and National Park Skadarsko Jezero

We had to make choices and we skipped Cetijnje. We also didn´t have enough time for the Lipska Cave. Too bad, because it is a cave like the Postojna Cave in Slovenia. We drove 16 km further to the small village of Rijeka Crnojevica. Named after the river that flows along here. From this fishing village, you can visit the National Park Skadarsko Jezero.

You can rent a boat and enter the park. We were picked up near our accommodation and went for two hours sailing. The park and nature were beautiful and we saw a lot of birds. The only downside was that the ¨guide¨ didn´t say anything about the National Park, he only alerted us when there was a bird to be seen.

If you are in Cetijnje or Rijeka Crnojevica, I wouldn´t miss the Pavlova Strana Viewpoint. From here, you can see one of the many curves of the Rijeka Crnojevica river.

Day 6- National Park Biogradska Gora

Biogradska Gora means “virgin forest” and covers 1,600ha of the 5,600ha of this National Park. This virgin forest is one of the last three virgin forest in Europe. Over 2,000 different plants, 200 different birds and more than 350 different insects live here. Really a paradise for every nature lover!

The heart of Biogragska Gora is Lake Biogradsko, a glacial lake at 1.094m. The Lake Biogradsko is easily accessible, there is a Visitor Center, a restaurant (only open in the high season), bungalows (10 € per person per day) and a campsite (3 € for a tent / 10 € for a camper). There are also rowing boats for rent (8 € / 1h) and a walking path around the lake. This 3.5km walking path is very suitable for children as there are not only activity panels and signs along the route, but also many animals to see. From a mole or a centipede to mega-sized snails.

Montenegro with kids: walking around Lake Biogradsko

If you like nature and hiking, I would stay overnight in Kamp Janketic or Etno Selo Koliba Damjanovica. For luxury hotels, you can go to Kolašin.

Dobrilovina Monastery

If you drive from National Park Biogradska Gora towards the National Park Durmitor, you can stop at this monastery. It is a monastery from the period of Nemanjici (1253), but the oldest preserved mention of the monastery dates from 1592. Try your luck to visit the inside of the Monastery by knocking the door of the nuns.

Đurđevića Tara

Built between 1937 and 1940, the Tara bridge is one of the most visited attractions in Montenegro. It hangs 172 meters above the Tara river and when it was finished, it was the highest bridge for vehicles in Europe. I did not really like the bridge, but around the bridge there are a lot of activities to do: ziplining from one side to the other of the bridge or rafting in the Tara river. There is (paid) parking on both sides of the bridge.

Day 7 – National Park Durmitor – Crno Lake

Durmitor National Park is the largest national park in Montenegro. It is not only 39.000ha, but it also has 48 peaks over 2.000 meters and the deepest canyon in Europe. The so-called “mountain eyes” are 18 glacier lakes over 1.500m and make this National Park really beautiful. The largest of these lakes is the Black Lake (Crno lake), with the peak Medjed rising above it and surrounded by beautiful forests and nature. At this lake, there is also a circular walk of 3.5km. This is again good to do with children and, like the Lake Biogradsko, there are also information boards for the children.

Montenegro met kinderen: wandelen rond Crno Lake

If you or your children love climbing, there is an adventure park next to the lake as well (6 € – 10 € depending on the age).

Montenegro with kids: Adventure Park in National Park Durmitor

The best option to stay as close as possible to the National Park Durmitor is Žabljak.

Day 8 – Ostrog Monastery

The Ostrog Monastery is also another of the highlights of Montenegro. It is almost completely carved into a vertical mountain cliff and it is the jewel of Montenegrin spirituality. Pilgrims from all over the world come here. Certainly worth the visit. There are several parking lots in the area. If you are travelling with kids, you may park at the nearest parking lot; very handy, if your kids do not feel like walking 😛

We stayed overnight at Apparthotel Koliba. For 42 €/night, you have a bungalow (breakfast included). The food in the restaurant was also not very expensive and tasty. For something more luxurious, you can book at Hotel Sokoline and enjoy magnificent views.

Day 9/10 – Herzeg Novi and Sveti Juraj

Our last stop was Herzeg Novi, also on the Bay of Kotor, but close to the border with Croatia (very handy if you have to fly in the morning). Herzeg Novi is often called “city of eternal vegetation, sun and stairways”. Here, you can walk around the old centre, lie on the beach or take a boat trip. We took a boat trip for half a day and visited Sveti Juraj and the Blue Cave.

Sveti Juraj is an island with the St. Benedictine Monastery from the 12th century and the old cemetery for the nobility from Perast.

The cave is called the blue cave because of the colour of the water. Frankly, I found the cave a bit disappointing. Yes, the water is a very beautiful blue, but there are too many boats (with the engine on). Inside the cave, there is a lot of smoke from the boats. You can swim for a while, but I do not think it is safe for children (too many boats that sail in and out).

Have you been to Montenegro? What would you add to this route? or what would you not want to miss?

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