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
Montenegro has three airports, but normally you can fly cheaper to Dubrovnik (search in
You can also arrive
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
From the city walls, you can continue
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 😀
Day 5 – Rijeka Crnojevica and National Park Skadarsko Jezero
We had to make choices and we skipped
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
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
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.
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.
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.
If you or your children love climbing, there is an adventure park next to the lake as well (6 € – 10 € depending on the age).
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
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).
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
Have you been to Montenegro? What would you add to this route? or what would you not want to miss?