Postcard-perfect Montenegro holidays
Montenegro holidays let you experience life in the great outdoors. Although Montenegro is right next door to Dubrovnik, in neighbouring Croatia, it still gets a fraction of the visitors.
This means the forest covered mountain trails and turquoise glacial lakes in Durmitor National Park are far from crowded. River rafting and zip-lining across Tara River Canyon is also much more enjoyable, especially so when accompanied by local guides and activity instructors. The 295km coastline, too, is absolutely astonishing with former fishing villages like Petrovac, on the Budvanska Riviera, situated close to the walled town of Budva and Skadar Lake.
As the smallest splinter of the former republic of Yugoslavia, holidays in Montenegro have not always been on the radar. However, the times they are a changing and if you’re looking for an affordable, exciting and sun-kissed country to visit, make sure you make the most of Montenegro before the tourist hordes get there first.
Situated along the southeastern shores of Montenegro, the Bay of Kotor sits at the entrance to the Adriatic looking for all the world like a crinkle cut fjord. This spectacular setting is renowned for its towering limestone cliffs and tranquil ice blue waters. Boat trips around the bay also reveal the fortified town of Kotor where cobbled old towns and Romanesque cathedrals provide the perfect place for day trippers to sample some seafood and soak up the scenery.
Sandwiched between the lush green foothills of the Dinaric Alps and the cool blue hues of the Adriatic, the Venetian town of Budva has long been a highlight of Montenegro’s central coastline. This is somewhere to stroll around the narrow alleyways extending from the walled Old Town (Stari Grad) or spend a few hours sunbathing on one of Budva Riveria’s dark sandy beaches. Some of the seafront restaurants are simply superb with authentic Balkan dishes served overlooking the Adriatic.
Head inland during a holiday in Montenegro and Lovcen National Park naturally steals the show. This is somewhere that screams sensational scenery from the top of Mount Lovcen (1,749m) with perfect panoramas to be found from Njegos Mausoleum, at the summit. This dramatically dark mountain is the park’s centre piece and a traditional rest stop for hikers following the looping trails. Top tip: stop off for picnic supplies in the town of Cetinje before you head off into them there hills.
The flight time from the UK to Montenegro is usually around 3 hours.
Currently, British citizens holidaying in Montenegro don’t need a visa unless they’re staying for longer than 90 days. Visit GOV UK for more advice about entry requirements to Montenegro or, alternatively, visit CIBT visas for more information.
Montenegro essentially has two seasons – summer and winter. The warmer Mediterranean months extend from April to September with July and August the hottest period on the coast. Head inland, and into the mountains, and the temperature’s always going to be at least a couple of degrees cooler. The best time to visit Montenegro is either side of the busy summer season.
Montenegro is just an hour ahead of GMT.
The country’s official language is Montenegrin although younger people, hotel staff and shop keepers in tourist towns will happily speak English. Head into the more remote mountain villages and you may have to get by with hand gestures and a smile – don’t forget your phrasebook, just in case.
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