Montenegro Travel Guide


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Montenegro

 

Also known as the Republic of Montenegro (National name: Republike Crne Gore), Montenegro is a country located in SE Europe on the Balkan Peninsula.  It borders Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the NW, Serbia to the NE and Albania to the SE.  It has a beautiful coastline on the Adriatic Sea to the south and of course across the Adriatic lies Italy.  Following its turbulent history Montenegro is now enjoying a resurgence in tourism, particularly so since the release of the James Bond film Casino Royale which was set in Montenegro.  

 

Montenegro can be reached by air in less than two hours from London.  Airports are located at Tivat and Podgorica.  Also DubrovnikAirport in Croatia is approx. 60km from Kotor.  Sea access is via the ports or harbours of Kotor, Tivat and Bar.

 

The capital and largest city is Podgorica, although Cetinje is the former royal capital.  Podgorica sits amid five rivers.  During WWII a lot of the city was destroyed, and so the city is fairly new and modern with open spaces and parks.  It is not considered a tourist destination in itself, but is approx. one hour from all the popular mountain and coastal hot spots.   The Millennium bridge spanning the Moraca river is impressive.    You will find plenty of ancient sites and Roman ruins to explore around Montenegro. 

 

The population is comprised of Montenegrins, Serbians, Bosniaks, Albanians, and others: (Muslims by Nationality, Croats, and Roma).  The official language is Serbian/Montenegrin (jekavian dialect) although most of the younger generations can  speak English.  The main religions are Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic.

 

 

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This tiny country has undergone a lot of transitions over the centuries.  It was independent from the latter part of the Middle Ages until the early 19th century.  It then became part of Yugoslavia and the union of Serbia and Montenegro.  However, Montenegro again declared its independence in June 2006 and became the 192nd member state of the United Nations.  Montenegro has a fascinating history, well worth delving into.  Serbia has also confirmed its own independence. 

 

Montenegro is a gem of a place offering the lovely Adriatic coastline, SkadarLake, the rugged MontenegrinMountains and countless lakes and rivers.   Its name translates to ‘black mountain’. 

Montenegro has approx. 117 beaches of all types as well as coves, islets and bays.  The highest mountain peak is Bobotov Kuk at 8,275 feet (2,523m).  Lake Scutari is the largest lake.  There are several National Parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites have been awarded to Durmitor and Tara River Canyon and the ancient (and pedestrian) city of Kotor.  Kotor Bay is a beautiful southern fjord.

 

One of the most photographed places is Sveti Stefan, which in the 1960s was turned into a town-hotel and exclusive resort and is frequented by celebrities.  It is located on an island which connects to the mainland by a strip of land. 

 

During winter you will almost have the place to yourself, with the busiest area being around Kotor, which is the UNESCO designated ancient town and the backdrop of the snow covered mountains.  

The Montenegrin coastline has many beautiful places, from Ulcini, Bar and Budva to Petrovac, Tivat and Kotor. The area draws cruise ships and coach tours of tourists.   Montenegro also has plenty of festivals and celebrations.

 

The 17th century Monastery of Ostrog is a spectacular sight, set up high against a high vertical rock and is a popular pilgrimage location.

 

There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep you happy in Montenegro, with sailing, rafting, scuba diving, windsurfing, skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing and mountaineering.  For the adventurous, there is some exciting river rafting to be found in the Tara River Canyon, or Tara River Gorge which is in the Durmitor National Park.  It is the longest canyon in Europe and UNESCO World Heritage Site.    

The food in Montenegro is mostly very healthy organic produce, including fish, lamb, ham, steak, salads and vegetables.  The national drink is Rakija, a brandy. 

 

 



 

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