A GUIDE TO THE TOP 10 ACTIVITIES
Montenegro has an incredible coastline with a lot of interesting things to do. Taking a boat tour around Montenegro is a must. It’s worth trying out some water sports like wakeboarding and scuba diving and there’s plenty to see, from historic villages and ancient fortress-cities, all from the sights of your private boat, overlooking the spectacular scenery from areas like the Bay of Kotor, Sveti Stefan and Ulicinj (the south coast of Montenegro), while watching wildlife reserves at Skadar Lake and opting for a fishing experience on the Adriatic Sea.
2. Beach Days
The length of coastline of Montenegro is 293km, with 73km of beaches. There’s an assortment of beaches that suit everyone’s needs, from kite surfers’ paradise in Ada Bojana, to a plethora of trendy beach clubs and little secret hidden hot spots – only accessible by boat. Luxurious resorts like Chedi in Luštica Bay and the coastline of Ulcinj which is 32km long has long white sandy beaches. Milocer beach, Queen’s beach and Sveti Stefan beach are the most exclusive beaches in Montenegro because of the fantastic sand, flora and amazing views. Pebbly beaches like Zukorlica beach, which is over 1km long, is near Bar city. It’s covered with white pebbles surrounded by beautiful pine forest. Utjeha Beach is called “Olive Bay” because there are hundreds of olives in the background. It’s also covered with pebbles and surrounded by crystal clear waters. Trsteno in Kotor is also one of the most beautiful pebbly beaches in Montenegro. It’s 200m long with serene clear waters.
3. Wine Tasting
Montenegro may not be the most obvious choice for a wine connoisseur looking to do a vineyard tour, but it’s actually one of the most perfect locations for wine production because of the ideal microclimate, abundant mountain range, with consistent Mediterranean sun, and fertile land. 13th of Jul Plantaze is one of the biggest and most popular wineries in the region; Savina winery is another fantastic one for the best experience and the most incredible views. We recommend you opt for an afternoon tour so that you catch the sunset. And if you want to visit some small family run wineries, Vukcevic winery and Dabovic winery are good choices.
4. Mesmerising Sunsets
There’s nothing better that ending the day watching a beautiful sunset. Whether you’re enjoying the view from a waterfront restaurant, private balcony, rural clifftop, or private boat, imagine a backdrop of stunning mountain range, ancient fortress villages and endless azure water surrounding you. Our top recommendations to watch the sun set are Ribarsko Selo, Monte Bay Retreat and Sveti Stefan Island.
5. High And Mighty
One of the best things to do in Montenegro is hiking just to see the beauty of the surrounding nature and breath-taking mountain views. Visit Lovcen National Park and stop by a village called Ivanova Korita, there are many trails, but Wolf Trail is one of our favourites. Don’t forget to hike up Lovcen Mountain and visit Njegos’s Mausoleum, the famous Montenegrin poet. Another option is Djurdjevica Tara Bridge. It’s one of the most visited attractions in Montenegro. Once you get there you can zipline over the Tara River. Other great hikes include San Giovanni Fortress, located at the top of the great walls of Kotor Old Town, and the unmissable Skadar Lake. You can hop on a boat at Crnojevica River and explore the biggest lake in Southern Europe, home to many bird species and islands.
6. Cave Exploring
Whether you’re on the sea or cruising down a beautiful coastline, Montenegro has some spectacular hidden caves really worth exploring. Perfect for that Instagram shot! Must visit caves include Lipa Cave, located in Dobrosko village, on the outskirts of Cetinje. The cave was already known in Prince Njegos’ time, but in 2015 it opened up for tours with local guides. What’s so stunning about this cave is the stalagmites and stalactites that make it an underground wonder. It’s built in trails, and modern lighting make the cave even more attractive and safe. It’s also preserved in line with high environmental conservation standards.
The Blue Cave is another famous one to visit. It’s known for the iridescent turquoise hue that’s reflected throughout the cave, making it one of Montenegro’s most popular attractions. The light hits the sandy bottom which reflects up through the water transforming the cave into a soothing blue shade. It’s just on Lustica Peninsula and it’s the largest cave on the peninsula.
Also, don’t miss out on Monastery Ostrog. It was constructed in 1665 within two large caves, which makes it an architectural must-visit site. The Upper Monastery is dubbed ‘Sv Vasilije’s miracle’ because no one knows how it was built. It gives the impression that it has grown out of the very rock. Getting there isn’t too easy though. There’s no direct public transport, but numerous tour buses take you close enough. There’s an Ostrog train station (five daily from Podgorica, the capital) at the bottom of the hill. But once you get there it’s a 90-minute hike to the Lower Monastery.
7. Island Hopping
Montenegro’s islands are relatively small and divided between the Adriatic Sea and Skadar Lake. Our top three recommendations are Our Lady of the Rocks which inhabits a Roman Catholic Church that has a museum attached. Inside the church are historic artefacts including 68 paintings by famous 17th-century baroque artist Tripo Kokolia.
Lastavica, an islet located near Zanjice Bay and Mamula a fortress on the island, is another historically interesting sight that was once a former prison island during World War II. It was built by Austro-Hungarian General Lazar Mamula in the mid-19th century. From 30 May 1942 onwards, the Italian fascist forces converted Mamula fort into a concentration camp. It’s currently being developed into a luxury resort.
Sveti Stefan was an island but it’s now connected to the mainland by a narrow tombolo. It’s a small islet and 5-star hotel resort on the Adriatic coast. The resort is known commercially as Aman Sveti Stefan and includes part of the mainland, where the Villa Miločer is located.The stunning resort has 50 rooms, cottages, and suites on the island, and eight grand suites at the Villa Miločer.
8. Explore The Old Towns
Montenegro is home to many old towns. Our top three to explore are Perast, Kotor and Budva Old Town. Budva is a 2,500-year-old town that’s one of the prettiest coastal towns in the country. Ancient stone buildings are decorated with climbing ivy and blossoming wisteria vines. The charming fortified town is surrounded by stunning beaches. In contrast, Budva is also one of the liveliest towns in Montenegro with a buzzing seaside resort and some of the most active nightlife in the Balkans.
Picture-perfect Perast lies in the centre of the Bay of Kotor and has spectacular views over the Verige Strait and two island churches of Our Lady of the Rocks and Saint George. Perast, is quite the opposite to busy Budva. It’s a sleepy town lined with stone palaces of a bygone era. This small town has 16 churches and 17 former grand palazzos that was once home to powerful shipping families. Today, Perast’s crumbling palaces have been restored into luxurious hotels and restaurants.
Kotor is a gorgeous ancient town in the heart of the Bay of Kotor. This walled Venetian town is tucked into the sheer mountainside and has been an impenetrable and defensible location for centuries. Wandering through its alleyways is sure to charm even the most seasoned tourist. Behind the town, San Giovanni Fortress offers unforgettable views of the terracotta-roofed town and the Bay of Kotor’s dramatic scenery.
9. Get Active
Montenegro is spoilt with untouched nature, beautiful scenery and abundant wildlife. This is the place to visit for those that love the great outdoors. Hiking, biking and canoeing is easily accessible. The town of Kolasin, near the Biogradska Gora National Park is also worth exploring and Biogradsko Lake with its untouched virgin forest is a must visit destination. But for the more adventurous, try canyoning, mountain climbing, rafting and skiing. The Tara River Gorge is the second-deepest canyon in the world and it’s a popular rafting destination. Avid skiers would also love Bjelasica ski-resort. The northern region is the centre of Montenegrin mountain tourism with abundant ski resorts and untouched nature.The entire area of Durmitor mountain and the Tara River Canyon, in the north, is protected as a national park and listed with UNESCO World Heritage.
10. Local Food And Drink
No trip to Montenegro is complete without eating in several konobas and sampling local drinks. The Montenegrins toast to everything so drinks are a big part of the culture. In particular, try Prvijenac rakija, Plantaze wine and Niksic beer. And in case you don’t know what a konoba is it’s a rustic, authentic restaurant, offering traditional dishes. It’s the best place to get a true taste of Montenegro. They are found everywhere throughout the country, although mainly along the coastline. Often family-run affairs, they offer delectable homemade regional dishes and specialities at very reasonable prices.