FROM FOOD TO CULTURE, THERE’RE PLENTY OF REASONS TO SEE MONTENEGRO
Montenegro has plenty to offer families, couples and solo travellers. We’ve picked 10 great reasons why you should come to the small but majestic Balkan country, Montenegro, otherwise known as the “Land of the Black Mountains.”
1. Skadar Lake
Visit the largest lake in Europe. This gorgeous lake is home to a myriad of wildlife and over 270 different bird species including the endangered and rarely seen curly pelican. The lake is exquisite with its overgrown shores edge, secluded coves and tiny islands, with little monasteries and churches each with their own story to tell.
Montenegro makes for the perfect base for summer boating in the Adriatic. Most of the Mediterranean is drastically overcrowded and the lack of privacy is definitely not ideal when one is trying to enjoy their summer vacation. Montenegro is a wonderful alternative to the likes of Italy or Greece, both of which are only a couple of hours away. Not to mention, Montenegro is far cheaper than most of Europe.
The pristine, unadulterated splendour of this country is like no other. Once you step into Montenegro,you’ll see how the country has been captured in a bubble protecting it from the complete urbanisation that the rest of Europe has. It has five National Parks, several mountain ranges, the Boka Bay fjord and abundant hidden coves. Considering that 54 per cent of the total land area has been declared forest land, there is plenty to discover. There are a number of rare and endangered species roaming about the mountains and lakes, like the foxes, wolves, brown bears and the curly pelican.
Nearly 60 per cent of the country is more than 1000 metres above sea level, with the tallest peak – Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor Mountains – at 2,522 meters (8274.3 feet), making Montenegro a hiker’s paradise or an implausible challenge for the adventurous mountain biker.
5. The Safety
Although one should always exercise discretion, Montenegro is one of the safest places to live and visit. Of course, there are a number of criminal activities, but the crime rate isn’t something to worry about. In crowded areas, over summer, like in the cities of Budva, Kotor, Sveti Stefan, and Herceg Novi (located in the coastline) there may be pickpocketing, so keep your valuables locked in a safe place and never bring all your money with you (or to the beach!)
6. Blue Flag Beaches
A blue flag beach – simply put – is where sand and water is unspoiled and environmentally protected for both marine life and humans alike. The criteria in order to gain this prestigious award is incredibly stringent and Montenegro has 18 of these incredible beaches.
7. The “Great Wall of Kotor”
Recently said to be “giving the Great Wall of China a run for its money” the city walls of Kotor have been a popular tourist attraction for many years. Although it’s a rather intense walk up (over 1,300 steps) the views from both the church and the fortress of the Bay are simply extraordinarily beautiful.
8. The Locals
So often, Asia is looked at and noted as having some of the friendliest nations in the world. Clearly, they haven’t met many Montenegrins, the people in general are warm, welcoming and although there may be a language barrier for some, they are always willing to try and help you.
9. Porto Montenegro
Porto Montenegro is a luxury marina and residential village on the coast of Tivat. A destination in itself, the project which opened in 2009 is now a comprehensive resort of retail stores, restaurants, cafes, bars and entertainment all designed to complement its 400-berth superyacht marina and collection of private residences. For a taste of opulence and true luxury, stay at Regent Hotel or one of the apartments at Porto Montenegro and become part of the thriving community.
10. The Food
The cuisine in Montenegro is truly wonderful. When you are close to the sea, you can expect the most exquisite fresh Mediterranean seafood, but delve deeper inland and it changes completely to divine red meats made “under the bell” a traditional form of slow cooking in Montenegro over a fire. One thing you can be sure of (from both the coastal areas and inland) is fresh organic delicious vegetables.