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Visit Montenegro: our travel guide

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Judit Llordes
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Why visit Montenegro? Surrounded by Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, it is an ideal travel destination for lovers of mild temperatures, coasts where to bathe in turquoise waters and Mediterranean gastronomy. What to see and do in this still too little known country? Decryption of a destination where you can afford a trip at the last minute while enjoying a cheap flight!



Why go to Montenegro?

Since the early 2000s, Montenegro has once again drawn crowds to its sun-drenched lands. This is primarily due to its ideal location, between the sublime Mont Locven park and the 295 km of beaches found on the outskirts of the Adriatic coasts, as in the pretty towns of Kotor, Budva or Petrovac. Here, you can taste the warm water, explore many small secret coves and enjoy a sea trip by windsurfing or kayaking.



Unique folklore

Why go to Montenegro? For its culture, which you can discover during a cheap trip to the cities of Podgorica or Cetinje, the new and old capital of the country. Between theaters and museums, lovers of cultural outings will not be left out. The music, very inspired by gypsy rhythms, will also be the occasion for a total change of scenery, as well as the gastronomy, both very inspired by the Mediterranean culture on the Adriatic coasts (fish, vegetables, seafood) , than more Balkan culture in the land (dairy products, dried meat, potatoes). A nice contrast that will know awaken the palate of gourmets, in the many small "caps" of the capital.



Cetinje

When is the best time to visit Montenegro?

The summer period is obviously excellent for visiting Montenegro, a country bordered by the sublime Adriatic Sea. The best months are from April to September. In July and August we can of course expect an increase in tourists on the beaches and also very hot weather. During these months, on the coast, we count between 9 and 11 hours of sunshine per day ! The interior areas are a little cooler and less sunny, therefore, ideal for a visit in the middle of summer.



PRACTICAL TIPS : Check the monthly average temperatures in Montenegro.

May and June have a good climate and Montenegrins are used to saying that during these months you can ski in the mountains which still have a little snow…. Then go for a swim on the way back, the same day. In addition, at this season, you will enjoy the flowering of the landscapes. The water temperature is between 23 and 26 ° C between June and October. Ski enthusiasts could set their sights on the months of December to March and go to the ski centers of Zabljak or Kolasin.

Zabljak

What budget is to be expected on site?

Montenegro is a rather inexpensive destination for the French. The currency is the Euro since 2002, although the State is not a member of the euro zone. Montenegro adopted the euro unilaterally, like Kosovo. You can plan an average budget of 39 € per day and per person : at least € 20 per day for a “backpacker” budget (camping, hitchhiking, etc.) and around € 57 per day for a “tourist” budget (hotel, car route, etc.).



Regarding accommodation, you will find low-cost youth hostels and campsites (9 to 15 € per night depending on location and season), chambres chez the habitat, cheap hotels, apartment rentals and finally more chic hotels whose prices are rising fast. In the restaurant, you can enjoy a dish of the day in a small family restaurant between 3 and 8 €. In an average or more chic restaurant, count 16 to 20 € and more knowing that you will not necessarily find the best value for money.



How to get to Montenegro from France?

To get to Montenegro from France, you can of course take the plane, which is the fastest and most efficient way: count 1 hour 45 minutes from Paris to Podgorica, the capital. You can also disembark at Tivat on the coast or even in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is less than 30 kilometers from the border with Montenegro. Why not take the opportunity to take the opportunity to discover this pearl of the Adriatic?

You can also take the seaway from Bari in Italy to Bar in Montenegro, with your own vehicle or a rental car. An original way to discover other landscapes on the way, from France! Finally, buses and trains are always an option for travelers with time and a taste for adventure : an economical solution whose path is already part of the journey.


Podgorica

How to get around the country?

With its small area of ​​13 km812, Montenegro is an ideal country for a roadtrip by car, provided you are comfortable on winding mountain roads. To cross the country up and down or across, the maximum journey will be 5 hours. You will borrow roads with breathtaking views, as is the case with the Serpentine that connects Kotor to Mount Lovcen. If you need to hire a car, look at the weekly rates, they are often more attractive than the daily rates.



The bus is a solution for travelers without a car, Montenegrins use it a lot. There is a bus station in every town or village, connections are frequent and prices are rather low. Finally, traveling the country by bike is a great option, but rather on the coast, following EuroVelo 8 - Mediterranean cycle route along the transparent sea. Outside the coast, the mountains offer beautiful views but also big drops, a challenge to be reserved for the more daring.


What to eat and drink in Montenegro?

Montenegrin gastronomy is inspired by its Balkan and Eastern neighbors, as well as the Mediterranean basin. Towards the mouths of Kotor, the cuisine is influenced by the ancient Venetian occupation. You will therefore find dishes cooked in olive oil, pizzas, fish and seafood, Italian-style bread. In the mountains, we eat richer: potatoes, cabbage, onions, dairy products, hotpot, grilled lamb, polenta. The kajmak, a kind of sour cream, can be enjoyed everywhere and in many dishes! In the capital, Podgorica, taste the Popeci, veal or pork cutlets stuffed with cheese or with kajmak and smoked ham.

Near Lake Skadar smoked and fried carp with onions or prunes await you. Also try burek, typical Montenegro fast food, a layering of phyllo pasta stuffed with cheese, minced meat or vegetables. Finally, for dessert, taste the baklava these walnut and oil puff pastry that we find in the Balkans, or Tulumbes, a traditional pastry made from flour and sugar syrup.

On the drinks menu, you will have the choice between local wines (Vranac, a robust red wine or Krstac, a white wine) or beers, in the form of large bottles, of which the Montenegrins are followers. The eaux-de-vie are also well consumed, as loza, Montenegrin cognac who is the pride of the country or rakija, traditional Balkan brandy. Pomegranate juice will delight those who do not drink alcohol!

Where to sleep, in which region to stay?

Pay attention to the "sobe" signs which will indicate the chambres chez the habitat, a still advantageous hosting solution in Eastern European countries. The owners might even offer to prepare a meal for you. It is always quite interesting to book 3 or 4 different drop-off points during a stay, to discover the variety of a country, especially when it's small like Montenegro!

If you fancy some sea air, look to the Bay of Kotor (for example the quiet village of Ljuta), Ulcinj and Ada for the fine sandy beaches, Sveti Stefan for the beauty of the landscapes or Budva, the most beautiful city. more touristy in the country, if you are a party animal. The coast from Herceg Novi to Petrovac offers the greatest concentration of tourist accommodation. In the center of the country, bird enthusiasts will concentrate near Lake Skadar and more widely, nature enthusiasts will head to Cetinje and Lovcen. In the mountains, stay near Durmitor National Park, Biogradska Gora National Park or the Moraca River.

Budva

What are the main monuments to see in the country?

The Monastery of Ostrog is the unmissable monument of Montenegro ! Built in the XNUMXth century, it is a major place of pilgrimage for three denominations: Catholics, Orthodox and Muslims. You have to climb many steps to access this astonishing troglodyte construction, but the place being famous for its miraculous healings, the effort is surely worth it! And in any case, you will enjoy a beautiful panorama over the valley of the Zeta river.

In Kotor, you will discover an impressive defensive wall 4,5 kilometers long and 15 meters high. In addition, the city is one of the most beautiful in Europe. At mont Lovcen, the mausoleum of King Petar Njegos stands on a dizzying mountain ridge. The Budva citadel is considered the "mini-Dubrovnik", erected on the foundations of Hellenistic fortifications and offers a beautiful view of the old town. In Podgorica, the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ is very impressive, of Byzantine architecture, it was built in 1993.

Ostrog Monastery

What are the most beautiful walks to do?

Montenegro is a small country that offers great emotions! There are beautiful walks there, whether you are more adventurous or lazy. The regions can be visited by strolling, hiking, pedaling or even rafting or canyoning for travelers in search of adrenaline. For a quiet outing, head to Skadar lake, bird refuge. With 270 species observed, it is the largest bird sanctuary in Europe. And those who really want to live a lazy day will follow the promenade d'Herceg Novi of about 3 kilometers, built between the Adriatic and the city.

Not far from the Adriatic Sea, meet at Lovcen National Park which contains in its 64 ha, a unique flora and fauna thanks to a very high rainfall rate. At Mrtvica Canyon, you will be amazed by a bucolic walk on marked trails crossing a forest, vineyards, and along the river with small waterfalls. The canyons of Montenegro are famous: the Tara river canyon is one of the deepest in the world and is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Finally, we can venture into the northern mountains, whose black forests gave their name to the country. The Dinaric Alps and their century-old firs will welcome lovers of green spaces between hiking and lakes in Olympian calm. In winter, these mountains are also ideal for skiing.

The Tara river

Useful information

Finally, here is some practical information that will allow you to prepare your stay as well as possible!

  • Formalities: European passport holders do not need a visa for a stay of less than 90 days.
  • Health : No vaccination is necessary.
  • Money : The currency is the Euro.
  • Police : Please note, if you sleep with a local, you must declare your stay to the nearest police station.
  • Saint-Martin Tourist Office : visit the website of tourism in Montenegro.

Fancy nature and a change of scenery? Fly to Montenegro!

Are you going to visit Montenegro soon? Share your preparations, visits and tips in the comments!

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