Montenegro (“the black mountain”) is an independent, internationally recognised state lying between Croatia to the north, Serbia to the east and Albania to the south. It sits on the eastern side of the Adriatic Sea, with the east coast of Italy on the other side.
We love holidaying in Montenegro all year round because there is such a range of things to do and places to see. Montenegro Tourism refers to the country as Wild Beauty, a true description of the breathtaking country. The World Travel and Tourism Council sees Montenegro as becoming one of the top 10 destinations in the world within the next decade.
We have skied in the north of the country in both the town of Zablak and also Kolasin (there is an amazing hotel called the Bianca Resort & Spa – well worth staying there.)
Also in the north are canyons and rapids if you want a holiday that is a little more active. Canyon Nevidio (translates as ‘never seen by God’ due to its remoteness!) is spectacular.
The river Tara runs through the Durmitor National Park and cuts a 93 km canyon through the Park. It is the second deepest canyon in the world after the Colorado River canyon – well worth a visit!
The coast. But the real reason we keep coming back to Montenegro is the coastline. We have run out of words in our efforts to explain it to friends and family; it is simply idyllic. Our favourite area is the peninsula of Lustica.
The Peninsula is conveniently located between Dubrovnik (90 minutes by car) and Tivat (20 minutes by car). It has 35km of coast, surrounded by the deep blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, and is largely undeveloped. Olive groves and dense pine woods are plentiful although many are uncultivated and overgrown. This area has an extremely rich cultural heritage embodied by twenty churches. Once an isolated community, there are farms and smallholders producing their cheese, prosciutto, wine and rakija.
Lustica Peninsula Beaches. The two nearest are Zanjice and Miriste. Even the two beaches adjoin, they are quite different in their view and appearance, as each sits in their own bay.
We often go to the beach at Miriste. There is a small beach area, but the remaining area is made up of various platforms where you can hire loungers and umbrellas. They are all served by a very good restaurant and bar.
The beach of Zanjice is larger and more extensive. Although pebbly, it is still awesome. There is a very good fish restaurant called Ribarsko Selo which sits on the small headland between the two beaches.
Almara beach is located at Oblatno which is a 10 minutes drive away, well worth a visit.
Kotor. A 40 minutes drive from the house is the medieval walled city of Kotor. Behind the mighty 20m ramparts that shield Kotor from the waterfront are vegetable and fish markets, the harbour bustle and a labyrinth of small streets which offer excellent shopping and a great selection of bars and restaurant for a night out. Kotor is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Budva old city. A 50 minutes drive from the house is the most impressive medieval walled city of Budva. It has a similar look and feels as Kotor with narrow streets and small squares and a life of traditional music and dance. Why not grab a boat and take a leisurely sail along the coastline and many small islands?
Sveti Stefan. A 15 minutes drive from Budva brings you to the famous coastal island and town of Sveti Stefan. The island is now a picture book hotel with a cluster of roofs and a sandbar linking it to the shore. You must walk from the coastal path of Sveti Stefan to the secluded beaches of Milocer. A must is a visit to the Hotel Milocer a wisteria-clad hotel that use to be the property of the Yugoslav Royal Family.
The beauty of Montenegro is the marvellous diversity from the narrow coastal plain to the lofty hinterland and stunning interior of hills, lakes and rivers. 60% of Montenegro is mountains and high pasture valleys, with over 35 lakes and the World’s second deepest gorge. The country is the size of Wales. Therefore you can be on the beach in the morning and skiing in the afternoon. The history and culture of the country also make it an attractive tourist destination for the more specialised sightseeing tourist. The World Travel and Tourism Council sees Montenegro as becoming one of the top 10 destinations in the world within the next decade.