A place like Montenegro has it all! The turquoise waters of the Adriatic are perfect for beach lovers, and quaint towns with cobblestone streets are ideal for culture lovers.
You can find an endless number of peaks and canyons in this country. This makes it ideal for those who are adventurous and for those who are looking for a quiet place to relax. In addition, there is fantastic wine from this area.
Listed below are just a few reasons to visit this jewel of the Balkans, which is still off most tourists’ radars (but don’t wait too long! Come before the rest of the world finds out!). With a selection of the top things to do in Montenegro, we hope you get the most out of your stay.
Visit National Park Lake Skadar
National Park Lake Skadar in its entirety is the perfect place to take a break and let the hours flow by without realizing it. You can start your adventure in the beautiful village of Virpazar, the main town of the lake located just in front of the distant and steep snowy peaks. Then continue on to Rijeka Crnojevića (what a tongue twister!) and enjoy a meal by the charming double-arched Danilo Bridge before continuing your adventure along the cliff-top route to Podgorica.
Among the many beautiful spots to stop at on the way, there is one you can’t miss under any circumstances. We are talking about the famous horseshoe-shaped curve of Montenegro, an image that is becoming more and more established and which you will be able to capture in the best way from the Pavlova Strana viewpoint. A stone’s throw from Virpazar is also the ruins of the Besac Fortress, an exceptional spot to watch the sunset; or if you prefer you can also take a sunset cruise.
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Hike Kotor Fortress
The stairs that go up the walls of Kotor Fortress, located at the end of its Old Town, will take you up the mountainside to the top of the terracotta roofs and the shiny Kotor Bay. A vestige of the Venetian occupation, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is now a ruin with clear signs of decay, but the wonderful views from above make it one of the best things to do in Kotor.
Even if the climb makes you sweat a little, we guarantee that the effort is worth it. A third of the way you will find the Church of Nuestra Señora de Los Remedios, a good place to stop and take a breath before the long final climb. Make sure you bring plenty of water to combat the heat and wear comfortable shoes. The best time to visit the fortress is in the early morning or just after sunset when temperatures are cooler and there are far fewer people.
National Park Biogradska Gora
Going on a trip to Biogradska Gora will make your traveling soul recover years of youth and return to its origins.
In the heart of this natural park, the smallest in Montenegro, you will find an emerald-colored glacial lake surrounded by lush beech forests and lush mountain meadows. You can walk along its 3km trail through the virgin forest surrounding the lake’s perimeter, or if you prefer, rent a rowboat and spend the afternoon on the water. The park is located in one of the most remote regions of Montenegro. In fact, the nearest town is Zablyak, a popular place for backpackers who love nature and is about an hour and a half away by car.
Hiking in Mrtvica River Canyon
Surprising as it may seem, this impressive trail along the Mrtvica River bends continues to be off the tourists’ radar. In fact, many travelers think that you can’t visit without an official guide… but don’t listen! You would be missing out on one of the best things to do in Montenegro and there is no reason why you should pay for a guide unless you really want one.
Enjoy a leisurely walk over the bridges that cross the valley, relax by looking at the bright turquoise waters and take a well-deserved rest in the shadow of the canyon. The highlights of this 12 km excursion are the Gate of Wishes, a natural arch that overlooks an ice-cold blue pool; the Danilo Bridge, a beautiful stone bridge with arches; and an ancient Yugoslavian military trail that runs along the mountainside. To start the tour, take the bus between Kolašin and Podgorica and get off at the stop in Medurijecje.
Rafting Tara River
If you’re a hardcore adrenaline junkie, Tara river rafting is the adventure you’ve been looking for. This wild blue river runs through the second deepest canyon in Europe, and it’s a beautiful place to visit even if you don’t dare to go inside.
From May to June is the time when the river runs strongest and when it will be hardest to stay afloat with the rapids. The rest of the year the river runs a little smoother, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a little… or a lot wet! And of course, the best incentive not to fall in the water is the river temperature, which is usually around 10 degrees even in summer.
Lovcen National Park
Montenegro is full of places that would look great on your Instagram, but if there’s one image that takes the cake, it’s the view from Lovćen. The zigzagging trail that climbs the mountainside to the top is the path with the best views. But you will have to climb the 461 matador steps to the mausoleum where the mortal remains of the poet Petar rest Petrović Njegoš. When you get to the top you probably won’t feel your legs, but the unforgettable views and the fresh mountain air will make the effort worthwhile. Any time of day is good to enjoy this impressive landscape but to experience a magical moment, come just before sunset.
And if you have the time, don’t miss a visit to the small village of Njeguši, located at the edge of the park and where you can try Njeguški pršut and Njeguški sir (more Montenegrin tongue twisters!), the two delicious varieties of smoked ham and cheese for which this village is famous.
Enjoy seafood and wine in the sun
There are few things that combine better with summer days by the sea than fresh seafood and a glass of white wine from Montenegro. And the best thing is that being such an affordable country, you can try everything without fear of getting ruined!
Although Montenegro’s food is usually very rich in meat, there are plenty of restaurants along the coast that serve great seafood for a few euros. Guaranteed success is the giant prawns in garlic sauce, but I recommend you to keep reading the menu because it sure doesn’t have any waste…
And if you don’t like seafood, you can always enjoy the winning combination: wine, sea, and sun. To stay within your budget, better go to a supermarket (where there are decent bottles for only 3 euros) and enjoy your own picnic by the sea.
Durmitor National Park
Although many people travel to Montenegro for its beaches, the north of the country is increasingly becoming a paradise for outdoor lovers. Its main attraction is Durmitor National Park and no wonder! Its impressive backdrop, with steep peaks and alpine forests everywhere, makes this excursion one of the best things to do in Montenegro. The park itself is a magical place to disconnect from the outside world, with pristine mountain lakes linked together by trails. If you’re looking for a real challenge, dare to climb the park’s highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, a complicated feat but one with a spectacular reward. Remember that the weather in this area is quite changeable, so come prepared for any eventuality.
Beaches in Montenegro
Ah, the beaches of Montenegro… so easy to love and so hard to leave. After several days of swimming in the Adriatic, spending quiet afternoons under the umbrella, and eating a lot of ice cream, having to leave can be a truly impossible mission.
Budva beach, with its everlasting chaos and slight modesty, is the most popular beach in Montenegro and where both foreigners and locals gather to party all night long. Just a short walk south is Sveti Stefan beach, which is quieter and less crowded, while Petrovac beach, another good option for relaxation, has a promenade along the cliff. If you are looking for something a little different, go to the peninsula of Luštica and you will find some of the best beaches in Montenegro, hidden in beautiful and lonely coves.
Kotor’s Old Town
Kotor’s Old Town is a maze of unconnected streets, hidden squares, and stairs to nowhere, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon (or three!) walking around without a map and getting lost in its wonderful streets. If you’re not particularly keen on hiking, then one of the best things to do in Montenegro is undoubtedly to take a walk around this city.
You will see that some of its streets are clearly oriented to tourism, but if you take a couple of detours through some alleyways, you will soon start to see rows of pastel-colored blinds, old ladies hanging up their clothes over your head, and a lot of cats mewing for which this medieval city is famous.
Now that you know that Montenegro is a very special country, did you know that it also hides some charming hostels at a very good price? If we consider that you can sleep in a shared room for 7 euros a night, which is usually very good, and that you can enjoy a view like the one above, it would be irresponsible of you not to book a trip to Montenegro right now!