Montenegro is famed for it’s abundant rugged mountains, beautiful coastline and historic cities. If you are a lover of the outdoors then this place is for you! The country is also a wonderful destination for solo (female) travellers, as it is both budget friendly and boasts friendly, hospitable locals.
Here are 5 activities you shouldn’t miss in Montenegro
1. Explore Kotor Bay and Old Town
Possibly the most famous region of Montenegro is Kotor Bay. Formed by a fjord, this beautiful UNESCO World Heritage listed bay is naturally divided into four smaller areas; Herceg Novi, Risan, Kotor and Tivat.
Well positioned for trade, the Old Town of Kotor became the cultural center of the bay and is now the most popular tourist town. It can be extremely busy and hot in summer, so visiting in shoulder season is more enjoyable.
Another highlight in the bay is Perast, a stone town with views of two beautiful islets; Our Lady of the Rocks and St. Gorge. You can reach these islands by frequent water taxi for 5 euro.
2. Climb Above Cetinje to St. Peter’s Mausoleum
Cetinje is the old royal capital of Montenegro and is a beautiful and peaceful place to explore in itself. There are several great value restaurants serving delicious local dishes- just look for where the locals are eating.
The main draw card of the area are the stunning views of Lovcen National Park from high above the city. To get there you’ll need to drive or hire a taxi to take you up the winding road to St Peter’s Mausoleum. I’ve written another post, here, with specific details and the cost involved.
3. Walk over Tara Bridge and Raft the Canyon Below
Falling 1,300 meters at it’s lowest point, Tara Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe. The clear turquoise water of the canyon also makes for a beautiful place to try white water rafting. Canyoning and zip line rides are also on offer in the area.
Aside from adventure activities, Tara is a popular tourist destination due to the impressive structure of Tara Bridge. Perched 170 meters above the river, the 365 meter-long structure is both beautiful and imposing.
4. Hike and Swim at Biogradska Gora
One of the last three primeval forests in Europe, Biogradska Gora National Park is a rare treasure. It’s also a lot quieter than nearby Durmitor National Park. The train from Bar to Belgrade stops at nearby Mojkovac, making the area accessible even without a car.
You can stroll through the beautiful trees and boat or swim in the central lake. Have a look here for more information.
5. Relax on the Montenegrin Riviera
Fondly dubbed the Riviera of Montenegro, the coastal region of the country is indeed stunning and relaxing. There are three main touristic towns along the coast, each offering a slightly different experience. Below you can see some highlights from Budva, Bar and Ulcinj.
By far the most popular resort town on the coast, Budva is full of hotels, beach side bars and sundeck chairs. It can be overwhelming in summer but in the shoulder season it’s just quiet enough.
Budva Old Town is a short stroll from the beach and at over two and a half thousand years old, it’s famous for being the Old Town of Illyria. However, these days I found most shops and cafes inside to be exceedingly touristic and over-priced.
The next town along the coast is Bar. One of the main highlights is the rubble strewn old town which spans many civilisations. At 4km up hill from the coast, it’s quite a hike, but local buses and taxis frequently visit the old town and are quite cheap.
A further 40 minute hike up the hill will reward you with a small waterfall tumbling into a deep swimming hole. This spot is well known by locals but not by tourists, so it’s refreshingly cool waters are often empty. Find the trail to the waterfall on the Maps.me app.
Just before the border with Albania you’ll find Ulcinj a large town with many lovely beaches and a quiet inviting old town. The best beaches are small rocky coves on the north side of the old town.
Ulcinj is much less touristy than the other coastal towns, providing a welcome respite from summer crowds. In the old town you’ll find good value seafood restaurants and bars over looking the water with perfect views of the sunset.
So how much should you budget for a trip to Montenegro? Have a look at this post for a detailed guide.