Montenegro


Overview

Montenegro travel information, including maps of Montenegro, food, drink and where to stay in Montenegro plus the best time to travel in Montenegro

The small Adriatic country Montenegro offers all you could wish for. In the west, you’ve got beaches and the Adriatic, with small fishing villages dotted along the coast. Further inland, you find wide plains and high mountains like Maja Kolata, for active holidays involving everything from hiking to rafting.

National parks like Durmitor offer stunning scenery and the many walled towns like Kotor have mazes of cobbled streets inviting you to get lost and explore. Wildlife is abundant in the hills, and hikers might on occasion come across a wolf or bear in the very remote parts of the country.

Hospitality is very important to Montenegrins, and accommodation will always be clean. As a former Yugoslav republic, the cuisine is similar to that of other Adriatic states. Meals include lamb, veal and lots of fruit and vegetables, and most of Montenegro’s food is organic. Specialties include cheese and smoked ham.

Wanderlust recommends

  1. Skadar Lake is the largest lake in the Balkans and one of the biggest bird sanctuaries. Pelicans call Skadar their home, and boat trips can be arranged.
  2. Climb Montenegro’s highest peak Maja Kolata (2534m). Maps are not readily available and the climb is only recommended for adventurous travellers, but well worth the effort.
  3. Chill out on one of Ulcinj’s beaches or take a stroll through the historic part of town Stari Grad.
  4. 18km outside of Kotor lies the small village Perast which offers boat trips to the mall island Lady of the Rock, a man-made island. The locals took over 550 years to create it, dropping a stone there every year in July, until they sank 87 ship laden with stones to help the process.
  5. The monastery at Cetinje, the former capital, is home to the mummified hand of St. John the Baptist and part of the true Cross, although a little bit of imagination might be needed to identify the hand as such. The town itself offers a charismatic mix of cottages and palaces.
  6. Take the train to see some of Montenegro’s most stunning countryside between Bar, Prodgorica and Serbian capital Belgrade. Crossing the country from one end to the other, you can sit back and watch the varying landscape roll by.

Wanderlust tips


Hike through the Durmitor national park to see the Tara Canyon which is Europe’s longest at 82km long and 1,300m deep. Great for winter sports such as skiing, the summer turns Durmitor into an outdoor activity hub with horseriding, cycling and paragliding all on offer throughout the park.

Further Reading

Travel in Montenegro: Vital stats

 

  • Capital of Montenegro: Podgorica
  • Population of Montenegro: 672.000
  • Languages in Montenegro: Montenegrin is the official languages, but due to former ties with Serbia, Serbian is widely spoken. Bosnian and Albanian are also spoken in some parts. Spellings of words may vary.
  • Time in Montenegro: GMT+1 (observes daylight saving)
  • International dialling code for Montenegro: +382
  • Voltage in Montenegro: 230V 50Hz AC
  • Visas for Montenegro: Visas for Montenegro
  • Money in Montenegro: Euro (EUR). ATMs and use of credit cards are spreading further and further. Cash is still the best bet in remote areas.
  • Montenegro travel advice: Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Montenegro tourism board: Montenegro

     

     

    When to go to Montenegro

    The days are warm and mostly sunny from May to the end of September. The winters can be very cold, especially inland and in the mountains.

    International airports

    Airport Podgorica lies 11km from the capital city, while Airport Tivat serves the coast and the tourist hubs Kotor and Budva. Alternatively, the airport in Dubrovnik in neighbouring Croatia is close to the border and buses run into Montenegro from there.

    Getting around in Montenegro

    The bus service to most towns is comprehensive, safe and cheap. The services on the coast tend to run more frequently. Bus drivers can let you out nearly anywhere along the route, but that’s at their discretion and you might end up having to hail a taxi.

    Renting a car is your best bet to get to remote destinations. The rail network only has about 250km of track, but the section from Bar via Podgorica to Belgrade is stunning.

    Montenegro accommodation

    Simple but clean rooms can be found in private houses marked SOBE. Although some hotels might not be up to Western standards yet, you can always expect clean rooms, fresh linen and a high standard of hospitality.

    The big resorts are concentrated on the coast, and are used by package tours during the summers, so getting an individual room will be tricky.

    Montenegro food & drink

    The traditional form of Montenegrin cooking is ispod – under the coals. Kajmak (sour cream) is often an ingredient, as are cow and sheep cheese. Local dishes include stewed sauerkraut, peppers in kajmak and steak, but Montenegrins are more likely to eat lamb or veal than beef. At the coast and around Skadar Lake, seafood is common, while smoked ham is a local favourite around Podgorica.

    Health & safety in Montenegro

    You should check with your GP that your general polio, tetanus and typhoid vaccinations are still effective. Travellers will have no access to the Montenegrin health system, but private clinics with overseas trained and English-speaking doctors will treat them.

    Remember to use strong sun cream. In most of the country, the tap water is safe to drink, except in the coastal resorts during the summer. It is generally safe to walk around city centres after dark, and the approach to female travellers is almost chivalrous.