Montenegro: Top 10 places worth visiting
Montenegro is a small, hospitable and surprisingly beautiful country. Sandy-pebbly and rocky beaches with crystal clear water, picturesque sea bays and unique lakes, high mountains and deep canyons, narrow streets of ancient cities and fortification walls of ancient constructions. Everyone can find something interesting for themselves.
And in order to help those traveling in Montenegro, we decided to compile top places, in our opinion, must-see.
10 places in Montenegro, must-see:
Sveti Stefan is a small resort village, famous for the island of the same name – the calling card of Montenegro. You can hardly find a single guidebook without a picture of this beautiful island connected by a man-made isthmus to the mainland. The entire territory of the island is occupied by a five-star hotel, which honored the presence of many world celebrities. For those who can not afford a hotel on the island, the village, solidly consisting of three-and four-and five-storey villas, buried in subtropical vegetation. In our opinion, there is no more picturesque and sparsely populated resort in Montenegro.
Sveti Stefan has a wonderful free public beach – fine pebbles on the shore and almost no large stones in the water. Those who like wild beaches will like another beach in the vicinity of Sveti Stefan, the Red Head (Crvena Glavica), called so because of the red rocks surrounding it. The highlight of the beach is the break in the rock projecting into the sea.
Krasnaya Golova Beach
Fans of leisurely walks will love the Milocer Park, which separates Sveti Stefan from the neighboring village of Przno.
The 18 hectares of the park are home to Mediterranean vegetation and specially imported rare plants, and also probably one of the most beautiful beaches in Montenegro – Queen’s Beach, situated in a cosy bay.
Budva is one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic. The first references to it date back to the V century BC. It is the main tourist resort of Montenegro. Unlike Sveti Stefan, Budva is more suitable for those who like noisy companies, night clubs and discos till dawn. In high season life in this resort town does not stop for a second and the streets are always full of people.
The main attraction of Budva – the old town – is a maze of narrow streets with cozy little houses, surrounded by a fortress wall, built back in the 15th century to protect against Turkish invasion.
Old Town of Budva
In the Old Town there are four churches, two of which are more than 1000 years old, and the medieval Citadel. From the fortress walls of the Citadel you have the best views of the city and the sea.
View of Budva from the Citadel walls
The total length of the beaches of Budva and its surroundings is more than 11 kilometers. The most famous are Slovenska Plaža (Slovenska Beach) – the most popular and longest beach in Budva, and the beaches of Mogren I and Mogren II, which are located at the foot of steep cliffs, some 500 meters from the Old Town.
Footpath to Mogren beaches
Another three wonderful beaches are on the island of St. Nicholas, which is located about a kilometer from Budva. You can get to the island by one of the boats, in large numbers running back and forth.
Island of St. Nicholas
For lovers of boat trips it is recommended to take a mini-cruise from Budva to Sveti Stefan with a stop on the way back to Sveti Nikola Island. This is a unique opportunity to see the coastline of the Budva Riviera and Sveti Stefan Island from the sea.
Boka Kotor Bay
The largest bay of the Adriatic Sea is a place of unbelievable beauty, where the dark green mountains are reflected in the blue sea surface, and medieval towns are scattered along the coast. The bay consists of five bays – Hercegnovski, Tivatski, Kotorski, Morinski and Risanski – named after the nearby towns.
You can get a closer look at the bay in different ways. For example, you can rent a car and drive around the entire bay, stopping in every town, so you can fully experience the measured and unhurried life. After all, it seems that time in these towns is almost frozen and barely flows.
You can book a boat tour and visit some of the islands in the bay. The greatest interest is the man-made island Gospa od Skrpela – Our Lady on the Reef. In 1452, an icon of Our Lady was found on the reef, which is the base of the island. For a long time local people threw stones and sunk ships on this place. This is how the island was created, and on it the church, which is still active today.
Island of Gospa od Skrpela
After Our Lady on the Reef it is worth visiting Perast – a tiny town, literally grown into the mountains overhanging the bay, as if transporting its guests back to the times of the Venetian Empire. In Perast there is a 55-meter bell tower of St. Nicholas Church – the highest on the coast. There used to be the famous Marco Martinovich maritime school, where the midshipmen of Peter the Great studied.
Boka Kotor Bay – a place that attracts fans of quiet and calm sea coast without strong waves. In Tivat and Hercegny bay there are a lot of excellent beaches where you can combine relaxation with medical treatments.
And of course, the sights of the underwater world of the Bay of Kotor – caves and ships lying on the bottom, like a magnet attract divers from all over the world.
Kotor is truly a jewel in the crown of cities sprawling along the shores of the Bay of Kotor. Its heart is the old town, whose narrow cobblestone streets have a medieval feel all the time.
This feeling only intensifies when you look at the 4.5 kilometers long and up to 20 meters high fortification wall, which encircles the city on the slopes of the mountain massif Lovcen. Crowning the powerful line of defense at 280 meters above sea level is the Fortress of St. John.
Kotor fortress wall
The fortress is open to all comers. 1,400 steps on a narrow mountain path, and you are there. Although the ascent is strenuous, the panoramic view of the city and the Bay of Kotor from the top is unlikely to leave anyone indifferent.
Old Kotor is simply overflowing with historical buildings – the Clock Tower, the Watchtower, the Pillar of Shame, the Arsenal, the city gates, palaces and temples. There is a church of XII century, notable for the fact that there are two altars – Catholic and Orthodox.
In addition to its rich cultural and historical heritage, Kotor is the center of festival life in Montenegro, as well as the legislator of nightlife.
The city of Bar is underestimated by holidaymakers in Montenegro. Beach lovers often go to Budva Riviera, researchers of historical sites – prefer Kotor. And meanwhile, this city has something to surprise travelers.
There are about 20 beaches for all tastes in the vicinity of Novy Bar, sprawling along the Bay of Barska. Sandy and pebbly, long and small secluded, which can only be accessed from the sea.
Old Bar, located 5 km from the New Bar, is an ancient fortress built on a lofty plateau, in fact, an open-air museum. The stone aqueduct from the time of the invasion of the Turks, a unique Clock Tower, the Mosque of Omerbasich of the XV century and about 240 more ancient buildings covered with thickets and well preserved.
Unfortunately we didn’t have time to visit the Bar. There was not enough time, though we had planned to.
Canyons of Montenegro
By the number and variety of canyons Montenegro is the richest country in Europe. The most famous of them are the canyons of the Tara and Moraca rivers. It is these natural monuments that are visited most often.
Canyon of the river Tara is the largest in Europe, in some places the height of the banks up to 1300 meters, and width – no more than three, the length of the canyon is 80 km.
Tara River Canyon
Tara is famous for another attraction – a unique engineering construction – the bridge Djurdjevic. This is an automobile arched bridge, 370 meters long and about 160 meters high, from which you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding beauty.
Extreme athletes will love bungee jumping from the highest point of the bridge, so called bungee jumping, or rafting on Tara river, which is characterized by a fast stream and numerous rapids.
Durmitor and Biogradska Gora National Parks
Durmitor and Biogradska Gora National Parks are adjacent to the Tara valley. Therefore, as a rule, excursion routes to the canyons of the Moraca and Tara rivers include a visit to one of them.
Our route took us through the Biogradskaya Gora Park. This is a forest untouched by civilization, where many trees are more than four hundred years old. In the park there are several lakes of glacial origin, the largest of them – Biogradskoe – at an altitude of 1094 meters above sea level.
Durmitor is a natural reserve, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The most often visited park objects are the Black Lake, around which one can take a walk and admire the ancient forest, or take a bicycle ride on specially paved paths, sit on the bench or rent a boat, the Black Poda, a unique grove of black pines, many of which are almost five centuries old, the Ice Cave at an altitude of 2108 meters – a fantastic world of stalagmites and stalactites, and others.
In addition, Durmitor is the center of Montenegrin mountain tourism. Lovers of hiking (for them there are marked routes), speleotourism and rock climbing are undoubtedly to their liking.
Lake Skadar is the largest freshwater lake of the Balkan Peninsula, which is located on the territory of the two countries of Montenegro and Albania. Its length is 43 km, and at its widest point the shores are separated from each other by a distance of 26 km. On the territory of the lake are scattered about 50 islands and on the shores are many ancient monasteries and fortresses. The lake is inhabited by more than 260 species of birds, including rare herons, pelicans, cormorants and the waters are rich in fish – bleak, carp, eel, salmon and roach, with about 40 species.
Skadar Lake can offer a variety of recreational activities. You can fish and hunt, ride a boat or sightseeing boat and swim, visit monasteries and explore ancient fortresses or just enjoy the stunningly beautiful nature.
Skadar Lake National Park was also not on the list of places we visited. We hope next time we are in Montenegro, we will visit this unique reserve.
Cetinje, Negushi village and Lovcen National Park
The city of Cetinje is the historic capital of Montenegro. Founded in 1482, it became the historical and cultural heritage of the country. Here is the palace of the last King of Montenegro Nikola I and the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin, where his remains are buried. The monastery of Cetinje, important for the whole orthodox world, with its sanctuaries – the Hand of John the Baptist and a part of the Holy Cross.
In the village of Negushi was born the most revered ruler of Montenegro, philosopher and poet Petar II Petrovic Njegos (1830 – 1851). This small village, tucked away high in the mountains, is famous for its Neguši prsut and local cheese. Be sure to taste these national dishes at the village restaurant, and the curious are advised to visit the prsut production.
Restaurant in the village of Negushi
Peter II Petrovic Njegoš is buried in a mausoleum on the top of the mountain massif of Lovcen. From the observation deck nearby you can see the whole of Montenegro from the highest peaks of Durmitor to the blue of the Adriatic Sea.
The Ostrog Monastery arose on the site of a natural cave right in the steep rock in the middle of the XVII century. Today it is an important religious shrine not only for Orthodox Christians but also for representatives of other denominations. The monastery keeps the relics of St. Basil of Ostrog, the most revered saint in Montenegro. Even during his lifetime, he earned the respect of many believers, and after his death his relics began to work miracles – to heal seriously ill people, to put his mind in order. That is why people from different countries are striving to come to this monastery in the hope of healing from illnesses and finding peace of mind.
Ostrog consists of the lower monastery of a later building (19th century) and the ancient upper part, where the relics are kept, which is located in the rock and is the main pilgrimage place for tourists.
Nowadays Ostrog is a functioning monastery with twelve monks serving and telling visitors about this place.
Those who were not enough beauty of Montenegro can go on day trips to neighboring countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina or Croatia with a visit to the city of Dubrovnik (recommended especially).
The 10 most beautiful places in Montenegro, which are worth seeing
Steep rocky mountains, charming medieval villages, pink sandy beaches…Montenegro has it all. A small but cozy little piece of Europe, the tiny Balkan country on the Adriatic Sea coast combines a long history and a modern dynamic culture. Local luxurious beaches, long winding streets and magnificent buildings captivate and mesmerize tourists.
The landscape varies from smooth coastline to rugged mountains and lush forests. These places have a lot of mysteries and riddles, which definitely should not be left without attention.
10 most beautiful places of Montenegro by most-beauty.ru
One of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast is Budva, which is more than 2 500 years old!
The mixture of historical sites and coastal charm captures the hearts of residents and visitors who want to explore this place. Budva Riviera perfectly combines climatic conditions and developed infrastructure for a comfortable holiday on the coast. Sunbaths, warm waters and golden sand – all this you will find on the most famous beach of Montenegro – Mogren, which can be reached from the Old Town.
The vast majority of local residents are Orthodox Christians, so the city has many churches and temples, which anyone can visit. Numerous church buildings are scattered along the coast and fit in perfectly with the surrounding nature. The square in front of the Santa Maria del Punta church, for example, offers a breathtaking view of the coast.
The economy is dominated by tourism. It’s almost as if the place was meant for visitors. Swanky hotels in the best European traditions.
Did you know that Montenegro is one of the youngest countries in the world? If not, then read more about it in a very interesting article on thebiggest.ru.
The Old City of Kotor
One of the administrative parts of Montenegro, the old city of Kotor is protected by UNESCO and is the center of Kotor community.
The city is known for its majestic temples and churches. Among them is Kotor Cathedral, one of only two Roman Catholic cathedrals in the whole of Montenegro.
The climate is mild, and July is considered the best time to visit, when temperatures are consistently around 25-28 degrees Celsius. Kotor also attracts visitors with its colorful carnivals. Annual holiday “Kotor International Summer Carnival” or “Bokelska Night” is visited by about 30 thousand tourists!
By the way, our website most-beauty.ru has a fascinating article about the most beautiful carnivals in the world.
Carved almost entirely into the cliff, the magnificent white Ostrog Monastery, the most important place for Orthodox Christians in Montenegro, attracts countless visitors every year. The temple contains the relics of St. Basil of Ostrog, who was its founder.
The structure is seen as something of a miracle because no one fully understands how it was built between two large caves. For centuries, this place has been a symbol of faith for pilgrims and tourists. You can get to the monastery by bus or independently by car.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit this unique monastery while exploring the wonders of Montenegro.
The city at the foot of Mount Orjen Herceg Novi is called the “city of a thousand steps” because of its uneven terrain. There are mostly narrow, winding streets for hiking and biking.
However, the city is famous not only for this. There is a huge number of historical sights and architectural masterpieces. We advise you to visit the most famous tourist sites – Savin Monastery, Sea Fortress, the Bloody tower.
Not far from the center of Herceg Novi there is a small fishing village of Rose, where tourists are taken on a yacht or a boat. The inhabitants will teach you all the subtleties of the art of fishing. And fresh seafood dishes are served in every local restaurant.
The small but cozy town of Perast is not known for its natural beauty and ancient ruins. The most famous places to visit here are St. George Island and Gospa od Skrpela Island, better known as Madonna on the Reef. According to one local legend, in 1452 two fishermen found an image of the Virgin Mary near this place, so the island got its name.
The large number of palaces in the city is due to its centuries-old history. It so happens that all the natives of Perast belong to 12 famous families.
Each noble family had its own coat of arms, flag and estate. Now these structures are historical family museums.
Tara River Canyon
The picturesque gorge along the Tara River stretches 80 kilometers long and 1,300 meters deep. It is located in the National Park Durmitor and is the best option for mountain tourism in Montenegro.
All rafting enthusiasts gather here, because the river Tara is fast and turbulent. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. To explore it completely in a day or even a weekend is almost unreal. For guests of the Canyon created all the conditions for a bird’s-eye view of the sights.
The famous Đurđević bridge, which connects the south and the north of the country, has been operating here since 1937.
The city of Tivat, located on the Vrmac peninsula, was formerly a naval base. Now this place has become a true tourist paradise. The main mode of transport on the peninsula is the sea. There are 17 beautiful beaches with beautiful clear water and beautiful landscapes.
The basis of the economy of Tivat is the international tourism. That is why most of the local population earns by organizing excursions and renting accommodations.
Among the attractions is the island Miholska Prevlaka, better known as the Island of Flowers. Here is the most famous botanical garden in Montenegro.
In summer the city hosts colorful events, such as the Bokel Olympics and the Summer Tivat Festival.
The southernmost city of Montenegro, Ulcinj is the administrative center of the county of the same name. It is one of the oldest cities on the Adriatic coast, which offers its visitors gorgeous beaches, magnificent sunsets, and wide comfortable streets for hiking and biking.
The town owes its popularity to a unique natural phenomenon – a beach with black sand. Fans of unusual photos should not miss this place! And also in the town there is another unusual beach, about which not many tourists know. This beach is called the “women’s”, because thousands of women come here every year for the treatment of infertility.
Ancient monuments and architectural structures are scattered throughout the city, but their greatest concentration in the Old Town, better known as Stari Grad. The locals say that it is in Ulcinj where the most delicious natural coffee is brewed.
The resort of Sveti Stefan
About 6 kilometers southeast of Budva is a small surrealistic island of Sveti Stefan. Its peculiarity is its connection to the mainland by the narrow isthmus, which appeared as a result of the wash of gravel. This is a unique natural phenomenon!
A wonderful mixture of paved streets, pink beaches, cozy houses with colored roofs. Here is the famous five-star hotel Aman Resorts. At one time visitors to the hotel were such famous personalities as Sophia Loren, Sylvester Stallone, Bobby Fisher and others.
The most popular local beach is the Queen’s Beach, which has impressed visitors for years. Also most-beauty.co.uk advises to be sure to sign up for a boat tour around Sveti Stefan.
Among the most beautiful places in Montenegro is the largest lake of the Balkan Peninsula – Skader. This picturesque place in the Mediterranean has been protected by a national park since 1983. Its crystal clear waters, majestic mountain peaks and vast meadows are astonishingly beautiful.
Excursions in the area include a boat or yacht cruise on the waterways, hiking through the fortresses of the nearby town, and much more. The top points of the area offer wonderful views of landmarks throughout the country, including the famous horseshoe-shaped bend formed by the Rijeka-Kronojevic River before flowing into Lake Skadar.
In the picture: the Roche cliff, near the town of Petrovac.
Our list of the most beautiful places of Montenegro is at an end. Of course, it could go on for a long, long time. But we are waiting for your comments about the places of this beautiful country that you liked. Or about the places you really want to visit.
And below we post a few more Montenegrin sights that were not included in the main list:
The beautiful city of Kotor.
The Fortress in the Old Bar
Other beautiful places in Montenegro
Editor’s note: This article has been updated since it was originally published in July 2019.