Where is Montenegro: a country of mountains by the sea
Despite the fact that in summer the beaches and resorts of Montenegro are filled with Russian-speaking tourists, many know nothing at all about this small Balkan country. We are still asked where and in what country is Montenegro, sometimes erroneously calling it “Montenegro.
We have tried to collect all the information about the location of Montenegro, its climate, safety, entertainment, features and benefits of recreation in this small but distinctive country.
Where is Montenegro: location, borders map
Montenegro is located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea and is surrounded by the Balkan Mountains. The country is small. Its area is 13,810 km², which is 3.3 times less than the territory of the Moscow region alone.
The time difference with Moscow and Minsk is 2 hours, and with Kiev – 1 hour. The tourist season lasts from May to September, from the second half of July to the end of August there are especially many people, there is no room for apples.
The currency of Montenegro is the euro . Rubles or hryvnias to change anywhere, the rate on an exchange of dollars not favourable.
The country has many names. In Russian-speaking community is widespread version – “Montenegro”. In the English-speaking community accustomed to the name Montenegro (Montenegro), which means “black mountains”, and locals call it Crna Gora. Sometimes erroneously the country is also called Montenegro.
How long will it take to fly to Montenegro? What are the airports there?
In Montenegro, there are two popular airports. The most convenient is to fly to Tivat, which is twice closer to the seaside resorts, but sometimes you can find good tickets to Podgorica. Note that the transfer from Podgorica to Budva, for example, will cost 16 euros more for the simplest car.
Since Montenegro itself is very small, the time in flight will depend only on the city from which you fly out. Here are examples for the duration of direct flights of the most popular cities of departure:
- From Moscow to Montenegro, the flight time is about 3 hours (2000 kilometers).
- From Saint-Petersburg to Tivat take 3 hours 30 minutes (2100 km) or 7 hours with connection in Moscow Domodedovo.
- From Novosibirsk to Montenegro it takes about 7 hours by direct flight or 10 hours with connection in Moscow.
- It takes 7.5-8 hours to fly from Ekaterinburg to Montenegro, with a connection in Vnukovo (Moscow).
- From Minsk to Tivat it takes 18 hours to reach Montenegro, in summer there are also charter flights.
- It takes approximately 2.5 hours to fly from Kiev to Montenegro. In summer Windrose flies from Boryspil.
During tourist season from May to September there are a lot of direct charter flights and changing planes is not necessary. In the off-season you can fly from Moscow, Istanbul or Belgrade.
Montenegro on the map: the country, its resorts and attractions
It is easier to orient yourself by seeing Montenegro on the map, where we marked the main resorts of the country and its most interesting sights.
What countries does Montenegro border with?
Montenegro is located in southeastern Europe, on the Adriatic coast of the Balkan Peninsula.
By sea, the country is bordered by such countries as:
- Croatia. You need a Schengen visa to visit. It used to be possible to get it in Kotor, but in 2017, this opportunity for tourists was closed. If you already have a Schengen visa (for Ukrainians with a passport visa-free regime works) you can go on an excursion to Dubrovnik.
- Albania. In summer you don’t need a visa, you can take a tour to Shkodar and Tirana and at the same time buy cheap silverware or Skanderberg cognac.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina. Visa is also not required. Conducts several excursions. Also in Bosnia and Herzegovina tourists go rafting.
- Serbia. There are no excursions, but you can go see Belgrade by train, which rides at a fantastic altitude among the mountains. Or consider options with individual excursions.
- Republic of Kosovo. This is a partially recognized state that does not have tours. Finding a guide in Kosovo is difficult, even if you’re willing to pay for it.
- Italy. There is only a sea border. There is a ferry from Bari to the Italian city of Bari now (it was canceled recently, and then started up again). Without a Schengen visa to Italy can not get (5 years ago you could). There is no good selection of Italian things in Bari either, it’s a tourist myth.
Visa regime with Montenegro
In summer the visa to Montenegro for Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, citizens of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia is not needed up to 90 days. But the tourists who come to have a rest by themselves must register (otherwise they will have to pay penalty at the border).
Citizens of the Russian Federation, who want to spend in Montenegro more than 90 days can make a laifhack called “vizaran. It is necessary to leave Montenegro to neighboring Bosnia or Albania, and then you can return and rest for another 90 days.
The Sea and the Beaches in Montenegro: the Differences from Other Countries
Montenegro is not quite suitable for a traditional beach holiday. If you want to rest in an expensive hotel, and most of the time you plan to spend at the sea, it is recommended to choose another country.
Beaches in Montenegro are mostly of fine pebbles. In the spring they bring sand, but closer to the fall it washes into the sea. To find sandy beaches is possible closer to Albania, near Ulcinj, but there from the nearest apartments to the sea to walk a kilometer on heat.
At popular resorts about half or third of the beach area is allocated for free zone, where you can sunbathe on towels and with their umbrellas, and the rest part is allocated for areas with sun beds. A set of 2 sun beds and an umbrella costs an average of 10 euros a day.
Normal beach in Montenegro looks like this. The best areas are allocated under the paid sun beds, but there is enough space for free rest on towels.
On some beaches, such as in Kamenovo, the place for the rest on the towels is behind the line of sun loungers.
Adriatic Sea is very clean, but a little cool. The average summer water temperature is 23-27 ° C. Sometimes cold currents bring garbage, it is cold and not pleasant to swim. On average, for the whole summer, 8-9 days out of 10 the water is clean and warm, but such periods also occur.
To summarize, go to Montenegro to vacation is worth it if you plan not only to swim in the sea and sunbathe on the beach, but also to see the local attractions and travel around the country.
What to do in Montenegro: entertainment and excursions
Montenegro offers a very good selection of unusual activities and an even better sightseeing program. Rafting on the Tara River, boat rides along the sea coast with tasting of fish and wines, diving and paragliding are very popular among tourists.
On the seafront of Budva there are several good discotheques, and in the mountains above it is the largest open-air discotheque on the entire Balkans. It’s called Top Hill.
Excursions in Montenegro: which to choose and why?
The choice of excursions in Montenegro is very good and they are inexpensive, even compared with Bulgaria or Turkey. In this case, the excursion here is more interesting and richer than in many other countries.
At a minimum, is worth a tour of the canyons of Montenegro and a boat ride on the Gulf of Boko-Kotor. Couples with children will suit a walk on Lake Skadar.
If you want to visit neighboring countries, there are excursions to Croatia, Albania and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
My favorite excursion is a trip to the highlands by minibus. An unforgettable experience.
If you have the opportunity and desire, about the same excursions can be visited individually. There will be a personal guide, a comfortable car, a little more stops and delicious lunch in a picturesque restaurant somewhere among the mountains.
The most interesting tour abroad – a trip to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik, which is rightly considered a real gem on the Adriatic Sea.
It will be no less interesting to visit and Boko-Kotor Bay. Be sure to climb the ramparts of Kotor. The photo was taken from its top.
If you come in July or August, when the coast is very hot, a good option would be to visit the north. In the mountains it is much cooler, usually 15-12 degrees.
In the north you can see the most beautiful mountain rivers, with small cascading waterfalls flowing to the sea.
But the most interesting thing is of course to visit the highlands. The nature changes beyond recognition. It seems that you get to another planet. It is very beautiful around. The photos do not convey the effect. Just take warm clothes with you – it is cold.
If you go with the child and there is no possibility to travel far, I advise to go to the Lake Skadar. And the baby will have an adventure, and you will have a rest.
Independent travel in Montenegro
If you prefer to explore the country on your own, it is most convenient to combine travel by bus with car rental. For example, you can get to popular resorts by bus inexpensively, but you can’t explore the mountainous part of the country without a car.
Here are a few ideas of where you can go on your own:
1 Visit the ancient city of Kotor, stay in an apartment in the very center of it with the help of Airbnb, and in the morning, while it’s not so hot and the sun is not hitting your eyes, climb the fortress wall to admire the view of the Bay of Kotor. You can go either by bus or by car.
2 Go to the botanic garden town of Herceg Novi, walk along the local staircases and remnants of the fortress walls, sit in colorful restaurants, or on the balcony of apartments with a view of the sea. You can also take the bus, but it’s a long and tiring ride because of the serpentine nature of the roads. It is better to book a transfer or go by car.
3 Go to see Skadar Lake. You need to go by car or bus to the town of Virpazar, and there to rent a boat or a small boat. You can take a bus or a car, but the car is more convenient because of poor bus connections.
4 Go to see Lovcen with the mausoleum at the top of the mountain. It is worth coming here for the beautiful view from the observation deck and the great photos of the mountains.
5 Drive around Boko-Kotor Bay, considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. Taste local oysters in a restaurant somewhere by the sea. Stop by the towns of Perast and Kotor on the way. Cross the bay on Kamenari Lepetane ferry.
6 Drive along the coast with stops at St. Stephen’s Island, Bar and Ulcinj. Swim on the biggest and sunniest sandy beach Velika Pljazha near Ulcinj or on the nudist island beach Ada Bojana.
7 Go to Ostrog Monastery, considered the third most visited by Orthodox pilgrims in the world (right after Jerusalem and Mount Athos), and worship the relics of Vasily of Ostrog. Buy a brojanika and take free holy water.
8 Take a drive to Cetinje, the spiritual capital of Montenegro, to see not only the palaces of local rulers, but also the famous Cetinje Monastery, where the relics of Peter of Cetinje, the hand of John the Baptist and a piece of the Cross of the Lord are kept.
9 Go to Durmitor National Park for a few days to live high in the mountains in the town of Zabljak, see the Black Lake and hike on marked hiking trails. Climb higher on quality roads than tourists usually take and see the real highlands. On the way back, see Beer Lake and Beer Monastery.
10 Go to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, or Croatia. Keep in mind that you will need a visa to visit Dubrovnik, and Albania is visa-free for Russians only in the summer.
In fact, there are many times more ideas for a short trip to Montenegro by car.
Is it safe in Montenegro? Fires and attitudes to Russians
Recently, due to the difficult political situation, many media have tried to present Montenegro as a very dangerous country, where forest fires and explosions are constantly occurring, and the locals mistreat Russian-speaking tourists.
Forest fires can be beautiful, but they also have drawbacks. Sometimes the smoke can make even the most beautiful scenery look quite unsightly. For example, that’s how Pivskoe Lake looked because of the heavy haze. I had to come here again.
In fact, it’s not like that. Montenegro is much safer and quieter than Turkey, the locals are quite hospitable to tourists, they do not try to deceive them at every step and get more money. There is no rampant banditry in the country also – the cases of car bombings occur once every few years, and then associated with disassembly of local gangsters. Not at all more often than anywhere else.
Forest fires occur, but far from resorts. Holidaymakers in Montenegro usually find out about them after calls from relatives in Russia. Fires can be seen only on excursions to the mountains. Oddly enough, the sight is even somewhat beautiful, especially if you return home late from an excursion, and somewhere in the distance bright scarlet flames burn the mountain peaks.
There is no rampant viral infections in Montenegro. As in any seaside country with a lot of tourists, rotavirus, ear inflammation and sunburns are common here. Since bathing in swimming pools is not very popular, there are no outbreaks of infection, only isolated cases. However, we advise you to take care of a good insurance beforehand – the medicine in the country is expensive for tourists and it is possible to get a bill for 300 euros even with a trifle illness.
Yes, Montenegrins are very law-abiding and hospitable people. But do not forget that in the peak tourist season in Montenegro comes a lot of cheaters from neighboring countries.
In Montenegro we have never felt that we wanted to scam at every step (as it happens in other countries), but completely let down your guard.
To sum up: Montenegro is a very safe country, especially when compared with similar options. Locals are friendly, treat guests respectfully, but without ingratiation.
The Sea in Montenegro
In the warm Adriatic in summer, the water temperature can reach 26 degrees. This is one reason why in July and August, tours in Montenegro sell out immediately. People go on tours, and in order to spend time on the beach. Here they can appreciate the purity of the Adriatic water, as well as all the beauty of the beaches of Montenegro.
Montenegro coast is washed by the waters of the Adriatic. Where is Montenegro and what is the sea there – many tourists do not even know, without coming to the country on vacation. Seeing how clean the beaches and coastline here, they return to these places again and again. Holidaymakers coast of Montenegro will open up a new side of each of the riviera. Moreover – each of the local beaches will give you a new experience.
What sea in Montenegro
The green-blue waters of the Adriatic Sea have always been loved by tourists. The Adriatic Sea is connected with the Mediterranean Sea. The transparency of local water can be more than 65 meters. The purity and transparency of these waters have been appreciated by many explorers, including Jacques-Yves Cousteau. Cousteau claimed that he had never seen such clear waters anywhere in the world.
The coastline is cleaned by the sea current, which constantly brings new water. Most vacationers are not even aware of this. Once they find out where Montenegro is and what kind of sea it is, they spend here one swimming season after another, not even asking unnecessary questions.
The water temperature in the coastal zone of the Adriatic depends on several factors:
- weather conditions.
However, on average, already in May the water temperature can reach 19 degrees. In summer it rises to 25-26 degrees, which is an excellent indicator. Tourists who like cooler waters can recommend the cold glacial Black Lake in the park Durmitor. Here the water is colder than in the sea, due to the location of the reservoir. You can also try the temperature of the water in Piva Lake for comparison. Usually the water there is also cooler.
Weather conditions in the country rarely get out of the classic schedule – nature offers almost no surprises. So it is easy to predict the temperature of the water, rainfall and sunny days per year.
Becici – what sea is there?
One of the popular beaches in Montenegro is Becici. The sea here is warm, the beach is located on the Budva Riviera. Typically, the peak season on the beach is in July and August – during these months, the water gets up to 25-26 degrees Celsius. The air temperature may be about 33 degrees, but it does not cause discomfort. Because the sea breeze softens the heat of the sun. That is why tourists are so fond of Becici and Montenegro.
You can walk along the beach and appreciate the coastline. It is turquoise, although the Adriatic waters are greenish. Why? It is because of the salts. The high concentration of salts at the coast of Montenegro changes the shade of water, and it becomes bluish. If you look at the water closely, you will almost always see the bottom. The transparency of the local waters is quite impressive. You have to swim very far to not see the bottom.
About the coastline of the country
The coastline of Montenegro is 73 km of clean beaches. There are more than 100 of them, and each has its own characteristics. The beaches of the country are highly recognized at various specialized events. Some have even received awards and were noted at one time, as the most beautiful and cleanest. Favorable climate, warm and clear water, sandy beaches – all this makes Montenegro a real tourist paradise.
Here you can not just lie on the beach or swim. On the coast there is everything for extreme sports and water sports. Especially beneficial this place is for divers. They can explore the underwater world of Montenegro, look at the wrecks, see what are made of artificial islands. There are many wrecks off the coast, one of them is on Ada Bojan.
Montenegro is also suitable for kite-surfing. And fans of beautiful sunsets can rent a yacht or come on their own and watch the sun go down over the horizon.
Resorts in Montenegro with the best sea and beaches
Beaches in Montenegro is a huge variety and each of them has its own group of admirers. The choice of the coast for recreation depends on many factors: the distance from the place of residence, the preference for the beach cover (sand, pebble) and the surrounding scenery. It is also important to assess the concept of relaxation. Noisy beaches with lots of restaurants and concert venues are not suitable for a quiet holiday for families with children. And vice versa, the secluded coves with a lack of entertainment infrastructure will be boring for partying youth. The main thing is that the best sea and place in Montenegro can be found for everyone.
Invariably, the best resorts of Montenegro from year to year include:
Budva. On the territory of this resort are scattered several chic beaches, the best of which: Richard’s Head, Mogren, Jaz, Slavyansky. You can rest on the sandy beach, which has fine and coarse pebbles. The water in the sea is clear, clean and warm. The main feature of beaches in Budva – you can swim in the warm open sea, not in a big bay, as at other resorts. To this you can add impressive views of the Old Town, authentic buildings of antiquity and picturesque nature. Warm sea, due to the fact that the shore from the cold currents shelters the island of St. Nicholas. In Budva throughout the year is sunny and warm, and small precipitations fall more often in pre-winter period.
Montenegrin Sea Entertainment
Holidays at sea in Montenegro can be different. And while some tourists choose the passive tanning on the beautiful beaches and quiet swimming, others rush into the thick of water adventures. No matter where you choose to vacation by the sea in Montenegro, you will find activities to your liking in any weather. Some of the most popular water activities include:
- Swimming on a ship or boat. Can be rented for a group tour of the Adriatic islands and ancient cities, or to explore the nearby coasts on your own. For tourists in Montenegro are available not only boats and launches, but also large white yachts.
- Diving and snorkeling. The clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, viewable in some places up to 10 meters deep, attract lovers of underwater adventures. You can go exploring not only the beautiful inhabitants of the depths and corals, but also limestone caves. Of great interest are the real shipwrecks, which hold a lot of secrets about the past lives of ships.
Sea creatures of Montenegro
Not only divers will be interested to learn about who lives in the Adriatic waters of Montenegro. And even those who have never been scuba diving, in Montenegro they will want to experience these emotions themselves. Exploring the coast is very interesting, because the water in the Adriatic Sea can be seen up to 15 meters deep.
Near the shore it is often possible to admire mullet, sea bass and crucian carp, scorpina, salpa, sargus and catfish. At depth, divers can watch the life of barracudas, loaches, seabasses, tuna, corifers, grouper and even swordfish. When diving at sea, beware of lizard fish, moray eels, and sea dragons, whose venom is very dangerous.
Tourists in Montenegro are unlikely to come across dangerous sea creatures. Already at a distance of 30-40 meters, many predators see the appearance of man and retreat to a safe distance. However, unpleasant meetings with sea urchins
Sea urchins live on the bottom in small groups near the shore. To avoid collisions with them, it is necessary to use special shoes for swimming.
As for sharks, there are no dangerous species for humans in the waters of the Adriatic. Among the non-dangerous and rare even for the Montenegrin fishermen are the giant shark, dog shark, cat shark and Katran. It is known that only once, in the 60’s, in the local waters was seen a deadly white shark that attacked a man. One can call this event an exception to the rule.