Despite its tiny size, Montenegro has magnificent alpine scenery, dramatic shore lines, ancient monuments, and really lovely walled towns. Montenegro’s shoreline is equally as beautiful as that of its more well-known neighbor, Croatia, and it’s no surprise that its major tourist sites may become busy in the summer. However, if you are unable to come at another time, don’t allow their popularity deter you. Even the biggest cruise ship crowds will not prevent you from enjoying this country’s beautiful Riviera and Medieval coast villages, particularly if you are prepared to wake up early and do your touring before the others.
The Serbian Orthodox Ostrog Monastery stands out among the country’s numerous churches and monasteries. It’s beautifully situated against an almost vertical backdrop, around 15 kilometers from Nikšić. It was founded in the 17th century and is one of the most frequented pilgrimage sites in the Balkans, with a breathtaking view of the Bjelopavlići plain.
The Bay of Kotor is one of the most beautiful bays in the world. At its lowest point, the similarly magnificent village of Kotor, a wonderfully preserved walled Medieval town with a rich history, can be found. Wandering through its maze of tiny, cobblestoned alleys, you’ll come across bustling piazzas, many old churches, and a plethora of delightful cafés and restaurants. The 12th-century St. Tryphon Cathedral, the Church of St. Luke, and the Orthodox St. Nicholas Church are all must-sees. Kotor is bounded on one side by the azure sea and on the other by a spectacularly high rock. It’s a difficult trek upward, but ascending the 1500 stairs will enable you to see the ancient defenses on top as well as enjoy some spectacular views of the sea.
Budva is the country’s most popular tourist attraction, with beautiful beaches and a charming walled town center. The ancient town center is picturesquely situated on a tiny peninsula, with narrow, twisting alleys concealing a plethora of antique buildings, churches, and little squares. The 7th century St. John’s Church, the 8th century Santa Marija of Punta, and the 12th century Church of St. Sava are among the most noteworthy structures here. Citadela is the ancient town fortification, and just next to it is the colorful Church of the Holy Trinity, which was constructed in 1804. Budva’s approximately 30 km long Riviera, nicknamed “The Riviera of Sandy Beaches,” is studded with charming hamlets and a plethora of ancient sites. It is separated from the magnificent mountain massifs of Lovcen by a strip of hotels and restaurants. The distinctive Sveti Stefan resort is a short bus ride from Budva.
Perast, a tiny but lovely town, had some of its finest architecture emerge during the Republic of Venice’s reign in the 17th and 18th centuries. The Bujovic, Zmajevic, Badovic, and Smekja Palaces, which were formerly held by rich marine captains, are examples of classic Venetian baroque architecture. Ulcinj, in the Adriatic’s south, is one of the Adriatic’s oldest towns, with a charming center and plenty of natural beauty. It’s also an excellent starting point for seeing neighboring Bar’s ancient town, Lake Skadar, or perhaps a cross-border trip to Albania. Herceg Novi (roughly translated as New Castle) is another lovely Montenegrin town with a magnificent historic center and a fair number of fascinating churches, squares, and castles.
Although Montenegro’s beautiful seaside landscape is well-known among visitors, the country’s mountainous interior also has some great panoramic vistas to offer. The nation and neighboring Albania share the huge freshwater Lake Skadar. It is a National Park and provides excellent possibilities for hiking, bird watching, and animal viewing. Virpazar is the most accessible of the numerous friendly fishermen’s communities in the area. The magnificent Tara River Canyon, with its high cliffs reaching up to 1300 meters above the Tara River waters, is a must-see. It is the world’s second-longest canyon and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The canyon is situated inside Durmitor National Park, which is a World Heritage Site in its own right, and features a diverse flora and fauna, as well as snow-covered high peaks, canyons, and glacial lakes. The most popular is Black Lake, which is located within walking distance of the town of Abbjak, which acts as a traveler’s center for mountain and winter tourism.