Montenegro wasn´t even on our travel wish list. Even though we don´t believe in coincidences – it appeared Montenegro will be just another Balkan country we will drive through on our way home from Greece. At first we intended to go home over Bulgaria, but then we changed our plan because my sister got a job in Montenegro and we decided to give her a visit.
In this article I won´t write about Montenegro coast line or its sea – I won´t lose words on that. What we saw was clean but so crowded that Peter and I had no whish staying at the sea. Not even for a day. We are quite spoiled regarding the sea and beaches, and I don´t actually know whether it is good or bad. But if you want to have a little piece of Montenegro beach just for you, you should come out of summer season. True gems of Montenegro are hidden elsewhere, they are far away of its coast and I can say just – WOW 🙂 . Most of stereotypes of Montenegrin proved to be wrong, as people were very friendly and full of life and things were more OK that we would expect them to be. Montenegro is far more than its touristic and crowded beaches. It is worth going there because of its nature´s beauty that is phenomenal. Thanks to Katja for all her advices and directions.
Those are top five places that you shouldn´t leave out if you ever come to this beautiful country with the most kind people on Balkan:
- DURMITOR AND PLUŽINE
Durmitor is mountainous national park under UNESCO protection. Village Žabljak is the center of Durmitor, where it is easy to find cheap accommodation and is starting point for hiking tours in surroundings. Nature is beautiful and it resembles the Dolomites. If you don´t have enough time for hiking around Durmitor, you shouldn´t leave out Črno jezero, the most known among many lakes in that national park. Even more beautiful is the path over Sedlo to Trsa and further to Plužine. What can I say – too beautiful. Let photos speak for themselves. You should not leave out this road trip if you ever come to Durmitor.
- TARA RIVER AND CANYON
River Tara canyon is called pearl of Europe and it is the deepest canyon in Europe. Most of the river is under UNESCO protection as part of Durmitor national park. The last part of river Tara lies in Bosnia and represents a border between those countries. Even though some would say that river Tara is the most beautiful river of Europe, we still think that our Soča is the one. But nevertheless it is worth visiting river Tara and famous bridge over it. Nearby you can treat yourself with adventure, for example – zip line over river and of course Tara canyon or rafting, that we recommend.
- NATIONAL PARK BIOGRADSKA GORA
National park Biogradska gora with lake that has the same name, is unbelievably quite place, ideal to unplug of touristic hustle and bustle of crowded Montenegro coast. In this national park there is rainforest that covers 1600 hectares of land and is one of three remaining rainforests in Europe. Lake Biograd is the biggest mountain lake in Montenegro and lies there dappled with wonderful trees. Go around it and breath. Enjoy the silence.
- SKADAR LAKE
Skadar Lake is the biggest lake on Balkan Peninsula and lies on border between Albania and Montenegro. ¾ of the lake belongs to Montenegro with town Virpazar nearby; the other part is Albanian with town Skadar, that lake was named by. There are 50 islands on the lake and in Montenegro Skadar lake is treated like national park as it represents a paradise and sanctuary for many birds, even pelicans. We went exploring the lake by boat and it was great. We started in town Virpazar with Boat Milica agency that made it great experience and we recommend it. And another hint: you should start exploring the lake early in the morning as then you can see a lot of animals.
- NATIONAL PARK LOVČEN AND BOKA KOTORSKA
National park Lovčen is the most known and visited sight in Montenegro. It is worth visiting it, even though there are a lot of tourists. You can leave out Njegoš mausoleum if you don´t care about history – there are 600 steps to it. But you shouldn´t leave out very picturesque road above Boka Kotorska bay, that is under UNESCO protection; or genuine mountainous village Njeguši, where you can taste great homemade cheese and prosciutto that is known as one of the best in the world.
There is another pearl of Montenegro (and Albania) – PROKLETIJE – that we didn´t have time to explore, but we will certainly come back as it is beautiful there according to the photos. If you have enough time and you love non-touristic but genuinely beautiful mountainous paths, than you should see Projketije before tourists crowd the place.
And if you will catch some of their love of life and willpower, the trip to Montenegro will be just perfect 🙂 .