Hello and happy Monday! We are back from our trip to Monte Negro and here's a glimpse of our experience of this beautiful country and a handful of tips.
Montenegro is situated on the Balkan Peninsula. It is a country with rugged mountains, medieval villages and pearl -like cities set into the narrow Adriatic coastline.
For those of you who regularly follow us, you know that this was an unplanned business trip on my husband's part, but I think those trips are the best. So we didn't have a lot of time to plan what to see and visit there as with our previous travels, where we always have a full list prepared well ahead; this time we mainly decided right there on the spot. Or the evening prior :)
Let's start with the capital of Monte Negro.
It is a charming city with a population of around 200K. Cradling the river Morača, it proudly bears the wonderful mix of history and dances with a modern vibe. Being there makes you feel free and elated mainly because there are no tall buildings and there is a constant flow of wind, so it makes summers bearable and quite breezy and winters harsh and fierce (according to the locals' words).
I recommend you visit Podgorica's Museum, where you can learn about their history through a small, but interesting exhibition.
Ancient past is always the peek of my interest, so we also visited the ancient site Doclea which is in the vicinity. Only 3 km away.
or Duklja, as they call it, is an ancient Illyrian, Roman and Byzantine city founded in the 1st century AD. I was the only one who wandered there at the time - we went early in the morning because it tends to get extremely hot on the site and I believe you can arrange for a tour with some of the agencies. I mainly learnt about it from internet (link in the title) and just let my imagination run wild while enjoying the walk through "the town", imagining what life was life centuries ago.
Many of the artifacts dug up from there can be found in the Museum (above).
Yes, you read it right. The locals jokingly named the waterfalls on the Cijevna river - Niagara and the name stuck. They are about 5 km from Podgorica (I told you - the most popular things are at the reach of the hand) and it is a true piece of heaven.
We were warned that our anticipation and eagerness to see it might deflate because in summer the river is at the bottom of its strength and that we might not see the falls, which was true, but we were not disappointed at all. We could walk around it on the massive rocks that make a mind blowing, narrow canyon and enjoy the nature. What caught us by surprise is that people go there and sunbathe on the bank. The water was crystal clear and we also enjoyed looking at the play of family of ducks.
On the bank, right there overlooking the river, there is an ethnic restaurant, all made of wood which adds up to the whole experience. Wonderfully designed, with a huge area/ playground dedicated to children, it is a very popular spot. Guess what is it called? Right. Niagara Restaurant.
Situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda, in Montenegro, it is on a 50 km drive from Podgorica. The Monastery was founded by Sveti Vasilije or Saint Basil of Ostrog in the 17th century. He died there in 1671 and was glorified years after.
A gathering pilgrim point for Orthodox Christians, Catholics and Muslims. A true place of miracles. Many have witnessed and experience the healing powers of St.Vasilije, by praying to his body. His remains are enshrined in a reliquary kept in the cave-church dedicated to the Presentation of the Mother of God to the Temple.
Or popularly called "Montenegrin Miami" because it is the most popular tourist destination and most crowded city in summer.
However, the crowds do not diminish its attractiveness. It is vibrant during the day and equally lively at night. Its natural beauty, islands and beaches are greatly enriched with historic monuments.
A great point of interest is the Old Town which is at the heart of Budva. Upon entering it, you immediately feel as if being in one of Game of Thrones episodes. Old stone houses with wooden shutters steal your glances all the times.
Lined up on narrow streets and alleys, cradling wonderful, colorful shops, you get the feeling as if in a fairy tale. There are numerous bars and restaurants if you wish to freshen up in between walks. Inside there is also a museum, churches, a library, the Roman ruins... Be warned. Prices are a bit spicier than outside of it. There is a part of the town's walls, where through a narrow, stone arch you exit right into an amazing sandy beach.
This is a small islet and a 5- star hotel resort, about 6 km southeast of Budva. It is quite attractive when you spot it from the distance and looks like a real jewel in the sea.
The thing is, you cannot enter inside if you are not guest of the hotel. All those houses you see on the islet are under one management and they all function as a ... hotel. There is a beach (on the left of it) free of charge, while the one on the right is reserved for the guests of the hotel and if you want to have the pleasure of sunbathing here - they will charge you - believe it or not - 100 hundred (in words!!) euros! And you can see here, the beach is almost empty, while the other one was pretty crowded.
After seeing Budva, I thought I've seen it all. But, boy! Was I wrong! Secluded in the Bay of Kotor, this picturesque town will take your breath away!
We visited Kotor on our way back home, so we just drove along both sides of the bay with stops to admire nature and have drinks, so I cannot recommend anything specific, although I have read an interesting post about things you can do there.
The town that stole my heart. Would you believe that I am still longing for it. Watch the pictures on my phone repeatedly, wishing to return there again!
I've read that it is looks like a small chunk from Venice that has floated down the Adriatic and anchored itself in the Bay of Kotor. And the description fits it perfectly.
A few kilometers from Kotor, the small town of Perast greets you with a shine. It slopes down from a highway into the waterfront. And there is only one main street! But that one street is lined up with the most beautiful, memorable stone palaces and piazzas.
The two most famous landmarks of Perast are actually not on land. Those are the island churches - one natural, the other man-made. The natural island hosts a monastery that is off limits for tourists, and the man-made one embraces the church called Our Lady of the Rocks, over 600 years of age . The church is also a museum worth visiting. We didn't visit it. Instead we stuck to the shore and enjoyed our walk around town. The prices of bars and restaurants are normal and not as dear as one would expect of such an exclusive town.
As I close this quite lengthy post, I have just one wish. To return to Perast once more!