Old Town of Budva, Montenegro Travel Guide

Montenegro

Montenegro Travel Guide

Montenegro (Crna Gora) is a young Balkan country situated on the Adriatic Sea between Croatia, Bosnia, Albania, and Serbia. Though small in size, Montenegro has everything: scenic beaches, gorgeous mountains, and charming towns.

We absolutely loved our time in Montenegro and consider it one of our top travel destinations to date. From the very beginning to the very end, we encountered unparalleled scenery, kind hospitality, and delicious food. In this guide, we’re going to introduce you to our favorite things to do, so you can plan a perfect European holiday in Montenegro. To find out how we planned our trip, read this day by day Montenegro itinerary.

 

When to Visit Montenegro

Shoulder Season: June or September. In high season (July and August), coastal destinations ge congested. However, if you journey inland, you’ll discover many untouristed places. We visited the first two weeks in September, which proved to be a perfect time of year to travel to Montenegro. The weather was perfect for hiking and enjoying the beaches.

 
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Montenegro Travel Guide - Where to go, what to experience, what to eat

Montenegro Travel Guide Overview

  • Montenegro Travel Basics
  • Where to Go in Montenegro
  • What to Experience in Montenegro
  • What to Eat & Drink in Montenegro
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Montenegro Travel Basics

Official Name: Crna Gora

Capital:  Podgorica

Government: Parliamentary Republic

Regions: Montenegro is divided into 3 regions: Coastal, Central and Northern.

Population: 629,305

Language: Montenegrin

Currency: Euro

Tipping Etiquette: 10% on bills.

Water Quality: Varies. In the mountains, the water is sourced from springs and is okay to drink. In older cities and towns, we recommend drinking filtered water.

Something Interesting: Though Montenegro uses the Euro as its de-facto currency, it doesn’t actually have an official agreement with the EU. So, Montenegro cannot mint, issue or print euro coins or notes itself.

 
Ulcinj, Montenegro Travel Guide

Where to Go in Montenegro

Top Destinations in Montenegro

Below, you’ll find a map with all the top destinations in Montenegro. For a curated list of our favorite places, read our Best Places to Visit in Montenegro.

Destinations
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The part of the Adriatic Coast belonging to Montenegro is the purest part of the Mediterranean.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jacques Cousteau

(Photograph: Sveti Stefan)

What to Experience in Montenegro

Our favorite things to see and do
Prokletije National Park, Montenegro Travel Guide
Prokletije National Park

Hiking in Prokletije, the Accursed Mountains

Montenegro’s best-kept secret is Prokletije National Park. Most travelers who seek epic mountain scenery and beautiful hiking trails go to Durmitor National Park (more on Durmitor later). Very few people venture into the Prokletije mountains, which form the southernmost part of the Dinaric Alps. This corner of eastern Montenegro neighboring Albania is without a doubt one of the most majestic places in all of Europe, and no one knows about it …yet.

We recommend using Grebaje Valley (Dolina Grebjaje) as a base for 2-3 nights. Dolina Grebaje is 7 km from the town Gusinje. This scenic narrow valley has a few accommodation options and restaurants, but most importantly it’s the trailhead for some of the most stunning hikes in the region.

From a transit perspective, it’s tough to get here via public transit. We recommend renting a car to access this hidden gem.

To learn more about your hiking options, read our guide to hiking in Prokletije National Park.

 
Mogren Beach, Budva Riviera, Montenegro Travel Guide
Mogren Beach

Montenegro’s Beaches

Exploring Montenegro’s Adriatic Coast is the reason why most people travel here. With 117 beaches to choose from, you’re spoiled with choice. Do you love long sandy beaches? Or, do you prefer scenic rocky coves? Here are our favorite beaches.

  • Family-Friendly: Pržno plaža in Przno (Budva Riviera)
  • Hidden Gem: Rijeka Reževići (Budva Riviera)
  • Scenic: Mogren in Budva
  • Kite-Surfing: Long Beach in Ulcinj
  • Women-Only: Ladies Beach in Ulcinj
 
Durmitor National Park, Top Experiences in Montenegro
Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park

In our (not so) humble opinion, Durmitor National Park should be the #1 priority on any Montenegro Itinerary. From exhilarating peak hikes to deep forest walks, there’s something here for everyone. If you have a rental car, Drive the scenic road between Žabljak and Piva Lake: P14 Žabljak – Trsa – Plužine. It’s sensational! 

The mountain formations are the most unique feature of the park. Some mountains reminded us of the Dolomites, while others of Iceland. Each peak seems to be its own fabled character frozen in time eons ago.

We recommend basing yourself in the town of Žabljak. We stayed there for three nights but honestly could have stayed longer. If you’re visiting Durmitor without a car, stay in the town center. You can walk to the National Park entrance directly from the center of town.

To find out where to hike, read our Durmitor National Park Hiking Guide.

 
Farm Stay in Prokletije National Park, Montenegro Travel Guide
Farm Stay in Prokletije National Park

Farm Stays

A wonderful way to experience authentic Montenegrin life is by booking a farm stay. We stayed in two farms stays, giving us a unique glimpse into rural life in the Accursed Mountains and coastal life in Lustica Peninsula. 

Use the platform Meanderbug to find and book farm stays in Montenegro. When you make your booking, you can opt for dinner, breakfast and often a packed lunch. Definitely opt for dinner and breakfast, because you’ll receive homemade food made just for you.

 
Rijeka Reževići Beach, Montenegro Travel Guide - Top Experiences

What to Eat & Drink in Montenegro

Montenegro’s cuisine is heavily influenced by neighboring countries as well as Italy and Turkey. You’ll find Balkan standards like shopska salad and cevapi on every menu. You’ll also see bakeries selling freshly-made burek just about everywhere. Though the cuisine isn’t remarkably unique, the freshness and quality of the food is something to be celebrated. Many restaurants we visited served up their own homemade cheeses, cured meats, olives, and wines.

Along the coast, fresh seafood and Mediterranean-style dishes play prominently on the menu. As you venture further inland, meat (especially lamb) plays a more central role in rural cuisine.

 

Montenegrin Delicacies

 

Njeguški pršut (Njegusi Proscuitto) – dry-cured ham similar to Italian Prosciutto. This traditionally dry-cured ham is made in Njegusi village, which is a 45-minute drive inland from Kotor. The curing process involves packing pig hind legs in salt for three weeks, then pressing and drying the legs for another two weeks to remove excess liquid, followed by four months of smoking, and finally five to eight months of maturing. The whole process takes one year. Locals credit the unique flavor and aroma of their cured ham to the mixture of beechwood smoke, sea salt, and mountain air. Njeguški pršut is typically served thinly sliced and accompanied with local cheeses and olives.

 

Montenegrin Cuisine

 

Šopska salata (Shopska salad) – Cold salad made with cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and white brine cheese. This is a popular dish throughout the Balkans and it’s sometimes called a Bulgarian salad.

 

Pita sa krompirom (potato), Pita sa zeljem (greens), Pita sa sirom (cheese) – Pies filled with various fillings.

 

Kukuruzne projice – Cornbread muffins made with corn, wheat, and cheese and cream. This is a delicious and filling snack!

 

Boranjia – Bean Soup

 
Durmitor National Park - Montenegro Travel Guide

Montenegro Travel Resources

There are some affiliate links in this travel guide. If you make a booking or a purchase using the links, we’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s how we cover the costs of running the blog!

@moonhoneytravelers
  • Alta Via 1.  We just finished hiking the Alta Via 1 - a multi-day trek in the Italian Dolomites. And, it was an adventure we’ll never forget.  The first two days of the trek, we hiked in pouring rain. With no mountain views and poor weather conditions, we tried our best to keep our spirits up.  On Day 3, we set off once again in rain. After a few hours on the trail, it started to snow. The smart thing would have been to turn back and secure a taxi to the next rifugio. But, we kept going. As we progressed, it became increasingly more difficult to find the trail. The snow was covering up the trail markers and the wind swept away the footprints of other hikers. We lost the trail several times.  The snow that was floating down ever so gently as first turned into a no-bullshit blizzard. We were soaking wet, increasingly numb, and at a complete loss of where to go. I started crying. With no one in site and no idea where the hut was, we started to freak out.  At this point, we were physically shaking. We took a few me minutes to regroup in a WWI cave. Sheltered from the blowing snow, we could locate where we were on Maps.me.  We found the trail and willed our frozen bodies into motion. When we saw Lagazuoi hut, we felt a tidal wave of relief.  After ringing out everything from our shirts to our underwear and changing into warm clothes, we drank 2 liters of hot tea and then met the most amazing group of women! Thank you Chris, Sigi, Jo and Susie for the wonderful company, conversations, and shared meals.  @susielambie @jored7  Photo: 2 days after the storm.
  • 2 years ago Kati and I visited the Dolomites for the first time.  It was a whirlwind of a trip, as we were relocating from Cologne to Vienna. We drove through Germany’s Black Forest, Switzerland’s Appenzell region, across the Dolomites and finally into Austria.  During our time in the Dolomites, we experienced our very first hut to hut hike. Until that point, multi-day hiking was a vague, intimidating concept. After our short 3-day trek around Sexten, we were hooked. And, looking back, it’s easy to say that that trip really changed our lives.  We’re finally back in the Dolomites. This time we’re here to hike the Alta Via 1.
  • The pearl of the Rätikon.  Our recent hike around the Rätikon Alps started and ended here. During our trek, we saw almost every vantage point of this lake.  We just published our 5-day hiking itinerary (link in bio). We also included suggested 3 and 4-day routes, if you have less time.  https://moonhoneytravel.com/europe/austria/raetikon-high-trail/
  • Rätikon.  This beautiful limestone mountain range straddles the border between Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.  We just wrapped up a 5 day hike around the range, overnighting in Austrian and Swiss mountain huts along the way.  We’ll be sharing our itinerary on the blog very soon. Until then, happy hiking dear friends.
  • Berliner Höhenweg (Berlin High Trail)  We just finished trekking the Berlin High Trail in Tyrol, Austria.  This gorgeous alpine route showcases the finest mountain and glacier vistas of the Zillertal Alps. It’s an extraordinary adventure replete with challenging ascents and descents, rustic and grand mountain huts, and bell-wearing cows and sheep.  Our trekking experience was filled with indescribable beauty, hearty Austrian food, agonizing and dangerous descents in rain, physical pain (follow our stories for details), and a stolen iPad. 
Some days were extraordinary. Other days were quite good. And one day was utterly miserable. That’s life in a nutshell, right? Cheers to living the good days, the okay days and the bad ones too.
  • I want to share with you one of my favorite German words.  Genießer/Genießerin is a person who delights and takes pleasure in living. It’s someone who enjoys and relishes the present moment completely. It can be applied broadly, whether someone enjoys reading, drinking a cappuccino, hiking, or cycling. The connotation of this type of pleasure is wholly positive.  There is no direct translation in the English language. In English, too much pleasure is perceived as a negative. We use words like glutton, hedonist, libertine to describe people who take (too much) pleasure in certain things. In English, pleasure must be restrained. Without such restraint, pleasure isn’t “good,” but marred with sin.  Would you define yourself as a Genießer/Genießerin?

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