This week I'm staying with the holiday and escapism theme! Following on from my last post about Dubrovnik (which you can read here) and before I take you further into our Croatian adventure and along the coast to Split, I wanted to share a little about the beautiful country of Montenegro. Somewhere that is within very easy reach when staying in Dubrovnik in Croatia.
Now we only visited Montenegro for a day on an excursion with Viator that left from Dubrovnik. So by no means do I profess to be the oracle on everything that this country has to offer. Instead I'd love to share a few photos from our visit that may entice you to make your own trip one day. From what we found during our tour there, this is a very beautiful place with an awful lot to offer for anyone looking to explore. We would certainly consider going back here as a destination in itself for a future overseas excursion.
Our tour set off fairly early with an 8am collection from our hotel. We joined a small and comfortable mini bus of around 10 other travellers and a very helpful and informative guide. The journey to the border takes just under an hour from Dubrovnik. From there we headed straight for Budva as our first stop - the tour actually ran in reverse to what is stated on the Viator website. Budva is the furthest destination on the itinerary from which we made our way back to Dubrovnik stopping in at the other spots along the way.
A LITTLE BIT OF BUDVA
Budva, pictured above and in the next few photos, is kind of like a smaller version of Duvbrovnik. With its own walled old town (Stari Grad) it is a balance of beautiful old architecture and historic monuments against a little bit, but so far not too much, of the new in the form of welcoming waterfront hotels and modern restaurants in which to rest and stay.
With 17 beaches stretching along its 21 km of coastline it certainly has a lot of incredible beauty to offer its visitors. There are many lovely local places to dine on fresh mussels (there is an abundance in this area) and other delicious seafood as you take in the stunning views.
Lose yourself for a fair few hours as your wander the cobbled streets of the old town, soaking up the sun and the history around you. Or take a break in one of the little bays and soak up the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It really is a treat of a stop on any trip to Montenegro.
ALONG THE COAST TO KOTOR
Our next stop was the stunning town of Kotor. Nestled neatly in between a raft of mountains and the beautiful bay this is also a must visit as far as I'm concerned! As dramatic mountains rise above the history laying below, you'll have plenty to discover as you take a walk around the stone streets and hidden passages of this incredibly pretty town.
Kotor offers remarkable views if you have the energy to make the climb up the fortified town walls that remain from the 9th century. Or if that seems a little too drastic, especially on a very hot day, then take the time to explore the medieval architecture below in the beauty of the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage site and quite right too!
PRETTINESS AND PIZZA IN PERAST!
As the day began to draw to a close we made a final stop in the old town of Perast which nestles further along in the Bay of Kotor.
Here we took the weight off our feet and sat by the waters edge with a drink and a slice of very delectable pizza! Watching the sun as it started to make its way down and glisten over the water stretching out in front of us. After a wander around the town we were well and truly ready to make our way back to Dubrovnik after a whistle stop, but wonderful insight, into such a beautiful country.
We booked our trip online with Viator and I would highly recommend using them as they were fantastic. You will however see a number of options in and around Dubrovnik with other tour companies offering very similar day tours, which I imagine are equally good.
The currency in Montenegro is Euro so it's worth having some with you if you plan to go, or exchanging a few Croatian Kuna before you leave. Montenegro prices are incredibly reasonable, cheaper than Croatia, so paying on a card is really kind of a fruitless effort.
If you aren't a fan of pre-arranged group tours then you could head over to Montenegro yourself in your hire car. The roads are incredibly good and the border crossing relatively fuss free (as long as you don't forget your passport!). I don't know whether you would be able to fit quite as much in if you're navigating yourself and that's why I think this is a nice and relaxed way to get a taste of the country and learn from your guide as you go along. Sometimes a tour works wonders when you're short on time but still keen to learn a little about a place that you might not otherwise get the chance to visit.
Whatever your preference this is a country that's well worth a look. If you get the chance to add it to your itinerary then please do!
What are your thoughts on Montenegro? Have you been or is it on your travel list for the future?