Perched next to Croatia on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a hidden gem in the Balkans Peninsula.
This is a small, but perfectly formed country with a population of just 600,000, which joins East and West while boasting a glorious coastline.
Often overshadowed by its Croatian neighbour, you should definitely look into cheap holidays to Montenegro to go and bask in its under-rated beauty.
Let’s whet your appetite by learning the story behind Montenegro and what spots you should visit.
History in a nutshell
There’s a long and fascinating history behind this little place. The Illyrians first settled here back in 1000 BC and the Roman Empire came along to help ward off Greeks a few thousand years later. They settled down but were soon broken up by the Goths, Avars and Slavs. These split into groups to form many of the Balkan towns you see today!
The Ottomans took over in the 15th century, but war broke out with Turkey and Montenegro achieved a short-lived independence in the 19th century. After an invasion in WWII, it was established as a Republic of Communist Yugoslavia and went on to join Serbia as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Montenegro finally declared its independence in 2006 and today it is becoming a bit of a hot spot.
The stretch of coastline has enticed a gradual increase of tourists over the last decade. Idyllic towns are scattered along it with accommodation for explorers.
Kotor has a certain Dubrovnik vibe with a marina full of yachts bobbing on blue waters. Stay dry in the quaint town or take a boat out around Kotor Bay to take in the toy town sight. It’s such a wonderful area that it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Budva is a resort style coastal area, complete with sand beaches and an old town. It’s a very pretty place but make sure you visit before development makes it too touristy. The nightlife can get lively too, with a line of beachfront bars inviting guests to let your hair down.
Perast is a tiny town reminiscent of Venice, where you can hop on a boat and sail to Our Lady Rocks and St. George Island in the Adriatic Sea. On land, St Nicholas’ Church is an incomplete 17th-century church with a museum and 55m bell tower to climb up.
Back to Nature
As well as picturesque coastal towns, there is a lot of greenery and land to be covered during your stay.
Durmitor National Park is a dramatic park next to Zabljak Crnojevica, carved from ice and water to create peaks that soar to 2000m altitude. It is a UNESCO site that is home to around 50 types of mammals and 163 bird species. Whether you want to go for a hike or simply take a wander around, there are incredible sights to be seen.
Venture into one of the caves and grottos at Durmitor, like the Vjetrena brda cavern. This is the deepest cave in Montenegro, measuring 775 metres deep. The Ledena pecina (Icy Grotto) is another deep and dark nook worth visiting, with an ‘icy museum’ adjoined.
With such a rich tapestry of history and remarkable landscapes to boot, it’s no surprise that Montenegro is such an alluring country. Get yourself there before the secret is out.
Bio: Jane Grant is a traveler and especially enjoys experience rare and unusual sights of the world. She’s also an unashamed foodie and tries as many new dishes as possible when traveling