10 Apr Montenegro, You Surprised Me!

In all honesty, my knowledge of Montenegro before I arrived was pretty minimal.  

I knew it was small. I knew it was part of the former Yugoslavia, and that it used to enter the Eurovision Song Contest under ‘Serbia and Montenegro’. I’d heard whispers of pumping nightlife from Australians who had passed through on their tours of Europe. That’s about it.

The nice thing about visiting a place you know very little about, is that you can be pleasantly surprised when you get there.

And boy, did this country surprise me. Montenegro had me saying the words ‘wow’, ‘beautiful’ and ‘stunning’ over and over again.

I was taken aback by the beauty of the place, and also by how chic and glamorous it was. Whilst neighbouring Croatia basks in the limelight, Montenegro seems to have been lying under the radar- yet for many years the country was a popular vacation spot for A-list celebrities and VIPs. In its 1970’s heyday, Montenegro’s Sveti Stefan was a playground for famous guests such as Sophia Lauren, Sylvester Stalone, Claudia Schiffer and Princess Margaret. Since the country obtained independence in 2006, Montenegro seems to be making a comeback, and more recently, Hollywood couple Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt paid a short visit.

I had no preconceived ideas of Montenegro, but it definitely exceeded my expectations. After a few days exploring Montenegro’s coastline, here’s what I know now…

Crystal Clear Water

So many places are described as having ‘crystal clear water’ that the phrase starts to lose meaning, but Montenegro really did have crystal clear water. And oh how the sea was sparkly- it looked like someone had sprinkled fairy dust all over it!

Sparkly Water in Montenegro

The sparkliest water I’ve ever seen

From beaches…to mountains

I love the way you can be on the beach one minute, and in the mountains the next. This whole region is incredibly mountainous, providing a spectacular backdrop everywhere you go. Beach bums can spend the day sunbathing, relaxing and swimming in the Adriatic, whilst adventurous travellers can pursue outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking and climbing.

Beach at Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Pretty Beaches

Montenegro Mountains

Hiking the ridge

Picturesque towns

During my time in Montenegro I visited two coastal towns- Budva and Kotor. Both had pretty old towns, with narrow streets, Orthodox churches and medieval buildings, ideal for strolling or sitting outside a cafe doing some people watching.

Kotor Town

Kotor Town

Scenery that makes you go ‘wow’

Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor is known as ‘Europe’s southernmost fjord’ because of its fjord-like appearance, but it’s really a submerged river canyon of the disintegrated Bokelj River. Either way, it’s an incredibly beautiful bay, dotted with medieval towns and surrounded by majestic mountains.

Montenegro Scenery

Majestic Scenery

Plenty of relaxation

One of the first things I noticed about Montenegro when I stepped off the plane in Tivat Airport, was how peaceful it is. Taking a boat trip on the Bay of Kotor on a sunny day surrounded by beautiful scenery, was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had. It was the kind of day that had me thinking, ‘does it ever get better than this?’

Boat Trip to Our Lady of the Rocks in Montenegro

Relaxing boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks

A drop of something warming…

I discovered that the Montenegrin people really like their fire water. At every meal, and even breakfast, I was offered their home grown plum brandy, or Rakia, which is more or less just pure ethanol in a nice decanter. I also soon established that their red wine tastes better than their white!

Medica Rakia in Montenegro

Anyone for Rakia?

Memorable Sunsets

Since Montenegro faces West, it gets incredible sunsets- the kind that make you want to pull over by the side of the road to take a photo. I’ve taken many photos of sunsets, but this one has to be up near the top.

Sunset in Montenegro

Sunset from Vila Vita

Enormous food portions!

Perhaps the most prominent memory I’ll take away from Montenegro though, was the food. Half the time I felt like I was in an episode of the TV show Man vs Food, except swap the slightly chubby male presenter for a 5′ 1″ female, and the mile long sandwich for a gigantic platter of seafood. 

Seafood platter in Montenegro

One of many, many courses

I’d like to thank Explore Montenegro for hosting me in Montenegro. While this trip was sponsored, opinions are my own. Visit their website for more information about their Montenegro villa holidays at www.exploremontenegro.com

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Victoria Brewood
victoria@pommietravels.com

Hi I'm Victoria, a British girl from Manchester. After graduating from university I decided there was more to life than the hours between 9 and 5, so I packed my journalism degree into my suitcase to travel the world and find a way to make money at the same time. I now call London home, although I still travel whenever I can. I hope to inspire you to be your own boss, live life and see the world.

7 Comments
  • Claudia
    Posted at 06:08h, 11 April Reply

    This country looks amazing!

  • Dilanka
    Posted at 07:01h, 13 April Reply

    Victoria,

    Gorgeous pics. Fantastic recap.

    See ya on the road 🙂

    Dilanka

  • Carine @ Catareos | Montenegro
    Posted at 20:13h, 13 April Reply

    Beautiful pictures Victoria!
    And nice blog.
    Montenegro is indeed stunning.
    I used to be an avid traveller too, but stopped when I discovered this place and settled here. There is everything here, and even more.
    🙂
    Cheers!

  • Vaishali
    Posted at 11:36h, 24 April Reply

    Fantastic blog!

    I’m off to Montenegro next month, with side trips to Dubrovnik and Mostar….Very excited!

    Your pictures are amazing. Could I ask what camera you are using? as i’m looking to purchase a new one for my travels.

    Thank you 🙂

    • victoria
      Posted at 18:00h, 26 April Reply

      Vaishall i’m using a Nikon D80 purchased on ebay! Not too expensive.

    • nnfjfjf
      Posted at 23:12h, 31 March Reply

      Hey, I read that you will be visiting. If you do do not forget to visit Skadar lake, MOuntain Lovćen’s mausoleum, Kotor, Budva, Cetinje and the black lake with Tara river canyon (the second deepest in the world). Those are absokutely must see places and all of them will leave you speachless. If you visit Cetinje I would be glad to show you around.

  • Andjela
    Posted at 16:50h, 27 November Reply

    Hey, Im from Montenegro and reading ur article and all nice things u sad about my country makes me so happy!

    I hope u come to visit Montenegro again, i will suggest city that i come from call Niksic, its not very popular city but it also have some good value.

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