If you visit my blog more often, you probably know that we’ve spent our summer holiday in Montenegro last year. It was an incredible vacation, just like the country itself. It’s not very common (yet) around here to go on a vacation to Montenegro and that’s exactly why we wanted to go. To be honest, back in 2014, my blogger-crush Kenza Zouiten went to Montenegro and I told my mom that I wanted to go there someday. 5 Years later, I finally got to go! Lately, I’ve been receiving so many questions about our holiday in Montenegro that I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post about everything you need to know!
I’ve traveled quite a lot around the world, but Montenegro was such a surprisingly beautiful destination. I never expected it to be this versatile. Lots of people are still asking us how did we ever come up with Montenegro for a holiday destination. But I’m so glad we did, and with this blog post, I hope to inspire more people to explore it!
Depending on what city you’ll be staying in, you can either choose to fly to Tivat in Montenegro or fly to Dubrovnik in Croatia. Herceg Novi in Montenegro was our home for the two weeks, so Dubrovnik was not only geographically (1-hour drive) a great option but also financially. Flying from Amsterdam to Tivat is not very common and therefore very pricy. To drive from Tivat to Herceg Novi takes also 1-hour only if you’re able to catch the ferry between Lepetani and Kamenari. Otherwise, you’ll be spending some more time on the road to get there. I’ll explain the ferry later in this blog post. Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, can also be your best choice to fly to if you’ll stay in the area around Petrovac or Bar.
Firstly, my advice is to rent a car if you’ll visit Montenegro. That way you’ll be able to explore the entire country and see as much as it has to offer. As we decided to fly to Dubrovnik, we picked up our rental car straight at the airport. Because we would travel cross-border, we were obligated to purchase an additional document for €42. Otherwise, you can’t cross the border with your car, so let the rental agency know when you’ll be crossing borders!
When you’re vacationing in Montenegro, you definitely won’t be bored. We were staying in Herceg Novi, and for us, that was a great base. From there we’ve visited lots of villages among the Bay of Kotor and beyond. I will write a separate blog post on things to do in Montenegro but some of the ancient and medieval places you cannot miss are Perast, Kotor, Rose, and Budva. Of course, the magnificent city of Dubrovnik in Croatia is also closeby, I wrote a city guide on that here. Except for the amazing views of the coastlines, I didn’t think Petrovac and Bar were worth the drive all down south.
Oh, don’t even get me started on the nature in Montenegro. It has such beautiful versatile landscapes! As the name of the country already hints: it has many mountains. Along the Bay of Kotor, you’ll get this Mediterranean, even Venice-like, vibe with lots of beautiful flowers and turquoise clear waters. As we drove to the Durmitor National Park, we entered a landscape that could’ve also been Austria during the winter break. So different! Later on, we saw so many beautiful lakes. When we finally entered Durmitor and visited The Black Lake, we actually had the feeling like we were in Canada. It was breathtakingly beautiful.
One of the questions I received often was about the food we were being served there. And I totally get it, it’s one of the most important aspects of the vacation. But when you’re visiting Montenegro you don’t need to worry about the cuisine. Fish, vegetables, meat, salads, pizza and lots of Italian influences are what you’ll find there.
When Christiaan and I are traveling, we hardly spent any time at the beach. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE the beach. But we also want to see as much as possible. We went a bit overboard with that ambition when we were visiting Sicily back in 2018, we came back home a little exhausted. So we decided that this time we would give us relaxation days after we’ve been on the road. We mostly chilled on Lazure Beach, it was a newly landscaped beach near our apartment. The people were so friendly, the beach was clean and quiet, the food was great and there were clean toilets too. But Montenegro has many versatile beaches, sand, pebbles, rocks, even concrete haha. But the waters are clean and clear as ever. It has even some lagoons you can visit!
Montenegro is a popular holiday destination among Balkan inhabitants. We really had the feeling that the beauty of the country wasn’t discovered by the West-Europeans just yet, and that was just the most delightful thing.
In my opinion, the roads and signs are all in good condition in Montenegro. We didn’t have any kind of trouble at all. There’s a lot of police on the road too. Other than that, the Montenegrins are insane behind the steering wheel! They will overtake in a bend at any time. Also, keep in mind that you won’t find any highways in the area of the Bay of Kotor. The speed is very limited, so it will take time to get to certain places. I think we drove about 2000 kilometers when we were there, but we never exceeded the pace of 80 km/h. It’s best if you don’t exceed the limit in Montenegro, the police will give you a ticket very easily by even the least exceedance. As I mentioned the ferry between Kamenari and Lepetani at the top of this blog post, this service is very useful. To enter the ferry by car, the one-way fee is around €5. It takes only 10 minutes to get to the other side of the shore, this way you’ll skip the entire road among the Bay of Kotor.
By sharing these stories I hope it answers a lot of curiosity about Montenegro as a vacay destination. I know I would love to go back any time soon! What do you think, would you love to visit Montenegro?
What will your next travel destination be?