The Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Montenegro

Perast, in the Bay of Kotor, is one of Montenegro's most handsome towns
Perast, in the Bay of Kotor, is one of Montenegro's most handsome towns | © PaulPaladin / Alamy Stock Photo

Don’t say it too loudly, but Montenegro might just be the most beautiful of all the Balkan countries. It is difficult to argue with that statement when faced with the irresistible nature and exquisite towns that often seem hidden between the mountains and valleys of the nation. Montenegro possesses some of the most incredible natural attributes of any state in Europe, with verdant countryside that blends with divine towns to create something truly breathtaking and unique. Picking out the most beautiful destinations in a beautiful country isn’t easy, but someone has to do it. Here’s our collection of Montenegro’s finest.

Kotor

Natural Feature
Map View
Classic panorama view of the historic Church of Our Lady of Remedy overlooking the old town of Kotor and world-famous Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
© Scott Wilson / Alamy Stock Photo
It takes a little bit of drama to create something truly breathtaking, and Kotor has spectacle in spades. This fortified beauty is Montenegro’s centrepiece, a seaside spot full of narrow streets and hidden corners, an energetic town sitting in the shadow of the imposing Mount Lovćen. Now one of the most popular destinations along the entire Adriatic coast, Kotor deserves every single tourist it gets. Those able to scale the 1,350 steps to the top of the fortifications are in for a particularly special treat.

Ostrog Monastery

Monastery
Map View
Ostrog monastery - Montenegro. Image shot 10/2018. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Sticking with drama, does it get any more dramatic than a monastery built against an almost vertical backdrop? The Ostrog monastery is the most popular pilgrimage site in the country and it isn’t difficult to understand why. A stunning combination of human ingenuity and natural magnificence, Ostrog is a sight that few will forget in a hurry. This is as miraculous as Montenegro gets.

Lake Skadar

Park
Map View
Two small vessels on an indigo tropical looking beach. Scenic view from Skadar Lake, Montenegro
© Werner Lerooy / Alamy Stock Photo
Located on the Montenegrin border with Albania, Lake Skadar is another in the long line of arresting Balkan lakes. It also happens to be the largest in the region, a vast area of tranquil beauty and genuine peace. Two-thirds of the lake lies in Montenegro, and at times it feels a little like a world within itself. The story goes that the lake was created with the tears of the pixie, and we see no reason to doubt the validity of that claim.

Njegoš Mausoleum

Shrine
Map View
Montenegro, Lovcen National Park, Njegos Mausoleum
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
The gigantic frame of Petar II Petrović-Njegoš stands tall over the history and culture of Montenegro, so it is only apt that his mausoleum is located on one of the highest peaks in the Lovćen range. You don’t need to be an avid traveller to understand the views from up here are definitely of the breathtaking variety. It was here that George Bernard Shaw famously asked whether or not he was on the moon; you can certainly see his point.

Perast

Architectural Landmark
Map View
Perast, Montenegro
© Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo
A short 12km (7mi) drive north of Kotor is an even smaller town that might rival its neighbour when it comes to beauty. Empires fought over Perast for centuries and it is easy to believe that they did so in desire of its aesthetic qualities as opposed to geographical position. Its two nearby islets deserve mention in this list too and there are few more idyllic spots than the exquisitely named Our Lady of the Rocks. The less than 350 people who live here can consider themselves very lucky indeed.

Black Lake

Park
Map View
Black Lake, Crno jezero, Durmitor National Park, Zabljak Province, Montenegro
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo
The most popular part of the unbelievable Durmitor National Park, the Black Lake is one of 18 glacial bodies of water found within the park. It is easily accessible, although visitors can be forgiven for feeling like they should have conquered something to arrive there. The view of the mountains rising in the distance is particularly stunning.

Sveti Stefan

Architectural Landmark
Map View
The public beach located next to the islet with luxury hotel complex, Sveti Stefan Montenegro
© eFesenko / Alamy Stock Photo
No matter how many photographs of it you see, nothing quite prepares you for the incredible sight of Montenegro’s Sveti Stefan. A tiny island village connected to the mainland by an equally iconic causeway, this collection of villas is as exclusive as the Balkans gets, so don’t expect to explore it unless you are willing to pay for the privilege. Like most views, however, the true value is in gawping it from afar, taking in what is arguably the most inspiring image in the entire country.

Ulcinj

Art Gallery, Mosque, Museum
Map View
Ulcinj town, bay and beach. Image shot 08/2018. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Much like Novi Pazar in neighbouring Serbia, Ulcinj is the place to go if you’re looking for a little bit of Ottoman culture in Montenegro. Minarets dot the landscape whilst the appearance of flamingos gives the whole place a unique flavour. The old town also offers something different to the rest of Montenegro architecturally, showcasing the varied beauty of this remarkable country.

Tara River Canyon

Natural Feature
Map View
Tara River Canyon, Montenegro. Image shot 10/2014. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
The Balkans is home to Europe’s most jaw-dropping borders and the one between Montenegro and Bosnia does not disappoint. The Tara River Canyon provides some serious excitement, an astonishing piece of nature that nosedives 1,300m (4,265ft) down to the river. The water itself is impossibly blue, its beauty amplified by the dense forests that hem it in. Truly phenomenal.

Stari Bar

Ruins
Map View
Stari Bar (Old Bar), Montenegro, the different view of the ancient city fortress, an open-air museum and the largest Medieval archaeological site
© yos_moes / Alamy Stock Photo
Modern-day Bar might not match its seaside neighbours in the beauty stakes, but the old town is another sensational sight in Montenegro’s arsenal. Located at the foot of Mount Rumija, Stari Bar was abandoned at the end of the 1970s after a massive earthquake, but people have returned in the years since. It is easy to see why they were so eager to get back here with an arresting collection of stone buildings and medieval architecture on show.
These recommendations were updated on May 26, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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