The small, coastal country of Montenegro is known for its impressive natural beauty and wide array of activities, and travelers are pleasantly surprised by the fact that most of its important sites can be discovered within a few days. Whether you’re a nature-lover, beach-lounger, or adrenaline addict, Montenegro is a destination that fulfills the highest of expectations, and we’ve complied a list of the top 10 things to do and see.
Tara River rafting is probably the most popular activity in Montenegro and it’s easy to see why. Winding through the imposing mountains of northern Montenegro, Tara River, also known as the Tear of Europe, forms the deepest canyon in Europe and one of the deepest in the world, and travelers from across the globe come here to witness this natural phenomenon. Boasting crystal-clear waters, the most beautiful shades of blue, and the crown jewel that is Djurdjevića Tara Bridge, Tara River offers the most unique rafting experience one could hope for.
Durmitor National Park is one of Montenegro’s greatest features and one of the world’s best locations for trekking, hiking, climbing and rafting. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Durmitor is home to Tara River, Nevidio canyon, 18 glacier lakes, dense forests, amazing fauna and flora, and incredible mountain peaks – the highest looming at 1523 meters at Bobotov Kuk. As long and exhausting as the hike to the top may be, it is extremely rewarding and one of the most appealing trails in Montenegro. Other sites not to be missed are the peaks at Meded and Prutas, the Skrcka lakes, and the ice cave.
With almost 120 days of snow a year, Montenegro is a winter sports paradise during the colder months. Ski resorts in Montenegro sit atop summits as high as 2181 meters and in total there are over 20 kilometers of slopes to whiz down. The most popular ski resorts are Savin Kuk, located on Durmitor mountain, and Kolasin 1450, located on Bjelasica mountain.
One of the best way to experience Montenegro’s wilderness is by taking a magical boat tour of Lake Skadar – the largest lake in southern Europe and one of the continent’s last truly wild wonders. Depending on your desired level of excitement, you can visit ancient island prisons and monasteries, chill out on a private beach, swim in the crystal-clear waters, explore the National Park and bird reserves, or simply enjoy the views on deck.
Lovcen is no mere mountain – it is a sacred place for Montenegrins, rising majestically above the ancient coastal town of Kotor and standing at the core of their national identity. At the top of Lovcen sits a mausoleum where Petar II Petrovic-Njegoš, the greatest Montenegrin ruler and poet, is buried. It is a most impressive monument, built on Lake Crest – a location Njegoš himself chose for his eternal resting ground.
Boka Bay is the southernmost bay in Europe and among the most stunning. Above the narrow coastline lies a chain of mountains with rocky cliffs, and the bay below naturally divides into four smaller bays – Herceg Novi, Risan, Kotor and Tivat. Majestic summits and pristine waters aside, small, seaside cities rich in history and culture dot the coastline.
When in Boka Bay, be sure to visit its small, magical core, Kotor town. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Kotor is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and for good reason. Its narrow streets, quaint squares and stone buildings with small balconies showcase a rich cultural past, leaving a striking impression. Enjoy a stroll in the Old Town and don’t forget to climb the walls over the fortress for a grand view of the bay below.
Budva city has a number of exciting things to explore, including coves, cliffs, islands, reefs and 17 amazing, sandy beaches! Be sure to check out Jaz beach, one of the three largest beaches on the Montenegrin coast; Becici, awarded the most beautiful Mediterranean beach; and Kamenovo, a beach with clear, turquoise waters surrounded by mountains.
Ulcinj is the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast, known for its idyllic beaches. Stay in the picturesque Old Town of Ulcinj and relax on the sandy shores of Long Beach – as the name implies, the longest beach on the Adriatic Sea – or explore Ada Bojana, a small, triangular island that has both a relaxing atmosphere and the perfect amount of wind ideal for kite-surfing.
Canyon Nevidio is a mysterious work of nature, tucked away among inaccessible terrain. Due to it being rather hidden, this canyon was relatively unknown and unexplored for a long time. After a series of unsuccessful attempts, it was eventually conquered for the first time in 1965. Go on a canyoning adventure and discover the striking beauty of the gorge, cascades and waterfalls that make Nevidio one of the most precious jewels of Montenegro.