|Country Information & Lifestyle|
When Pearls of Nature were sown; it was with a full hand that they were cast on this soil�
Montenegro, the Pearl of the Mediterranean, is situated in the south of the Adriatic in the very heart of Europe. There is nowhere else that you can find, in such a small place, so much natural wealth, beauty, beautiful beaches, clear lakes, fast rivers and gorgeous mountains like you can in the little gem that is Montenegro.
In the morning you can wake up along the beautiful Adriatic coast, have lunch on the banks of Skadar Lake, and enjoy the evening walks in the Montenegrin Mountains. Montenegro has many other remarkable characteristics: history, culture, tradition, good weather conditions, clean air, beautiful nature, blue Adriatic Sea.
This little country is part of the Balkans and is one of the oldest European states and borders Bosnia,Serbia and Herzegovina, Albania and Croatia, literally on the crossroad between Europe and Asia.
The climate is sub-Mediterranean with mild and rainy winters and dry, hot summers. Between the Mediterranean in the south and the cruel mountain peaks of the north, it is as there is an entire different world, which is why you can swim in the waters of the Mediterranean in the morning and ski in the afternoon.
Montenegro was painted and described by Tennyson, Gladstone, Byron, Jaroslav Cermak, Evlija Celebija and many other great people which unanimously gave, across the span of many centuries, a portrait of a small, but proud country. In the land of poets and warriors a friend is always welcome, so to all the good intention ed visitors Montenegro is awaiting with doors wide open to meet you, and hope you will become, and remain, a part of her.
Every region has its own allure, but all offering a combination of natural beauty with treasures of culture. Roughly Montenegro can be divided into three regions, so come on let's go visit the Pearl of the Mediterranean.
The Boka Kotorska has a coastline of 293 km, and is found in the west of the country, on the other side of Italy's southern part, divided by the Adriatic Sea and beginning with the Venetian Boka Kotorska. This breathtaking bay is listed as one of the ten most beautiful bays of the world and is often referred to as Europe's most southern fjord.
The Boka Kotorska coastline is like a string of pearls, harboring towns like the flower city Herceg-Nov and the Unesco protected Kotor, with one of Europe's best preserved medieval Old Towns, Stari Grad. Further along the coast is the Herceg-Novi Riviera, with peninsulas, small islands, beaches and attractive resorts, and in the mountainous background are picturesque villages and settlements situated among the olive groves and other exotic Mediterranean vegetation.
Continue south along the Montenegrin coast to the Budva Riviera, the oldest settlement and Montenegro's main tourist attraction. With its 2000 years old history dating back to the Greeks there is plenty of ancient architecture to be found in Budva old town. And along with that the Budva beaches are often said to be Montenegro's best.
The Budva Riviera has beaches of fine sand quality and is spread over 38 km of jagged coastline with many inlets, shelters, capes and small isles. The other big attraction is the former fishing village of Sveti Stefan located on a peninsula. 50 years ago it was decided to transform it into a hotel town, where the world's rich and famous come to spend their time. Budva is the Pearl of the Adriatic and one of the most beautiful Mediterranean tourist centers.
The Tivat Riviera has seventeen official beaches with small, attractive inlets with lots of restaurants and other tourist facilities. There are also three isles, the Isle of Flowers, St. Markos Isle and the Lady of Mercy Isle.
The Kotor Riviera is in the deepest part of the Bay of Kotor, there are no long sandy beaches which are characteristic of other parts of the Montenegrin coastline. The numerous pontoons give special charm to the landscape. Kotor, a town under the protection of UNESCO, has exquisite architecture with Gothic, Romantic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, making it, along with Dubrovnik, the most interesting town on the east Adriatic coast.
Herceg Novi, the most northern Montenegrin Adriatic town, gradually raised above the gorgeous entrance into the bay of Boka Kotorska. The influence of Spanish, French, Austro-Hungarian, Ottoman and Venetian empires are felt even today in the culture of the town. This is a town with almost 300 sunny days in a year, with average yearly temperature of 16, 2 C, and olive groves which can be found in the 520 m height above the sea level.
A range of smaller, but equally picturesque settlements which connect bigger cities of the Montenegrin shore, such as Rezevici, Perast, Prcanj, Igalo, are also interesting places for a visit, because in them you can find numerous monasteries, airy spas, and flora which is specific only for this part of Europe.
The Ulcinj Riviera is 32 km long, very sunny with lots of tropical vegetation, sandy beaches along pine forests, and the nature reserve of Ada Bojana. The coast is rich with olive groves; among them you will find trenches from the time of Jesus Christ. The beach in Ulcinj is 13 km long and is often called the Copacabana of Europe. The beach at Becici has documents that dated back as far as 1930 proclaiming it to be the most beautiful European beach.
The town of Ulcinj is a medieval fortification and is surrounded by romantic legends and stories of piracy. The old part of the town, within fortified walls, is well preserved from the XXI century. North towards Bar, you will come across the famous monastery on the Cape Ratac, in which Jelena Anzujska erected a basilica, from where you can see over to the highest medieval town, Nehaj, built by the Venetians and fortified by the Turks.
The coast is just part of what Montenegro has to offer. Take the road to the central and northern parts where you will find a world apart. Contrasting and stunning, Montenegro brings the sea to the giant mountains and wakes up the sleepy lakes up with the fast, flowing rivers.
Between the coast and mountain lays the central part of the Republic, and in just 40 minutes away you reach Podgorica and Cetinje, the centers of modern and historic Montenegro. Podgorica is the present capital city. After the destruction and casualties which it suffered in World War II in the fight against fascism, the town has grown into the administrative of the entire republic.
Above the capital rises Cetinje, the former capital. Cetinje has history, the castles of the Petrovic dynasty, and culture, and is famous for its resistance to the Ottoman invaders, and always being the place representing Montenegro's fighting spirit for liberty. There is a mausoleum, the highest in the world, dedicated to the greatest Montenegrin poet warrior, Njegos.
Monastery Ostrog is situated on the cusp of the rich Bjelopavlic plain, carved high up in the cliffs, with easy access. The monastery contains the hand of John the Baptist. The upper monastery gives the feeling of standing on a balcony that allows you views over all of Montenegro. Walk up from the Podgorica highway through the village of Bogetic to get the best feel of this unique, spiritual place.
If you wish to visit the last domicile of the pelicans in the world then Skadar Lake, the biggest lake in the Balkans, is disturbed only by the gentle flight of the birds, as there is an abundance of them there. Two thirds of the lake belongs to Montenegro, while one third belongs to the Republic of Albania. The lake has over 60 islands called by the locals GORICE, most of which are densely covered in growth of wild pomegranates, laurels and ivies.
Most of the coastline is just too steep, mountainous, and unreachable from land, there are almost no roads along this part of the coast to the numerous peninsulas, large and small bays and beaches. The lake has a large amount of small gulfs or bays that serve as docks, or as the locals call them limani, above which villages were built.
This beauty of a wild nature is rich in superlatives that everyone would wish for. Restless nature seems to have been losing its pearls passing through Montenegro.
Located in a small area you will find a sea with beautiful beaches, rivers with unique canyons, clear lakes and giant mountains. Such a beauty takes the breath away, and from the first sight every traveler remains eternally in love with Montenegro.
On the territory of the Bar municipality, in the area of the Skadar Lake, there are many villages and settlements. Among them is Crmnica, a place created from 23 small settlements, well known for its exceptional wine and enclosed wine cellars. The coast of Skadar Lake is indented and contains a large number of bays and islets overgrown in belt of bamboo
In only 24 yours you can experience exotic tropic plants the equivalent of Greece and alpine plants the equivalent of Switzerland. For a biologist all those 2.833 plant species and sub species will be fascinating, of which 22 can only be found in Montenegro, and nowhere else in the world.
There are also four national parks, one of the last rain forests, the deepest canyon in the world after Colorado, and a place called Crkvice with the highest amount of rainfall per square meter in all of Europe: all exiting for both travelers and climate expert.
This is the land of the most southern bay of glacial origin, the cleanest river in Europe, the biggest lake on the Balkans, the longest underground river in the world, and of many other interesting things. On just 0.14% of the surface of Europe, the concentration of the geographic, historical, cultural, and natural resources is such that you will come back to Montenegro all your life, to meet a new side of her again and again.
Biogradska Gora hosts a wild forest and the magnificent canyon of the Tara River, just another element of the numerous miracles of nature, which was truly generous when God created Montenegro.
As part of touring Montenegro a pleasure trip of one of the most beautiful outdoor spas located in Kolasin 950m above sea level should be included. It is surrounded by a century old forests, and mountain peaks of Bjelasica, with exquisite skiing terrains, the best in Montenegro. Biogradsko jezero (BIOGRADSKO LAKE) is one of the biggest glacier lakes, surrounded by rainforest with over 50 kinds of trees.
Montenegrin North, rich with outdoor spas and healing herbs, is a small island of Europe which will serve as a refuge into a healthy and natural life and give you your strength back with the freshness which nature brings, and warmness its people emit, here like nowhere else in the world. Here the guest is king, and a visit to any household will be a holiday in which you will be able you try the meals that can be found on the table solely in this part of the world and a culinary experience prepared by our Montenegrin host from the village like no other can prepare.
The local people wherever you travel will make sure that you enjoy excellent food. A meal that literally melts in your mouth is Cicvara, cooked potato, sour milk mixed with cow's cheese, thick soups are usually prepared with noodles, potato or vegetables, one made with nettles is interesting, Rastan is cooked with potatoes, vegetables and lots of spices, dried sausages are extremely tasty and strong, Prusta is smoked ham. Montenegrin lamb in milk is a real specialty with the addition of spices and potato.
Enriched with myth, legend, heroism, bravery and limited just with imagination and Montenegrin cliffs, Montenegrin music has survived and remained the expression of the typically Balkan ethnic. Folklore, and tradition of Montenegrin people played a crucial role, but also the style orientation and modern understandings of the music expression were accepted.
And Montenegro still has more to offer...
Biogradska Gora is Montenegro's oldest national park in an isolated area in Montenegro and 80% is primeval forest. The park is famous for its five glacial lakes known as "Mountain Eyes'.
The Skadarsko Jezero National Park is located in the central region south at the border with Albania, and has one of Europe's biggest lakes and largest bird reservation.
Mount Lovcen is part of the national park Lovcen, which's named after it. The park is characterized by exceptional geographic phenomena and a rich flora and fauna. But the most stunning attraction of the park is the Njegos Mausoleum, the grave tomb of the national hero Petar II Petrovic Njegos, which is located on a 1,647 m high mountain peek giving a stunning view of the park, the Boka Kotorska and even Skadarsko Jezero on clear days.
" I wonder why the sun wants to set, when this much beauty it has nowhere met."
Your journey of Montenegro you should finish with the rafting down the canyon of Tara, 78 km long, through the cliffs over 1.000m high. The experience of rafting through the 2nd highest canyon in the world (following the canyon of Colorado) can be done in some of the traditional wooden or modern rubber rafts.
Below a 150m high bridge, with the unrepeated landscape of small waterfalls, the voyage down the river Tara is an unforgettable European experience that on its own makes the visit to Montenegro worth while. As a Dutch writer Dollard said: "A land behind the God's back'.
This part of Montenegro simply is breathtaking!
" Crna Gora, nema druge" ("There is no other like Montenegro").