What are the best things to do in Montenegro?
1. Explore the Tara Canyon in Durmitor National Park. This prime hiking area sits on a plateau 1,500 metres above sea level, flanked by tall mountains, glacial lakes and deep canyons. The most spectacular of which is the Tara Canyon. The Tara River carves out a 1,300-metre-deep canyon, popular with white water rafters. You can also admire it from the peak of Mount Ćurevac, though this view is partially obscured by the mighty walls of the canyon. Look out for the impressive Đurđevića Bridge which was Europe’s largest concrete arched bridge at the time of construction in 1940.
2. Visit the Moraca Monastery. This 13th Century monastery near the banks of the Moraca River is one of the most important orthodox buildings in the country. Its two churches are plastered in frescos painted by masters such as Kozma and Djordje Mitrofanović who also crafted the beautiful icons inside the church. Look out for the striking picture of Christ sitting in judgement in the larger Church of the Dormition, which depicts double-headed people eating sea monsters and angels spearing little demons square in the face.
3. Make a pilgrimage to Lovcen National Park’s Njegos Mausoleum. This monumental mausoleum sits at the summit of the black mountain that gives Montenegro its name. It was built in the 1970s in tribute to prince bishop, poet, philosopher and leader Petar II Petrović Njegoš and is an impressive sight to behold. Climb the 461 covered steps, past the two granite giants guarding the tomb and under a golden mosaic canopy, where you’ll be greeted by a vast statue of Njegos, cradled by an eagle, that’s been carved from a single slab of granite.
4. Ride the Podgorica – Bar railway. The final hour of the celebrated 12-hour narrow gauge Belgrade to Bar route, frequently cited as one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys, is its most scenic stretch, crossing the narrow bridge that seems to float over marshy Lake Skadar. Afterwards, make time to visit Stari Bar – Bar’s abandoned old town and the remains of its picturesque aqueduct.
5. Take in the sublime view of Sveti Stefan island. This stunning private resort island is best viewed from high up in the hills at the Church of Saint Sava in Tivat. From here you can spy the entire Budva Riviera, the endless sea and islands that make it such a popular wedding destination. While you’re there why not visit the nearby Praskvica Monastery, a charming complex complete with gardens and resident goats?
Which holiday type in Montenegro is right for me?
For the best white-sand beaches head to the southernmost coast near Ulcinj. Swim in warm waters under the shadow of Ulcinj Fortress, a majestic castle built over the sea. This is the best place to enjoy beach holidays in Montenegro.
If you’re looking for a good all-inclusive option that’s ideal for families in the Bay or Kotor, look no further than the Iberostar Herceg Novi. Set on its own secluded private beach, just a few miles from the scenic town of Herceg Novi. The hotel offers a rooftop terrace bar and a gorgeous outdoor pool where you can relax while your kids are busy having fun at the Star Camp kids’ club.
Another reliable option for families seeking the all-inclusive experience is the Iberostar Bellevue in ever-popular Budva. There’s a fantastic kids’ club, a dedicated kids pool and interconnecting family rooms to allow you to spread out and relax. The hotel is set within large, well-manicured gardens directly on the shores of Becici Beach, surrounded by the dramatic Balkan Mountains.
Set mere metres from the sea, along a 2000-foot-long sandy beach, the Monte Casa Spa&Wellness de Luxe is a cosy and thoroughly relaxing hub that’s ideally located to explore the wider area, from Budva to Bar. Enjoy some indulgent ‘me time’ in the extensive spa and wellness centre or while away an evening in one of Petrovac’s many outdoor bars.
For a real island escape try the Aman Sveti Stefan for size, a jewel in the crown of Mr & Mrs Smith’s Adriatic portfolio. This private retreat has converted an entire 15th Century fishing village complete with its own shoreside 19th Century royal villa. Picture yourself here as you live like a local nobleman of old staying in a red-tiled cottage or an oceanfront suite with every luxury at your convenience, including unique spa cottages, three pools, restaurants and immaculate beachside service.
The One&Only Portonovi on beautiful Boka Bay offers a private sandy beach and jetty with bars and pools, extravagant marble interiors, huge ensuites and an expansive Chenot Espace spa. Sophisticated dining options cover local, Italian and pan-Asian cuisine.