For a country that you could drive across in a day, you will be amazed at just how alluring Montenegro (‘Black Mountain’) is. With its three contrasting southern, central and northern regions, you can look forward to a striking range of landscapes, climates and activities. Few places in the world can give you picturesque beaches, lakes, mountains, valleys, canyons, caves, tranquil countryside and ancient towns in an area covering 13,812 km2. Sharing its borders with Albania, Croatia, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro includes a stunning coastal belt along the Adriatic Sea.
This is where the sway of the Mediterranean meets Central Europe and blends with the exotic East. From the Danube to Dracula's castle, there is history at every turn.
From the Schönbrunn Palace to the mighty Parthenon in Athens, learn the stories of an area steeped in history.
The southern, coastal zone with its Mediterranean climate has long, hot, dry summers and short, mild winters. Medieval monuments and architecture in the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Kotor are a must-see. As the eastern Mediterranean’s largest natural harbour, the Bay of Kotor’s deep water marina is home to super yachts, international boutiques, exquisite restaurants and a 64-meter infinity pool and lounge bar. Switch between areas dating as far back as the 12th century - with a significant landmark being the church ‘Our Lady of the Rock’ - and the latest 21st century mod cons in the luxury shopping village of Porto Montenegro.
Overflowing with an abundance of culture and character, the central, continental region includes the Zeta and Bjelopavlici Plains. Carved into the mountain cliff face, 900 meters above the Zeta Valley, you’ll find the Monastery Ostrog – a 17th century chapel attracting hundreds of thousands of travellers each year as one of the the top three, most-visited Christian pilgrimage sites in the world. If nature’s more your calling, be sure to spend some time at Skadar Lake National Park. Once a battleground, this astoundingly beautiful environment is a wildlife paradise for lizards, amphibians, snakes, wolves, wild boar and more than 260 different kinds of bird, with its swampy wetlands, forests and rocky islets.
The mountainous, northern region has a sub-alpine climate with moderate summers and cold winters. Dermot National Park presents some of Europe’s deepest gorges, with three incredible canyons, more than a dozen lakes, expansive forests and fabulous flora and fauna, including eagles and brown bears. The more active adventurer can enjoy hiking, rafting and kayaking.
The rich assortment of cultural and historical influences on Montenegro has resulted in cuisine that captures the best of Italy, Turkey, Hungary and Croatia. Depending on which zone you are exploring, you’ll notice different culinary styles. The coastal area typically offers Mediterranean dining, with grilled seafood playing a dominant role. Traditional Montenegrin dishes include stews, soups and wood-fired meats, accompanied by fine local wines and domestic beers.