Here’s a destination you’ve probably never considered. Montenegro is a small country in Southeast Europe with stunning nature and picturesque medieval villages. The country has a reputation for hosting celebrities (Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sofia Loren, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, and more), but you don’t have to win the EuroMillions lottery to afford a vacation there.
Known locally as Crna Gora, which means Black Mountain due to the black pine trees that once covered its slopes, Montenegro’s mountains have thick green forests overlooking wild rivers and sparkling lakes. A drive through the mountains is an adventure. You can rent a car or take a relatively inexpensive bus tour.
Breath-taking Natural Park
The Durmitor National Park is a mountainous range popular with skiers and snowboarders in the winter. During the rest of the year, the park attracts hikers and bikers. Some of the most impressive peaks are Sedlo Mountain (which resembles a horse’s saddle), and Prutaš Mountain, unusual in that it is marked by completely vertical sediment layers.
The town of Žabljak is the centre of the country’s mountain tourism. From there it is a short distance to Crno Jezero, the Black Lake, which is the area’s main attraction. You can stroll around the lake on a 3.5-kilometer walking path and admire the magnificent views.
Europe’s Deepest Canyon
Comparable in depth to the Grand Canyon in the United States, the Tara River Canyon is a popular river rafting route. You can walk, or drive, across the Tara River Bridge, which was rebuilt after being blown up during World War 2 to stop the advance of the German army. The bridge stretches for 365 meters (1,198 feet) over the canyon.
In central Montenegro, Biogradska Gora is a national park with a great diversity of flora and fauna. The park is the only temperate rain forest in Europe. Further south, straddling the country’s border with Albania, is Skadar Lake, another national park. You can take a boat ride on the lake and observe the many species of birds that make the area their home.
The Adriatic Coast
If this travel suggests that Montenegro is entirely mountainous, it wouldn’t be far from the truth, but some of the country’s real beauty is where peaks run all the way down to the Adriatic Sea. You may choose to stay in one of the colourful coastal towns – Kotor, Budva, Petrovac, and Bar. Kotor sits on a bay very similar to a fjord and huge cruise ships dock there.
Many tourists arrive in Montenegro by flying into Dubrovnik in southern Croatia, which is an amazing tourist destination in its own right. A visit to Montenegro will stun you with its nature and leave you with wonderful memories.