Best Things To Do In Montenegro

Located at the southern end of the Dinaric Alps with Croatia its neighbour to the southwest, Montenegro is a stunning, diverse country with an enchanting coastline, soaring mountains, and sapphire lakes. It's easy to combine a visit with a Croatia holiday, enjoying opportunities for activities like hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and more. There's rich history to explore too, from Roman villas with mosaic floors and walled medieval Old Towns to vibrantly painted monasteries, grand palaces, and castles. After exploring, mouthwatering cuisine is never far away, best enjoyed with a glass of Montenegrin wine. To make the most of your time in this beautiful country, be sure to put some of the best things to do in Montenegro on your itinerary.
Kotor church

Explore Kotor

Kotor lies in a secluded area of Kotor Bay, often called the Mediterranean’s only fjord, although it isn’t technically isn’t one. It’s a must-visit on Croatia and Montenegro holidays with extraordinary beauty, including a UNESCO-listed Old Town that’s backed by dramatic mountains and encircled by medieval walls. It’s a joy to explore, with many historical landmarks, including the Clock Tower on the city’s main square. One of the symbols of Kotor, it was built in 1602 and features two large clocks on two sides with a bell that can be heard every half an hour. Other highlights include the Pima and Buca palaces and the St. Trypon Cathedral, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture with Baroque bells that date back to 1166.

View of Our Lady of the Rocks

Take a Boat to Our Lady of the Rocks

Perast is one of the most picturesque towns in Kotor Bay. Often included in a Montenegro tour, it features 16 beautifully preserved palaces, including the Baroque-style Bujovic palace at its entrance. It’s widely regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings of its kind along the Adriatic coast. But the highlight is the man-made islet of Our Lady of the Rocks, accessed via a short boat ride. An artificial island, it was created by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks and houses a church and museum in a building adjacent. The displays cover two floors with an interesting collection of items from the area, ranging from Neolithic objects like arrowheads to a weapon collection and modern art.

Ostrog Monastery

Visit Ostrog Monastery

Built into a sheer cliff face above Zeta valley in the 17th century, Ostrog Monastery is a sacred site that looks as if it defies gravity from afar. One of the most important religious sites in Montenegro for Orthodox Christians, the Lower Monastery sits 1.25 miles below the main shrine. Here you can admire vivid frescoes in the church and take advantage of the natural spring behind it to fill up your bottle with cold, sweet, and blessed water. From there you’ll make the steep ascent to the top, which some of the faithful do barefoot. If you don’t want to make the climb, you can drive up and then walk the final tenth of a mile on foot.

View of Ulcinj

Wander the Streets of Ulcinj

Ulcinj is famous for its beaches which include Montenegro’s longest, Velika Plaza which stretches for about 9.2 miles to Ada Bojana. But it also has a fabulous Old Town with unique charm. It calls one to wander with cobbled streets, delightful nooks and crannies, and breathtaking sea views as you climb the stairs to reach it. Encircled by fortresses and massive stone walls, its rich cultural and historical heritage can be discovered in the museum complex by the north gate. Highlights include the collection of stone objects, an antique pedestal with a transcript to the Greek goddess Artemida, and axes from the Bronze Age. Behind the museum is Tower Balsici, one of the country’s finest examples of medieval architecture.

Swimmer in the Blue Cave Montenegro

Snorkel the Blue Grotto

A huge and magnificent sea cave, the Blue Grotto is the most picturesque of the series of caves that lie along the Bay of Kotor on the Lustica Peninsula. It’s easily entered by boat, bringing visitors the chance to leap off and swim or snorkel in the iridescent blue waters, the result of the reflection of sunlight off the surface. While snorkelling, you’ll see colourful fish dart around the rocky bottom. It’s ideal for underwater photography too. Taking a speed boat tour from Kotor, ranging from three hours to full-day trips, is the best way to get here. Along the way, you’ll be treated to awe-inspiring views of the mountains that provide a backdrop to pretty seaside hamlets.

Lake Skadar

Spot Wildlife in Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar is the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula and the second-largest in southern Europe after only Italy’s Lake Garda. Two-thirds of it lies in Montenegro with the rest in Albania. Along the shoreline are secluded villages, steep mountains, and abundant wildlife. This is one of the most important reserves for wetland birds in Europe, including the endangered Dalmatian penguin, the rare Dalmatian pelican, one of the largest colonies of pygmy cormorants in the world, and more than 250 other species. While you’re here, keep an eye out for other animal species like wolves, wild boars, weasels, otters, and foxes. One of the best ways to spot wildlife along the shoreline is to hire a kayak to paddle around.

Castle of San Giovanni

Hike to the Castle of San Giovanni

The fortress walls that surround the city of Kotor mark a hike that provides sweeping views of Old Town Kotor and Kotor Bay. The trek is one of the top things to do in Montenegro and leads to the Castle of San Giovanni, also called Kotor Fortress, or the Fortress of St. John. It dates all the way back to the Byzantine Empire in the 6th century, sitting above the city walls as part of the fortification system that once protected medieval Kotor. There are 1,350 narrow stone steps that lead to the castle, taking 30 minutes to an hour to climb depending on your fitness level and how many times you stop to capture photos along the way.

Tara Canyon

Explore the Tara River Canyon

Durmitor National Park is home to the Durmitor Mountain Range with four dozen peaks towering over 6,500 feet into the sky and the wild Tara River, which carves its way through at the northern edge, forming the Tara River Canyon, the deepest in Europe. There are multiple spectacular viewpoints, with the easiest being Tara Bridge. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it stands 564 feet above the river. If you’re up for a hike, the shortest trek with several viewpoints runs for about 3.8 miles from the village of Podgora. During the warmer months, it’s also possible to join a whitewater rafting excursion for a unique perspective of the river and the soaring cliffs that frame it.

Budva Riviera

Relax on the Budva Riviera

The Budva Riviera is a must-stop on a Montenegro tour. The long strip of coastline serves as the main tourist area surrounding the town of Budva. One of the region’s oldest, its narrow maze of streets touches down to small, crystal-clear blue bays, while the nightlife is renowned. It’s one of the best spots to relax in the summer, particularly on remote beaches at the south end that have managed to remain mostly untouched. The busier beaches to the north, including Jaz and Mogren are quite popular with lots of action between June and August. After soaking up the sun and perhaps enjoying some swimming or snorkelling, head to the pop-up waterfront seafood market for fresh oysters, prawns, or fish.

Biogradska lake

Go Hiking in Biogradska

Hiking in Biogradska Gora is another one of the best things to do in Montenegro if you’re looking to get active. Recognised as one of the UNESCO World Network, this national park features mountains, glacial lakes, and temperate forest. One of three remaining virgin forests in Europe, it covers 1,600 hectares of the park with trees up to 400 years old and nearly 200 feet tall. It’s rich in diversity with 2,000 plant species, 200 different bird species, and mammals like deer, foxes, bears, and wolves. Walk the shores of beautiful Biograd Lake, spanning for about 2.2 miles, to explore the beauty of the virgin forest. There are many trails showcasing magnificent mountain views as well.

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