Why you should visit Montenegro and rent a car

Montenegro is one of my favorite destinations in the Balkans after Croatia. If you read my Balkan trip blog post, I promised to write a separate post about our trip to Montenegro. And if you have never been in the Balkans, I would advise you to enjoy Montenegro as the cherry on top of a delicious piece of cake.

We rented a car as soon we arrived from Albania. Prior to that, we were taking mostly busses to get around. I had to convince my husband that we needed a car, and as it turns out, renting was the way to go! We had only 2 days to explore. After doing some research, our plan for what to see included: Kotor, Budva, Perast, Sveti Stefani, Virpazar, Tivat and Cetinje.  In case you don't have roaming data/phone service like me, always make sure to upload the local map on your MAPS.Me app. I mentioned earlier that it works great without Internet.

Despite arriving kind of late, we decided to make our first stop at Niagara Falls. Niagara falls is located close to the main airport. If you fly to Podgorica Airport, make sure to experience Niagara Falls first. To be honest, it was very unexpected and beautiful. And if you are hungry after a long day, you can enjoy a glass of white wine, snack on something, and enjoy the view.

We stayed in the capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, I wouldn't advise you to stay there, because it is boring. Evens locals will tell you this. I truly liked Budva and wish we stayed there instead of Podgorica. Even heading out from Podgorica, I would suggest you to make your first stop at Virpazar.

Virpazar is a small fishing village. There was not so much information when we arrived to the town. We met with a local travel agent, who told us that we can't enter the town and we needed to park in special parking lot. Afterward, he offered us a free coffee and explained that we can take a boat around Skadar lake to see some local birds. The boat tour was lovely for the opening 10 minutes. Unfortunately, we quickly got bored, because there was nothing else to see. If strapped for time, I recommend skipping the boat tour, as it took around 45 minutes.

On the way to Sveti Stefan, we stopped at Rezevici Monastery, which was quite beautiful. Definitely, you should visit it. Our next stop was Sveti Stefan. It is quite a popular destination on the way to Budva. Many photographers come here to get their best shots from the view point. Great pics and opportunities to sunbathe can also be found on the beach side. Btw, the private beach fee costs about 100 euro during the high season. After enjoying the beach for a bit, we headed to Budva. Budva is a really beautiful beach town on the Adriatic Sea. I truly loved their old town. After having a nice lunch with super-fresh sea food, we drove to Tivat.

Tivat has a lovely waterfront. After quickly exhausting the local sights, we decided to continue our journey to Kotor. To be honest, old town Kotor reminded me of Dubrovnic in Croatia. It is a little bit smaller then Dubrovnik, but quite charming (it felt like Dubrovnik before "Game of Thrones" was filmed there). Sadly, we decided to skip the City Wall due to the blistering hot weather. Down the road is the town of Perast, where we took a boat tour to Our Lady of Rocks. The church stands on a tiny island not far from the shore.

Not long after, it got a little bit darker. We rushed to see Cetinje and enjoy our dinner. I would definitely advise you to not skip the Royal Old Capital of Montenegro. This is especially true if you love history. It's a town not visited by many tourists, and you get to see a different side of the country that's not on the beach. With our remaining time the next morning, we left early for the Ostrog Monastery and some archeological fun - the Doclea Excavation. The place was easy to find by following the MAPS.ME app and it was open for just strolling around. It is pretty mind boggling to look at these ancient inscriptions, fully exposed to the elements. I hope more is done to protect them soon.

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 Niagara Falls




Podgorica


 Virpazar & Skadar Lake



Rezevici Monastery


Sveti Stefan


Budva





Tivat


Kotor



Pirast




Cetinje


Ostrog Monastery




Doclea Excavations



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