Montenegro is located in southeastern Europe, with magnificent coastline (the Adriatic), amazing lakes, including the UNESCO world heritage site at Skadar, and five (5) national parks. This small but beautiful country is within just a few hours flight of most of mainland Europe and here you can experience some of the finest wines in the world, and one of the largest vineyards in Europe.
While tourism is one of the main industries it is still very under-developed (thankfully). The country has a small population (about 670 thousand), and a proud history, Montenegrins generally offer exceptional cordiality and hospitality. It’s very safe compared to many parts of Europe. Tourist seasons vary, with the more obvious beach resorts springing into life during the summer months, but skiing in the north is also a vibrant scene, as are the blossoming markets for adventure holidays and eco-tourism.
Given the weather – there really isn’t a bad time to visit. If you are from northern Europe, or Russia, or Scandinavia, you may be surprised to know that you can often wear a t-shirt on Christmas Day in Budva. The variety of micro-climates are amazing – you can swim in the sea, drive a few hours north and ski in the mountains. We particularly recommend the areas around Kolasin, and Žabljak, and when at the former never neglect an opportunity to visit the famous spas. The Tara Canyon, the deepest canyon in the world (after the Grand Canyon) is right here in Montenegro. This is the land of the southernmost bay of glacial origin, the cleanest river in Europe, the biggest lake in the Balkans, and the longest underground river in the world. From Herceg Novi (300 days of sunshine per year), round Kotor bay, all the way to the beaches beyond Ulcinj you are surrounded by Mediterranean architecture, vast fortified walls and breath-taking scenery. The warm waters have also turned Montenegro into something of a haven for marine biologists and divers alike, undiscovered treasures await the determined explorer.
While the country is geographically small it has made a major contribution to world history and cultural heritage. Throughout history Montenegro has been at the very centre of civilisation, a cultural crossroads that has witnessed the actions of Romans, Illyrians, Byzantine, Ottoman empires. During the latter period, the entrance to the country from the west was via Kotor and up the winding Serpentine, over the ‘black mountains’ to the imperial city of Cetinj. Touring through the countryside you will see ancient Roman colonnades and aqueducts (and olive groves/vineyards that have been here for thousands of years), medieval bridges, Austro-Hungarian fortresses, and Ottoman-era minarets – a tumultuous past has lead to the mosaic that is Montenegro today. The Venetians were here, as were the Spanish, and so too was Napoleon. Even the Normans were here – invading in the 11th and 12th Century from their territories in Italy. Western and Central European influences are everywhere, in the language, in the food, in the architecture – and of course in the wine.
For general tourist information about Montenegro then visit www.visit-montenegro.com