It’s no surprise that I loved our time in Montenegro. If you follow me on instagram, you probably saw all my instagram stories and posts on my love for the country. There are so many beautiful spots there that 12 days was just not enough time to truly explore the place. But we were still able to see quite a bit of it. I am officially over writing boring travel guides that to me aren’t as interesting to write anymore, or maybe not even that interesting to read. So I am trying a new way of writing out, bear with me… I also don’t want to bore you with a long list on 20+ things, cause I know as a reader of travel blogs, I tend to skim through and never really read them all.
Here are my reasons why you should book a trip to Montenegro this summer…
Lake Skadar & Golden Frog Boat
This was by far my favourite place and experience when traveling through Montenegro. Ivana of Golden Frog was just 11 years old when she bought this company from her uncle and turned it into what it is today. She took us on two different rides, one at sunrise and one at sunset, and both were gorgeous for different reasons. The water was so calm and beautiful at sunrise, with Ivana pointing out all the different kinds of birds that live on the water, she knows her birds… I am scared of them but enjoyed learning about them from her. And sunset, well look at those sky colours. Our experience on Lake Skadar would not have been the same without having Ivana as our guide, she is full of stories and just full of life. If you are in Montenegro, it’s a must. We made our way from Ulcinj for sunrise, and from Kotor for sunset, but it’s easiest to get to from Podgorica, or staying right in the area of Virpazar.
As you can probably gather from the rest of my blog, I am obsessed with Airbnb (re: why stay in a hotel, when you can stay in a treehouse?) and proud of it. All of our accommodations for Montenegro were booked through Airbnb, because that is how I find the most unique or beautiful accommodations.
In Kolasin, we stayed in a mushroom shaped house. Kolasin was a weird little town in the north, surround by mountains. It was beautiful but not much going on in the summer, seems like a winter spot for skiing… but we loved just hanging out in the mushroom and going into town for some kačamak… see later section on food.
In Perast, the smallest little town on the side of the road, right on the water, we stayed in a studio apartment with the prettiest balcony view. You cannot go wrong with a place with a view. In fact, any place you plan to stay in Perast, probably has a view. Just the way the town is built. Ours just probably had the best one. Not to mention I found this because it was on a few lists of ‘Airbnbs you need to stay at’ on the internet, so there’s that.
In Bar, close to the coast, but at the same time in the middle of mountains and trees, lies a campground with a single beautiful bungalow. The place is called My Olive Garden, and I found this place on Airbnb, and couldn’t resist booking it for a night.
Never booked through Airbnb? Click here to save $30 when you sign up through my link.
I know what you are thinking… what even is Montenegrin food anyways? I hadn’t heard anything about it before going there. And even when I looked up information before leaving, I saw nothing special about the food written. But I am telling you, the food is amazing. Specifically… kačamak, a dish in the north, is my favourite. How can you go wrong with potatoes, cheese and cream/butter? Seriously though, probably don’t want to know how bad it was for me, but I was on vacation okay… so don’t judge me. We also ate our weight in calamari our entire trip last summer, and always with a side of greek salad. Both probably the best we’ve had anywhere. Also meat platters, sounds weird but it’s a thing and it’s delicious, for any meat eaters out there.
So I already showed you views at Lake Skadar, which were definitely my favourite. But more than that, there are so many beautiful views if you just look up and start walking. For instance, in Kotor, there is a lovely pathway up to the walls of the town, which is the fortification system of Kotor, aka the Kotor Fortress. I am not a history buff, that’s not my thing but I am in it for the views. That is for sure.
Another beautiful spot is Perast. I mean the whole town (the small town I may have ever stayed in) is picturesque, but then you hire a boat for a few dollars and you can check out Our Lady of the Rocks, an artificial island with a cute church on it. Once again, some history to it, if you like that kinda thing. I like reading it all while I am there, but I am going to be honest with you, history never sticks in my brain.
Basically you can find some kinda of beautiful view in each town you see. Honestly, sometimes we were just in towns, looked up, saw a fortress or something along those lines and walked towards it. It worked out most of the time.
Not Overwhelmed with Tourists, Yet
Montenegro is not empty of people, but I do think most the tourists we saw were from surrounding countries, or just on day trips from Croatia. Staying in Kolasin, up north, was probably my favourite, due to the fact that we were the only people who looked like tourists. I can’t be certain we were the only tourists, as how can you really tell? But we had many locals looking at us, as if shocked to see us wandering around (also not a big town).
Perast was also a town I felt that there was a lack of tourists. Not in the sense that there were none, as there certainly were in the middle of the day, but mores o that people only came for a few hours, on a bus or for a day tour stop, but emptied out by dinner time to have very few people actually staying in town, aside from locals. It was quite enjoyable.
Honestly, Montenegro was pretty inexpensive when it came to a lot of things. Sure our Airbnb’s weren’t crazy cheap, but they weren’t expensive for what they were. And the food? Didn’t break the bank that’s for sure. When choosing restaurants, we honestly just popped into anything that had decent looking menu and we never really spent much., maybe 20 euros to split a meal between the two of us (my boyfriend can put back quite a bit of food). And groceries? We lived off greek yogurt and granola when we weren’t eating at restaurants. Cheap as chips, as they say.
Sure I could probably write every damn detail down til I am blue in the face, but I think you get the point. These reasons alone should help you along the way to at least looking into a trip. If nothing else, take a few nights out of your trip to Croatia to head over to Lake Skadar and get on a sunrise or sunset tour. You will not regret it.
Thanks to Ivana at Golden Frog for taking us on two amazing boat rides, and though they were hosted, opinions are all my own.