Following on from Dubrovnik, what I was desperate to do while we were there was take a little trip South to Montenegro. After my sister did a big trip to Albania last year, I’d been really looking forward to visiting that side of the world. And when I figured out that you can do an easy day trip from Dubrovnik down the coast and into Montenegro, I got booking. And man, am I glad I did! Montenegro sure is a gem within Europe and one which you should totally add to your bucket list if it isn’t on there yet.
We went with a small group tour, so around 12 of us on a mini bus. The tour itself was a bit average, I felt like the tour guide was just reading off a script most of the time. But not to worry, they dropped us off at most of the places and let us explore in our own time – just what we wanted. Our first stop was Perast, a small very beautiful town on the edge of the bay of Kotor. The Bay itself was gorgeous, with two islands in the middle. We took a little boat out to the Our Lady of the Rocks Island and it was probably one of my favourite places we went on the whole trip. The water was just so still and clear, it was like a giant mirror. You definitely felt like you were in another world, a whole long way away from the UK!
Our next stop was the nearby town of Kotor. Now this was the one I was excited for, the ancient walled city set in the giant Bay of Kotor. The old town is surrounded by a giant wall which scales the hill and lasts about 14km all the way around. We wandered into the old town and just every building is gorgeous, I’ve never seen so many churches all within a couple of streets of each other. There were a load of squares with people sitting and having drinks but it still maintained the feeling of being authentic, like, even though there were quite a few tourists there, it was still full of locals.
We decided to head up the wall to one of the first stops of a Church to look down on the bay and I’m so glad we did. The view of the Bay was amazing and looking down on the little orange houses was so beautiful. The wall winds its way up the hill but it sure is a work out especially when it was very warm as it was that day! The town itself is also home to a whole load of adorable cats. The locals feed them so they were very fat and happy and it was just adorable to see them wandering about and sleeping on little steps.
After a morning at Kotor, we headed to Budva in the early afternoon. Budva is another town on the coast, a bit more built up than Kotor. We started with lunch and sat on a little jetty right by the seaside. The seafood here (like in Croatia) is just so good – I could not stop eating mussels! After a quick drink we headed into the old town and had another wander round. The rain decided to hit at this exact moment so we did spend a little bit of time hovering until small awnings but the old town itself was beautiful to wander around as well.
For our final stop, we headed up the hill near Budva to get a view over the town and over Svety Stefan, a small islet which is now a luxury resort where you can’t take any kind of technology. Sounds quite nice other than the price tag! It was definitely a gorgeous view back over and to the town. It was then time for the long drive back home.
As Montenegro isn’t in the EU, it does still use the Euro which does make it a little pricier compared to Croatia, but it was still really reasonable and I think the entire tour was only around 40 euros each which was great value. The towns we visited were lovely, but when you are driving through, you do get the extremes – stunning beauty of the surrounding cliffs and bays, but obviously a lot of very poor and deprived areas with a lot of run down buildings. Montenegro was involved with the war and like Croatia, it is doing an amazing job of rebuilding but it is still very obvious in places. I would love to come back to Montenegro and explore more, as even though it is a tiny country, it definitely has more gems to be discovered.
I’m so glad we included a trip to Montenegro on our holiday, I don’t even think these pictures do the beauty of the place justice, it is one of those places which you just need to go and see. I really would love to go back and then explore down into Albania as well which looking at the sister photos, also looks amazing.
Have I convinced you to add Montenegro to your bucket list?!
Save for later!