Welcome to Montenegro, a hidden gem nestled within the Balkan Peninsula of Southeast Europe. This small yet captivating country offers a wealth of natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant culture that will leave you spellbound. Embarking on a road trip through Montenegro is the perfect way to uncover its hidden treasures and create lasting memories.
Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro boasts stunning coastal areas, charming medieval towns, and pristine national parks. This road trip itinerary will take you on an unforgettable journey, allowing you to explore the best that Montenegro has to offer in just ten days.
As you traverse through this diverse and picturesque landscape, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the country’s history, indulge in delicious local cuisine, and experience thrilling adventures. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or simply seeking relaxation, Montenegro has something for everyone.
From the enchanting old town of Kotor to the breathtaking Tara River Canyon, each day will bring new adventures and opportunities for discovery. So buckle up and get ready to embark on the road trip of a lifetime as we explore the best things to do in Montenegro.
Day 1: Exploring Kotor
Your Montenegro road trip begins in the enchanting town of Kotor, which sits nestled at the end of the stunning Bay of Kotor. This UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its well-preserved medieval architecture and its impressive city walls that climb up the surrounding mountains.
Start your day by exploring the labyrinthine streets of the old town, where you’ll discover charming squares, ancient churches, and atmospheric courtyards. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, a magnificent Romanesque church dating back to the 12th century.
Next, lace up your hiking boots and challenge yourself to conquer the fortifications of Kotor. The hike up the city walls offers breathtaking panoramic views of the town and the surrounding mountains. It’s a steep climb, but the reward is well worth the effort.
After working up an appetite, indulge in some local Montenegrin cuisine at one of the many charming restaurants in the old town. Try the traditional dish of Njeguški pršut, a delicious smoked ham, with a side of freshly baked bread and local cheese. Wash it down with a glass of Vranac, a robust red wine that is a perfect complement to the flavors of Montenegro.
As the sun begins to set, make your way to the waterfront and take a leisurely stroll along the promenade. Admire the yachts and sailboats that dot the bay, and soak in the tranquil atmosphere of this picturesque setting. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider taking a sunset cruise around the bay to witness the stunning colors of the sky reflecting on the water.
End your day by immersing yourself in Kotor’s vibrant nightlife. You’ll find a variety of bars and clubs where you can dance the night away to live music or relax with a cocktail in hand. It’s the perfect way to end an exhilarating day of exploring this historic town.
Day 2: Discovering Budva
On the second day of your Montenegro road trip, head south along the coast to the vibrant and lively town of Budva. Known for its beautiful sandy beaches, charming old town, and bustling nightlife, Budva is a must-visit destination for sun-seeking travelers.
Start your day by exploring the historic center of Budva, which is encircled by thick city walls dating back to the 15th century. Stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets, lined with medieval buildings and adorned with vibrant bougainvillea. Take your time to admire the architecture and visit the ancient Citadel, which offers panoramic views of the town and the Adriatic Sea.
Afterwards, head to Slovenska Plaza, Budva’s largest beach, to soak up some sun and enjoy the pristine waters of the Adriatic. Whether you prefer lounging on a sunbed or participating in water sports activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy along the coastline. Indulge in a refreshing swim, build sandcastles, or simply relax and unwind while listening to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore.
For lunch, make your way to one of the many seafood restaurants that line the promenade. Montenegro is known for its fresh and delicious seafood, so be sure to try some local specialties like grilled calamari, mussels in white wine sauce, or black risotto made with cuttlefish ink.
In the afternoon, venture outside of the town to explore the beautiful surrounding areas. Pay a visit to the nearby village of Sveti Stefan, a stunning fortified island hotel set on a small peninsula. Take a leisurely walk along the coastline and marvel at the picturesque views of this iconic landmark.
As the sun sets, experience the vibrant nightlife that Budva is famous for. The town comes alive after dark, with numerous bars, clubs, and beach parties offering entertainment well into the early hours of the morning. Dance to the rhythm of the music, enjoy live performances, or simply relax with a cocktail in one of the trendy beach bars.
After a day filled with exploration and excitement, retreat to your accommodation and rest up for the next day’s adventure. Budva offers a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses, ensuring you can find the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.
Day 3: Exploring Durmitor National Park
On day three of your Montenegro road trip, venture inland to the breathtaking Durmitor National Park. Located in the northern part of the country, this UNESCO World Heritage site is renowned for its dramatic mountain scenery, deep canyons, and glacial lakes.
Start your day by driving through the picturesque landscapes of northern Montenegro, passing quaint villages and lush green valleys. As you approach Durmitor National Park, you’ll be greeted by the majestic peaks of the Durmitor mountain range, which soar to heights of over 2,500 meters.
Once you’ve arrived, lace up your hiking boots and embark on a trek through this pristine wilderness. Durmitor offers a wide range of hiking trails, catering to all levels of experience. From leisurely strolls around the tranquil Black Lake to challenging hikes to the summit of Bobotov Kuk, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
As you explore the park, you’ll be mesmerized by the stunning natural landmarks that dot the landscape. Stop by the impressive Tara River Canyon, the second-deepest canyon in the world, and admire its sheer cliffs and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Marvel at the beauty of the Skrka Lakes, a series of glacial lakes nestled amidst the mountain peaks, and take a moment to soak in the peacefulness of these remote and untouched areas.
In the afternoon, recharge with a picnic amidst nature or visit one of the cozy mountain huts scattered throughout the park. Enjoy local delicacies such as hearty stews, freshly baked bread, and locally produced cheese while taking in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
After a day of adventure and exploration, make your way back to your accommodation. Whether you choose to stay in one of the cozy guesthouses near the park or opt for a hotel in the nearby town of Zabljak, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate before continuing your Montenegro road trip.
Durmitor National Park is a true paradise for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its unparalleled beauty and tranquility will leave a lasting impression and showcase the incredible diversity that Montenegro has to offer.
Day 4: Visiting Lovcen National Park
On day four of your Montenegro road trip, venture to Lovcen National Park, located in the southwestern region of the country. This stunning national park is home to Mount Lovcen, which offers breathtaking panoramic views, historical significance, and rich cultural heritage.
Start your day by driving up the winding roads to the summit of Mount Lovcen. As you ascend, you’ll be captivated by the dramatic landscapes and rugged terrain. Once you reach the top, visit the Mausoleum of Njegos – a monumental structure dedicated to the Montenegrin ruler and poet Petar II Petrovic Njegos. This iconic landmark offers sweeping views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and the magnificent Bay of Kotor below.
After taking in the awe-inspiring views, explore the numerous hiking trails that crisscross through the park. The most famous trail is the “Ladder of Cattaro,” a steep and challenging path consisting of over 400 steps that lead to the summit of Mount Jezerski. As you climb, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas and a sense of accomplishment.
For lunch, head to the picturesque village of Njegusi, nestled in the heart of Lovcen National Park. This charming village is known for its traditional smoked ham and cheese production. Indulge in a mouthwatering plate of Njeguski pršut and locally sourced cheese, accompanied by a glass of homemade rakija, a traditional Montenegrin brandy. You will get a true taste of Montenegrin culinary traditions in this quaint mountain village.
In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the cultural heritage of the region by visiting the Njegos Museum. Learn about the life and works of Petar II Petrovic Njegos, a revered figure in Montenegrin history and literature. The museum showcases his personal belongings, manuscripts, and other artifacts, giving visitors an insight into the country’s rich cultural past.
As the day comes to a close, take a leisurely drive back down the mountain, savoring the scenic beauty that surrounds you. Return to your accommodation and relax, reflecting on the incredible landscapes and experiences you’ve encountered at Lovcen National Park.
With its soaring mountains, cultural treasures, and breathtaking vistas, Lovcen National Park is a must-visit destination on your Montenegro road trip. Immerse yourself in its natural wonders and uncover the historic and cultural significance that is deeply rooted in this stunning landscape.
Day 5: Exploring the Bay of Kotor
On day five of your Montenegro road trip, it’s time to delve deeper into the stunning Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its fjord-like landscapes, charming coastal towns, and medieval fortifications.
Start your day by driving along the scenic coastline, soaking in the beauty of the bay as you make your way to the picturesque town of Perast. This small but enchanting town is home to a collection of well-preserved baroque buildings and grand palaces.
Take a boat ride to the nearby islands of Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George. Marvel at the stunning Our Lady of the Rocks Church, perched on a small artificial islet, and learn about the legend behind its creation.
After exploring Perast, continue your journey around the bay to the charming town of Tivat. Indulge in some retail therapy at Porto Montenegro, a luxury marina and shopping complex filled with high-end boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade and enjoy the views of the glittering yachts and sailboats.
For lunch, head to the coastal town of Herceg Novi, known for its vibrant atmosphere and stunning old town. Enjoy a meal at a local restaurant, savoring the flavors of the Mediterranean cuisine and soaking in the relaxed ambiance.
In the afternoon, make your way to the UNESCO-listed Old Town of Kotor, where you can embark on a walking tour to discover its rich history and impressive architecture. Wander through the narrow streets, visit ancient churches, and admire the fortified city walls, which offer panoramic views of the bay and the surrounding mountains.
As the sun begins to set, find a cozy spot at one of the waterfront cafes or restaurants in Kotor. Enjoy a refreshing drink as you watch the vibrant hues of the sky reflecting on the calm waters of the bay.
End your day by exploring the vibrant nightlife that Kotor has to offer. Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the old town, where you’ll find a variety of bars, clubs, and live music venues to suit every taste.
The Bay of Kotor is an idyllic destination that combines natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Let yourself be enchanted by the picturesque towns, stunning views, and warm hospitality as you explore this unique part of Montenegro.
Day 6: Discovering the Tara River Canyon
On day six of your Montenegro road trip, prepare to be amazed by the natural wonder of the Tara River Canyon, one of the deepest canyons in the world. This stunning UNESCO World Heritage site offers breathtaking landscapes, adrenaline-pumping activities, and a chance to connect with nature.
Start your day by driving towards the Durmitor National Park, where the Tara River Canyon is located. As you approach the park, you’ll be greeted by towering mountains and lush forests, providing a picturesque backdrop for your adventure.
Arriving at the canyon, immerse yourself in its beauty by taking a thrilling white-water rafting expedition down the rapids of the Tara River. Experience the rush of adrenaline as you navigate through the crystal-clear waters and breathtaking gorges, surrounded by the lush greenery of the canyon walls.
After your exhilarating rafting adventure, take some time to relax and soak in the tranquility of the canyon. Enjoy a picnic by the riverbank, watch as the sun reflects off the water, and listen to the sounds of nature enveloping you.
If you’re looking for more adventure, consider exploring the Tara River Canyon from a different perspective by going on a zipline tour. Soar through the air and take in the magnificent views of the canyon and its surroundings. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave you with lifelong memories.
As the day winds down, drive along the scenic roads that hug the canyon’s edge, providing breathtaking views at every turn. Make sure to stop at various viewpoints to capture the beauty of the canyon on camera.
For dinner, head to one of the local restaurants that dot the canyon area, offering traditional Montenegrin cuisine. Indulge in hearty dishes like kacamak (a cornmeal-based dish) or cicvara (a creamy polenta-like dish) while enjoying the picturesque scenery.
After a day of adventure and awe, retreat to your accommodation near the Tara River Canyon. Whether you choose a cozy guesthouse or a camping spot in the midst of nature, you will have the opportunity to truly unwind and appreciate the serenity of this remarkable natural wonder.
Day six of your road trip through Montenegro will undoubtedly be a highlight, as you discover the beauty of the Tara River Canyon and create unforgettable memories in this remarkable natural treasure.
Day 7: Relaxing in Sveti Stefan
On day seven of your Montenegro road trip, take a break from the adrenaline-fueled adventures and head to the luxurious and idyllic coastal resort of Sveti Stefan. This small islet-turned-hotel is known for its breathtaking beauty, pristine beaches, and exclusive atmosphere.
Upon arrival, you’ll be mesmerized by the charming and picturesque setting of Sveti Stefan. This fortified island houses a collection of 15th-century stone buildings, interconnected by narrow streets and secluded courtyards. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow pathways and marvel at the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea.
Spend your day relaxing on the beautiful beaches surrounding Sveti Stefan. The soft golden sand and crystal-clear waters provide the perfect setting for sunbathing, swimming, and simply enjoying the peaceful ambiance. Treat yourself to a refreshing dip in the sea, unwind on a sunbed, or explore the underwater world through snorkeling.
For lunch, indulge in a gourmet meal at one of the upscale restaurants located on the island. Sample fresh seafood dishes, Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, and local delicacies while taking in the panoramic views of the coastline.
In the afternoon, venture out to explore the nearby seaside town of Budva. Stroll along the lively promenade, lined with cafes, bars, and boutique shops. Visit the historic old town, where narrow streets, medieval walls, and ancient buildings transport you back in time.
If you’re feeling adventurous, head to the nearby beaches of Mogren and Jaz, where you can try your hand at water sports like jet skiing or parasailing. Alternatively, you can simply relax on the beach and soak in the coastal vibes.
As the day comes to a close, return to Sveti Stefan and treat yourself to a luxurious dinner at one of the island’s restaurants. Savor delectable culinary creations prepared by talented chefs, paired with fine wines, and complemented by breathtaking sunset views.
Retreat to your accommodation in Sveti Stefan, whether it’s a luxurious hotel room or a private villa, and allow yourself to be enveloped by the exclusivity and tranquility of this extraordinary location.
Day seven of your Montenegro road trip is dedicated to relaxation and pampering, allowing you to unwind and recharge in the enchanting setting of Sveti Stefan.
Day 8: Visiting the Ostrog Monastery
On day eight of your Montenegro road trip, embark on a spiritual and cultural journey as you visit the iconic Ostrog Monastery. Perched high up in the mountains, this revered religious site is a testament to faith and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
Start your day by driving through the picturesque Montenegrin countryside, enjoying the scenic views along the way. As you approach the monastery, you’ll be awe-struck by its unique location, carved into the vertical cliffs of the Ostroska Greda mountain range.
Explore the lower monastery, known as Donji Ostrog, where you’ll find a small church and a peaceful courtyard. Marvel at the intricate frescoes and observe the tranquil atmosphere that envelops this sacred place.
Next, embark on an uphill hike to the upper monastery, Gornji Ostrog. This moderate trek will take you on a path lined with religious icons and crosses, offering a spiritual experience as you ascend to the top. As you reach the upper monastery, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.
Inside the upper monastery, enter the holy cave church, dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, where you can pay your respects and witness the religious fervor of pilgrims who have made the journey from near and far.
Take a moment to absorb the spiritual energy of the place and appreciate the serene beauty of the monastery’s surroundings before heading back down the mountain.
For lunch, stop by a local restaurant and taste traditional Montenegrin dishes such as cicvara, a creamy polenta, or kacamak, a cornmeal-based dish. Enjoy these authentic flavors while reflecting on the spiritual journey you’ve experienced at Ostrog Monastery.
In the afternoon, continue your road trip by exploring the nearby areas of Nikšić or Podgorica, the capital city of Montenegro. These cities offer architectural and cultural landmarks, museums, and vibrant street life, providing a unique insight into modern Montenegrin life.
As the day comes to a close, find a cozy spot to rest and reflect on the profound spiritual experience you’ve had at Ostrog Monastery. Allow the serenity of the surroundings to envelop you as you prepare for the next leg of your Montenegro adventure.
Day eight of your Montenegro road trip is a journey of spirituality and cultural immersion, allowing you to witness the profound devotion and beauty of Ostrog Monastery.
Day 9: Exploring Lake Skadar
On day nine of your Montenegro road trip, immerse yourself in the beauty and tranquility of Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans and a paradise for nature lovers and bird watchers.
Start your day by driving to Virpazar, a charming town situated on the edge of Lake Skadar. From here, embark on a boat tour that will take you across the pristine waters of the lake, allowing you to fully appreciate its natural wonders.
As you cruise along, marvel at the lake’s shimmering turquoise waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and rugged mountains. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area, including pelicans, herons, and the rare Dalmatian pelican. A boat tour also gives you the opportunity to visit the hidden gem of Lake Skadar – the small island of Grmozur, where you can explore the ruins of a 19th-century fortress.
After the boat tour, satisfy your appetite with a traditional Montenegrin lunch at a local restaurant in Virpazar. Indulge in fresh fish, Lake Skadar’s renowned carp, or try some of the delicious trout dishes sourced directly from the lake.
In the afternoon, continue your exploration by visiting one of the charming fishing villages that dot the surrounding coastline. Try canoeing or kayaking to get up close to the lake’s serene beauty or hike along one of the picturesque trails that wind through the lake’s hinterland.
For those interested in history and culture, make a stop at the small village of Rijeka Crnojevića, located on the banks of the Crnojević River. Explore the historic stone bridge, gaze at the reflections of the surrounding buildings in the calm river, and admire the historic architecture that harkens back to Montenegro’s rich past.
As the day draws to a close, find a spot along the lake’s shore to witness the mesmerizing sunset over the water. The calmness of the lake and the stunning hues of the sky combine to create a peaceful and enchanting atmosphere.
Retreat to your accommodation on the shores of Lake Skadar, where you can relax and reflect on the natural beauty you’ve encountered throughout the day.
Day nine of your Montenegro road trip is a day of exploration and serenity, allowing you to connect with nature and discover the hidden treasures of Lake Skadar.
Day 10: Departure and Final Thoughts
On the final day of your Montenegro road trip, it’s time to bid farewell to this captivating country and reflect on the incredible experiences and memories you’ve made along the way.
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your accommodation, take some time to soak in the last moments of Montenegro’s natural beauty. Whether it’s the calming waters of Lake Skadar, the majestic mountains of Durmitor, or the picturesque coastline of the Bay of Kotor, allow yourself to appreciate the diverse landscapes that make Montenegro truly special.
As you prepare for departure, take a moment to revisit some of your favorite destinations from the trip. Whether it was exploring the medieval streets of Kotor, relaxing on the beaches of Budva, or connecting with spirituality at the Ostrog Monastery, each destination has brought its own unique charm to your journey.
Reflect on the warmth and hospitality of the Montenegrin people, who have welcomed you with open arms and shared the rich cultural heritage of their country. Engage in conversations, try to learn a few phrases of the local language, and embrace the unique traditions and customs of the places you’ve visited.
As you make your way back to the airport or your next destination, take one last look at Montenegro’s stunning landscapes. Carry the memories of your road trip and the beauty of this hidden gem with you, keeping a little piece of Montenegro in your heart.
Keep in mind that Montenegro has so much more to offer beyond what you’ve experienced on this road trip. The country boasts beautiful national parks, charming coastal towns, and historical sites waiting to be explored. Consider returning in the future to delve deeper into the wonders of Montenegro.
Remember, a road trip is not just about the destination, but also about the journey. The freedom to explore, the sense of adventure, and the ability to create your own unique experiences are what make road trips so special. Embrace the unexpected moments and cherish the memories you’ve made in Montenegro.
As you bid farewell to Montenegro, carry the spirit of exploration and adventure with you, ready to embark on new journeys and discover the beauty of the world.