If you are visiting Dubrovnik for few days do not miss an opportunity to go and see its neighbour country Montenegro. Montenegro is truly magical and I think it was love at first sight in my case 🙂 .
What do we know about Montenegro?
After Breakup of Yugoslavia in 1992, Montenegro and Serbia established one country and only in 2006 Montenegro declared its independence (55.5% of voters voted in favour of independence). By living together with its neighbours for quite a long time, Montenegro became quite diverse and apart from official Montenegrin language, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian and Croatian are also recognized in usage. According to the 2011 census, most citizens declared Serbian as their mother tongue. Apart those in tourist spots everyone speaks perfect English and Russian.
How to get from Dubrovnik to Montenegro?
The cheapest option is considered to be the bus that runs from Dubrovnik to Kotor. It will cost around 15-20 euros one-way. However, it will definitely not be the easiest option in terms of timing and logistics.
By paying a bit more (around 45-50 euros return) you can already book a guided tour by coach, like this one. But keep in mind that group tours do not run every day, so the schedule will need to be checked in advance.
Private minivan tour, that could be tailored to your timing and preferences, will cost around 150 euros per person.
The most reasonable option I think is to rent a car. The benefits of the car rental are that you can go at your own pace, visiting as many or as little places as you want. When renting a car, remember to buy a border pass from the rental office (if you forget, you can actually do it at the border, but not entirely sure about the prices there). Border pass at AVIS rental office cost 50 euros if paying cash and 80 euros if paying card. Luckily we had cash 😉 Car rental itself was around 50 euros + gas, around 20-30 euros (depends on the car, in total 200km). All together it came out to 130 euros or less, 65 euros per person. If you have more people in the car, it is obviously even cheaper.
What to see in Montenegro?
The main destination for tourists in Montenegro is UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor, Europe’s southernmost fjord. On the way to Kotor, you can stop in Perast. Perast has a very Baroque feel with its beautiful villas and churches.
After exploring the town you can take a boat ride to a small island close to Perast to see a 17th-century Baroque church called Our Lady of the Rocks.
When you reach Kotor, go for a walk around the town. The old city was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and is filled with medieval architecture. Narrow streets of the town expose some real local life and not as packed with tourists, as in Dubrovnik.
After you explored the lower part of the town, take 1,350 stairs to a height of 1,200 metres to see Kotor’s fortification – Castle of San Giovanni. The view that you get at the top is breathtaking.
After Kotor, we were also planning to visit Budva, but our waiter advised that it is actually just a beach holiday type town and apart from relaxing next to the sea there is nothing much to do. As it was not a beach season yet, we decided to head back to Croatia, keeping in mind that we might get some traffic close to the border. Luckily, we did not.
On the way back Google maps decided to choose a different route that involved a narrow road (let’s say for 1 and a half cars) and a ferry. This road was a bit stressful in terms of driving, but at the same time quite interesting, as this was the area where no other tourists were spotted.
- Picture source: google maps
Montenegro is a secret Europe’s gem which surprises you with its breathtaking beautiful nature. Places like this that are not yet so popular among tourists make it feel quite special, as if you discovered a new land just for yourself.