Montenegro is a Balkan country with rugged mountains, medieval villages and a narrow strip of beaches along its Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor, resembling a fjord, is dotted with coastal churches and fortified towns such as Kotor and Herceg Novi. Durmitor National Park, home to bears and wolves, encompasses limestone peaks, glacial lakes and 1,300m-deep Tara River Canyon.
Montenegro is a country with rich culture. Each town has its own story, so it can be quite challenging to decide where to go and what to see. We know the struggle, so our editors have made a list of TOP 5 must-visit places in Montenegro (listed down below).
Skadar Lake, also known as Lake Scutari, Lake Shkodër and Lake Shkodra, is located in the so-called Zeta-Skadar valley. Indescribable and in many ways unique, with a surface area that seasonally fluctuates between 370 to 530 sq km, it’s the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula. Driving through the newly built Sozina tunnel, the lake is only a short 20 minute drive away from the Adriatic Sea. The river Bojana creates a connection between Skadar Lake and the Adriatic Sea through a large mountain massive that separates the two. Two thirds of the lake belong to Montenegro, while one third belongs to the Republic of Albania. The Montenegrin part of the lake, at a size of 400 sq km, was declared a National Park in 1983.
The region of Skadar Lake is an area the visitors and tourist to Montenegro must come to see to believe that such a place of natural beauty indeed exists. Today, Skadar is renowned as one of Europe’s top bird habitats. It’s a beautiful area with steep mountains, island monasteries and clean waters. The main towns here are Virpazar and Vranjina and if you’ve got wheels, you can easily explore all the tiny villages in this area. Lake Skadar is perfect for nature lovers and those who want some outdoor activity. Go bird-watching, find out more about cultural and historic monument or take part in sports events.
The sea, the lake and mountains are all located in a circumference of 150km, so the national park is very accessible. Legend has it that the lake was created by the tears of a pixie, so after one look at the magical lake, you might start believing in fairy tales too.
Wedged between the Tara and Lim rivers in central Montenegro, the Biogradska Gora National Park features shimmering lakes, swift-running streams, lush green meadows and one of the few remaining primeval forests in Europe. Although it’s one of the smallest of Montenegro’s national parks, Biogradska Gora offers the greatest diversity when it comes to flora and fauna, including 500-year-old trees. Most visitors head to Lake Biograd, a large glacial located in the heart of the park. The recent development of the nearby town of Kolasin makes it a popular base for tours of the park.
Located to the northwest of Kotor and sharing the same gorgeous fjord-like bay, pretty Perast is a small town notable for it stone-crafted villas and historic churches. Two of the city’s picturesque chapels are situated on tiny islets, Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George. Back onshore, the Church of St. Nikola is worth a visit for the pleasant views that a climb up to the belfry offers of the town and bay. While there’s no beach in this bay-front city, the stone jetties along the waterfront are popular places for sunbathing and relaxing.
The main Montenegro attraction is Kotor:
During the visit to Kotor you should, by all means visit the fortress St. John (Sveti Ivan). It is situated above the bulwarks of the Kotor’s Old town. Climbing up to the fortress St. John or as people from Kotor like to call it San Giovanni, starts with the serpentines from the east part of the Old Kotor, which go to the very top of the fortress on 280 m above sea level. Before you set yourself to climb towards the fortress we suggest that you take your camera with yourself, because the pictures of Kotor and bay of Boka Kotorska, which you will see, can not be described in words, but instead they have to be first, experienced, and then noted, pictured. While you are climbing you can enjoy the sights of the Old town of Kotor.
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