Places to Visit in Montenegro, the New Zealand of Europe

I like calling Montenegro a New Zealand of Europe. Of course, there are many beautiful places in Europe, but somehow the feeling we got in Montenegro was a bit similar to what we felt in New Zealand. Maybe, nature in Montenegro is not always as dramatic, but the concentration of dazzling sights is as substantial as in NZ. All the beautiful drives we had, all the amazing stops, viewpoints, canyons, hills and treks.. it’s truly an outstanding place. During our time in Montenegro, we have been to quite a few locations, but those of you short on time can also enjoy a Montenegro day trip. Here’s our favourite places to visit in Montenegro and why we recommend to see them.

1. Lake Biograd

Lake Biograd, or Biogradsko Jezero, was our first stop in Montenegro. We loved it for three reasons:

  1. You can camp/live in the forest. The lake is located in the Biogradska Gora National Park, and once you pay an entrance fee, you can drive right to it and put up a tent for a symbolic price. There are also other accommodation options available. It’s wonderful to wake up to the freshness of the forest air and start your day with a walk around the lake.

  2. Various hikes accessible around the area. You can find some of the hiking routes on the National Park’s official page (Google Translate can help). Those of you who’d like to make it a part of the longer trail may find this Via Dinarica Trail Guide very useful.

  3. It’s one of the few primal forests in Europe. Some trees in the park are 400-500 years old, and the area is mainly untouched. Over 200 species of birds, around 2000 species of plants and much more – an amazing experience for any nature lover. Also, it’s just great. Beautiful, serene, peaceful.

Biogradsko Jezero

Renting boats, bikes and other equipment is also possible in the National Park

Biogradsko Jezero and surrounding forest viewed from the mountain

View from the hilltop we reached during our morning hike

2. Durmitor National Park

Largest National Park of Montenegro and a UNESCO Heritage site, Durmitor, is so diverse: mountains, lakes, canyons, forests.. you can even find historic WWII monuments there. Equipped with activities like rafting, mountain climbing and more – it’s a popular destinations for action lovers. Durmitor is a one of the must places to visit in Montenegro, especially for those who love nature.

Tip for visitors: check the weather before you come – it can get quite cold, even in May.

House in the mountains of Durmitor National Park

No matter how experienced you are, at some point you might make a mistake; we have to admit that we cut our visit to Durmitor short for a very silly reason: we didn’t expect the weather to be so cold and simply lacked warmer clothes

3. Kotor

Probably the most popular place in Montenegro. Kotor has two sides. One of them is stuffed, touristy and may-I-pass-through Kotor. This happens after cruise boats arrive and before they leave again. At these times this little historical gem of Montenegro is stuffed with people, and is really not that attractive. However, if you wake up before the influx of tourists, or in the evening, when they’re gone back to the boat, it’s a totally different place. But in all cases, whenever you get a chance to visit – do it. Old town, fortress and cozy tiny streets are worth surviving the crowd. And, of course, cats. Find out what are the best things to do in Kotor.

View to Kotor Bay, cruise ship and Kotor

Imagine ALL the people from even one cruise boat coming to the tiny town with population of 13510

4. Lake Skadar

Skadarsko Jezero is located on the border of Montenegro and Albania. It’s accessible from many different points. We visited western coast of the lake and here are some examples of what you can do there:

  1. Visit Besac castle – a small but beautiful fortress built during the Ottoman Empire.

  2. Rent a kayak in the Virpazar area – there are few places offering kayaks next to the lake; you can rent for a few hours and enjoy a peaceful stroll.

  3. Have a crazy ride along the coast – roads that you drive along the west coast are really not that large; it’s a beautiful ride, but slightly dangerous if you don’t see a car coming your way. Along the road you’ll meet many people selling homemade wine and other drinks, so make sure to stop and check it out.

  4. Swim in the lake – I don’t have to explain this one. For the beach you can choose for example Murici beach. There’s clear water and beautiful views, but don’t fall a victim of the parking scam.

  5. Take a walk in the Godinje village – they say it dates back to 10th century. The village is small and not very well maintained, but you will find quite a few older parts, which are considered to be an architectural heritage.

Skadar Lake

View from Murici Beach

Skadar Lake

Great place to kayak, if you like it peaceful and easy

Besac Fortress

Road leading to the Besac Fortress

Boy with a dog in the canoe at Skadar Lake

In case you don’t want human company, you can always take your dog with you!

5. Adriatic beaches

A huge advantage of Montenegro is its location next to the Adriatic Sea. We went to the Buljarica beach, but really, it doesn’t matter where – Petrovac, Lucice or else – it’s like a cheaper version of Croatia.

Adriatic Coast Montenegro, Petrovac beach

What is that? Adriatic coast (Petrovac)

6. Perast

Worth a one day visit, Perast is a small town not far from Kotor. With its island churches and stone streets, it attracts many people, but doesn’t get crowded. Like Durmitor and Kotor, Perast is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

St George island, Perast, view from above

There are 2 island churches in Perast: Our Lady of the Rocks and St George (on the photo above)

City of Perast, boats and mountains

Old town, churches, boats, fish restaurants and beautiful bay – this is Perast

7. Other ideas

View of the Budva city

Budva. With narrow streets, local shops and galleries, Budva one of the other popular places to visit in Montenegro. It wasn’t our favourite, but still worth checking out, especially if you’d like to discover local nightlife

Sveti Stefan island in Montenegro

Sveti Stefan. Another small island next to the coast, today it’s a 5-star hotel resort, which makes it a little overpriced. Nice views, but not sure it’s worth to go there for long, unless you stay in the resort. 1 hour walk and you’ll be able to enjoy the scenery!

If you haven’t visited Montenegro yet, grab your chance before another Game-of-Thrones-like-TV-series decides to use one of country’s amazing locations for filming and it becomes expensive and touristy like Dubrovnik. We hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we did. If you have been there already – let us know in the comments what are your favourite places to visit in Montenegro!

Old houses of Perast, Montenegro

Greetings from Perast!

For those exploring other countries, read:

Places to visit in Bolivia

Macedonia in 1 Week: Sample Itinerary

Local Food to Try in Russia

Places to visit in Montenegro, Pinterest image

Places to visit in Montenegro, Pinterest image

Places to visit in Montenegro, Pinterest image

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