Have you been to Montenegro yet? No? Your guide to the last wilderness in Europe
Dense forest of beech, maple and fir, towering mountains, deep deep gorges and wild mountain rivers. Where is that? We’re on our way to Montenegro, the last corner of true wilderness on the Mediterranean. Our Project Manager and insatiable explorer Ani is a local expert, so we got a few tips out of her!
Photo: Lab604 / Flickr
Nature lover’s paradise
This small Balkan country is relatively unknown, making it the perfect destination for outdoor lovers in search of fresh adventure. You will be spoiled of choice between hiking or climbing (90 per cent of its surface is covered in forests!), or white water rafting in Europe’s deepest canyon scubaing in the crystal water of the Med.
Montenegro’s tourism suffered from the war in the 1990s, but it has been recovering over the last few years. New hotels and infrastructures are popping up and street conditions have greatly improved.
Photo: Ani Movsisyan
The fortified town of Kotor sits in a deep bay, surrounded by nearly-overhanging limestones cliffs. If you feel fit enough to conquer some thirty crazy hairpins up the slope, you’ll be rewarded by a fantastic view over the bay.
Ani’s tip: “You’ll feel top of the world and admire this magic sight. Kotor Bay with all its pretty charm, the small villages dotting the bay coastline, the yachts flowing in and out and the hazy blue mountains on the background.”
Despite its growing popularity, Kotor is still a tier below neighboring Dubrovnik, of Games of Thrones fame, where 15,000 tourists gather in town every day. So go and experience this hidden gem before everyone else does!
Only twenty minutes away from Kotor you’ll find Perast, the little Venice of Montenegro. You can also embark on an adventurous drive around the peninsula: old houses, olive trees and little secluded beaches with await you here. Rose, the little town on the northern tip of the island, makes for a perfect stop.
Photo: Lab604 / Flickr
Whatever you do, don’t just stay on the coast! Most of the beauty of Montenegro is in its wild interior. This Durmitor mountain range is popular with skiers and snowboarders in the winter, or hikers and bikers throughout the the year. For accommodation, try Zabljak, just at the doors of the park.
The Tara River Canyon is 1,300 meters at its deepest, which makes it the deepest canyon in Europe. The most vertigo-inducing spot is from the huge bridge spanning across it. If you are feeling adventurous, the river is also a popular rafting route.
Ani’s tip: “The asphalt cover is replaced by stone, gravel and holes, so hold your horses unless you feel a bit like Bond.”
Photo: Manuelito / Flickr
Not the adventure buff? That’s alright! Enjoy the slower pace of Montenegro’s countryside as you drink your way along the country many wineries. Montenegro was once the center of Yugoslavia’s wine industry, and it still produces the stuff on industrial scale. Try a wine-tasting tour of local producers.
Want to hear more tips? Explore more secret spots in Montenegro on Everplaces.