10 things I wish I knew before going to Montenegro
What comes to your mind when you hear the name of the Montenegro country? Sea, mountains, breathtaking scenery... In recent years Montenegro has become quite a popular resort for travelers from Europe. The perfect combination of sea and mountains creates a mild climate that is optimal for everyone. The bathing season here lasts from May to October. However, even in winter, you can spend an interesting and useful holiday by visiting one of the ski resorts.
Dazzling landscapes that will open up to you at the sight of majestic mountains, inviting sea, clean river canyons, and narrow ribbons of serpentine roads will allow you to experience the spirit of freedom and joy. And of course, before going on travel to Montenegro, it is worth learning some facts about Montenegro to make your trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. So, let's begin!
1. Montenegro on the map
I'm sure many of you must have asked the search engine questions like: "Where is Montenegro" or "Where is Montenegro on the map". Montenegro country is located in the southwest of the Balkan Peninsula and is washed for 300 km by two seas - Adriatic and Black. The territory of Montenegro also includes 14 islands, which extend to 15.6 km. It shares borders with Serbia, Croatia, Albania Bosnia, and Herzegovina.
Although the country is not large, it holds several unique geographical records:
• Tara River Canyon is the second largest canyon in the world and the deepest in Europe.
• The Bay of Kotor is the fjord of the Earth's northern hemisphere, located at its southernmost point.
• It has the largest number of mountain peaks (48 in total), with heights exceeding 2000 meters.
• The Adriatic coast is considered to be the cleanest.
In addition, the mountains of Montenegro have many glacial caves, powerful waterfalls, and transparent mountain lakes. The latter, by the way, are considered natural monuments and are recognized as a world treasure.
Montenegro map is mostly mountainous, with the result that most of the country's territory is occupied by forest land. Due to its size, you can travel through the whole country in one day. But we do not advise you to hurry - Montenegro is rich in various historical and tourist places, which are definitely worth visiting.
When you travel to Montenegro, be sure to plan routes and find out about local transport. To see the most famous places you'll have to travel more than just on foot. After all, this is Montenegro - there's always something to see.
Bus: it's considered to be the most common form of transport. Buses run almost between all settlements and resort cities of the country. On the Adriatic coast and in Podgorica, this transport is most developed. You can buy bus tickets at the ticket office, from the driver or at a kiosk.
Taxi: there is also a demand for taxis. You can use a taxi service for a sightseeing excursion around the city. You will always find cars with "checkers" at the airport, at the station, at the parking lots in resort towns. Prices vary depending on the city. If a taxi is equipped with a meter, you will have to pay 2 euros for landing and another 1 euro for each kilometer. Don't forget to tip the taxi driver - the tips here vary from 5 to 15%.
Car: the most convenient option for tourists who do not like to sit in one place. Renting a car will not be difficult if you are over 21 years old, have an international driving license, and a driving experience of at least 2 years. At the car rental office, you will need to leave a deposit (100-300 euros), and the cost of the rental itself starts from 35 euros per day. Of course, this number varies depending on the area, car brand, and season.
3. National characteristics
According to the latest sociological data, more than 15 different nationalities live in Montenegro. It is the reason that has influenced the fact that the country's inhabitants are distinguished by respect for other faiths, as well as tolerance for the customs of other cultures. Montenegrins are a very patriotic nation. They remember the history of their country, know, and observe traditions. Montenegro people are freedom-loving, brave, and united. Thanks to these qualities, they managed to win numerous wars for independence and independence.
Another distinctive feature of the Montenegro people is their hospitality and cordiality. Montenegrins love to receive guests and do it with great scope. Delicious food and drinks, music, home decoration - guests' arrival is always a holiday for them. While waiting for the visitors, Montenegrins opens the doors and windows. The guest will never come empty-handed - giving a gift in the form of a sign of attention and respect to the owner is considered a good gesture.
Family values for the residents of Montenegro have always been and are the most important. They maintain family ties, and each member of the extended family feels the powerful protection and support of the relatives. If necessary, an outsider Montenegrin will never be left behind.
All these qualities of the Montenegro people attract travelers to the fabulous country of Montenegro. The friendly, affable, and sociable Montenegrins complement the extraordinary beauty of the landscape in a very organic way and create a harmonious big picture of the country.
4. Montenegro cuisine
Montenegrins have one weakness, for which they are ready to do anything (or almost anything). It's a delicious and plentiful meal. The national cuisine gathered just a little bit from different cultures and turned into one of the best Balkan cuisines. At first glance, it may seem that all dishes are simple enough and without delicacy. However, the incomparable taste and virtuosity of cooking will pleasantly surprise you.
Montenegrin cuisine is conditionally divided into mountain cuisine, where dishes from different types of meat and dairy products prevail, and coastal cuisine, distinguished by a variety of fish and seafood.
What to try to feel the national spirit of Montenegrin lands? One of the most famous dishes is prshut or dried ham. The secret of its extraordinary taste is that it takes the whole two years to prepare this dish.
Chorba is a thick boiled soup with meat, fish, clams, crabs. The main thing in this dish is a special dressing prepared with wine, olive oil, and lemon juice.
A characteristic feature of Montenegro cuisine is the use of different types of cheese. Also, the cheese is served at each meal. Negush cheese is considered to be the most delicious.
Coffee lovers, come here for sure! In Montenegro, they drink a lot of this divine drink, drinking it with cold water. They are known for their incomparable taste of wine - red "Vranac", white "Krstac". The local beer "Niksicko " and the strong drink Lozovac, which is the highest quality samogon, are also popular.
Tours in Montenegro offer a lot of different resorts in this magical country. What to see in Montenegro to expand your horizons and enjoy what you see? Almost every city has its own attractions that are worth visiting. But first, you need to choose a place where the rest will bring you unforgettable impressions and emotions.
• Budva. Montenegro is not only nature, sea, and air. It is also discos, parties, youth parties. All these entertainments are concentrated in Budva, which is famous for its shallow beaches and developed infrastructure.
• Becici, Rafailovici, St. Stefan, Petrovac. These are resorts that are located on the coast of the Budva Riviera. Families with children prefer them because of the relatively gentle entrance to the sea, the availability of many cafes, and restaurants, playgrounds.
• Herceg Novi. The town is located in the Bay of Kotor on the hills. Therefore, when walking here, you will have to face a lot of stairs, passages, and winding trails. This is the greenest city in Montenegro, which is rightly called the "botanical garden city". Sailors brought various exotic plants from overseas countries and planted them here. So don't forget to find a cactus with the height of a three-story house, a banana tree, palm trees, and the most beautiful flowers to take memorable photos of.
• Kotor. It is known for its Old City, which belongs to the cultural heritage of UNESCO. It has no natural beaches that Budva can boast. Montenegro offers over 115 different beaches. And whichever one you choose, each one has its own charms and charm.
• Bar. Operators offering tours to Montenegro classify this resort as the most suitable for holidays with children. It's peaceful and sunny. And to diversify your leisure time you can visit the main port of the country and the fortress from the 10-11th centuries.
• Ulcinj. It is one of the oldest cities in Montenegro. It has the status of the Old Pirate Capital, where sea robbers from all over the world hide. The largest sandy beach in the country, "Great Plaza," is located here.
Taking into account where is Montenegro (which is Europe), the rules of conduct, including on the roads, in the country are very strict. So, for example, for driving with lights off you may face a fine of 30-80 euros. If you are in the vehicle, be sure to fasten your seat belt, otherwise, you will pay a fine of 40-100 Euros. You will be charged a fine of 60-150 Euros for talking on your mobile phone while driving.
Failure to comply with speed limits (a fine of up to 2000 euros), driving under the influence of alcohol (up to 60 days' imprisonment) is strictly punished. Failure to comply with parking regulations threatens to evacuate the car to the parking lot within the next 10 minutes and a penalty of 150 euros.
7. Attitude towards Russians
Montenegrins have special feelings of friendliness towards the Russian nation. This is due to the fact that in hard times the countries came to each other's aid, and Russia protected the country of Montenegro from attacks of stronger enemies. Slavic roots also contribute to mutual love between countries. And the general belief has united peoples at the spiritual level, after all, in Montenegro, as well as in Russia, the majority of inhabitants profess Orthodoxy.
8. The portions in the cafe
Montenegrins' cordiality and hospitality are reflected not only in unusually tasty Montenegro dishes but also in the size of portions. In any cafe or restaurant, they are very large. With this feature in mind, you can order one dish and share it with your fellow traveler.
After being in the country for some time, you can notice some slowness and moderation in the actions of Montenegro people. A Montenegrin will never be in a hurry and will never do any thoughtless act; rushing is definitely not about them. Before solving a problem, it is customary to carefully consider all ways to overcome it with the least losses. That's what Montenegro is all about. The sea, mountains, air, landscapes contribute to relaxation and grace.
10. Things to buy
When buying souvenirs, choose from what is prepared and produced in Montenegro country. The most popular among tourists are alpine honey with nuts, local wine "Vranac", olive oil, national cap "Kapa", ceramic dishes, icons, and candles from holy places.
We have described 10 facts about Montenegro to know before travel to Montenegro. You will be lucky to see the rest on the spot; after which you will forever become an ardent admirer of this extraordinary country.
Daiva was born in Lithuania, but almost all her conscious life she lives in Belarus - the most beautiful region of lakes, forests and fields. She has always liked to put her thoughts on paper, whether it was keeping a diary or a school essay. By the way, while she was still a schoolgirl, Daiva wrote a children's book. No less critical hobby in her life is travelling and visiting new places. The nearest and the main goal for Daiva is the dream of a miniature house by the sea in picturesque Spain. The list of countries she visited includes such countries as Turkey, Egypt, Thailand, Bali, India, Sri Lanka, Spain, Montenegro, Germany, Poland, Ukraine and Russia.