Visiting coastal towns of Montenegro – 3 very different worlds

The most common question I got from my friends when I went to travel the Balkans was: “You’re going to Monte what now?’ Back then I didn’t realize that I was visiting a part of the world that isn’t well known by the average tourist, let alone average person. I must admit that Montenegro is a country you would forget about existing, unless you’ve been there.

 

Squeezed in between the borders of Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Albania and Kosovo lies Montenegro: country of mountains, wine, wildlife, fjords and beaches, home to some of the loveliest people in the world. This eco-country, as they like to call themselves, has something for every tourist but is lacking some of the fame cities like London or Barcelona have. Following are some of the touristic highlights of the country’s coastal side, which are so versatile you could call them different worlds.

 

Perast

Perast

Kotor - Old Town

Kotor – Old Town

Kotor – the western world

The city (and bay) of Kotor is one of the more touristic places of the country. Cruise ships arrive daily, bringing new guests from all around the world. The region of Kotor gives you many, many reasons to visit: the medieval town, fortresses, the cheap prices and last, but certainly not least, the most southern Fjords of Europe: the bay of Kotor.

The many attractions in this region, combined with the gorgeous landscapes are the reason this part of Montenegro is compared to the more Western kind of tourism, and although this country is reasonably undiscovered, tourists are all you will find here during the summer. Lucky for us this is not the new Dubrovnik yet, so if I say tourists, I mean a tolerable amount of people who’ll ooh and aah about the same things you are.

 

Highlights: Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, the old town center, the bay of Kotor, Perast.
Budva - photo credit: Budva.travel

Budva – photo credit: Budva.travel

Budva – The party world

Beaches, parties, cultural heritage and mass tourism is what you can expect from Budva, a town 1 hour from Kotor. With 35 beaches in the area, Budva attracts a major amount of people. During the summer the coastal area, called Budvanska rivijera, is filled with young, mostly Eastern European tourists who party their asses off. Personally I don’t like this kind of tourism so I can be short and sweet on this one: if you like to have fun at night and lay on the beach the very next morning, then do pay them a visit!

Highlights: Stari Grad (Old Town), Sveti Stefan, Mogren Beach, Budva Citadel.

montenegro3

Ulcinj

 

Ulcinj – The other world

All the way in the south of Montenegro, close to the border with Albania, you’ll find something a bit more rough but nice. Ulcinj town serves more as a tourist destination of the Albania and Kosovo area, but in a far less organized way than Dubrovnik or Kotor. From Ulcinj it’s easy to do day trips to Podgorica and Shkoder (Albania).

When I was there I found that most of the normally touristic areas where deserted, such as big parts of the Old Town, which wasn’t maintained at all. At one point we spent €1 on a 3 in 1 museum deal, including the citadel, where we ended up spending the entire time alone on the platform, overlooking the Adriatic sea, at night we were a restaurant’s only guests.

 

montenegro2

 

The city beach and 14 km Velika Plaza (long beach) were not so deserted. Many people from the area go on holiday on this part of Montenegro, and because sandy beaches are not everywhere to find, this beach is instant paradise. Taxi boats drive on and off, giving their passengers the opportunity of a day trip to the beach. Although there were a lot of people, it didn’t seem crowded at all. The beach also didn’t have much other attractions which added to the relaxed vibe.

Highlights: Velika Plaza, the old town, the museum and citadel in Old Town

 

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5 Comments

  • Reply
    petra
    September 10, 2014 at 13:42

    oooh, everything looks so lovely, I will be visiting Montenegro one day!!!

  • Reply
    Along Dusty Roads
    September 14, 2014 at 14:32

    It looks lovely! Great to hear that Montenegro has recovered and is now is a place to travel.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      September 14, 2014 at 15:30

      They are recovering as hard as they can. If you visit you’ll see that the south is staying behind just a bit, but I found it very safe and worth seeing. The best thing is that there’s something to do for everybody, which makes it a wanted tourist destination, if people knew about it 😉

  • Reply
    L. Spaans.
    November 24, 2014 at 16:49

    I allready knew that this was a very beautyfull country but because off the regime in the past it was completely impossible for western tourists to visit. Off course it leaves the landscape unspoiled and preserved wich will change when hurds of tourists spread over the land. But it is worth to go and visit before it is too late.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      November 26, 2014 at 09:40

      Let’s hope I won’t change that fast 😉 Otherwise you can always choose to go into the mountains, there you will find no tourists at all.

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