Explore the Hidden Beauties of Montenegro

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57627219 - sveti stefan resort island in montenegro

Small south-eastern European country, Montenegro usually gets overlooked with Croatian Dubrovnik being just two hours away by bus. This is a shame because Montenegro (meaning Black Mountain) is full of awe-inspiring scenery – from serene blue Adriatic Sea to dramatic gray and black cliffs surrounding it.

Coastline

Budva is one of the most developed tourist towns, with abundances of hotels and apartments build around its 17 beaches (stretching for 22 miles). The city was founded by Greeks in the 4th century BC and then it changed hands for centuries, from Byzantium to Venetian Republic, from Austro-Hungary to Napoleonic France.

City beach is full of tables and lounge sofas managed by local cafes- it’ not so much a beach for swimming as a place to be seen at.  Five minutes away, you can find pebble beachesMogren I and II (on the way there take a selfie with a bronze sculpture of a ballet dancer performing anarabesque. Sveti Nikola island offers a more secluded bathing, being covered in pinewood and not having to many restaurants.

For most tourists Sveti Stefan is the highlight of Montenegro vacation. In the sixties and seventies it was considered to be Saint Tropez of the Adriatic – where Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren holidayed. Today there’ a luxury AmanSveti Stefan island-hotel with pink sand beaches (both public and those accessible only to Aman guests).

North Mountains

Just a few hours from its sunny beaches, you can find Montenegro rafting tours and other more extreme sports such as caving, rock climbing and paragliding. As soon as the crowds on the beaches calm down – winter season for skiers and snowboarders stars on the mountain tops.

Durmitor National Park is especially popular with the skiers and snowboarders during the winter and with the hikers and bikers during the rest of the year.

Near the town of Zabljak, the very center of Montenegro mountain tourism lays the biggest attraction of Durmitor, Crnojezero (Black Lake), one of 18 glacier lakes in the park. There is 3.5 km long walking path around it, which makes the best way for tourist to take in the scenery.

On the border with Albania lays the biggest lake of the Balkans – Skadar Lake. Best thing to do is to take a boat ride right to the lush swamp vegetation. It’s also a great place for bird watching – see if you can spot Dalamatian Pelican, a symbol of the lake.

Biogradska Gora is the smallest, but also the most modern of Montenegro national parks. Full of diverse flora and fauna the park is the only temperate rain forest in Europe. It contains six lakes, most beautiful of which is Biograskolake. Main road leads straight to Kolasin ski resort equipped with the snow making machines and high speed six-man lift.

Food and drinks

Montenegrin cuisine is influenced by Mediterranean,Greek and Turkish flavors equally. Even people who don’t like seafood can’t resist trying fish salad or goulash full of local spices. Drying fish is a traditional practice in Montenegro – the fish is scaled, gilled andlaid out under the scorching sun. The fish is daily dipped in sea water. When the drying process is completed, it is smoked over fire and placed into paper bags. Seafood dishes are usually served with palenta (made from corn flour) and blitva (chards)

There is a variety of options beside seafood. Prosciutto is made out of dried pork and the best one comes from Njegusi. Fresh mountain air is what makes all the difference. Local curdled cheese called Kajmak is prepared by pouring sheep’s milk into a flat bowl and put into a warm oven for 3 hours and then cooled. The upper layer is carefully removed and shifted to another bowl and salt is added.

Sweets are usually served separately with coffee.  Palačinke are largecrepes filled with jam, chocolate or cream. You should also try Priganice, fried donuts served with honey or jam.

Montenegro, country of beautiful beaches and mountains, can fulfill the needs of almost every kind of tourist. There are peaceful resorts and secluded beaches, as well as opportunities to have an active vacation filled with adventures you can talk about for years to come.

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