How interesting it is to travel around Europe, and the Pearl of the Adriatic is amazing. That is the other name for Montenegro. Sights you can see during one vacation.
The country has a lot of stunning, iconic places – natural and architectural sights. This is a country with islands, caves, lakes, bays, beaches, many churches, cathedrals, monasteries, and cities with ancient history.
Montenegro has a mild climate, warm sea, clean air – all this makes it an ideal place to relax all year round. In warm seasons tourists visit the country for a beach holiday, in cool seasons they come to enjoy local sights.
Natural sights of Montenegro
The country has amazing nature: a top-notch sea, excellent beaches, beautiful bays, small islands, tropical flowers, fruits, palm trees, and caves. Montenegro is famous for its dense forests, mountain landscapes and sceneries.
So where should you go first in Montenegro?
The Bay of Kotor (Boka) – the most beautiful fjord in Europe
The first place in the list of the best natural sights of Montenegro is deservedly taken by The Bay of Kotor. It is the southernmost and most beautiful fjord. On the shore of the bay are the famous Montenegrin cities of Kotor, Tivat, Herceg Novi, Perast, and other settlements. To take a closer look at coastal landscapes, tourists go on sightseeing tours or enjoy the views from a yacht or a boat.
The Bay of Kotor is the largest on the Adriatic. It includes a narrow, deep valley that formed as a result of river erosion. It is the only fjord in the entire Mediterranean region. On the shore of the bay, there are numerous churches and temples.
Durmitor National Park
The park includes numerous lakes, famous caves, mountain streams, forests, meadows and a lot of lush vegetation. In hidden villages, people live the old-fashioned way, just like hundreds of years ago. The most famous lake in the park is Black lake; according to the legend, there is an ancient monastery on its bottom. There are also famous caves – Ice Cave and Shkrk Cave.
It will take a couple of days to see all the treasures of the national park. In winter, a ski resort is open in Durmitor. In summer, cycling is popular; you can ride horses, go rafting, climbing, go down to the caves. The park has very clean air and a pleasant atmosphere.
According to UNESCO, Durmitor is the country’s Olympus and the pearl of the wealth of the biosphere. For the convenience of tourists, there are pedestrian paths, small wooden bridges, and benches in the park.
This unique natural sight is located at the beginning of Herceg-Novi Bay. The blue grotto was washed by waves, it has two entrances, but you can only reach it by sea by boat. If you arrive at the cave before dinner, you can see the blue glow, which is formed due to the refraction of sunlight into water. Hence the name of the grotto comes from.
The entrance to the cave is low, so you can get inside only when the sea is calm. If it is stormy on the water, the access to the cave is limited. Inside the Blue Grotto, the water is warm and salty with a rich blue or ultramarine color.
Canyons of the Tara and Moraca Rivers
The Tara River Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe; only the Grand Canyon in the USA is larger than it. The Moraca River Canyon is a railway and automobile portal to the north of Montenegro. These are one of the main sights of the country, which are especially popular among rafting fans.
The Moraca Canyon has numerous tunnels in the rocks and dangerous breathtaking cliffs. There is the ancient Moraca monastery and many viewing platforms with spectacular views.
The Tara Canyon includes waterfalls, deep gorges, rapid rifts, and rocky mountains. The canyon is 82 km long, in some places, the depth reaches 1300 meters. On one side it is surrounded by the mountains of Durmitor and Sinyayevina, and on the other side, there are Zlatni Bor and Lyubishnya.
The Tara Canyon is a part of Durmitor Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is the famous Dzhurdzhevich bridge that connects the south and the north of Montenegro.
Serpentine from Kotor to the mountain and Lovcen National Park
This is a rocky area of the Alps, where two climatic zones are combined. To get to the mountains and Lovcen National Park you need a strong spirit. The thing is to get to these sights you need to overcome 25 turns of serpentine, which connects the sight with Kotor.
Then the road to Lovcen begins and depending on the weather, tourists can see the Bay of Kotor or be above the clouds. The park has a diverse flora and fauna. On its territory, there is a building for worship, a mausoleum, a village, and a mountain lake.
Shkoder and Virpazar
Shkoder or Lake Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans, located on the territory of Montenegro and Albania. Virpazar is a village and a gate to a reservoir. The total area of the lake is 390 km², 2/3 of which belong to the territory of Montenegro.
Shkoder is a natural reservoir with outstanding dimensions and one of the few places in Europe where pelicans live. There is their natural habitat and place of great nesting. On the shores and islands of Shkoder, there are many monasteries, churches with tombs, chapels, fortresses, and monuments. In Virpazar, the wine and bleak festival takes place annually in spring.
On the lake, you can ride boats and ships. When walking tourists are treated to cheese, honey, tortillas, and homemade wine. The best time to visit this natural sight is the beginning of summer. In June, water lilies bloom abundantly on Lake Skadar.
Among the many natural sights of Montenegro, it is impossible not to mention the endless beaches of the country.
Montenegro sights what to see: the most interesting beaches
Tourists who rest in the summer in Montenegro often visit local beaches. In a maritime country, there are many interesting places where you can sunbathe and swim. It has warm and clean water, a smooth entrance to the sea and a mild climate. Therefore, everything is suitable for families with children, a family, friends or a couple.
This is a popular, well-known holiday destination with the Blue Flag mark. The award indicates that the beach is clean, well-maintained and it is comfortable to relax here. The infrastructure is developed at a high level.
This is a large, convenient and the most popular resort of Budva, located on the waterfront. It has a beautiful view, a good bottom and many vacationers. The beach is covered with sand and pebble, the water in the sea is warm.
The beach stretches from the Old Town almost to Becici. Near the Old Town, the coastline is covered with sand, closer to Becici it is replaced by small pebbles. Slavic beach is famous for its well-developed infrastructure. There are many sun loungers, cafes, bars, souvenir shops, shops with clothes, and entertainment on the coast.
These are some of the most beautiful beaches of the coast. There is a lot of space for vacationers, there is a natural shadow from the rocks. Mogren beaches are located in Budva, these are romantic beautiful beaches with breathtaking scenery. On the way to the beach, tourists will see huge overhanging cliffs of slate and waves frequently breaking on the rocks.
It is the cleanest resort in Montenegro, the water in this place is so clear that sea urchins live here. On the coast there are pebbles, the water in the sea is clear and transparent. Vacationers bring along or rent sunbeds.
There are fast food stalls at the resort, souvenirs shops, and small restaurants. There is also a paid automatic shower with fresh water. There is an olive grove on the beach. You can get a massage on the coast. Nearby there is a large dock from where you can go to sightseeing tours to the Blue Cave, to the fortress island of Mamula and to Herceg-Novi.
In addition to natural sights, the country has many architectural monuments with a long history.
Cultural sights of Montenegro
The most important sights of Montenegro are the ancient cities of the country. Kotor, Herceg-Novi, Cetinje, Perast, Budva conceal many secrets in the walls of their buildings, which are several millennia old.
This is a huge fortress wall, an ancient city with charming medieval streets and it is one of the main sights of Montenegro. Kotor is an ancient city in the Italian style, which is included in the UNESCO list.
There are low stone buildings with bright red tiles. The city is located in the depths of the picturesque Boka Bay; there are many temples and churches there.
It is the cultural and historical capital of Montenegro. The museum city is located at the foot of Lovcen Mountain. For Montenegrins, this is a symbol of the nation and the country. Cetinje began to develop in 1482 and since then there have been many historical events. The city has the best-preserved collection of weapons in the Balkans.
It was Cetinje that was the center of the residence of the Montenegrin Orthodox Church and the organized resistance by the Turks. The Vlashka Church is the oldest building in the city built in 1450. The relics of St. Peter of Cetin, a part of the Holy Cross and the right hand of John the Baptist are stored in the Cetinje monastery.
This is a green city located on the coast of the Bay of Kotor. Herceg-Novi is the most amazing and beautiful city in Montenegro. It is located on a small hillside. On its territory, there are many romantic winding streets paved with stone, stairs and walls.
Herceg-Novi is the Botanical Garden of Montenegro because the residents have been engaged in maritime trade since ancient times. Every time they visited other countries, they always brought home exotic plants from different parts of the world.
That is why the city has such a variety of unusual vegetation. Among the architectural sights in Herceg-Novi, there is a piece of the Bloody Tower of Kanli Kula, which now has a restaurant, a square, a clock tower Sahat Kula. Karacha fountain with clean drinking water and the Church of St. Gabriel are worth attention.
This is a tiny town with one single street, but you must visit it during the tour. It is located on the coast of the picturesque Bay of Kotor thanks to which it has such attention.
In the ancient city, there are architectural monuments: a large church and the ruins of an old house. The buildings and structures of Perast look the same as they did 2 centuries ago.
This is the main sea resort of the region, which displays all the beauty and diversity of Montenegro. The old city was destroyed by an earthquake in 1979 but was later restored. In Budva, there are three museums, a castle, and a church.
The central square of the Old Town is framed by high ramparts. The coast has many beaches surrounded by mountains. The sights worth visiting in Budva are the old St. Mary and St. John citadel.
This is the main landmark of Montenegro and the country’s most expensive sight. Sveti Stefan is a famous gated island hotel on the Budva Riviera. Only tourists who rented rooms in the hotel, those who booked a table in the restaurant and those who come there with a tour, can get there. The exception is the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, when the island is open to all visitors.
Near the island, there is a park, a beach and a small dock. Sveti Stefan is a small rocky island connected to the mainland by a thin isthmus. On the coast there are pink beaches, 1,170 meters long, in the city there are narrow streets, picturesque churches, and elegant buildings. This is one of the most expensive resorts in Montenegro.
Đurđevića Tara Bridge
This is another landmark of Montenegro, built in the early 20th century from concrete. The Đurđevića Tara Bridge is a tall, beautiful, arched structure located at the exit of Zabljak. There is a shop, a camping, a parking lot, a hostel, a petrol station nearby; on the bridge there are 2 zip-lines.
The bridge is named after its owner. At the entrance, there is a monument dedicated to an engineer who was actively involved in the construction process. The bridge consists of five arches; the height of the structure is 170 meters.
Walking along the bridge, tourists see picturesque views, mountain landscapes, meadows, small villages, lonely houses, and the Tara River. The best time for walking here is from June to September.
Among the architectural monuments of Montenegro, monasteries, temples, and churches are of great importance.
Religious sights of Montenegro
There are a lot of churches in Montenegro – at least one in every city. The most popular religious sights of the country are:
- Ostrog or Ostrog monastery. The most famous shrine of Montenegro.
- Moraca Monastery. This is a cultural sight, within the walls there are ancient murals, the first honorary book of the southern Slavs is Octoechos and one of the first handwritten Gospels in Montenegro. In total there are two churches on the territory. St. Nicholas church and the church of the Assumption of the Mother of God.
- The Cetinje Monastery is the place where the right hand of John the Baptist and a part of the life-giving cross are.
- Gospa od Škrpjela Church (Mother of God on the Cliff). It is the only temple built with the island on which it stands.
- Gospa od Škrpjela Church (Virgin Mary on the Cliff), located on the coast of the Bay of Kotor.
- The Church of St. Luke is both an Orthodox and Catholic church located in Kotor.
- Cathedral of St. Tryphon is the largest Kotor temple.
- Savina Monastery.
In addition to the listed sights, other sights in Montenegro are worth mentioning.
Montenegro sights to visit: what else you can see
Forte Mare Fortress in Herceg Novi. Once it was a defensive structure, today it is a tourist site. Inside the fortress, there is a cinema and discos. A small part of the fortress is open to research. Tourists come to this place to see the panoramic view from the top point of Forte Mare.
Mamula Fortress. It is an abandoned prison island with a powerful defensive architecture with a lot of legends. You can get to the island by boat.
Porto Montenegro in Tivat. It is a yacht marina, which was once built by a Canadian businessman. Porto Montenegro is Montenegrin Monaco. There are the highest prices in stores and hotels.
Lipa Cave. It is the largest mountain in Montenegro, located 33 km from Budva near Cetinje.
Piva Lake. It is a natural sight located in the west of Montenegro near the border with
Bosnia and Herzegovina. Tourists go to this place to go rafting on the Piva River. These are remote and very picturesque places for extreme vacation.
The old city in Ulcinj. It is the southernmost city of Montenegro, where mainly Muslims live. Ulcinj is located on the border with Albania. There are many mosques in the city.
Old Austrian fort Gorazd. This is a well-preserved building, built in the 19th century. Fans of military battles, abandoned buildings, and history will enjoy a walk around the fort.
The old town in Bar. It is an open-air museum. The old city is badly damaged; there is a breathtaking view of the surrounding area. Among the best-preserved items are the ancient aqueduct and a hillock.
Old roads from Petrovets. Montenegro has many old roads. Some of them are used, others are overgrown with grass and are gradually destroyed. Most roads are narrow and picturesque.
Mausoleum of Negosh. This is a low-rise tomb in which the spiritual ruler of Montenegro was buried. The walls are made of natural stone, there are gates guarded by statues in the form of Montenegrins.
You will need more than one day to see all the treasures of Montenegro. The nature is amazing and the beaches are breathtaking. There is clean air, mild climate, and transparent gentle sea.
Cultural sights – bridges, cities, fortresses and monasteries – are must-see. All these sights are a national treasure of Montenegro.