The main sights of Montenegro: what to visit
Montenegro is an amazing country with a rich history, located in the west of the Balkan Peninsula, in the south-eastern part of Europe. It is washed by the waters of the Adriatic Sea. In Montenegro the warm Mediterranean climate prevails. It is well developed tourism.
Travelers from Russia, the CIS countries and Europe often choose Montenegro for vacations. The country attracts not only with its clean and comfortable beaches, comfortable hotels and affordable prices for food and accommodation, but also with its many attractions, where you can go alone, with a guide or in a tour group.
In order to plan your journey, read the article about excursions in Montenegro, the description of famous historical, memorable places and where you can take pictures of the beauties of nature in Montenegro. Below you can find videos and articles about places of interest.
Sveti Stefan is a popular resort in Montenegro, located on a small island, which can be accessed by water transport or across the isthmus. The island itself is a unique natural object, formed as a result of reclamation of gravel in layers.
The first mention of the island of Sveti Stefan dates back to the 15th century. During the Venetian Republic, it was an important transport hub and trading center. In subsequent centuries, the island was inhabited by fishermen with their families. And only in the middle of the 20th century, Sveti Stefan was reconstructed and turned into a luxury hotel-city. Many famous personalities and representatives of the authorities of different countries had a rest here.
Today St. Stefan Island is a business card of Montenegro. The territory is equipped with many comfortable lodges and hotels for recreation of tourists, luxury restaurants, entertainment and shopping centers, royal beaches with pink-red pebbles. The island also has three ancient churches and an art gallery.
Island of Gospa od Skrpela
The picturesque island of Gospa od Skrpela, the only man-made island of its kind in the Adriatic Sea, is located in the Bay of Kotor. In the 15th century, two sailor brothers discovered an icon of the Virgin Mary on the reef, which cured one of the brothers of a serious illness. After that, the sailors decided to build an island on top of the reef, on which the Church of Our Lady was later built.
Today weddings take place in this temple. Various pieces of art that the sailors brought from all over the world are preserved here.
Budva: Old Town and Citadel
In the central part of the Adriatic coast lies the ancient city of Budva, founded over 2500 years ago. This city is the main resort of Montenegro. Here is a well-developed tourist sphere and there are many interesting sights, most of which are concentrated in the Old Town area.
The old town of Budva is a real open-air museum! Here you can walk endlessly, admiring the old architectural sites and enjoying the unique atmosphere of the streets that plunge into the Middle Ages.
Interesting places for excursion in Budva Old Town:
. On the territory of the citadel there is a library and the Maritime Museum.
- Archaeological Museum – there are interesting historical exhibits from different eras. – an ancient Catholic church. – an active Orthodox church, built in the 19th century.
- Roman Square – is located in the central part of the Old City.
- St. John the Baptist Cathedral – a functioning Catholic church with a high bell tower.
- City walls – surrounds the Old Town of Budva.
During the summer months there is also an antiques market in the Old Town, where you can buy unique souvenirs.
Kotor: Old Town
On the shores of the Bay of Kotor is another popular resort in Montenegro, the city of Kotor, which has a long and complicated history. On its territory, there are also numerous sites of past eras, concentrated in the Old Town of Kotor.
What to see in Kotor:
- St. Trifon Catholic Cathedral, built in 1166 by the Byzantines;
- St. Mary’s Church – built in the 13th century;
- the church of St. Luke – built by the Serbs in 1195;
- Church of St. Nicholas – built during the Austro-Hungarian rule;
- Beskuca Palace;
- the palace of the Drago dynasty;
- Grubonija Palace.
In Kotor Old Town there are also other interesting photo objects for informative excursion.
Monasteries and Temples of Montenegro
Residents of Montenegro are very religious people. There are many churches and temples concentrated on the territory of the country. There are also active monasteries – predominantly male, and only one female. Let us tell you about the most popular religious sites in Montenegro.
Ostrog Monastery is a functioning monastery for men, the most visited in the country, carved in the rock above Belopavlika Plain. It is a spiritual and incredibly beautiful place with an inexpressibly peaceful atmosphere.
It was founded by Vasilije Ostrogski, the most revered saint of Montenegro. The monastic complex consists of an upper and a lower part. The lower monastery includes the Church of the Holy Trinity, in the upper part there is the Church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and the Church of the Holy Cross. There is a monastery shop on the territory of the complex. In the church there are relics of Vasiliy Ostrozhskiy.
The Morača Monastery
The Serbian Orthodox monastery Morača is located in the central part of Montenegro, in the valley of the river of the same name. It was founded in the 13th century by Stefan Nemanjić. On the territory of the complex there is a large church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the church of St. Nikola, several buildings with monastic cells, the monastery bell tower, an apiary and a holy spring.
The functioning Orthodox monastery Savina is located on the shore of the Bay of Kotor, among the picturesque forests, 2 km from Herceg Novi. It was founded in the 15th century. There are three churches on the territory of the complex – Big Assumption, Small Assumption and St. Sava church.
Savina Monastery is an important historical architectural monument and one of the most visited religious sites in Montenegro. It can be reached by cab or on foot from the Old Town of Herceg Novi.
St. Trifon Cathedral
The Cathedral of St. Trifon is located within the Old Town of Kotor. It was founded in 1166. It is an outstanding example of Romanesque architecture and is under UNESCO protection.
St. Trifon’s Cathedral has preserved some noteworthy elements of interior decoration, and remnants of Byzantine-style wall-paintings. The shrine of the cathedral holds the relics of St. Tryphon.
The attractive religious site of Kotor is open for tourists and pilgrims.
The Orthodox white-stone monastery of Cetinje is located in the Montenegrin city of Cetinje. It was built in the 15th century by I. Černojević. During its centuries-long history it was repeatedly destroyed and reconstructed.
Today Cetinje monastery is an important religious depository of the richest collection of orthodox relics. The relics of St. Peter of Cetin, the crown of Stefan of Dečani, the right hand of John the Baptist, and particles of the Holy Cross are kept here.
Cetinje monastery is a popular religious object of Montenegro, where there are special rules of conduct and visiting for tourists. Special attention is paid to the appearance of tourists-palgrims. If you do not have suitable clothes to visit the holy monastery, they can be rented in the courtyard.
Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park is one of the most interesting sights of Montenegro, including the mountain range with the same name, part of the Komarnitsa Plateau and the canyons of the three rivers. It is the center of mountain tourism in the country.
The sights of the park are:
- About 20 beautiful lakes;
- the largest canyon of the Tara River in Europe;
- Dzhurdzhevicha bridge over the Tara River;
- springs with the purest water, which has healing properties;
- natural caves;
- excavations of an ancient Roman settlement;
- the orthodox monastery of the Holy Trinity;
- Piva Monastery;
- Sokol Fortress ruins and other interesting places for tourist recreation.
Durmitor National Park occupies a huge territory. To see most of the attractions, it is necessary to stay here at least for a few days. On the territory of protected area it is possible to rent houses for accommodation.
Lovcen Mountain and Park
In the southwest of the country rises Mount Lovcen, which runs along the shores of the Adriatic Sea and the Bay of Kotor. It has two peaks and a rather peculiar appearance, caused by multiple depressions, pits and cracks. There are more than a thousand species of plants growing on the mountain. From its peaks one can enjoy stunning views of the coast and most of Montenegro. Mount Lovcen and its valley are included in the protected zone.
On the highest part of the mountain range is the Lovcen National Park, covering just over 62 km2. There are many monuments of national architecture on the territory.
You can get to the mountain and the Lovcen Park by cab, by rented vehicles, or as part of a tour group.
Mausoleum of Negos
At the top of Mount Lovcen there is a monumental complex – the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos (spiritual ruler of Montenegro). It was erected in the 60s of the last century. It is a low-rise stone structure, inside which a 28-ton statue of Petar Negosh is placed. The roof is covered with gold. On the lower floor there is a sarcophagus with the relics of the ruler.
Behind the mausoleum there is an observation deck from which there are stunning views of Montenegrin cities and the Boko Kotor Bay.
One of Montenegro’s most popular natural attractions is the Blue Cave, located on the peninsula of Lustica, between Mala Gora Bay and Zlatni Gavan. It is a small grotto with an area of about 300 square meters, with high 25-meter vaults and 3-4-meter depth.
The cave got its name because of the bright blue color of the water. This effect is formed on clear sunny days, due to the refraction of the sun’s rays. The blue water is reflected on the walls of the grotto, forming unusual shades of surface.
You can visit the blue cave by boat or by boat, departing from the beaches of Lustica peninsula. It takes about 10-15 minutes to sail to it. The cave has two entrances, through which water transport with tourists arrives.
To appreciate all the beauty of the blue cave, it is better to visit this place on sunny days before lunch time.
On the territory of the Balkan Peninsula lies Skadar Lake, a total area of more than 470 square meters. This is the main natural reserve and national park of Montenegro, striking for its beauty. The lake is home to a large number of fish, and on the shores you can see many feathered representatives, including gulls, ducks, herons and ibises. In total, there are about 220 species of birds.
There are many animals in the vicinity of the national park. On the territory of the protected area there are also active monasteries, churches and ancient fortresses.
You can take a fascinating trip around the largest lake in Montenegro, Skandar Lake, on a water tour by boat, boat or yacht.
Crno Lake (Black Lake)
In the northern part of the country 3 km from Zabljak on the height of 1416 m mountain Durmitor is picturesque Black Lake Crno-Ezero. From the shores of the reservoir one can enjoy mesmerizing natural landscapes. There are nature reserves and national parks on the territory of the lake which are open for tourists.
On the Black Lake you can have an unforgettable vacation. Water excursions by boats and motor boats are organized here, there are gazebos and benches, there are restaurants with national cuisine. Popular entertainment is fishing (paid).
You can get to the lake Crno Lake by cab or by bus from Kotor and Budva. As this remarkable natural object is located on the territory of the protected area, the entrance is paid.
Bay of Kotor
The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is the most beautiful bay in the world with strikingly beautiful local nature. It is an attractive tourist destination. You can admire the bay from the shore by taking a cruise along the coast road on a rented car.
Boat or ship cruises on the Bay of Kotor are fascinating. During the sea cruise tourists can visit the Island of Flowers, Mamula Island, Mercy Island and other places of interest that adorn the bay.
Tara River Canyon.
Fans of outdoor activities can also visit the picturesque Tara River Canyon in Montenegro, located in the north of the country between the mountain ranges of Zlatni Bora and Durmitor. The length of the canyon is 78 km, the depth reaches 1300 m. The site is under the protection of UNESCO.
During the guided walk, tourists can admire the impressive natural scenery, as well as visit some of the landmarks located in the canyon.
What you can visit:
- Djurdjevic’s arch bridge;
- The old Orthodox monastery Moraca;
- Durmitor Park;
- Black Lake and other picturesque objects located in the territory of the canyon.
Recreational activities in the canyon of the Tara River:
- bungee jumping.
There are restaurants where you can taste the delicious dishes of national cuisine.
Djurdjevic Bridge in Montenegro
One of the main attractions of the National Park Durmitor in Montenegro is the Djurdjevic Bridge, built in the 30s of the last century. This concrete construction of five arches is 365 meters long. The height of the bridge is more than 170 meters. It used to be the largest road bridge in all of Europe.
Today, the Djurdjevic Bridge is an important element of the road infrastructure. Buses with tourists come here regularly. From the bridge there are panoramic views of the canyon of the Tara River.
Montenegro is a stunning country, where there are many interesting sites worthy of visiting by tourists. Holidays in this country can be active and informative!
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Colorful sights of Montenegro worth visiting
Attractions of Montenegro are cities, temples, lakes, national parks, resorts. The country has old towns that are next to modernized resort areas. There is a special attitude to the sights that are located on the islands. They attract tourists with their mystique and unusual position.
Some places in Montenegro must be visited – without them the impression of the country will be incomplete. It is difficult to rank them in order of importance, they are all remarkable and worthy of attention.
The most interesting places in Montenegro, which are worth visiting
Boko-Kotor Bay – the pride and the calling card of Montenegro
One of the most beautiful fjords in Europe is the Bay of Kotor, located in Montenegro. It is one of the ten most beautiful bays in the world, and the second largest in Europe. On its shores are located such famous historical cities such as Kotor, Perast, Herceg Novi, Tivat. It is recommended to see it for sure.
Old towns on the background of monumental mountains and bright turquoise waters of the Mediterranean Sea – an incredible landscape unlike any other in the world. We recommend coastal drives and swimming in the waters of the bay. While exploring the coast you can discover many treasures, such as old temples, monasteries and ancient fortresses.
Kotor – the old atmosphere of the Middle Ages
Another interesting place is Kotor, it is easy for tourists to visit immediately after seeing the bay. Kotor is known for its temples, kotors and ancient buildings. In the past, the city was the commercial center of the Adriatic and the main sea port. What to see here? Walking around Kotor will give discoveries like beautiful ancient palaces and castles. The old town of Kotor is an open-air museum, where everything breathes with antiquity. The 4 – kms long fortress wall, the narrowest street in Montenegro, ancient cathedrals and churches – everything breathes here with the old times.
25 serpentines – the road to heaven
The sight is the serpentine from Kotor to Lovcen, which consists of 25 turns. This road is also called the Royal road. In the past, it was used by the rulers of the city for a reception at the palace of Petar Njegosi. It tests the character of tourists. But as one rises higher and higher the awe is not in vain – the tourists have a divine view of the whole Boka Kotor Bay. Where the serpentines end, a view of the coast opens up.
The island-fortress of Mamula – a mysterious and picturesque place
Mamula Island is a really unique abandoned place, which is visited with individual tours. The island-fortress is located in the open sea, on the border of Montenegro with Croatia, between the islands Prevlaka and Lustica. Therefore, it is easier to get here by rented boat. There is a lot to see here. It is a former prison island, which is today uninhabited and open for viewing. At one time, Mamula successfully defended Montenegro from the attacks of enemies from the sea. What terrible secrets does this place hold?
Budva Old Town – a touch of ancient history
The old town of Budva is a real treasure that tourists undeservedly forget. What is there to see in this place? There is the old Citadel, 3 ancient churches from the 7th, 8th and 18th centuries and colorful medieval houses. The high fortress walls, ancient buildings in the Venetian and Mediterranean style and other religious buildings keep secrets for more than 2500 years. All the secrets of the old Budva you can learn only during a tour – the guide will tell you about the most interesting sights.
Porto Montenegro – a premium seaside holiday
Porto Montenegro is a luxury marina in Tivat, also called Montenegrin Monaco. This facility brings a touch of aesthetics to the tour, because you won’t find such a large and perfect yacht complex in the entire Adriatic. Wealthy people come here to “measure up” their success or to spend time in a secluded, premium environment. After a coffee, you can wander the perfect waterfront, with dozens of luxury yachts moored, and enjoy an incredible sunset.
Tara and Moraca Canyons – Natural Gems
Tara and Moraca Canyons are the most popular tourist destinations and are recommended to be visited with a guide. It is safer and you can learn the history of these places in detail. Here, on the canyon of Tara, Djurdjevic’s bridge is built, a real architectural arched masterpiece. Its length is 365 meters, and it beats all the records in the world for height – 365 meters.
Durmitor – a riot of flora and fauna
Durmitor National Park is a place that attracts natural beauty, tranquility, eco-friendly glacial lakes. What to see in the park? Here you can stroll along the lake, forest and mountain trails, sit on a bench in one of the secluded corners, see the local attractions, arrange trekking to the highest mountains of Montenegro, organize camping, fishing and picking mushrooms and berries. Often tourists stop at the Black Lake, a picturesque body of water, named for the color of the unique algae that inhabit its waters.
The island-fortress of Sveti Stefan – respectable and private vacation
The most respectable place in the country is Sveti Stefan. It is an expensive resort for respectable people, where celebrities often spend their holidays. The island of St. Stefan is connected to the mainland by a shoal (spit) of natural origin. On the island itself there are a lot of old houses. It is worth tourists to look at the convent, located near St. Stephen. Excursions are allowed here and conducted by the nuns themselves. However, you should come, of course, with a guide – the nuns do not speak Russian.
Ostrog Monastery – the rock shrine of Montenegro
Ostrog – a holy place in Montenegro, a Balkan attraction. It is said that near the burial of St. Basil of Ostrog in the rock, wishes come true and diseases are cured. The main thing is to formulate and express your wish correctly. The monastery was founded by Vasiliy Ostrozhskiy and his supporters. In the past it looked very squalid, but now it is restored and open for visitors. Every year, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims come to worship the miraculous icon in the monastery’s cathedral. Some of them stay for 2-3 nights to talk with God one-on-one.
Another 10 interesting sites to see
Skadar Lake and Virpazar – pure nature and simplicity
In Montenegro there is always something to see – the attractions of the country are inexhaustible. If you have already seen the attractions described above, it is time to pay attention to others. For example, Virpazar and Lake Skadar. Skadar Lake is a famous bird sanctuary, which is under state protection. It is allowed to fish with a license, do water photography and explore the many islands. The lake is home to Zeta’s Athos. And Virpazar is a local quiet village with only one street, where you can try homemade national Montenegrin cuisine.
Lipska Cave – underground corridors of Montenegro
Lipska cave is not the most famous attraction of the country, it is located near Cetinje. But it has a lot to see. The object has a special status – it is the largest cave in Montenegro and one of the largest in the Balkans. Among 1000 speleological objects only it is open for tourists. Inside, on a large area one can see incredible in shape and size karst deposits, centuries-old stalactites and stalagmites. Do not go down here alone – you need an escort.
Beer Lake – the beauty of man-made
Beer Lake and the river. Lake of Beer is a man-made reservoir, created in the past by the Yugoslavs as a reservoir, when the dam was installed on the River Piva. The unusual milky turquoise water in the lake, which seems to glow from within, is fascinating. Despite the artificial creation, in general, the landscape looks very harmonious. Tourists fish here, relax, enjoy being among the beauties of nature. On the Pieve River are rafting in the summer.
The Old Bar – artifacts of antiquity
Old Bar is a local landmark, which should not be confused with the new city. The Old Town is a picturesque ruin that can be clearly distinguished against the general background of the settlement. The oldest part of the open-air museum is the city gate of X-XI centuries, one century younger are the ruins of the Cathedral Church of St. George. The aqueduct is particularly well preserved. The test of time has survived more than 230 different ancient buildings, which create the unique atmosphere of the old city.
Forte Mare – the stern guardian of Montenegro
The Forte Mare in Herceg Novi is no less picturesque. This defensive structure of the city was built by the Bosnian king, and later it was restored. Today, Forte Mare is the city’s calling card. From the top point there is a panoramic view which is worth coming here just for, there is so much to see. The building is used as an open-air cinema and concert venue for Montenegrin music festivals. You can also walk through the city of a thousand steps, as ironically called Herceg Novi.
Old Ulcinj – the southern flavor
Old Ulcinj is another reminder of the past. Bordering Albania, the city is the southernmost and sunniest in Montenegro. Since its founding, in 500 BC, the city has received applications for its fate from different nations: the Venetians, the Turks and the Muslims. Today you can see a lot of buildings in the mixed style, but most of them are in the Muslim style. There are remnants of mosques. History of the Old Bar, Ulcinj, the fortresses of Herceg Novi tourists guide. There are many legends around these places.
Fort Goradzha – Austro-Hungarian heritage
Fort Goradzha is a 19th century site, a military “abandonment site” that will appeal to adventurers. It is an Austro-Hungarian fortress that defended the Montenegrin state borders in the past. However, at that time it was the most advanced military fortress, and the army had the most modern weapons. Whichever way the artillery turned, it could overcome the enemy at a distance of 10 kilometers. Today, it can be explored in its entirety, there are many interesting places to visit with a guide. The fort is in good condition.
Daibab Monastery – a cave monastery.
Believers should also visit Daibab Monastery. It is a cave monastery – a part of it is located in the rock. There are images of saints on the stone and you can see them. Believers come here to worship the relics. In Montenegro, there are many old roads, which offer beautiful views. For example, there is an excellent road from Petrovac and Virpazar. Of course, these roads are gradually deteriorating, but now most of them are in excellent condition, you can drive on them.
National parks: what to see in Montenegro?
Some destinations in Montenegro are worth special attention. This applies to the national parks of the country. In most cases, you can see the sights of these places only during a comprehensive tour. What to see in the Montenegrin parks? There is a unique nature, breathtaking panoramas, mountains and reservoirs.
Biogradska Gora National Park
Biogradska Gora is a legendary place which is also called Little Switzerland, Montenegrin or Balkan Switzerland. There are not just many untouched corners of nature here:
- The country has preserved an intact forest area with centuries-old trees;
- the park has glacial highland lakes, the most famous being Lake Biograd;
- flora and fauna are rich here, and people are almost never seen.
Some of the trees in the woodland are 2,000 years old, but more often there are 500-year-old trees. They stretch upward for tens of meters. Tourists who wanted to see the “real forest” described in fairy tales will find it in the national park. Biogradska Gora is a place in Montenegro, which must be visited. You can do this not on your first trip, but later, when you already have a certain idea about the country. There really is something to see – in Montenegro it is one of the most interesting places.
What to see in Montenegro during a tour of the park? The most amazing thing here is the panorama that opens from above. To see even more, it is worth climbing higher into the mountains. During the tour, tourists get to Belasitsa. It is worth a visit next to Biograd Lake. This is the clearest body of water of glacial origin, which is located at an altitude of over 1000 meters above sea level. The depth of the lake in some places reaches 12 meters.
Prokletie National Park – a natural landmark
Another place that is a must-see in Montenegro is Prokletije. The national park is called the Montenegrin Alps, it is located on the edge of Montenegro and looks very picturesque. The terrain here is mountainous and covered with green meadows. There are many endemics growing in the national park. Local attractions that are worth seeing:
- The high-mountain Plavskoe Lake of glacial origin;
- the springs of Ali Pasha;
- Komovi Mountains with centuries-old trees on their slopes;
- the Gorlo Sokolovo Gorge, a miracle of the North Albanian Alps.
All of these attractions are unique and interesting, but seeing them alone would be problematic. It is better to go on a tour and see each of the sights. The mountains Komovi and Sokolovo Throat evoke the most emotion. Because tourists are always fascinated by mountain panoramas, gorges. Throat Sokolovo is the point where you can see an amazing view of the mountainous terrain. It stretches for miles ahead.
Lake Plavskoe is a place of peace and quiet, where you can stop, take a break, take a breath. Everything breathes with harmony here. Water in the lake is the purest, it is renewed more than 80 times a year from underground sources. The lake is not polluted, because there is not even a residential area nearby. There are other attractions, which you can see in the park on their own or during a guided tour.
Lovcen National Park – what to see here
Many tourists visit Lovcen already on their first trip to Montenegro. It is recommended to do it again with an individual tour to enjoy the beauty of this park without the hustle and bustle. Lovcen National Park is a real symbol of the country, which conceals many surprises. For example, if you get to the top of Stirovnik, you can see the whole of Montenegro to its borders (at least to the borders of the country in the XIX century).
Lovcen is a protected area where two climates collide: marine and alpine. Therefore, below the tourists are met with dense beech bushes, and above – with a rocky ground with relatively poor vegetation. But at the same time in the mountain range grows more than 1,000 species of plants. Along the way, hikers will encounter woodland, lowlands and rises, and springs. Many are interested in one object in Lovceni – Njegos mausoleum.
The mausoleum is one of the most interesting buildings in Montenegro, which is worth seeing. It is located on top of Lovcen. And few people know, but Negos himself chose this peak, which is not the highest point of the massif. He believed that the highest should be given to a more significant person. On a tour of these places should come in the warm season, because even in the summer in the mountains the temperature drops. In winter, the mausoleum is inaccessible – it is covered with snow.
Sight worth visiting in Montenegro is the village of Negushi near Lovcen. This is also an interesting place that attracts gourmets – here they make excellent prsut and other farm products. You can also come here later on your own to see the surroundings and buy delicacies.