Montenegro – detailed information about the country with photos. Attractions, cities of Montenegro, climate, geography, population and culture.
Montenegro (Republika Montenegro)
Montenegro (Serbian. Crna Gora / Crna Gora, Italian: Montenegro) is a small state located in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula. It is washed by the Adriatic Sea and borders on Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Serbia to the north, and Albania to the east. Montenegro is one of the youngest states in Europe. Until 2006, this country was part of Yugoslavia, and later a union with Serbia. Now this parliamentary republic is an official candidate for EU membership.
Montenegro is a beautiful country with a comfortable climate, warm and clean sea, and excellent beaches. All this creates excellent conditions for active and beach holidays. Montenegro is ideal for those who love history and architecture, old towns and beautiful natural landscapes. It is a country with a Slavic flavor and a typical southern European look, which attracts tourists with inexpensive hotels and excellent cuisine.
Useful information about Montenegro
- The population is over 620 thousand people.
- Area – 13 812 km².
- The currency is euro.
- The language is Montenegrin.
- No visa is required if the stay does not exceed 90 days.
- Car traffic is right-handed.
- Hour – UTC + 1.
- The capital is Podgorica.
- The coastline is 294 km long.
- The number of beaches is 117 (over 70 km long).
Geography and nature
Despite its modest size, Montenegro has a remarkable geographical diversity. It has a sea coast, plains and high mountains. Montenegro is located in the heart of the Balkan Mountains and is famous for its picturesque unspoiled nature. Forests cover about 40% of its territory. The largest rivers of Montenegro: Tara, Lim, Cheotina, Moraca and Boyana. It is also home to the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, Skadar. There are also several dozen picturesque lakes in the mountains of Montenegro.
The Montenegrin coast has a warm Mediterranean climate characterized by dry and hot summers and mild and rainy winters. The central and northern regions of the country have a continental climate, the nature of which is determined by altitude zonation.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Montenegro depends on the purpose of your visit. For a beach vacation, it is better to go here in July – September. In other cases, April – May and September – October are perfect.
In ancient times, the territory of Montenegro was inhabited by Illyrian tribes. From the 1st century BC, these lands were part of the Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 7th century, these territories were occupied by the Slavs. In the 11th century, the kingdom of Dukla, later called Zeta, was formed. Montenegro was a direct part of it.
An independent Montenegrin state emerged in the late 15th century. It was founded by Prince Ivan Černojević. It did not last long. Then the coast was occupied by the Venetian Republic, and in 1499 Montenegro became part of the Ottoman Empire (Turkey).
Montenegro gained independence in the late 18th century. During the First World War, the country was occupied by Austria-Hungary. During World War II, Montenegro was under the Italian protectorate. After World War II and until 2003, the country was part of Yugoslavia. From 2003 to 2006, it was part of the Confederal Union of Serbia and Montenegro. Since 2006, Montenegro has been an independent state.
Montenegro is divided into communities, which are named after their administrative centers: Andrijevica, Bar, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Budva, Danilovgrad, Žabljak, Kolasin, Kotor, Mojkovac, Niksic, Plav, Plužine, Pleven, Podgorica (including Zeta and Tuzi), Rožaje, Tivat, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Cetinje, and Šavnik.
About 620 thousand people live in Montenegro. Montenegrins make up only a small majority (about 43%). Other ethnic groups include Serbs (32%), Bosnians (8%), and Albanians (5%). The official language is Montenegrin. However, more than 60% of the population speaks Serbian. The most common religion is Orthodoxy. Also, about 20% of the population professes Islam.
There are only two international airports in Montenegro – Podgorica and Tivat. The airport of Dubrovnik, Croatia, is also nearby. You can get here by train from Belgrade. By bus – from most neighboring and surrounding countries. Montenegro also has a ferry connection with the Italian city of Bari.
Cities of Montenegro
The most interesting cities in Montenegro:
- Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro and the largest city in the country. It is an interesting combination of history and modernity with a touch of Mediterranean flavor.
- Bar is the main port of the country, with an old town famous for its numerous cultural and historical monuments. Budva is the most popular resort in Montenegro, known for its excellent beaches and vibrant nightlife, as well as a small but nice historical center.
- Cetinje is the first capital of Montenegro with numerous museums and ancient monasteries.
- Kotor is an ancient city known for its beautiful architecture and picturesque bay. Its historic center (Old Town) is surrounded by walls and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
- Niksic is the second largest city in Montenegro and a major economic center.
- Tivat is a small seaside town that is turning into a major resort.
- Ulcinj is the southernmost city on the Montenegrin coast, which used to be a pirate base. Several ancient monuments have been preserved here, and the city itself is surrounded by a 12-kilometer sandy beach.
Attractions in Montenegro
Our Lady of the Rock – is a picturesque church on an artificial island in the Bay of Kotor. The island was created from fragments of rocks and sunken ships loaded with stones. The current church dates back to the 18th century and contains many paintings by Tripo Kokol, a famous 17th-century Baroque artist. According to legend, the island was created over the centuries by local sailors who found a miraculous icon on a rock in the sea in the 15th century. Since then, the custom of throwing stones into the sea has appeared here.
St. Stephen’s Island – an ancient fishing village dating back to the 15th century, which is now a prestigious resort. The island is connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. It is surrounded by pink pebble beaches and azure waters of the Adriatic Sea.
Old town of Budva – atmospheric narrow streets and ancient monuments that will tell you about the ancient history of the main resort of Montenegro.
Kotor – is a city with Venetian charm and a beautiful historic center, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is still surrounded by walls and contains several ancient churches.
In Kotor, we recommend climbing to the top of the medieval fortress of San Giovanni, dating back to the 9th century. To enjoy the best panorama of Kotor, you need to overcome 1355 steps.
Canyon of the Tara River — is one of the most amazing sights in Montenegro. It is the second deepest Canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon in the United States. The best way to see it is to come to the Djurdjevic Bridge, which was once the largest road concrete vault bridge in Europe.
Lake Skadar — is a huge body of water surrounded by picturesque karst mountains, traditional fishing villages, island monasteries and pristine beaches. Lake Skadar is the largest on the Balkan Peninsula.
Ostrog Monastery — is one of the most valuable cultural, historical and religious monuments in Montenegro. The monastery was built in the 17th century and is literally cut into the rock.
Cetinje Monastery — is the main center of Montenegrin education and culture in recent centuries. The monastery was founded in the 15th century and was the residence of all Montenegrin bishops.
Huseyn-Pash Mosqueі — is an ancient mosque in the city of Pleven in northern Montenegro. It was built in the 16th century and has rich interior ornaments.
Savina Monastery — is a medieval monastery near the town of Herceg Novi. It includes three ancient churches with frescoes that are a great example of mixing Byzantine iconography and Gothic.
Montenegro offers a diverse range of accommodations to cater to the needs and preferences of tourists. Whether you’re looking for luxury resorts, boutique hotels, budget-friendly options, or even traditional guesthouses, Montenegro has something to suit every traveler’s taste.
In popular coastal towns like Budva, Kotor, and Herceg Novi, you’ll find a wide selection of hotels and resorts situated along the stunning Adriatic coastline. These accommodations often feature modern amenities, sea views, private beaches, pools, spa facilities, and various dining options.
For those seeking a more authentic experience, the coastal region also offers charming guesthouses and bed and breakfasts in historic buildings, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the local culture. These accommodations are often smaller in scale and provide a cozy and personalized atmosphere.
Inland, especially in towns like Podgorica, Cetinje, and Nikšić, there are hotels catering to business travelers and those looking to explore the country’s natural beauty. Additionally, the mountainous regions of Durmitor and Žabljak offer cozy lodges, chalets, and mountain huts for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
Montenegro also boasts several eco-friendly and sustainable accommodations, particularly in national parks and nature reserves. These options range from eco-lodges and glamping sites to farm stays, allowing visitors to connect with nature while minimizing their ecological footprint.
Finally, the country has seen a rise in the development of luxury resorts and high-end accommodations, attracting affluent travelers seeking indulgence and exclusivity. These establishments often provide world-class amenities, private villas or suites, upscale dining experiences, spa and wellness facilities, and access to leisure activities like golf or yacht charters.
Overall, Montenegro offers a diverse range of accommodations, blending modern comforts with traditional charm and natural beauty to ensure a memorable stay for tourists of all preferences and budgets.
Montenegrin cuisine combines features of Serbian, Mediterranean and Turkish gastronomy. The coast is famous for its fish and seafood dishes, as well as salads flavored with olive oil. Here we recommend trying seafood risotto, grilled fish and traditional fish soup. In the central part of the country and in the mountains, ispod sača (lamb with vegetables) is popular. Other traditional dishes and foods include corn porridge with butter, kacamak (a polenta-like dish with potatoes, cheese and cream), pršut (smoked ham), cheese and local wine.