My Top Five of Montenegro
As I’m sure every visitor has said before, Montenegro is SO beautiful. I would go back again in a heartbeat. There’s something about the fact that there are hikes everywhere but no map to any of them that feels like uncharted territory. While the coastlines are dotted with some pretty ugly hotels, the incredibly blue waters make up for it. Our time in Montenegro was short, but oh so sweet, and here were some of the best parts!
Stari Bar is a romantic, ruin of a town perched above the modern sprawl of today’s Bar. The fortified town has had a tumultuous history, including sieges, explosions, and earthquakes! Today, people can wander through the ruins and learn about the city’s history in the little museum at the entrance. Nathanael and I found modern Bar a bit boring, but Stari Bar was well worth the trip by itself. We loved climbing over the old walls, trying to grab pomegranates sprouting in an overgrown kitchen, and exploring the ivy-strewn alleys. The views of the valley below are beautiful too, in a stomach-clenching, feet-tingling, please-don’t-let-me-fall kind of way. If you’re heading to the coast, check out the enchanting old town of Bar!
Stari Grad, Budva
I’m pretty sure my jaw dropped when we first laid eyes on Stari Grad (old town) Budva. It was easy to imagine that this was what Stari Bar could have looked like, if history had been a little more kind. The town has a very Mediterranean feel to it; red-tiled roofs, narrow streets, and the warm, salty air rolling gently off the sea. Obviously it’s a bit touristy (which can be fun sometimes) but you can get some stellar views from the citadel walls of the town and nearby beaches. The picture above was taken from a boat hired to tour us around the bay, which I would definitely recommend!
Old Town of Kotor
While it’s easy to say, “Oh geez, yet another pretty, coastal town *sarcasm*” don’t throw Kotor away so easily! Perched at the furthest reach of the Bay of Kotor, the old town of Kotor is surrounded by stone walls and is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic. It has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site and has a more authentic feel compared to, say, Stari Budva. You can get some fantastic views of the old town while walking up the city walls that zigzag dizzyingly up the mountainside.
Hiking along the Old City Walls of Kotor
Take those fantastic mountain views outside Kotor a step further, and here you go! The path follows an old road slowly switch-backing its way up the mountain and, for the first section, is surprisingly easy going. The views are well-worth the effort as well. Stop in at the Church of our Lady Health on your way up the wall for a rest, then press on to the fortifications at the top. Or, you can take the mysterious “hole in the wall” and adventure further up the mountain. There’s a cafe partway up (which arguably has some of the best views in the world) if you need some refreshment, and then carry onwards and upwards!
Montenegro is home to some of the most beautiful coastlines I’ve ever seen. Dotted with caves and beaches, with cliffs and crumbling, stone buildings, there is plenty to see. The water is warm, clear, and a shade of teal that gemstones would envy. Budva is supposed to be home to some of the loveliest beaches in the world, but everywhere along the coast Nathanael and I found spots to admire.