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  • Writer's pictureMona Shah

Montenegro - A rough-around-the edges appeal

Must Visit Places:  Kotor, Budva.


Good things they say come in small packages and Montenegro certainly lives up to that claim. From the majestic peaks of Lovcen and Durmitor to the stunning Adriatic Coast, Montenegro offers picture-perfect scenery and spectacular views at seemingly every turn. Featuring one of Europe’s deepest canyons and its southernmost fjord, it has so far escaped mass tourism. 


Roughly the size of North Carolina, Montenegro is small, meaning you can see almost everything the country has to offer in a short time, but it’s best to stay at least three days.



Kotor:

We came here to celebrate our anniversary. Kotor is a 2 hour drive from Dubrovnik and as we journeyed through Montenegro’s coastal town, we absorbed centuries of history and culture that have shaped this region.


We had the hardest time finding the apartment. We could see it, perched high on a hill, so the stunning views that the airbnb had promised were surely waiting for us. But, there was no road leading up to it. After several hair-raising uphill drives on steep uphill roads, our host, Trado, rescued us. I still drove, but needless to say, the car remained in its parking spot till we were ready to leave. All worth it when we saw the view! 


The Venetian-era walled city of Kotor is a stunning medieval city located right at the base of the Bay of Kotor. Built in the ninth century, Kotor Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers the chance to visit the 12th-century Cathedral of Saint Tryphon and explore the nearby San Giovanni Fortress for magnificent views of the city and bay. 


Perast, with its charming promenade, has several historical sites that include more than a dozen Christian and Orthodox churches, such as the Church of St. Nicholas and the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, as well as Baroque palaces like Vukasovic-Kolovic Palace and Martinovic Palace. 


It is a very walkable small place and a great town to slow down and admire the views, sunrises and sunsets.


Budva


Budva is one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic Coast — a 2,500-year-old medieval walled city with a labyrinth of narrow streets and squares. Beyond the town's historical allure, it’s renowned for its gorgeous coastal area — also known as the Budva Riviera — which is the heart of Montenegro tourism and a popular cruise ship port in summer. 


Its Old Town feels a world away from the beach bars and dance clubs that sit just outside the fortified city walls. The medieval town dates back more than 2,000 years, and walking through the labyrinth of alleys, squares and corridors is like a step back in time. 


After Montenegro, we completed our full circle trip of the former Yugoslavia countries, by ending our trip in Cavtat, Croatia.

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