Are you planning to visit Montenegro? Or have you already visited it and are happy to return to it? You will surely find various interesting things and hidden pearls, so keep reading.
Montenegro is a country that I’ve been planning to visit for several years now, and it’s never been my turn. It’s among the most beautiful Balkan countries. There was a team gathering for a road trip a couple of times and in the end, everything failed, so this year I decided to go where it was supposed to be. Of course, there were a lot of interested people, but in the end, something came up for everyone, so I went with only one friend.
Of course, the travel costs would be cheaper if they were shared among people, but when you decide to travel, nothing can stop you. Um, or can it? Just the day before the trip, my car gave me an error, so everything was last minute, and I decided to go with a rent-a-car service.
Basically, I didn’t feel quite ready to drive everything by myself, and since my friend wasn’t driving, we decided to jump on the bus and book a car in Montenegro. The journey to Montenegro was long and insanely hot, and the bus was no air conditioning. After a whole day on the road and stops along the way, crowds on the Montenegrin border, we arrived in Herceg Novi.
Renting a Car in Montenegro
On the journey on the bus to the Montenegrin border, I had plenty of time to decide which car to book and what company. After reading reviews for car rental services on the Internet, the first thing I had on my mind was that I will avoid international brands due to high deposits and bad experiences.
So searched for local rent a car company, and I tried to find the best one on the market. After a few attempts, only one brand came on the table for car rental in Montenegro, for many reasons. This brand is Tara Car. It’s a family-owned business with pleasant staff. The owner is Jovan, a very honest and professional guy.
The service is very affordable, and professional, with a new car. They did not ask for a deposit, but we paid additional insurance just in case of an accident (you never know who is on the other side of the wheel, hehe).
The Tara Car owner waited for us at Herceg Novi bus station with a car and keys. And, that’s how started our road trip in Montenegro.
As soon as we settled down and talked with the nice people, the owner of the accommodation, we went to throw ourselves in the sea! I’ve been waiting all day for that moment, to replace swimming in sweat with swimming in the sea!
According to some, Herceg Novi is the most beautiful city on the Adriatic Sea, and some call it little Nice. Near the city’s port, the Forte Mare fortress rises, a medieval fortress built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko I in 1382, who is also the founder of the city. In the summer, it also serves as a cinema. Another fortress that stands out is the Turkish Kanli Kula, at 85 m above the sea, and from there you have the most beautiful view of the city.
In the evening, we walked around the city, corona seems to be non-existent, bars, and nightclubs, everything is full, more tickets are requested, music is blaring everywhere, it’s crazy! They have a large and beautiful promenade full of amenities. I was more surprised that 500 GB of Internet costs only 10 euros! We returned to the accommodation and, refreshed from the trip, I fell asleep in the blink of an eye.
We wake up, bathe in the sea, get ready and move on. I’m checking the car, I’m running out of engine coolant, so I go to the first gas station and ask my friend what I need. Montenegrins are really nice, they like to help ladies in need. Then I found a parking lot in the center of the Old Town (and the payment itself was fun, like a lottery ticket) and walked around a bit. Fora is a great city, I like it.
What to See in Herceg Novi
Old Town, Clock Tower (Clock Tower, City Tower), Kanli Tower, beaches, Forte Mare (Sea Fortress), viewpoint in front of Holiday Lounge Bar.
We continued to Perast, where it was very challenging with parking, a lot of it. Both before and after the city, the parking lots are full, and they are huge. And then I finally find a place and they only have a daily ticket of 5 euros, but we asked the guy to really go for a short time, is it possible to make an agreement, so he let us go for 1 hour.
Perast is beautiful! A very charming coastal town. Since we had a little time, we walked and climbed the bell tower (entrance: 1 euro), the view is phenomenal, but the stairs are chaotic, žher head a couple of times, it is very narrow and low and somewhat awkward, but it is worth it.
Perast has only one long street that stretches along the sea and from it, there are stairs that lead to higher parts to scattered houses. Although this is a small seaside town, there are as many as 18 churches and 19 palaces! In the 14th century, there was a shipyard and the first maritime school worked there.
What to See in Perast
Church of St. Nikole, a promenade by the sea (main and only street), center, Gospa od Škrpjela (artificial islet, we didn’t get there, but supposedly it’s a must-see)
After Perast, we continued to Kotor, also parked in the center, of course, you pay, but what are you going to do? Nowhere cool, the biggest whistler. The city is beautiful, especially the old part! Unfortunately, the climbing on the walls is canceled this time because they would simply crumble in this heat. We walked around, around, later took a bath, and met some people from Podgorica who advised us to bypass Podgorica because of the crowds and accidents (which we did).
Kotor has been on the UNESCO list of protected world cultural heritage since 1979. The ramparts are reminiscent of Dubrovnik since Kotor was also under Venetian rule for a long time. In its interior, Kotor hides many cultural and historical treasures originating from the Middle Ages, which attract tourists who visit the Bay of Kotor.
Kotor – What to Visit
The city center (under the protection of UNESCO), the Fortress of St. John, and the walls of Kotor (surround the city, 4.5 km, and there are 1,300 steps to the top; unfortunately we did not go because of the strongest sun), the Cathedral of St. Tripuna.
After Kotor, we went to Tivat. Tivat completely stunned me. Oh, where am I? Is this Monte Carlo? The World marina, luxury yachts, buildings, hotels, everything made up, branded, expensive. It exudes luxury and expensiveness as if you are not in Montenegro. Some different world.
Porto Montenegro is the first luxury marina on the Adriatic and in recent years, it has developed from a mock-up into a luxury brand and the most modern tourist product.
What to See in Tivat
Porto Montenegro – a marina for mega yachts and a luxurious complex of facilities, Ethnographic Museum – Buca Summer House.
Tired of the sea, heat, narrow streets, hills, and valleys, I fall into a line and stop on the road. Don’t move, coma. It was already getting dark, horror. After an hour of standing, we move slowly and find out that the stoppage is due to traffic.
We arrive in Budva late in the evening, it’s Monday, and everything is busy! All parking lots are full, there is no space anywhere, it’s crowded, and there are a lot of cars and people going out for a night out.
We stop at a supermarket and ask a local where there is any parking. Let’s go where he directed us and luckily, we find a place, and then we go with our things to the center and the hostel. When we arrive, ready for bed, an unpleasant surprise awaits us!
We have nothing to do, they canceled our reservation.
In desperation, I just want a shower and a bed, and in the end, I get an unprofessional boss who hangs up on me and some Turk who works for that boss. After the negotiation, the Turk gives us his little room, which btw. chaos, but I would also fall asleep on the street, so this was ok for me.
Whether it was an unpleasant experience or the fact that the city is a real construction site, Budva did not excite me at all.
Mogren beach is wonderful and Old Town, but the rest. I don’t know, I expected more.