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Wordtravels

Tips on travelling to Montenegro from Luka Bulatovic


Luka was born and raised in Montenegro. He has travelled the world extensively for work and pleasure, but the uniqueness of Montenegro has kept him returning home and he loves exploring his own country.

For more information on Luka's outdoor adventure tours in Montenegro check out www.explorer.co.me

How well do you know Montenegro?

I have worked in the tourism industry for more than 15 years and own a tourist agency that specialises in outdoor activities in Montenegro, so I can say with certainty that I have visited every corner of Montenegro!

Why should I visit Montenegro?

Montenegro is one of the rising tourist destinations in the world, with more and more tourists coming here to discover the untouched wilderness areas and rich cultural heritage. In the 1970s Montenegro was very popular as a travel destination among royals and celebrities, and it is now regaining this former glory.

In Montenegro you can experience many different cultures and lifestyles in a small area, from cosmopolitan urban cultures in the coastal cities to the modest rural existence found in the villages on the high mountains. Montenegro is a country that nourishes its traditions. If you love to visit cultural and historical sites Montenegro has a lot to offer. Travellers will find fortified old towns, religious monuments, relics from the Iliric and Roman periods, and even evidence of prehistoric history.

But the thing that Montenegro is most famous for is its pristine natural beauty. In a small area visitors can enjoy four national parks (Lovcen, Skadarsko Lake, Biogradska Gora and Durmitor) and many natural wonders. Because of all this protected wilderness Montenegro is known as a destination for those in search of wild beauty.

Which regions or cities would you recommend for first-time visitors to the country?

For lovers of nature I recommend a visit to the canyon of the river Tara, that is located in the Durmitor National Park. It is the deepest canyon in Europe. This area is also home to one of the few preserved rainforests in Europe, in Biogradska Gora National Park. If you find yourself in the south of Montenegro with limited time to explore, I would recommend you visit Skadar Lake National Park, which encompasses the biggest lake in the Balkans and is one of the prime bird reserves in Europe.

In winter I recommend visiting Kolasin and Zabljak, the biggest ski centres in Montenegro.

If you are more interested in culture and history then I would recommend visiting Bay of Boka Kotorska and any or all of the fortified old towns in the region, including Old Town Kotor, Old Town Budva, Old Town Bar, Old Town Ulcinj, and Cetinje, which was once the capital of Montenegro.

If I only see one thing in Montenegro what should it be?

If you only had time to do one thing I would recommend trying white water rafting on the river Tara, during which you could enjoy the deepest canyon in Europe from the best perspective. High canyon sides rich with green forest rise up to 1,300m at the canyon's deepest. It is part of the Durmitor National Park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

When is the best time of year to visit Montenegro?

Montenegro can be visited at any time of year. If you enjoy sun and warm weather you should visit from May to November (September is sometimes a bit rainy), and if you like snow and winter then you should visit from November to May (when usually there is snow on the mountains). Even in winter the seaside can be pretty warm and enjoyable.

What is the best means of transport when exploring Montenegro?

Montenegro is very well covered by bus lines and public transport is affordable. If you would like the freedom to stop along the way you should rent a car. There is a railway in the eastern part of the country that connects the southern coastal region with the northern mountains and traverses beautiful scenery.

How long should I spend in Montenegro?

Montenegro is a small country but it definitely takes time to get to know it. I think that the optimal Montenegro holiday would be between 10 days and two weeks.

What do I need to pack for a trip to Montenegro?

The main thing that you should bring with you is your camera because I am sure that you will be using it a lot. If your plan is to visit a lot of the country then you should bring a variety of clothing, for warm and cold weather, as the climate varies. As far as everything else goes Montenegro is very well supplied, and it is not expensive. Something worth mentioning is that tap water here is good for drinking, and there are fountains on most corners, so you can refresh yourself at any given moment.

Are there any places that are overrated, or best avoided?

Not really. If you don't like crowded places  you should avoid the seaside in the peak summer months of July and August, but Montenegro is generally not very crowded.

Is Montenegro a safe travel destination?

Montenegro is a very safe travel destination. Today, thanks to the internet, a lot of travellers share their stories from their travels and it is clear when reading travel accounts that most people feel very safe here, including lone female travellers. During my long career in tourism I have never had any problems in Montenegro that involved safety issues.

What are some of your favourite meals in Montenegro?

If you find yourself in Montenegro you should definitely try some of our traditional meals, including kacamak (maize porridge), cicvara (a corn flour gruel), priganice (traditional dumplings), pita, and meat like lamb and veal roasted the traditional way. With these dishes we usually drink homemade 'sour milk'. It is also essential to try our famous local prosciutto (smoked ham), homemade cheese, honey, olive oil and other homemade products that you can find in any household and restaurant.

Montenegro offers some good fresh fish from the lakes and rivers as well as seafood from the Adriatic.

As far as beverages go, you should definitely try our wines and beer. Rakija, a strong spirit made from fruit, is also popular among tourists.

What should I bring home as souvenirs from Montenegro?

If you are a foodie you should definitely bring home some of the specialities mentioned above, and a bottle of our most famous wine, Vranac. Also there are a lot of places where you can find little figures made of wood that represent symbols of Montenegro, such as gusle which are national musical instruments that resemble fiddles.

Is Montenegro an expensive travel destination?  

Not really. Everywhere you go will be affordable. Sure prices are a little bit higher on the seaside than in the mountains, but compared to the other Mediterranean destinations Montenegro is not expensive at all.

What is the best thing to do with children in Montenegro?

Fun outdoor activities top the list of things Montenegro has a to offer kids. The national parks are treasure troves for families and activities like cycling, horseback riding, white water rafting and Jeep safaris can be easily arranged.

For more information on Luka's outdoor adventure tours in Montenegro check out www.explorer.co.me