Montenegro: Little Country, Grand Sights
A country filled with mountains and beautiful landscapes, Montenegro also has a deep and interesting history of mixed cultures. As you head from city to city, you will travel past jade-green fields, magnificent countryside, looming mountains, and sparkling rivers and lakes.
On this round trip, your Montenegro itinerary will be filled with exciting sights to see and adventures to enjoy.
Recommended Days: 7-10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 6 hr
Distance: 256 km
Transportation: Train, Bus, Taxi
Podgorica: Capital Fun
With history from the Romans, the Turkish, and the Austro-Hungarians, there are mixed identities when it comes to the city of Podgorica. With a variety of differently styled architectures, from Ottoman buildings, Austrian shop fronts as well as modern malls, there is plenty to see.
The capital is not just about historical architecture. You will also be able to explore the wonderful galleries, parks, and the very vibrant cafe culture that has accumulated. The city is divided by the two rivers that run through it. To the west of the Morača river is the business district and the Ribnica River divides the old Ottoman town from the lively shops and bars in the north.
South of the city is the Zeta Plain which is home to Lake Skadar National Park which is home to the largest lake in Southern Europe. This a great choice to visit for a fun little day trip where you can enjoy plenty of outdoor activities, including heading out onto the lake or even taking one of the hiking trails.
As you head back to the city from your lake trip, stop by one of the many vineyards and head through the cellar doors for a bit of wine tasting. The Šipčanik is a popular cellar for visitors as it has a variety of tours and tastings all year. Thirsty for something other than wine? Check out “Karver”, a former Turkish hammam-turned-quirky café in the middle of the city.
Podgorica Rail Station → Train Station Niksic | Duration: 1:03 h | Transfers: 0
Nikšić: Relaxing Break
Nikšić, home to the nation’s favorite beer, Nikšićko Pivo, you will enjoy a genuine Montenegrin experience in this city. Although not considered to be much of a tourist town, it is a great stop for enjoying bars, the people, and also some avant-garde art. It also hosts plenty of popular outdoor, adrenaline-filled activities that include diving, sailing, snorkeling, hiking, and even white-water rafting.
If you are looking for something a bit more relaxing, there is plenty of culture and history to be explored. Plus why not head to the sandy beaches with stunning lakeside views, or if you are here during the ski season you can head to the mountainous areas of the city.
Set within the side of the Ostrog Mountain is a beautiful monastery that overlooks streams, orchards, vineyards, and meadows. It is an incredible sight to see and hosts a variety of artistic and religious activities to enjoy. Wander down the main promenade, which is lined with cafes, bars, stores, and shopping centers for you to enjoy. This is a great spot to see the relaxing Montenegrin life of the locals. All sipping on their coffees and reading their newspapers, or enjoying an after-work drink.
Another must-see is the King’s Palace that has been transformed into a heritage museum. The museum showcases collections of archaeology, ethnology, and history of the country. For an outdoor adventure, head to the famous Trebjesa Hill which you can hike up to the observation point and look out over the city. You can also head to Krupa Lake where you can partake in water sport activities like kayaking. You will also be able to enjoy refreshments from the bar or even some local delicacies at the onsite restaurant.
Train Station Niksic → Virpazar Train Station | Duration: 2:33 h | Transfers: 0
Virpazar: Lakeside Beauty
Next up on this Montenegro itinerary is Virpasar, a small town that is the main gateway to the beautiful Lake Skadar National Park. A main square and river covered in waterlilies surround the town. In this picturesque little town, you will be able to enjoy outdoor activities on the lake.
Sample local wines from one of the many vineyards and tasting cellars, and wander through the interesting history of the area. Also, keep an eye out for a variety of different bird species in the area, as Lake Skadar is the largest bird habitat in this particular area of Europe. You may even have the chance to spot the Dalmatian Pelican, which has become a trademark symbol of the lake.
Probably one of the most famous and popular attractions in the area is Lake Skadar. If you didn’t get the chance to visit it whilst you were in the capital, make sure not to miss out now. You can head out on a boat tour and see the landscape from a different perspective. Head out on a bird-watching tour to learn about the 280 species that frequent the area, go kayaking, swimming, and even enjoy a spot of fishing.
Set upon a hill in the town is the Fortress Besac that was built during the Ottoman Empire. Now only remnants of the once strong fortress remain but it has views over the town when visited. If you want to see as much of the town as possible, head out onto the 20km round trip hike around Virpazar. Around a 4-hour hike, it is a rather moderate route along deserted paved roads; it is also a great route to take by bike.
Virpazar Train Station → Bar Railway Station | Duration: 0:26 h | Transfers: 0
Bar: Nightlife Fun
Bar is surrounded by mountains and a harbor port. This city is a fascinating change from that of your previous stops, due to it mainly being under Turkish rule in the past. Now it has a modern feel, but you will notice its Turkish history as you delve into the older parts of the city. Especially the famous attraction of the ruins of Stari Bar. You will learn about the charming history, and also take part in plenty of interesting activities, or head into one of the many bars in the area.
Step back in time by heading to King Nikola’s Palace, set upon the seafront and with an interesting pink color to it. Originally built for the king’s daughter and son-in-law, it is now a museum of folk costumes and historic items. The Stari Bar is set at the foot of Mount Rumija. You will find old houses and shops upon ruined streets, plus many areas that have been overrun by nature.
You will be able to see spectacular views over the city, whilst also enjoying the Ottoman architecture and even visit the Church of St Nicholas, which shows the history of the area. If you want to relax a bit, spend some time down at Šušanj beach or Sutomore beach. Nightlife is abundant in the city with plenty of bars and clubs where you will be able to dance the night away. You can head to one of the beaches for some local parties, or head to Green Mill or Pub Galerija, which are popular with the locals.
Private taxi from Bar → Budva | Duration: 0:37 h | Transfers: 0
Budva: Seaside Fun
Budva is a big tourist destination within Montenegro due to its bountiful beaches, clubs, and plenty of historical and cultural sites to see. It is a seaside resort due to Budva Riviera being abundant with pebble and sandy beaches to enjoy.
Each beach offers something different for visitors. Slovenska Plaza is often filled with tourists, Mogren Beach is just off from the old town and Jaz Beach is home to the popular music festival, Sea Dance Festival. Most of the beaches have bars and restaurants to enjoy as well, and in the marina, you can wander past the several moored multi-million dollar yachts.
Aquapark Budva is a playground for all ages, with slides, wave pools, a lazy river, and even a swim-up bar. Each of the three levels has plenty to keep you entertained. For history visit the old town where you will find ancient churches and palaces. Take a guided tour to learn all about the history of the beautiful site.
During the night the old town comes alive with restaurants that serve traditional Montenegrin cuisine. You may want to head to the rooftop restaurant of the Hotel Astoria which has great views of the Ričardova Glava Beach. A great trip to enjoy from the city is visiting Sveti Nikola Island by boat. Known to the locals as Hawaii Island. It is inhabited by deer but also has a long stretch of beach with plenty of restaurants and other facilities for you to enjoy.
Take a day trip to Kotor, which looks as though it has stepped out of a fairytale book. The Old Town of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that at every corner a new story is to be told about the history. The San Giovanni Castle has the famous Kotor Walls, which you can walk around to get the best views over Kotor and find hidden gems along the way. A 4.5 km circuit takes you all around the old town and leads you to the hillside behind. You can walk it day or night. It gives you plenty of views over the whole of Kotor and the stunning Bay of Kotor. You should also visit Mount Lovcen in Lovcen National Park where you will be able to enjoy a variety of hikes for all fitness levels.
Budva Bus Terminal → Podgorica Bus Terminal | Duration: 1:30 h | Transfers: 0