If I had 2 weeks of holiday for the rest of my life, and could only spend it in one country, I would probably choose Montenegro.
I know that’s a pretty big call, so here are my reasons;
- Location – As a Balkan country on the Medditeranean, Montenenegro has both a stunning coastline and an amazing mountainous interior, almost every corner of the country has something to offer.
- Size – because it’s so small its easy to get around the country in a short amount of time to camp, hike, raft, explore the history of old towns, chill on the beach, eat seafood etc etc..
Rafting in Tara Canyon:
- Price – Although its not quite as cheap as Albania to the south, the infastructure is much better and overall you definitely still get great value for money.
- Balance between developed and not developed – after experiencing countries from one extreme to the other, in my opinion Montenegro is, at the moment, the perfect amount of developed. It has good bus systems, and the towns and roads are mostly all in great shape. It’s easy to get whatever you need, and except for a couple a months a year in Budva and Kotor their really aren’t that many tourists yet. You can also go camping and hiking in stunning wilderness without too much hassle. I don’t think it will stay like this for long judging by the touristic parts of its northern neighbour Croatia, but I’m really glad I got to see it how it was.
- The people we met were also really nice. Unfortunately due to corruption in the government locals have gone through a lot of hardship with no obvious end in sight. I really hope for their sake the situation improves.
- The beaches – I know I have already mentioned these, but the coastline in Montenegro really is rugged and beautiful. With a little bit of exploration outside the main tourist areas you can definitely find some hidden gems.
Although we didn’t spend that long in Montenegro, we still managed to easily see the main tourist city of Budva, raft in the incredible Tara canyon and visit the stunning Bay of Kotor, including a climb to the castle of Kotor overlooking the bay and a stop in the pristine little village of Perast.
Bay of Kotor:
I would love to go back to this little country, especially as a summer getaway place.
From Montenegro we continued moving north to Croatia. The bus we were on stopped in Dubrovnik, and I had my first experience seeing a place in Europe for the second time in my life! I felt so lucky to have to opportunity to come back for a second time, and was also reminded as to why Dubrovnik is such a popular destination – the old town is one of the special ones. We didn’t stop for long, but I had a second chance at seeing a place for the second time when we arrived at our destination – Split.
Most people come to Split to hop on a ferry and go to the surrounding Croatian islands. We were their for a different reason, and that reason was to stay in an apartment for 5 days and rest. It’s hard to describe the feeling of staying in one place for longer than a couple of nights after travelling for such a long time. Especially when you feel more or less at home, are able to shop in the supermarket, cook your own meals and drink cider on the balcony.
One evening we headed into town for one of the euro 2016 football finals (Germany v Italy) to enjoy the atmosphere – these Europeans sure love their football!! We also got some nostalgia wandering around, as as I said it was my second time in Split and Matts third! It’s a beautiful country but because of this we probably won’t be back in a hurry.
Flying out of Split to Barcelona was the start of what turned out to be a hectic month in Spain (and for me included 5 days in Portugal) – it all started when our flight was delayed and we didn’t arrive at our hostel until 3am… And the craziness just went from there. But that’s another story. And so ended our journey though the Balkans and started the next leg of Westen Europe with all its developed goodness.
That’s all, thanks for reading 🙂