Montenegro, meaning ‘Black Mountain’, was one of the Balkan republics of the former Yugoslavia and later formed a part of Serbia and Montenegro. Today, the country is a separate state known for its attractive location on the Adriatic coast. With growing stabilisation of the region and economic development, Montenegro is rapidly evolving into a popular tourist destination. Apart from impressive beaches, Montenegro also boasts mountains of unique beauty.
Stretching some 300 kilometres, the seaside of Montenegro is arguably the most attractive region of the country. The abundance of resorts along the coast draws the attraction of many tourists. The Becici beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe; the ancient town of Budva, picturesquely located on the peninsula; and the cities of Tivat and Ulcinjare considered the best attractions of the country. The rolling green hills of the coastline contrast beautifully with the azure water and sandy beaches. Many of the resorts in the country are located in such historic towns as Kotor, of which its Old Town is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and Herceg Novi, similar to the famous city of Dubrovnik, in Croatia. Another noteworthy destination is the town of Sveti Stefan, which combines the charm of an ancient Old Town with a picturesque location. Boka Kotorka, a large bay, is famous for the Venetian architecture in the town of Perast and beautiful islands. Though a less popular destination, Bar is the major seaport of Montenegro.
The northern part of Montenegro is covered with mountains, including the Durmitor Mountain. Tall rocky peaks and scenic lakes make this area particularly attractive for hikers, while in winter the region is visited by skiers, who flock to Zabljak, Kolasin and Bjelasica. A great attraction of the area is the Tara Canyon, the second deepest gorge in the world and the deepest in Europe. Many lakes, such as Plavsko, Pesica and Siska, as well the Lim River, offer good conditions for swimming and water sports. The Biogradska Gora National Park, formed by glacier activity, is located in the centre of the country, with scenic lakes, primeval forests and an abundance of flora and fauna.
The capital of Montenegro, Podgorica, is a small city in comparison with other European capitals. Although its Old Town suffered serious damage during World War II, the city features the Turkish district Stara Varos, King Nikola’s Castle, St George’s Church and the Millennium Bridge. Podgorica can also be a good starting point to explore other places in the country, especially the seaside resorts.
There are several attractive sites in close proximity to Podgorica, including Skadar Lake, the largest Balkan lake surrounded by the National Park, and the Moraca River Canyon, which features a Medieval monastery and scenic areas to the north. Montenegro boasts such historic sites as the Roman towns of Dolcea (Duklja) and Meteon (Medun), the latter featuring ancient fortress ruins. All of Montenegro is dotted with impressive monasteries, some of which date from Byzantine times, including the most prominent Ostrog Monastery.
Flight connections to major European cities are provided by the international airports in Podgorica and Tivat. The Cilipi Airport, situated next to Croatian Dubrovnik is also located close to the Montenegrin border. Montenegro boasts exceptional beauty and well-developed tourist facilities on the seaside and in the mountains.