This story summarises the following:
- A few words about Montenegro
- What to see in Montenegro: Nature protection areas for lovers of nature
- Best place to stay in Montenegro: For city explorers
Despite its small size Montenegro is a country with many interesting sights. If you come here, most sights are simply explorable. Moor your boat in as many ports as possible and discover Montenegro’s pleasant Venetian-style ports and old towns. Have a walk in the narrow tiny streets with a rich historical past and enjoy real southern Mediterranean atmosphere. You can take a pleasant climate for granted and this small, but beautiful country will expect you with friendly prices. Those will also find many sights to visit who prefer exploring nature. Due to the country’s location and climate, there are countless beautiful nature protection areas to discover.
Montenegro’s name refers to the county of black mountains. This name choice is has a reason because the country is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps. As a consequence, you find fantastic mountains in all directions that are covered by green trees…
If you look at it from the sea, the steep mountains will provide an amazing view as they go into the sea and dive into the tin-coloured sea.
Five regions wear the title of the national park in Montenegro: Lovćen, Durmitor, Biogradska Gora, Lake Scutari and Prokletije.
All visitors can admire the values of nature and culture here. They will also have many possibilities to spend a really active day of the holiday. Besides the marked walking, hiking and biking routes you have thematic, wine and educational paths in the parks. You can also do sports because you get the chance for biking, camping or adventure parks. If you decide to stay for the night, you can also rent a bungalow. No matter, which you choose, you’ll get an unforgettable natural experience for sure. Here is a list, why it is worth visiting each National Park of Montenegro.
A Lovćen National Park
Lovćen National Park, which is located in the middle of Lovćen mountains has been deemed as a national park area since 1952. The lowest point of Lovćen National Park is 965 metres, while the highest peak is 1,749 metres above sea level at Štirovnik. This peak is not only the highest point of the park but of the whole Lovćen mountains.
A speciality of Lovćen is that wherever you may stand, you’ll have an amazing and unforgettable view in front of you. You can also get familiar with original Croatian national architecture in the region because about ten churches have been built to decorate the landscape of Lovcen with their special church spires.
Biogradska Gora National Park – Rain Forest and Glacier lake
The greatest natural treasure of the park is Biogradska Gora rainforest. It is one of the last three rainforests in Europe that have survived, which lies in a huge area. It has been a nature protection area since 1878. The park hosts about 2,000 plant species and their sub-species. The most interesting one from the over 100 bird species is the eastern imperial eagle. Biogradsko lake can be found 1,094 metres high in the heart of the rainforest. It is the largest and most popular glacier lake in the National Park. Many whirlpools and typical ice caves contribute to the lake, which is an unusual, but also amazing view. Nowadays Biogradsko lake is also a famous tourist destination and not only because it is a wonder of nature, but also because of its restaurants, bungalows and hiking paths. This place attracts many tourists int he summer due to its climate, especially those who stop here to relax or to hide from the heat, while they also discover Montenegro’s most beautiful areas.
Lake Scutari is a sight to be visited by all means due to its wonderful view. It is the largest lake of the Balkans that has been a nature protection area since 1983. Due to its geographical location and Sub-Mediterranean climate, the National Park is one of the most important living venues of swamp birds in Europe. About 280 bird species live at the lake including a rare pelican species that has become the emblem of the national park. The largest lake of the whole Balkan peninsula covers the territory of two countries. Two-third of it belongs to Montenegro, while the rest to Albania. If you decide not to discover this place alone, you can also join a guided group tour to visit this swampy green area.
Durmitor National Park
Durmitor National Park has also been a nature protection area since 1952 and it has been on the UNESCO’s Natural and Cultural Heritage list since 1980. The greatest sight of the park is a wide plateau 1,500 meters above sea level. Its highest peak is Bobotov Kuk with 2,525 meters. The mountain eyes that consist of 18 glaciers in amazing heights (about 1,500 metres above sea level. are the most famous sights here. Among them, you find the greatest and most beautiful Crno lake, where visitors can have a really fantastic view of watching the giant Medvjed peak above the wonderful lake. You can discover whirlpools and gorges on river Tara in the national park. In the crystal clear water, you can sail by smaller boats, rafts or kayaks or you can also swim there. One of the deepest and most beautiful canyons of Europe is also to be admired here.
The tiny island of Sveti Stefan is very close to the city of Budva. It has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Montenegro for sure. You can find a real luxury hotel here, which can be seen on many postcards as one of the major sights of Montenegro. Unfortunately, you can’t visit the whole area as a visitor, but the island can be sailed round completely. You also get the chance to visit one of the smaller sections that are open to the public and to use the smaller sandy beach. The island of Sveti Stefan has two parts. The left side is open for public and you can also rent sunbeds here. The right side is a private beach that is only available for hotel guests. The public beach of the island is at the end of the pier, from where you get a fantastic view to the special red-roofed buildings and the crooked streets. It is an amazing experience to walk between the beaches with white sand and the first class luxury hotels.
One of Montenegro’s icons is Kotor bay that is under the protection of UNESCO and Kotor castle. The castle was built in the era of the Venetian Republic in 1453 and it has preserved its original style until now. Concerning this area, you must know that Kotor bay is the largest natural bay of the southern part of the Adriatic Sea and also the southernmost European fjord. After arriving in the bay it is worth mooring here and has a look at the castle and the old town. You’ll surely be received by a stunning view.
What to do, when you’re here? If you don’t just want to walk in the old town, you have the chance to walk on the castle wall, which runs on neighbouring higher hills. From here you get a really fantastic unified view of the bay, the castle and the old town together.
Gospa od Skrpjela
If you make discoveries near Kotor, you shouldn’t miss the church Gospa od Skrpjela, which means “the Lady of Cliffs”. This tiny island is only a short sailing trip from the old town of Kotor. The island was established in a rather odd way. Every time, when old commercial yachts left the old town of Kotor, the seamen took a cliff with themselves. And when they got to see the castle wall on their return, they threw the rock into the water thus making a foundation for the church that is now standing on the island.
Today’s Gospa od Škrpjela church was built in 1620, then it got reconstructed and extended in 1720. Originally it was an Orthodox shrine, but eventually, the reconstructed church got sanctified by western Christian traditions. You can see the Virgin Mary and the little Jesus in the main building. You can find a Benedictine monastery on Sveti Dordje, i.e. Saint George island too. Until the 19th-century people of Perast used to use it as a burial place, thus it is also called the „Island of the Dead”.
Montenegro’s most southern town and also oldest town at the Adriatic Sea is Ulcinj, which is at the southern border of Montenegro. 14 nautical miles from town Bar you can find Montenegro’s longest sandy beach in Ulcinj that runs 12 km long. About 80% of the town’s 13,000 inhabitants are Albanians. The Muslim culture dominates the town and gives a special atmosphere to it. Ulcinj is only 12 kilometres from the border of Albania. The old town that is still inhabited by locals is worth visiting. The old town gives amazing view already from a distance. It feels as if the town was elevating out of the sea, since typical long cliffs that make the natural basis of it. You can also visit a town history museum at the northern gate of the old town. Here you can also learn the origin of Ulcinj’s name and that is used to be a fearful pirate town. We recommend you to try local gastronomy, trying the mixture of traditional Montenegrin food specialities with Albanian cuisine.
You shouldn’t be mistaken by Montenegro’s size and location. This country has many exciting places to explore, thus it is worth visiting and discovering all its parts that can be reached by boat.
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