What to Truly Expect When Traveling Montenegro
What we loved…
Great things come in small packages. Montenegro is one of those great things! So what’s so great about being small? Traveling Montenegro is remarkably manageable and super doable. I mean seeing it all, east to west, north to south! There is a feeling of accomplishment when you leave a country and feel like you came, you saw, you conquered. It’s like that cathartic feeling you get when you check everything off your to do list.
From beaches to mountains and all the windy roads in between, Montenegro is simply stunning. We were lucky enough to travel there in fall when all the leaves were turning colors (and the tourist slowed to a trickle). The entire country was marbled in oranges, reds, and yellows, and striped with bright blue rivers. Whether hiking up above Kotor Bay, visiting ancient monasteries, rafting down rivers, or trekking through the mountains, there is no shortage of picture perfect locations when traveling Montenegro.
The People are Friendly
What’s more friendly than an old woman offering to let you camp for free on her Kotor Bay dock? Perhaps it was because we were there right after all the cruise ships had left for the season, but every Montenegrin was super friendly, and seemingly happy to have us as their guest. From waiters and accommodation hosts to attraction clerks and people passing us on the sidewalks, we received warm smiles and friendly chats around every turn.
What we didn’t love…
Traveling Montenegro in the shoulder season almost felt like traveling through a country after a zombie apocalypse. I mean, I get that some places are seasonal, but this is seasonal to an extreme. We were actually there on the last day of summer, and once that first day of fall hit, restaurants, hotels, and even attractions closed their doors and locked up shop. So, while we had many places to ourselves, we also ran into a few problems finding places to eat and stay.
Kotor Bay is one of the most popular places in the world for Yachts to throw down anchor. We don’t blame them, it’s stunning, calm, and surrounded by all kinds of things to do. But just because you’re staying on a Yacht docked in the bay does not mean you are better than me or anyone else. I don’t know how the locals put up with these uppity, self-entitled, assholes. I don’t even want to know what it’s like in the middle of summer when there’s even more of them there. Yikes!
No Straight Roads
While winding roads through mountain carved tunnels can make for romantic drives and beautiful pictures, it does start to get a little frustrating. With a name that literally translates to “Black Mountain” in English, you should expect the country to be mountainous. With mountains come curvy roads, so there’s just no avoiding it. Traveling Montenegro is not for the impatient, and it’s definitely not for those who get motion sickness. No matter how few kilometers lay between you and your next destination, no matter how close it looks on a map, there is simply no way of getting their quickly. Which makes a great place to road trip. See how you can lease a car in Europe with roadside assistance and full insurance coverage for about $22 per day!