Saturday, 25 January 2014

TOP 10 MONTENEGRO ATTRACTIONS


Montenegro is a small country in Southern Europe, where the maritime and mountain climate touching each other. A country full of contrasts, with beautiful coast, sandy and rocky beaches, magical lakes, high mountains, stunning views and unique medieval cities. A country  where you can change mountain scenery for maritime one for only 30 minutes drive. It was difficult to select Top 10 attractions in Montenegro, because there is at least 10 more interesting places for visit. I gave a priority to the natural sites rather than man-made ones.


10. Nevidio Canyon


Situated in central part of Montenegro, 55 km away from Nikšić, and 50 km away from Žabljak towards Šavnik. Nevidio Canyon is part of Mala Komarnica river, which rises at the pedestal of the southern part of Durmitor mountain. The place where millions of years ago the mountains of Durmitor and Vojnik crashed into each other. The river Mala Komarnica had cut this canyon deep in the severe rock long time ago.


Nevidio Canyon

This is the last conquered canyon in Europe. It is hardly accessible place. Ideal for adventure and untouched nature seekers. The name Nevidio (Never seen) or Nevidibog (Never seen by God) speaks for itself. Its cliffs are so close to each other that at some point they prevent the light from getting in. It is one of the biggest climbing challenges in this part of Europe. 



Canyoning through the Nevidio Canyon (www.tarasportrafting.com)

It was conquered in 1965 for the first time. The best time to conquest the canyon is in late summer when water is not high. Full climbing equipment, including diving suits is necessary for this adventure.



Best place for adventure seekers

On the way through 3,5 km long canyon, you will come across on waterfalls, straits, cascades, white water, narrow canals and whole gallery of nature-made sculptures. The hardest challenge is so called Gate of Kamikazes, 80 meters long section and in some parts only 25 centimetres wide.Those who decide to take this alpine adventure must know that once you get in and start going down the galleries, cascades and waterfalls you can`t go back - you have to go all the way to the end. 



Variety of beautiful sections (www.gotomontenegro.eu)

Time of the tour: 8-12 hours (depends on starting point), 3-4 hours through the canyon. 

Difficulty: A moderately difficult canyoning journey
Tour season: June - September
Guides: All guides are experienced climbers. 
Price: 90-120 euro, depends on organiser.



9. Ada Bojana



Ada Bojana is an island in the Ulcinj municipality in Montenegro. The name Ada means island in Turkish. The island is created by river delta of the Bojana river. According to a legend, it was formed by gathering river sand around a ship sunk at the mouth of Bojana river. But, it is more likely to be a delta in formation. 



Ada Bojana


It is located on southernmost point of Montenegro, with only the Bojana river separating it from Pulaj and Velipoje in Albania. The island is of triangular shape, bordered from two sides by Bojana river, and by the Adriatic Sea from the south-west.


Bojana river (www.dalila.me)


It is a popular tourist destination, with 3 km long sandy beach with traditional seafood restaurants. It is also an "official" naturist area. 


Ada Bojana`s beach (www.montenegro.travel)


As a nature resort, the current facilities include bungalows and one-story buildings with 540 hotel beds and a caravan and tent camping area. There are also pile dwellings at Bojana river available for rent.

Pile dwellings

Ada Bojana is ideal place for relaxing vacation, various sport activities, horse riding and fishing. It is one of the premier kitesurfing and windsurfing locations on the Adriatic Coast with strong cross onshore winds during summer afternoons.

Kitesurfing



8. National Park Biogradska Gora


The greatest natural value of this Park is the rainforest Biogradska gora, which covers the area of 1600 ha. It is one of the last three rainforests in Europe. Located in the mountainous region of Bjelasica in the central part of Montenegro, between rivers Tara and Lim, surrounded by three municipalities: Kolašin, Berane and Mojkovac.

NP Biogradska Gora (www.kolasin.montenegro.travel)

Basic elements of the Park are: untouched forest,large mountain slopes and tops over 2.000 meters high, six glacial lakes, five at an altitude of 1820 meters and one easy accessible, Biograd Lake.

Biogradska Gora rainforest

The Park has 26 plant communities with around 2.000 species and subspecies. Out of over 200 bird species, particularly interesting is the Imperial eagle. Dear, fawn, leap, wolf, wild boar, fox, rabbit and over 350 different insects species have found their habitat in the Park.

Biogradsko Lake

Biogradska gora is ideal place for hiking, recreation, bird watching and enjoying  the beautiful scenery.

Admission: Adults 3 euro, free entrance for children under 7 years



7. Sveti Stefan islet

Sveti Stefan is a small islet and hotel resort in Montenegro, approximately 6 km southeast of Budva. Previously a fishing village, in 1960 it was converted into the old town, with its tower, narrow streets, shops and small churches, remained unchanged.



Sveti Stefan islet

Sveti Stefan is an unusual and unique place, not only at Montenegro or Budva`s Riviera, but in the whole Mediterranean. It stands on the cliff of a rocky island with roofs red like rubies. A sand isthmus looking like a stem connects it with the land. It came into existence in a unique way.



Sveti Stefan 

In the 15th century fortified village was built to defend against the Turks and became a haven for pirates of the Adriatic. Initially, the Island with its fortress had 12 families. Later, the village came to be established in the 1800`s, when the population was about 400 people. Consequent to the villages getting moved to the mainland, the island village became an exclusive resort frequented by high profile elites of the world, especially from the 1960`s to the 1980`s, during the Tito regime.


Sveti Stefan from sea side

In 2009, Sveti Stefan become a 5-star franchise hotel of the international group of Aman Resorts. The resort in total contains 50 rooms, cottages and suites on the island and 8 grand suites at the Villa Miločer.


Aman Resorts, Sveti Stefan

Unfortunately, the entrance to the island is only possible for guests of the Aman Resorts. So if you can afford a high class vacation, it is possible to see and enjoy in this Adriatic gem. In high season (from June to the and of Septemeber), the prices are in range from 950 to 3850 for suite per day.





6. Kotor - Cetinje old road


The old Kotor-Cetinje road is one of most dangerous, and for shure, with most beautiful view in Montenegro. The road leads 
uphill from Kotor, over Krstac pass, passing through the Njeguši village, located on the slopes of Mount Lovćen, to city of Cetinje. It is curvy mountainous road with 25 serpentines, built in period from 1879 to 1884, also known as "Stairway to heaven". The road is carved into the rock and was the hardest built road on the Montenegrin soil. 


Kotor - Cetinje road serpentines

The construction of road is related to the story of architect engineer Josip Slade, who was thrilled by beauty of the Montenegrin princess Milena. In order to immortalize his feelings about her, he built a part of road in shape of letter "M", the first of the princess name.

"M" shape of the road

The old road from Kotor to Cetinje is mostly a narrow one-lane road offering stunning views on Kotor bay from above, but exercise extreme caution when passing on-comming traffic, over-taking and around corners. For all these reasons it rarely permit speeds over 30 km/h. On the way to Cetinje, the best place to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Kotor bay and surroundings is on Krstac pass (965 m).




A view to a Kotor bay

The "must see" on the road to Cetinje is fantastic village of Njeguši. Famous for its traditional way of preparing the prosciuto ham "Njeguški pršut". The other special and famous food product is cheese "Njeguški sir".

Njeguški pršut

Further, road leads around National Park Lovćen with popular place to visit, the Mausoleum of the Petar Petrović II Njegoš. Mausoleum is placed on the peak "Jezerski vrh" with fantastic view on almost entire Montenegro. 

Mausoleum on Mount Lovćen

The final stop of this road is city of Cetinje, the Old Royal Capital of Montenegro. It is also a historical and the secondary capital, with the official residence of the President of Montenegro.



5. Ostrog Monastery


Monastery Ostrog, a miracle built by nature and human interaction, carved almost in its entirety in a vertically positioned mountain cliff. The Monastery was founded by Basil (Vasilije), the Metropolitan Bishop of Herzegovina in the 17th century.


Saint Basil (Vasilije) and Ostrog Monastery

The Orthodox monastery of Ostrog is one of the most frequently visited on the Balkans with its cave-like chapel and the Monastery complex that preserves the sanctity of Saint Basil (Vasilije), the Orthodox Christian Saint of Miracles.


Upper church of Ostrog Monastery

The current look was given to the Monastery in 1923 - 1926, after a fire which had destroyed the major part of the complex. Fortunately, the two cave-churches were spared and they are the key areas of the monument. The frescoes in the Church of the Presentation were created towards the end of the 17th century. The other church, dedicated to the Holy Cross, is placed within a cave on the upper level of the monastery. It was painted by master Radul.

Upper Monastery of Ostrog


It is visited by believers from all parts of the world, either individually or in groups. It represents the meeting point of all confessions: the Orthodox, the Catholics and the Muslims. According to the story of pilgrims, many have been cured and helped in lessening the difficulties in their lives by visiting this miracle place. The Monastery is situated around 10 km from Podgorica - Nikšić road. 


4. Durmitor National Park

This breathtaking national park was formed by glaciers and is traversed by rivers and underground streams. Along the Tara river canyon, which has the deepest gorges in Europe, the dense pine forests are interspersed with clear lakes and harbour a wide range of endemic flora. 


Durmitor National Park 

The Durmitor National Park, created  in 1952, includes the massif of Durmitor, the canyons of Tara, Sušica and Draga rivers and the higher part of the canyon plateau Komarnica, covering the area of 390 km2. It was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1980. 


Black Lake, Durmitor

The centre of Park is in city of Žabljak, the place where mojority of activities in the Park starts. The Visitor center of the Park is 2 km away from Žabljak center, next to the Black Lake. Durmitor NP is ideal place for hiking, bicycling, sport fishing, rafting, taking place in various events and enjoying the local food products. Seven zones of the Park belongs to a special protected zone (ICUM).



Stunning view - Durmitor rock formations

80 km long and 1300 m deep, the Tara River Canyon in the Durmitor National Park is one of the largest in the world. The best way to feel the adrenalin running through your veins is to get involved in Tara river rafting. There are planty of tours, from one to two or three days, depends on what you want to see. 



Tara river rafting

The price for one day rafting tour is from 30-50 euro, depends on starting place and organiser.

Admission for NP: Adults 3 euro, free entrance for children under 7 years.





3.Old Town of Kotor


Is a coastal town located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. In the Middle Ages, this natural harbour on the Adriatic coast in Montenegro was an important artistic and commercial centre with its own famous schools of masonry and iconography. The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. 


The main gate of Kotor


This is a town of great history, a town of festivals and fantastic winter and summer carnivals and town of famous Boka navy. Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site.


Kotor

Kotor was mentioned for the first time in 168 BC, during Ancient Roman times, when it was known as Acruvium and was a part of the Roman province of Dalmatia. The town developed in the Middle Ages into an important commercial and artistic centre. Throughout the centuries, many empires battled for control of the city. In the 10th century, it was an autonomous city of the Byzantine Empire. From 1186 to 1371, it was a free city of medieval Serbia. It was under Venetian and Hungarian control for brief periods, an independent republic from 1395 to 1420, and then returned to Venetian control once again. French occupation from 1807 to 1914 was followed by Austrian rule until 1918, when Kotor finally became part of Yugoslavia.

Kotor in old times

Throughout its turbulent history, a variety of buildings have been erected. The largest and most impressive of these is the St Tryphon Cathedral. The original church was constructed in the 8th century, according to the annals of the Byzantine Emperor. A new church, built in 1166, was subsequently damaged during the 1667 catastrophic earthquake and then restored.

St. Tryphon Cathedral


It is also home to numerous sights: the ancient wall which stretch for 4.5 km directly above the city with the castle St. John (San Giovanni), beautiful squares, narrow alleys, three gates, many churches, museums and interesting buildings.


The Arms  Square, Kotor

Nowadays, Kotor is one of the favorite destination according to cruise ship travelers, because of its irresistible beauty and fantastic ambient of the Gulf of Kotor.




Walls of the old town

One of most popular and authentic manifestations is Boka`s night (Bokeška noć). It is the last manifestation in the August, enclosing the summer season. Is known for the boat defile, which are being decorated for days. Every year more than 20.000 people visit the Kotor for Boka`s night.



One of decorated boats for the Boka`s night (www.pobjeda.me)



2. National Park Skadar Lake

Lake Skadar is a wild wonder waiting to be explored. A vast freshwater lake straddling the borders of Montenegro and Albania surrounded by dramatic limestone mountains, its crystal waters, rocky shores and wetlands. Due to its geographic position and sub Mediterranean climate, it is one of the most important habitat of swamp birds in Europe, right after the river Danube delta. It is known for variety of wildlife with more than 280 species of birds, including the rare curly pelican, which became a trademark of the National Park. It is also known for its traditional fishing villages, islet monasteries, pristine beaches and fish specialty`s.

Skadar Lake (www.lovemontenegro.net)

The Montenegrin part of the lake and its surroundings area were declared a National park in 1983. The Albanian part has been designated as a Managed Nature Reserve. The lake`s surface, 6 m above sea level, can vary between 370 km2 and 530 km2, of which 2/3 is in Montenegro.


Beautiful scenery, NP Skadar Lake (www.lovemontenegro.net)


As an important habitat for waterfowls, Skadar Lake is at Ramsar Convention 1996th enrolled in the World list of wetlands of international importance. With over 280 bird species, four bird-watching towers on Stanaj, Raduš, Plavnica and Žabljak meadows, and eight organised bird-watching tours offered by the National Park. Lake Skadar is among the top bird-watching destinations in Europe.

Pelicans

The best way to explore the area is to take a boat tour in Virpazar. There`s also local taxi tours around Montenegrin part of the lake.

Grmožur fortress at Skadar Lake

Skadar Lake is ideal place for hiking, cycling, speleology and most important, birdwatching. The greater area of the lake, named Crmnica is well known for outstanding wine and fresh organic food. There`s a plenty of restaurants around the lake, all serve local speciality No. 1, a carp from Skadar Lake, called "krap". 

Visitor centre is situated in Vranjina, next to the Bar - Podgorica road.
Admission: 4 euro for all Park areas


1. The Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor or Boka kotorska (Montenegrin), is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro. The Bay, once called Europe`s southernmost fjord, is in fact costal inlet formed by the partial submergence of the disintegrated Bokelj River which used to run from the high plateaus of Mount Orjen. In addition, the formation of the Bay was affected by several factors: glacial erosion, limestone erosion, geotectonics, and possible existance of another river flow. All mentioned, makes the Bay of Kotor a unique in the world by way of origin.



The Bay of Kotor

The Bay is about 28 km long from the open sea to the harbour of the city of Kotor. It is surrounded by mountains of Orjen on the west and Lovćen on the East. The narrowest section, Verige strait, is only 300 m long. The Bay is composed of 4 smaller gulfs: gulf of Herceg Novi, gulf of Tivat, gulf of Risan and gulf of Kotor. The first 2 are connected via the Kumbor strait, while the Verige strait connects the gulf of Tivat with gulfs of Risan and Kotor. The total area equals 88 square kilometres.



Relief map of the Bay of Kotor

The bay is considered as on of the most beautiful bays in the world. In this part of Mediterranian, it is known by its nickname "The bride of the Adriatic". Plenty of little towns, cute fishing villages, islets, small beaches, and beautiful architecture sites can be found in the Bay.


Tivat gulf islands

On a cape that separates the gulf of Risan from that of Kotor, and overlooks the Verige strait, lies the old town of Perast. This part of bay was the earliest inhabited area in the Bay of Kotor. The remains of a Neolithic culture (3500 BC) have been discovered in the caves of Spila above Perast. Various archeological finds provide evidence of civilization dating from Illyrian, Roman and early Christian periods.


Perast

Near Perast there are two islets, Sveti Đorđe (St. George) and Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), and each has a picturesque chapel. This two islets are the symbol of Boka kotorska. Gospa od Škrpjela is the only artificially built island in the Adriatic. It was built upon a rock (Škrpjel) after two Venetian sailors from Perast found a picture of the Virgin Mary on it in 1452.


Sveti Đorđe and Gospa od Škrpjela islets

The most popular tourist areas of the Boka are cities of Kotor, Herceg Novi and Tivat, where is an international airport and newly opened luxury jacht marine, Porto Montenegro. The best way to explore the beauty of Boka kotorska is to take a boat tour or to drive along the coast. 


Rose

Wherever you go and whatever sites you visit, be sure that has some historical importance. Almost everything in Boka have some historical value and some interesting story or legend about it. This area is well known for the famous Boka navy which was very powerful in medieval times. You can see many of preserved captain palaces from these times all over the Bay. 

Palaces in Dobrota, The Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor is also famous for good restaurants where you can taste local seafood specialty`s. There is plenty of small fishing towns with fantastic restaurants in a beautiful environment. 

Beautiful scenery of Kotor Bay

Lord Byron, who visited Boka kotorska in the early 19th century, claimed it was "the most beautiful encounter between land and sea".

1 comment:

  1. I couldn't agree more with Lord Byron. although I'm totally in love with Herceg Novi. Even partners from my company are interested in investing in Montenegro. Perhaps, we'll start a business there or something. Any information on Montenegro investments and all the paperwork (I found an interesting website http://srbija-nekretnine.org/montenegro-property/, but that's all)?

    ReplyDelete