Nestled in the heart of former Yugoslavia, Montenegro is a truly amazing place to visit. With great beaches, architecture dating back to medieval times, great food, some of the friendliest people in the world - and naturally lots of sailing opportunities, that can easily be extended to nearby Croatia - it's a great option for a Mediterranean holiday. Oh, and the weather is great too.

Here are some of the best reasons to visit Montenegro and choose it as your summer destination - but trust me, we could add way more to the list!

Explore lively Podgorica  

So what is there to do in this tiny gem of a country (it covers only 14 000 square km - slightly bigger than Connecticut but smaller than Hawaii). If you fly into the capital city of Podgorica, don't rush to the coast to jump on your private charter right away! Make sure you take a stroll around the old town first, grab a pleskavica (the local verison of a hamburger) and see the sights, including the famous clock tower built by the Turks. Cross the Millennium Bridge which spans the Moraca river and take in the awe-inspiring views of the canyons surrounded by lush greenery, and don’t forget to take a glance at the bridge itself.

After a long day’s exploring the city, try to save have enough energy to enjoy the nightlife in Podgorica. As it’s the capital city, the clubs and bars are open and generally busy all year round. An eclectic mix of traditional, modern and “out there”, the bars, restaurants and nightclubs have something for everyone. But make sure you get a good night’s sleep, because Montenegro has a lot more to offer!

Hike Lake Skadar and Surrounds

From Podgorica, travel 40 minutes by bus heading south and you’ll find Lake Skadar - it will take your breath away! The largest freshwater lake in Southern Europe, teems with wildlife and is surrounded by monasteries and historical monuments, some dating back to the 11th century. Take a dip in the lake then relax in the sun before going to explore.

Take a car or taxi and visit the town of Murice, which has the only sandy beach around Lake Skadar. There you can eat traditional food at the many restaurants in the town, seafood being their speciality. If you’re feeling energetic, hiking and walking tours are available around the canyons of Lake Skadar. These give you a great opportunity to explore and enjoy the stunning scenery, exploring alongside local tour guides.

Explore Durmitor National Park

A couple of hours north from Podgorica, you’ll come to the largest national park in Montenegro, Durmitor (the Balkan word for romance or sleeping). National Park is surrounded by mountains and was declared a UNESCO world heritage sight in 1980. This is truly an adventurer's paradise, filled with pine forests, canyons, and soaring peaks. You can trek along the Tara river canyon and camp on the side of one of the 17 glacial lakes. Remember to take your camera as there are over 130 types of birds, mountains and views to take your breath away.

If you're sailing around Montenegro, you can easily visit Skadar as a shore excursion, whereas Durmitor takes at least a couple of days to be explored.

Sail along the Coast of Montenegro

How can we neglect to mention the Montenegro coast? If you needed a reason to visit Montenegro, sailing would be it - there's just so much to explore, even in such a tiny country.

One of the most popular coastal cities to visit is Budva, with 21km of beaches, chock-a-block with culture and history. The old town sits on a peninsula, and offers an insight into the history of the whole Adriatic coastal area. Built partly by the Venetians and with churches and monasteries dating back as far as the 9th century, Budva is full of wonderful sights and places to visit. 

If you visit during the summer months, spend some time relaxing on one of the 17 beaches and swimming in the impossibly blue sea. If you’re feeling up to it after all that relaxing, you can watch one of the many open-air theatre shows organized during the summer months. Budva hosts the Grad Theatre City” festival, where the whole town is transformed into an open-air theatre from around mid-June for 6 weeks. With everything from Greek Tragedies to modern productions, there is always something to see.

There is so much to do and see in Montengro, and we’ve only just scratched the surface. Visit the old city of Kotor, set in a bay on the Adriatic coast, and spend some time sailing down the beautiful Kotor Bay, the southernmost fjord in Europe. The Old City is surrounded by the spectacular St John's Fortress, from where you can enjoy scenic views over the fjord. Other reasons to visit Montenegro include Perast, a coastal town not far from Kotor, from where it is possible to sail to the tiny islets of Our Lady of the Rocka and St George. 

From sandy beaches, to old towns to nightlife to stunning canyons and mountains, Montenegro has so much to offer you’ll need another holiday afterward, to recover from the sheer beauty of this wonderful country! One thing is certain - you will be back!

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