Discover authentic Montenegrin culture and cuisine in the village of Njeguši which lies between Kotor and Lovćen National Park in Montenegro.
On the road between Kotor and Lovćen National Park you’ll drive through Njeguši, an unassuming village that would be easy to just drive through and never think of again.
But this little village was once the historical powerhouse of old Montenegro. Montenegro used to be much smaller than it is now. As recently as the 19th century it was just an unrecognised territory that was officially claimed by the Ottoman Turks and dependent on Russia for money. This state was ruled by the vladika, the prince bishop and the serdar, who was responsible for defence. Both of these positions were passed down family lines in clans based in Njeguši, making Njeguši an important place in Montenegro.
Today, this village of just 35 permanent residents is a popular stop for tours travelling to Lovćen National Park from Kotor. It’s a great place to stop and sample some of Montenegro’s traditional cuisine, visit Montenegro’s oldest restaurant and see a traditional 19th century house that was home to one of Montenegro’s most powerful clans.
You can easily include Njeguši in a day trip itinerary or visit it on tour. So don’t just drive through Njeguši, stop and experience old world Montenegro!
The most famous resident of Njeguši is Petar II Petrović Njegoš, who was the vladika of Montenegro from 1830 to 1851. Njegoš, as he’s known, was born in the only two-storied house in Njeguši and the house is now a museum. The house and furniture show the way a typical upper-class Montenegrin family lived in the 19th century.
Njegoš was also an acclaimed poet, and the museum has a first edition copy of his epic The Mountain Wreath, which was printed in Vienna in 1847. You can also visit the Petar II Petrović Njegoš mausoleum in Lovćen National Park, which is a major attraction in Montenegro and is only 14km from Njeguši.
Address: Njegoseva rodna kuca, Erakovići
Opening hours: 9am – 5pm
These days Njeguši is most famous for its prosciutto. Whenever Montenegrins buy prosciutto for celebrations or family gatherings it has to be from Njeguši. The climate in Njeguši is known for producing the best prosciutto and it takes almost a year to produce good quality njeguški pršut.
First, the pigs are slaughtered in November, when the temperature falls below 10°C. The legs are rubbed with sea salt and then soaked in brine for 15 days. Then they’re washed and pressed for several weeks. The prosciutto is then hung in a smokehouse for four months and the fire in the smokehouse is tended around the clock for the entire time. The prosciutto is then moved to a place where it dries, and it’s this mix of mountain and sea air in Njeguši that’s said to make prosciutto from Njeguši so good.
Montenegro’s oldest restaurant, Kod Pera na Bukoviću, is a great place to stop to try the prosciutto from Njeguši, as well as cheese and brandy made here. If you join the fantastic Full Day Montenegro Tour you’ll stop here for breakfast and a tour of their smokehouse. The tour of the smokehouse concludes with a shot of their rakija, the Balkan’s potent brandy used for everything from weddings to funerals to curing the common cold. This is followed by a breakfast of prosciutto and cheese sandwich with a glass of red wine. Now, if that’s not a good way to start a tour I don’t know what is! You can also buy vacuum-packed packages of Njeguši prosciutto, cheese honey, wine and brandy to take with you.
There are also stalls selling local produce on the main road through Njeguši. Local specialities include prosciutto and cheese, but also fruit brandies, honey and mead.
In Krstac, at the top of the Ladder of Kotor, which used to connect Njeguši with Kotor, there’s a zipline that crosses the valley below.
Address: Zip Line Njegushi
Opening hours: 9am - 7pm
Kod Pera na Bukoviću – Kod Pera na Bukoviću is the oldest restaurants in Montenegro and is a great place to experience traditional Montenegrin culture and cuisine from Njeguši village.
Nevjesta Jadrana – Nevjesta Jadrana is just before Njeguši village and has panoramic views of the Bay of Kotor which you can enjoy over a coffee, wine or meal.
The drive from Kotor to Njeguši is an attraction in itself. Referred to as the ‘serpentine road’, the road has 25 switchbacks and gives you incredible views of the Bay of Kotor. From Njeguši you can continue on to Lovćen National Park and Cetinje.
I have a day tour itinerary that takes you from Kotor through Njeguši to Lovćen National Park, Cetinje, Lipa Cave and Budva. This is a completely customisable day trip itinerary that takes you through the highlights of this part of Montenegro. Click here to see the Mountain High, Cavern Deep Day Trip itinerary.
Kotor – Njeguši: 24km (15mi)
Budva – Njeguši: 38km (24mi)
Podgorica – Njeguši: 56km (35mi)
Full-Day Montenegro Tour – this is a fantastic full day tour that covers the serpentine road, Njeguši, the Petar II Petrović Njegoš mausoleum, Cetinje, Pavlova Strana, Rijeka Crnojevića (Skadar Lake National Park) and Budva.
Kotor: Private Day Trip to Lovćen and Skadar Lake – this is a private tour that takes you up the serpentine road from Kotor to Njeguši, Lovćen National Park, Cetinje and Skadar Lake National Park.
Podgorica: Full-Day Montenegro Tour – this tour starts in the capital, Podgorica, heads through the mountains to Budva, then Kotor and up the serpentine road to Njeguši and Cetinje.
Ivanova Korita – Ivanova Korita is the centre of the national park and there you’ll find wide fields, playgrounds, barbecue facilities, restaurants, accommodation, hiking and biking trails and Lovćen Adventure Park.
Cetinje - Petar II Petrović Njegoš spent most of his life in Cetinje, the old royal capital of Montenegro. You can visit the residence he built, the Bilijarda, as well as Cetinje Monastery, King Nikola’s Court and the national museum.
Lipa Cave – just outside Cetinje, Lipa Cave is a family-friendly attraction that takes you down into the underground world of stalactites and stalagmites.
Petar II Petrović Njegoš Mausoleum - the Petar II Petrović Njegoš Mausoleum lies on Jezerski Peak in Lovćen National Park and is a monument to one of Montenegro's favourite leaders.
Most accommodation in Njeguši is quite basic. This is a small village of self-catering accommodation and family-run guesthouses, but there is one nicer hotel, the Ethno Village St George.
Ethno Village St George **** - this is an upmarket family-friendly set of villas and apartments with has a pool and farmyard animals in a rural setting in Njeguši.
Ivanov Konak *** - this hotel offers comfortable and welcoming accommodation at Ivanova Korita in the heart of Lovćen National Park.