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'Where is Montenegro?'
That's the first thing people say when they first hear about Montenegro or see a video like this one...
You'll be forgiven for not immediately knowing where Montenegro is. But it's time to fix that. It's time to get it on your radar because Montenegro is one of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations.
And it's time for you too to discover the undiscovered!
Montenegro is a tiny little country wedged in between Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania.
You may remember it as part of Yugoslavia, which it was until that country broke up in the 1990's.
Montenegro became an independent country in 2006 and since then has transformed itself into one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world. It attracts everyone from backpackers to billionaires.
And you'll be sure to find your perfect spot in Montenegro too.
Because of it's location in southern Europe, Montenegro is really easy to get to. There are four international airports you can use to get here so you'll have no trouble finding a connection from any European centre.
So now that you know the answer to 'where is Montenegro?', you can start planning how to get here.
Montenegro lies less than three hours' flight time from the UK and about two hours from most other European airports.
Although it's small, there are lots of ways to get here: plane, train, car, bus or ferry.
Okay, so now you know where it is, you can delve a bit deeper into the best places to holiday here. Each area of the country is unique and you'll find everything from buzzing summer resorts to off-the-beaten-track destinations.
I recommend you take a close look at the different towns and choose where you want to stay. You can reach many destinations in day trips, so it's best to choose a place you like to base yourself for at least a few days and explore from there. Some destinations are busy and buzzing, some are quiet and calm. Whatever your ideal getaway, you'll find the perfect spot here.
Montenegro can be roughly broken into two distinct areas: the coast and the mountains.
Montenegro has just under 300km of coastline along the Adriatic Sea, of which about 50km are beaches. This is where most people stay during their holiday.
The coastal areas are very Mediterranean with a mild climate and temperatures rarely falling below 0, even in winter.
The summers are hot and sunny and the perfect place for a summer vacation!
If you've decided you'd love to stay on the coast, you can explore the coastal towns one by one below.
The Bay of Kotor is full of idyllic seaside villages where you can enjoy a quiet getaway. Spend your days on pebble beaches, wander down to your local taverna for dinner in the evening and drink in the ever-changing sea views 24/7.
Kotor, in the heart of the Bay of Kotor, is a 15th century Venetian town that's a must-see in Montenegro. Wander the ancient streets, sample gelato and hike the fortress walls for breathtaking views.
Tivat is ideally placed close to all the main coastal attractions. It's also got an airport, a beautiful yacht marina and happening nightlife.
Herceg Novi is the first town you come to when crossing into Montenegro from Croatia.
This quiet town offers the best beaches in the Bay of Kotor and is great for quiet holidays among the locals.
Perast is an idyllic stone town in the centre of the Bay of Kotor. This is where you can wander down to seaside restaurants, enjoy stunning bay views and experience the authentic Montenegro seaside.
Have you been dreaming of a total getaway? Maybe jumping off you private pier? Or a country house where you can enjoy a glass of Vranac and listen to the crickets? Look no further than Lustica Peninsula.
Budva is Montenegro's most popular resort town. It's packed in summer and there's always something going on.
If you like a happening resort town or you're looking for a beach holiday for the family, you should consider Budva and the Budva Riviera.
Sveti Stefan is a gorgeous, beachside hamlet on the Budva Riviera. Stay in Montenegro's most exceptional 5* resort or find a place with a 5* view - the choice is yours at this desirable address.
Petrovac is an atmospheric and family-friendly village on the seaside. It's the perfect place for long days on the beach and nights wandering the promenade and trying the seaside restaurants.
Bar is a multi-ethnic town that's a true local town. Here you'll find a lively town with few foreign tourists, buzzing beaches and some of the best value beachside getaways in Europe.
Ulcinj is Montenegro's hottest underground destination. Endless sandy beaches, kite surfing, beach parties and quiet beach idylls make this one of the fastest growing areas in Montenegro. Discover it for yourself before it goes mainstream!
No trip to Montenegro is truly complete without a trip into the rugged mountains. The north of Montenegro is stunningly wild and it's where you'll see a different side of the country than the tourist-polished coast.
Image: Deposit photos
The interior region is completely different. It's mountainous and is covered by snow for around four months a year.
It's this mountain region that the country is named for. 'Montenegro' means 'Black Mountain' and when you arrive you immediately see why.
On the coast the land dramatically plunges from black mountains into the sea. And it's this dramatic landscape that's one of Montenegro's biggest drawcards. Away from the coast the landscape is wild and rugged - bears and wolves roam freely here.
It's the perfect place to step off the beaten path, hike and see the real Montenegro.
Explore the places below to find your perfect mountain destination.
Zabljak is the gateway to Durmitor National Park. You'll find hiking, boating on the lake, beautiful scenery, great food and welcoming locals. You can also indulge your adrenaline junkie with whitewater rafting, ziplines and canyoning.
Cetinje is the old royal capital and it's full of history. The cute little town is home to palaces (former and current), museums and monasteries.
Lake Skadar is one of Europe's most important bird reserves. It's also Montenegro's premier wine-growing region.
This area makes for great, active family getaways. You'll find wine tasting, kayaking, boat trips, deserted freshwater beaches, hiking, biking and bird-watching.
Montenegro has five national parks:
These are the perfect places to hike and explore Montenegro's wild places.
Montenegro lies between 41° 51' N and 43° 30' N and 18° 26' E and 20° 21' E. It covers around 14,000 square metres. The southern most tip of the country is at the mouth of the Bojana River on the border with Albania. The northern most tip is at the inland border with Serbia and Montenegro. To put this into context, the distance between these two points is just 190km / 118 miles.
In fact there are just six countries smaller than Montenegro in Europe: Andorra, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, San Marina and Vatican City.
Montenegro is compact country and you can visit most things you want to see in day trips. If you want to see the country properly you can plan a tour of the country, staying in various centres. You can also break up your stay with a week on the coast and a few days in the mountains. This is a great way to spend a 10 day holiday in Montenegro.
How to download a free Budva map on your phone or tablet, buy a physical Budva map and find downloadable Budva map graphics.
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