'Where is Montenegro?'
That's the first thing most people say when they first hear about Montenegro.
You'll be forgiven for not immediately knowing where Montenegro is. It's a small country that's one of Europe's hidden gems.
But that's changing quickly and Montenegro is one of the world's fastest-growing tourist destinations.
Montenegro is a small 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 has transformed itself into one of the hottest tourist destinations in the world. It attracts everyone from backpackers to billionaires.
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.
Montenegro offers a huge amount of variety for such a small country. Each area of the country is unique and you'll find everything from buzzing summer resorts to quiet and off-the-beaten-track destinations.
I recommend taking a close look at the different towns and choosing where you want to stay. You can reach many destinations in day trips, so it's best to choose a place you would 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 and you're bound to find a great spot for your trip.
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 for many reasons:
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 find out more about the coastal towns 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 wine and listen to the crickets? Look no further than Luštica Peninsula.
Budva is Montenegro's most popular resort town. Budva has great beaches, an ancient old town and the best nightlife in Montenegro. There's always something to do in Budva.
Bečići, just 2km (1.25mi) from Budva old town, is a favourite beach resort that offers the attractions of Budva without the busyness and noise of Budva. If you're looking for a beach holiday, check out the holidays and hotels in Bečići.
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.
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.
Žabljak 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.
Kolašin is the gateway to Biogradska National Park. You'll find comfortable hotels, good restaurants and plenty to see and do nearby.
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.
Rijeka Crnojevića is a pretty, quaint town in Skadar Lake National Park. You'll get some fantastic views of Lake Skadar from this area and you can try local cuisine, take boat trips and go hiking.
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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