After almost a week of cruising through Bosnia and Herzegovina, it was new country time and we had decided to continue our road trip in Montenegro. It was cheaper to rent a different car in each country, so we dropped off our Bosnian car in Mostar and jumped on a bus to Herceg Novi, right across the border with Montenegro. I said cheaper, not quicker or less annoying.
Call it a lack of preparation but we hadn’t really understood that the bus didn’t go straight from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Montenegro. Hey, what’s the charm of a road trip if you have to plan everything ahead? Instead, it went from Bosnia into Croatia, back into Bosnia, back into Croatia and from there finally into Montenegro. Yes, that is a total of 4 border crossings and seeing Bosnia and Herzegovina isn’t part of the EU… yep, you get it…
Nine hours later (instead of the 4 that were announced) we finally got there. We jumped straight into our new car and were ready to hit the road again.
Here’s my full ABC of all the cool things to do in the country! All tested thoroughly by yours truly, of course!
Let's hit the road!
[A] Stay at hotel Aurel in Podgorica for some unexpected luxury at reasonable prices.
[B] Stroll around the cozy streets of Budva during the day and see how it transforms into ‘the place to be’ once the sun has set. Little bars full of people, (sometimes live) music and beautiful people literally everywhere!
[C] Try to save one of the cats of Kotor with fellow animal lover Dan because it looks soooooo skinny and you just can’t NOT go buy some tuna to feed it.
[D] Do not miss Durmitor national park. Drive through its winding roads to see the most amazing scenery of vast green grasslands and mountains. Together with the Piva river (keep on reading until you reach [P]), which is also in the north of Montenegro, Durmitor was one of my favorite places to visit. A more detailed post about both places will follow later, so stay tuned!
[E] Spend more time watching these two taking pictures of each other than actually visiting the country. Haha OK I’m exaggerating, but yeah, this is also what traveling with fellow travel bloggers looks like. That and heaps of fun, of course! #TravelBloggingBehindTheScenes
[F] Realize Montenegro is probably not gonna make it to your “Top 5 food countries in the world” list. Myeah, no big love affair between me and Montenegrin food… sorry guys!!
[G] On your way from Durmitor and Piva in the north to Podgorica in the south, take the detour via the Tara River Canyon (the deepest canyon in Europe) and Biogradska Gora national park.
[H] Stay at Holiday Bungalows in Pluzine, drink home-made Rakia with the owner who is just the nicest man EVER, and get the feeling you never want to leave this place again… I mean NO other tourists, the friendliest people, and views to die for… what else do you need?
[I] Stay in Ivetic Apartments in Radanovice, between Kotor and Budva. The place is cheap, super nice and the owners are just adorable!
[J] On your way from Kotor to Pluzine, between Lipci and Niksic, stop at Jezero Slansko, or Lake Slansko.
[K] Spend an afternoon in Kotor. Start out with Stari Grad, the historical center, and once you’re warmed up, climb the 1350 steps leading up to the Castle of San Giovanni. You’ll understand right away why this place is Lonely Planet’s #1 top city of 2016!
Check out these awesome activities in Kotor as well!
[L] Take the long road from Tivat to Kotor along the coast, and from Kotor keep on driving towards Lipci. Why? Let me show you…
[M] Cruise around the country in the Renault Megane you rented with Auto Europe. Great car, good prices and a fast service, what else do you want?
[N] Eat the local cookies called Noblice, which – I’m sure – translate into something lovely and appetizing in Montenegrin, we couldn’t help but laugh about it. And feel a bit itchy, too :p
[O] Play a game of odds are, loose, and walk up to a woman you’ve never seen before asking ‘can I please get a selfie of us together because you are so beautiful and I need to give my plastic surgeon something to work with?’
For those of you who don’t know ‘odds are’, it’s a game where one person dares another person to do something silly, ridiculous, slightly embarrassing, etc. The challenged person then chooses the odds (1 to 10, 1 to 20, 1 to 30, …) after which both people count to 3 and shout a number corresponding to how likely they think it is the challenged person will fulfill the assignment. If both people shout the same number, the person who got challenged, well, is screwed 😉
This all sounds rather complicated so let me give you a real-life example:
Jones: ‘Lili, odds are you’ll go to any woman in here and ask her for a selfie saying ‘you are so beautiful and my plastic surgeon needs something to work with.’’
Lili: ‘Eeehhrrr… one to 10!’
Jones and Lili both count down… 1… 2… 3…
Jones and Lili at the same time: ‘7!!’
Lili: ‘Shit!’ :p
[P] Realize that half of the places in Montenegro have a name starting with a P and that it’s gonna be hard to fill up your ABC… Pluzine, Podgorica, … but the one you should definitely not miss is Piva. From Pluzine just drive north and keep following the Piva River for some dazzling views of the canyon.
[Q] Quench your thirst with some local beer. With temperatures going up to 42°C (108° F), you’ll need it…
[R] Drive up to Rijeka Crnojevica to see Horseshoe bend. It’s breathtaking and when we were there, there was nobody else around and we got the place all to ourselves!
[S] Drive down the coast from Budva towards Ulcinj and take a few of the side roads to get closer to the ocean. One of them will lead you to Sveti Stefan, a nice place to watch the sunset. Does that place also make you think about a sweaty man named Stefan? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one.
[T] When in Budva, check to see if Top Hill is open for an awesome party in a super special place.
[U] After your night out at Top Hill – to which you didn’t drive yourself because you don’t drink and drive, of course!! – try and find an Uber to get back to your apartment, only to discover the nearest one is 7 hours away. Take a taxi instead, get stuck behind a roadblock that is going to last for several hours on the only road back to your place, head back to Budva and get a hotel for (what’s left of) the night, even though you already paid for one elsewhere…
[V] Shoot an epic Montenegro road trip Video, or just watch Dan Flying Solo while he’s shooting his. Check it out, it’s amazing!!
[W] Wake up to this view in Kod Strugara near horseshoe bend. There’s only one or two places to stay and you might need to book in advance, but it’s worth it!
[X] Try to survive the bus ride from Bosnia and Herzegovina without Xanax… I can promise you it’s gonna be a challenge :p
[Y] Say yes whenever someone offers you a shot of home-made Rakia. And get ready to get a liiiiiiittle bit tipsy… (once you’ve finished driving, of course!!!)
[Z] If you want to stay a night near Durmitor national park, pick the town of Zabljak with its lovely mountain vibe.
OK SO NOW YOU’RE ALL SET TO GO ON AN EPIC ROAD TRIP IN MONTENEGRO!
Check out my ABC of the coolest things to do in Bosnia and Herzegovina if you want to combine both countries in one trip and stay tuned for my best things to do in Albania, the third and final country I visited during this awesome Balkans road trip.
Questions? Been there and want to share your epic moments? Or just want to say hi?
See you in the comment section!
(*) Huge thanks to AutoEurope for providing us with a car as part of their #EuropeanRoadTrip campaign. All opinions are as always my own and straight from the heart. Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission for every booking, without any extra cost to you. Thanks!
Great – I have been thinking about going there for a while – now I think I defenitely will. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂
Aaaauuwh that’s an awesome compliment 🙂 And yes I think you definitely should, it’s such an amazing country, I absolutely fell in love with it!
Great write up on Montenegro! It’s so great to see more and more people explore the north and not just stick to the coast.
Hi — love your blog posts! I’m looking at a road trip around Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, plus maybe a couple other countries. Can you provide any more insight into the rental car situation? I’m having a hard time finding information about how to do it, cost, etc. Thanks!
After the fact do you think it was worth (money vs. time) to switch rental cars in each country? I am planning a short 2-3 week trip – flying from Zagreb, Croatia and doing a round trip through Slovenia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and back to Zagreb. It will be a whirlwind, and I was planning on one rental car. But I am concerned about boarder crossings in a rental.
If you’re flying into and out of Zagreb, you should keep the same car. It’s only a problem if you want to collect a rental car in one country and drop it off in another. You’ll have no trouble with border crossings, you just need to make sure your rental car company knows the countries you plan to visit so they can issue you with cross-border insurance for those countries. Most rental car companies won’t allow you to drive into Albania or Kosovo, but Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Slovenia are fine.
Thank you so much! I am very excited, and reading your blog is just getting me more pumped for the adventure!
Hi my dear:)
I just have researched something about Montenegro and found your blog / your entry.
This is a very good entry which definetely pushed me by going to Montenegro.
Best wishes for you!
Where is the place you stayed in Kod Strugara? It looks amazing, I’d love to stay there.
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Fantastic – we are heading to Montenegro this Summer and will be driving so this is super helpful.
Can’t wait to visit the Balkans later this year … great post!
Here from Pinterest! I have actually read a few of your posts but this is by far the best! Your content is great and your photos, all are on point. I like how you have a specific colour across the whole layout of your blog!
PS: I feel so sorry for you to have to cross the border four times though!
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There is no ocean in Montenegro.
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Keeep upp the good writing.
very useful info about montenegro, thanks for sharing such a nice post, i will definetly visit this place once day 🙂
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Great post! Hope to travel to Montenegro as well one day! Seems like a magical place to be
Absolutely jaw-dropping. Your writing is great but I have to say… The photos… Man oh man, you sure know how to sell a place through the lens of your camera.
Its good to be here, very nice post, the content is amazing, keep posting friend it will be very helpful for everyone, Thanks for sharing. I really liked it.
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Great Post. Thansk for sharing!
We absolutely loved Montenegro! We only went to Kotor since we only had 1 day! But it seems like there’s so much to see in such a small country! Thanks for sharing these tips and definitely inspiring us to go back and see the rest of the beautiful country.
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i like your posts so much i have visted montenegro once
What a beautiful place ! I love the photos !
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Hey, i read several articles you wrote and m a big fan of your writing and trips. So far i found this the best one because i love road trips. Content and pictures were on point. Amazing.
Looks like an amazing road trip.
First off, the photos look astoundingly surreal and out of this world! It’s like the sceneries were only captured to be viewed in a movie screen! Beautiful art of nature plus great photography equals these masterpieces! Thank you for sharing these 26 best things to do in a fun way of ABC’S while roadtripping through Montenegro!
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I would love to hike at Durmitor National Park. The view of Kotor from the Kotor Fortress hike is stunning too. Also, I have recently read about the adventure activities at the Bay of Kotor, they are so much fun.
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