Panorama view of Perast at famous Bay of Kotor with blooming flowers on a beautiful sunny day with blue sky and clouds in summer
Bay of Kotor, Perast

Montenegro Vacations

The Black Mountain nation, a jewel on the sea

When you first arrive in the Republic of Montenegro, you’ll be astounded by its natural beauty. Verdant mountain ranges with high granite peaks, huge pine forests, and glacial lakes invite hikers seeking the heavens, while the peace of its coastline on the Adriatic is enough to grab your attention, and make you want to stay awhile to contemplate things on the beach.

Montenegro is a small Balkan country and it has a wide ranging climate for its size because of the influence of its seaside location and mountainous landscapes. Throughout the country you will find a coastal, continental, and a mountain zone.

The pretty Bay of Kotor resembles a fjord with crystal-clear waters and wide inlets from which dramatic slopes rise upwards to the skies. The bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a breathtaking landscape. 

The City of Kotor on the bay, like most towns and cities in the country, has architectural influences from the empires and cultures that have settled in the region. The Roman and Ottoman Empires, Albania Veneta, and particularly in Kotor, the Venetian Republic left inspired architecture in Kotor due to its occupation from 1420-1797.

The Old Town of Kotor is tucked between the base of Lovcen’s gigantic mountainside and the crystalline waters of the bay. The site is the best preserved fortified medieval town in the Mediterranean with a long history. Wandering through its labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter lively squares, ancient churches and pleasant bars and restaurants, while echoes of Romans and Ottomans dance through the streets.

St. Tryphon Cathedral was built in the 12th century and is dedicated to the city’s patron saint. The Romanesque and Gothic-style cathedral dominates the town, and has a stone altar, which presents a prime example of the stone masonry skills Kotor became known for in the Middle Ages. If you’re able, you should climb the 1350 steps of the Upper Town Walls – which resemble China’s Great Wall – for a breathtaking and postcard-perfect view of Kotor and its precious bay.

At a Glance
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Sea to Sky Perfection on the Adriatic

Mount Lovcen, which towers over the picturesque Kotor, means black mountain, and inspired the name of the nation. Its ruggedness has long represented the enduring spirit, determination, and  bravery of the people in the face of its historical challenges. Walk on rocky cliffs, above classic red roofs, and stroll down its coast, dotted with resorts on 72 km of beaches with incredibly beautiful views and enchanting natural settings.

Tourist looking over edge at Kotor, Montenegro

The Culture

Montenegro is known for its warm hospitality and strong sense of community as part of its social fabric. The Eastern Orthodox Church has historically fostered a sense of community and has long played a strong role in Montenegrin society.

Across the country there are many churches and monasteries some of which are pristine, but also many abandoned to time and the elements. Serbian Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion, though there is a burgeoning Montenegrin Orthodox Church too, and there are sizable populations of adherents of both Islam and Roman Catholicism. Religious freedom is a constitutional right and different religious groups coexist peacefully.

The ancient city of Podgorica is the capital, built during Ottoman rule. It’s a good example of a city with various religious structures. There are two impressive mosques – King Nikola’s Mosque in the city centre features a characteristic green dome and minaret, and Husein-pasa’s Mosque built in the 18th century. Its distinct Ottoman architectural style includes a central dome, minaret, iwan (a vaulted portico), and minbar (a pulpit from where an imam delivers sermons). And the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of Christ’s Resurrection is a striking church with a large dome and colourful frescoes which depict General Tito, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.

Montenegrin traditional dances reflect the country's diverse regions. The Oro, Vranjanka, and Cetinje Kolo are danced at ceremonies, festivals, and celebrations. Dancers wear colourful costumes and the dances feature quick footwork and intricate choreography.

An epic poem from a Montenegrin prince-bishop Petar II Petrovic-Njegos, The Mountain Wreath, discusses the struggle against the Ottomans, among other themes. The work was published in 1864 and stands as a major record of literary and cultural life from its time.

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