Seven Must-See Attractions in Montenegro

Take in the mountains and the ocean on the same day, if you choose.

With its 117 beaches stretching along a coastline of 180 miles, it is no wonder Montenegro was quickly at the top of the list of destinations to shoot the 2022 SI Swimsuit issue. Located on the Balkan Peninsula and neighboring Croatia, Serbia, Albania as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina, it is a country that is known as much for its crystal clear water of the Adriatic Sea as it is for its lakes and mountains. It’s clear the moment you arrive that the natural landscape is a large part of what makes it such a special location.

The country also has long been a melting pot of cultures, civilizations and religions. The ancient coastal towns like Sveti Stefan have a very clear old-Mediterranean feel. Museums, monuments, churches and mosques are a testament of Montenegro’s long and turbulent history and of the whole Balkan region. An added bonus for visiting this tiny and charming place is the friendliness of the locals.

Whether it is R&R you are seeking or a bit of adventure, here are seven spots travelers simply shouldn’t skip in Montenegro.

Budva

The Old town of Budva 1

One of the oldest settlements – at exactly 2,500 years! – Budva has the perfect combination of historic landmarks with new locales. A popular destination, especially in the summer, the built-up waterfront has many restaurants and shops. Either before or after a meal, stroll through the old town and stop into The Citadela Fortress for panoramic views of the area. If it's lounging by the water you seek, Mogren Beach is a short distance away and ranked one of the top beaches in the country. 

Sveti Stefan

St. Stefan Budva(1)

A small islet a little under four miles from Budva now is home to the luxurious five-star Aman Sveti Stefan. The resort took over the island but visitors can still go to enjoy a meal or drink. On the mainland is another five-star hotel, Villa Geba with its restaurant and bar Muse. Diners will experience the perfect blend of French gastronomy and local ingredients from Montenegro. As you take in the views of the Bay of Kotor, be sure to enlighten your taste buds with menu highlights including a provincial-style sea bass, bouillabaisse and beef bourguignon with lardons, carrots, button mushrooms and creamy potatoes.

Durmitor National Park

NP Durmitor_Zabljak_Jaksica mlin

Located in the northwest region of the country, Durmitor National Park is a must-visit destination. Named one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, it is also Montenegro’s largest protected area and crown jewel. On the way to the park, be sure to stop at the Tara River for an incredible ziplining experience or raft down. And when it’s time to eat, there is no better place to stop than Restaurant Black Lake - Zabljak. If Durmitor is out of the way, the other four breathtaking National Parks in Montenegro include Lovćen, Lake Skadar, Biogradska Gora and Prokletije. 

Eco Village Nevidio

eco-village-nevidio-Restaurant7

Founded by famous alpinist and passionate mountaineer Dragan Gašo Lalović and located in the beautiful village Pošćenje, this is a great place to stop as you travel from the Bay of Kotor through Žabljak to Belgrade. The open-air restaurant will have you immersed in the surroundings of the lake as you feast on a typical Montenegrin kitchen prepared in a modern way.

Our Lady of the Rocks

Lady of the Rock

Created in the 15th century, Our Lady of the Rocks is a man-made island that is a short boat ride from Perast. Legend has it that in 1452, two brothers discovered an image of the Virgin Mary there. Later, a tiny Orthodox chapel was built on the site, which can be visited today.

Kotor

The old town of Kotor

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site,this beautiful, fortified town is situated on the Bay of Kotor. Gorgeous views can be found from every direction making this destination perfect for a romantic getaway. If you are a cat person, a stop to the Kotor Cats Museum is imperative (you’ll also love all the stray cats wandering around town). And the local markets are the best place to buy local olive oil, jams and sweet honey.

Old Town of Stari Bar, Fortress

The Old Bar

While the new city of Bar was built by the water, an hour hike up a hill into the mountains will have you arriving at quite the site and location of its old town. Restoration work is underway so that visitors can envision what Stari Bar once was –an impressive cultural center full of deities and nobility.  


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Alisandra Puliti

ALISANDRA PULITI

Alisandra Puliti is a NYC-based entertainment journalist with over 15 years of experience. Before joining the SI Swimsuit team as a contributing editor, the Penn State alum held several positions at HELLO! and HOLA! Media, Us Weekly and OK! Magazine. Throughout her tenure, she has been a fixture at events such as the Golden Globes to the Cannes Film Festival and has interviewed the likes of Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Eva Longoria, Jay-Z and more of Hollywood’s elite. A self-professed ‘social homebody,’ when she isn’t home binge-watching the newest streaming series or perfecting pasta dishes, her constant wanderlust has her packing her bags and heading out for a new adventure –most likely back to Italy!