Montenegro is a beautiful country on the Adriatic Sea coast. It is considered the youngest country in the Balkans, as it only separated from Croatia in 2006. The country is also known as Montenegro due to its dense black forests that cover a significant part of its territory.
Montenegro is renowned for its stunning nature, numerous beaches, and islands. Here, every tourist can take a hike along the Lovćen mountain ridge, go rafting on the Tara River, or visit the Great Wall. Some of the country’s islands are popular tourist destinations and deserve special attention. In this article, we have compiled the best islands in Montenegro that you can visit during your trip here.
The Island of St. Nicholas, or “Hawaii” Island, is the largest island in Montenegro. It is located in the Bay of Kotor, just one kilometre from the town of Budva. The island is very popular among tourists because of its beautiful and clean beaches, crystal-clear waters, unique flora, and fauna. Boats to the Island of St. Nicholas operate from early morning, and you can enjoy beautiful landscapes and bird songs throughout the day. The island has a church with the same name, numerous pebble beaches spanning 800 metres in total, and several camping spots where you can spend the night under the stars. Entry to the island is free, but when reaching it from the mainland, tourists will need to pay for the boat services.
Mamula Island is one of the most interesting islands in Montenegro. It is located at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor. The island’s diameter is only 200 metres. It was named Mamula Island in 1853 when a fortress was built here by order of General Lazar Mamula. The island lacks infrastructure, so it is not suitable for permanent residence. However, you can come here for a tour of the fortress, for a photoshoot against the backdrop of its mighty walls, or for sunbathing on the pebble beach. Mamula Island is home to a large number of cormorants that lay eggs in April. We do not recommend visiting the island during this period as their eggs are practically everywhere.
Sveti Stefan Island is located in the Budva Riviera of Montenegro. Originally, the island was a fishing village, but it is now one of the most famous and luxurious islands in Montenegro. However, this was not always the case. Few know that since 2009, the island has been called Aman Sveti Stefan. This change came about because by 2007, the island had lost its splendour and was abandoned. The government wanted to restore it, but lacked the funds. So, the island was leased to the tourism company Aman Resorts. Now, Sveti Stefan Island serves as a retreat for the very wealthy and influential.
The uniqueness of Aman Sveti Stefan lies in the red cliffs that resemble rubies. The island is famous for its historical buildings, which have now become hotels, and beautiful beaches with crystal-clear water. The total length of the beaches is about 2 kilometres. Here, every tourist can find a place to stay, as the island offers 58 luxurious apartments. Sveti Stefan is a popular destination for weddings and romantic getaways with loved ones.
The Blue Cave, or Plava Špilja, is a grotto located on the Lustica Peninsula. While not exactly an island, it is known for its beautiful cave and blue waters. The Blue Cave covers an area of about 300 square metres, with a height of 9 metres and a depth of about 4 metres. On sunny days, the water is illuminated, and the blue colour becomes particularly vibrant. Access to the cave is only possible by sea, so you will need to take a boat to get there. It is recommended to go on a cave tour when the sea is calm, as strong waves can make it unsafe to enter the grotto. Some tours even offer swimming inside the cave or diving with scuba gear. Despite the limited time for such activities, it is worth it for the amazing experience.
The Island of Flowers (Prevlaka) is located in the Bay of Tivat. It is about 1.5 kilometres from the city of Tivat. You can reach it by boat or by road using a bus or rental car. Car rental in Montenegro is well-developed, so every tourist can rent a car for a pleasant price. The Island of Flowers is not very large, measuring 300 metres in length and 200 metres in width. It is more of a peninsula as it is connected to the mainland by a narrow strip of land. However, during high tide, the strip is submerged underwater. Here, you will find a pristine beach that stretches for 1200 metres. Tourists can sunbathe, take a leisurely walk in the shade of trees, or engage in water activities, including popular water skiing.
Gorica Island, or Beshka, covers an area of 15 hectares and is situated in Lake Skadar. The island is home to the Beshka Monastery from the late 14th century, which now serves as a convent. The island is an interesting destination for tourists and researchers due to the numerous remains of ancient monasteries and churches. Various bird species also inhabit the island. Lake Skadar, on which the island stands, is a natural attraction and a protected natural area in Montenegro. Tourists come here to capture beautiful landscapes and observe diverse fauna and flora.
The Our Lady on the Rocks Island, or Gospa-od-Škrpjela, is an island in the Bay of Kotor, opposite the town of Perast. In translation, “Gospa-od-Škrpjela” means “Madonna on the Reef” or “Our Lady on the Rock.” This is possibly the only man-made island in the Adriatic, built on top of a reef. Tourists are drawn to the uniqueness of the church here. It is believed that the Madonna, who “resides” on the reef, protects the sailors of Perast. In the 17th century, the painter Tripo Kokolja visited the island and spent almost 10 years painting the church, and his works are still considered masterpieces of the region. On the Our Lady on the Rocks Island, you can also see a lighthouse, a souvenir shop, and an island museum.
Montenegro’s islands are a unique combination of beautiful nature, rich history, and places for relaxation and entertainment. They are local wonders that provide an atmosphere of beauty and uniqueness. Be sure to plan a trip to Montenegro and set aside time to visit its islands.
Entertainment in Montenegro
Montenegro, although small, is a remarkably picturesque country on the southern coast of the Adriatic Sea. Montenegro offers numerous resorts, making it easy for travellers to find a place that suits their preferences. In recent times, tourists have been coming here to enjoy the beautiful nature, learn more about the rich history, and relax thanks to a variety of entertainment options. Here are some of the most popular ones you can find in the country:
- Beach Relaxation
This is, of course, one of the most popular forms of entertainment in Montenegro. The country boasts many beaches, primarily with pebbles or pebble-sand combinations. Such leisure activities allow you to bask in the sun, sea, and sand. Montenegro’s coastline is unique in that it is publicly owned. The most popular beaches include Yaz Beach, Budva Beach, and Lucice Beach. Here, you can engage in activities like kayaking, windsurfing, diving, and parasailing. The swimming season in Montenegro lasts from late May to mid-October.
- Water Activities
Montenegro borders the Adriatic Sea, which is clean but refreshingly cool in temperature. The country offers a wide range of water-based activities. For those seeking a more tranquil experience, options include beach picnics along the coast, boat trips in the Bay of Kotor, kayaking, or yachting. For those who prefer an active holiday, there is diving, rafting on the Tara River, and fishing on a boat. When swimming in the sea, it is advisable to watch your step carefully, as sea urchins are frequently encountered and should be avoided.
During the winter, Montenegro transforms into a popular skiing destination. The country features two ski resorts: Zabljak in the Durmitor Mountains and Kolasin in the Bjelasica Mountains. Zabljak is known for its proximity to Black Lake and the Djurdjevica Bridge. The ski resort is situated at the base of mountains over 2200 metres high and is covered in snow for over 100 days a year. It offers a total of 12 slopes with a combined length of 14 km, including 4 km of red runs, 2 km of black runs, and 8 km of blue runs.
Kolasin Resort is located at an elevation of 1450 metres. Surrounded by mountain ranges, it provides a natural setting for skiing. Kolasin offers 16 slopes with a total length of 15 km, including 7 red runs, 3 black runs, and 6 blue runs. The lowest point in the resort is at 1420 metres, and due to the interconnections between the slopes, you can change your descent route each time.
- Hiking and Trekking
Montenegro is an ideal destination for hiking and trekking. The country offers numerous mountain routes that provide beautiful views of mountains and valleys. Additionally, there are various tours and excursions available. For instance, you can venture to the highest peaks of Durmitor without backpacks, embark on a trek to one of Montenegro’s highest peaks, Bobotov Kuk, or explore the Tara Canyon, which is the second deepest canyon in the world.
- Cultural Attractions
Montenegro is rich in history, with many places and cities of historical significance. For example, the Old Town of Kotor, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded in the 12th century, it is renowned for its beautiful architecture, narrow streets, and breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor. You can also visit the Prince’s Palace in Cetinje, which serves as the cultural and historical centre of Montenegro. In the capital, Podgorica, be sure to visit the National History Museum to learn about the country’s history.
- Gastronomic Tours
Montenegro offers a diverse range of delicious dishes worth trying. Seafood, cheeses, olive oil, and tastings of Montenegrin wines allow tourists to explore local culinary traditions by visiting local restaurants and markets. You will be amazed by dishes like Buzara seafood stew, melt-in-the-mouth Lamb in Milk, and the taste of mozzarella cheese from Kolasin.
- Spa Retreats
If you are visiting Montenegro for a peaceful and relaxing getaway, you will find spa hotels and resorts here. Some offer massages, while others provide thermal springs and various spa treatments. The country’s most popular spa resorts include Porto Montenegro, Adriatica Spa, and Montenegro Resort. At the Luxor Hotel Montenegro in Budva, you can experience hydrotherapy and visit a solarium, while at Grenadine Hills Golf and Spa Resort, you can combine spa treatments with golf.
- Outdoor Adventure
Montenegro’s natural beauty offers a wide range of outdoor activities. Tourists can ski or snowboard down the mountains, go diving to see sunken ships and fish, embark on trekking, rafting, or rock climbing adventures, and even enjoy paragliding to behold the beauty of the entire coastline.
Montenegro has plenty of places and various entertainment options for all types of tourists. Whether you desire a beach vacation, skiing, cultural experiences, or relaxation at a spa, Montenegro has something for every traveller. It is all about planning your trip correctly.
How to Visit All the Islands of Montenegro
Montenegro boasts a considerable number of islands along its coastline. To visit them all over your weekend, proper time planning is essential. You can also choose the most interesting and popular islands, create a personal itinerary, and prioritise safety during your journey. The following factors will help you see the maximum number of islands during your trip to Montenegro.
- Planning is an integral part of your journey. It is possible to visit all the islands of Montenegro if you plan your route in advance. Make a list of the desired islands, outline a provisional route, and be sure to consider the specific aspects of visiting each one. For instance, some islands can be reached by kayak, while others may require renting a boat or yacht. Calculate your budget and time if you intend to visit all the Montenegrin islands.
- Transportation rental. Regarding island hopping, everything is clear. However, for getting around the city where you will stay, we recommend renting a car. It is very convenient and allows you to move not only between attractions but also between cities. You can choose your travel time, comfortably reach your destination with your family, and stow all your belongings in the trunk. Cars in Montenegro can be rented on the website of LocalCarRents. Imagine not having to stand in the sun or rain at a public transport stop, riding in a crowded bus with a crowd of tourists. Choose a comfortable car model on the website, book the car, and soon enjoy your vacation.
- The tourist season in Montenegro lasts from May to October, but the best time to visit the islands is during the summer months. During this period, the weather is sunny, and the water is warm. However, early autumn also offers warm days with fewer tourists. In winter, the ski resorts come to life, but the coastal areas become quieter. Still, those who love walking by the water can take advantage of this season for a peaceful experience.
- Island map. The islands of Montenegro are located in different places. The best way to visit them is to study the map first and determine the order in which you will visit the islands. This way, you can optimise your time and avoid unnecessary travel expenses. Remember that each island has its uniqueness. Plan your trip so that you can gradually enjoy their atmosphere.
Visiting all the islands in Montenegro is possible in just a few days if you plan your route correctly, rent a car, and strictly adhere to safety rules. Do not be discouraged if things do not go as planned. It is essential to focus on having a great vacation and having a backup plan in case of unforeseen circumstances, so that no small detail can spoil your mood. Have a fantastic time on the islands of Montenegro!