Opportunities for exploration are waiting to be found in the heart of Montenegro, on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, for adrenaline junkies, cultural explorers and family adventures alike. Whatever your ideal getaway is, you can guarantee Montenegro has a lot to offer; hiking, water rafting, discovering beautiful archaeology and culture right in the heart of nature.
Our pick of the best things to do in Montenegro
1. Sveti Ivan’s Fortress
If a trekking adventure with a glorious view is your cup of tea, Montenegro provides you with a couple of active options. One of the best things to do in the city of Kotor is to face the hike to the top of Sveti Ivan’s Fortress. But be warned: this route isn’t for the faint hearted! With an awesome 1,355 stairs, take on the climb to the top where you’ll be rewarded with a breath-taking view of the bays around you.
If you only have a short time exploring the city, make sure to include this long but worthwhile hike. With precise planning, you’ll catch the wonderful view of the sunrise or sunset. It’s truly unmissable. If you’re hooked on the idea of Kotor’s big hike, go prepared with your sturdy hiking boots, helpful walking poles and walking essentials. You’ll find the locals to be of help too if you find yourself unsure of the route.
2. Donji Stoliv
For those looking for a slightly more leisurely trip of discovery, try a relaxed hike in and around Donji Stoliv, a pretty village by the sea with some hidden chances of cultural exploration too. It’s worth mentioning that the walk around Donji Stoliv is mostly flat, but it’s long too. So, pack your boots and all your walking essentials including your sunhat, especially as the heat can take its toll.
3. Our Lady of the Rocks
One of the best things to do in Montenegro is something you could easily miss. Although small, it’s worth a portion of your exploration time. Known as ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’, it’s an islet in the middle of Kotor Bay, where you’ll find a Roman Catholic church with a museum within – the perfect spot for absorbing the legend that surrounds its history.
The legend involves two sailors returning from a voyage and discovering an iconic statue of Madonna and Child sat on a rock in the Bay of Kotor. Story has it that the sailors dropped stones around the water in awe of their miraculous find. Now, it is said that all sailors follow tradition and drop stones as a way of asking the Virgin Mother to return them safely back home. Interestingly, the island is manmade, built from rocks and sinking ships, which only adds to its quaint charm.
4. Sveti Dorde
Nearby, you’ll find another islet, named Sveti Dorde. Unlike the artificially made Lady of the Rocks, Sveti Dorde Island is naturally occurring, rising up from a natural reef. Housing a Benedictine monastery, the islet is referred to as the ‘Island of the Dead’ by the locals; it’s even rumoured to be cursed. So, when you’re planning what to do in Kotor for a day, don’t forget to add these curious islands to your schedule.
5. Ostrog Monastery
Ever visited a monastery built into a cliff face? Us neither! The Ostrog monastery is almost miraculous as it towers over the Zeta valley below. It’s a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church, dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, who was buried at the monastery. This icon of Montenegro’s history is one of the best places to visit in Montenegro – a truly unique experience that attracts millions of pilgrims every year.
6.Make the most of the Bay of Kotor
Looking for something fun and exciting to give you and your family a day to remember in the Bay of Kotor? For the thrill-seekers among you there are places along the river to give you that adrenaline rush – cave kayaking, snorkelling, and boat tours to name a few. For a change of pace, spend the afternoon paddle-boarding the Bay of Kotor and absorb the sheer beauty of the canyon.
7. Tara River Canyon
Not only is the Tara River essentially a canyon with over 75 caves to be seen, it’s over 1km in depth and more than 78km long. It’s the largest European supply of clean drinkable water, and more importantly it’s one of the best white-water rafting experiences to take part in. With 21 rapids and the opportunity to check out the Tara River canyon (one of the deepest in Europe) it’s a prime opportunity to try out cliff jumping from one of its many waterfalls along the route.
8.Visit the town of Kotor
Still not convinced Montenegro has something wonderful in store for you? If city-wandering is more your thing, check out the archaic town of Kotor. It’s one of the best things to do in Montenegro to appreciate the beauty behind the story of its impressively tall buildings.
Tour guides are usually on hand to provide full assistance for all tourists. Or if you’d prefer, spend some quality time with your loved ones wandering and finding your own way around the winding streets. The Maritime Museum, cathedrals and churches are a select few of the gorgeous gems you’ll stumble across in Montenegro.