The world is bigger than we could possibly imagine, and it’s scary to think we will never even scratch the surface in this lifetime. Even if we do travel to the same places, we see the world through different eyes, creating a unique experience. I am inspired by each of your stories, just waiting to be told.In 2015, I travelled around the Balkans and Montenegro stole my heart completely.
According to Lonely Planet, Croatia is the country most people search online to visit. I’ve been, and yes, it is beautiful. Yet, it was Croatia’s neighbouring country which really stole my heart: Montenegro. Hugging the Mediterranean sea means that Montenegro has a stunning coastline and some fabulous towns along the way to enjoy the view. One of my favourite places in Montenegro is the Bay of Kotor. As well as the stunning coast, there is an old town which is full of cobbled streets, little gift shops and people’s homes all entwined together. The city itself was declared a UNESCO world heritage city, in honour of its beauty and ability to withstand time.
There are a few highlights of Kotor, one of which is the fabulous Tryphon cathedral. Standing in a square in the old town, the inside is expansive and you can even walk up to the top of to the bell tower to get a view across the city.However, for the best view of Kotor, you’ll want to climb to the top of the old fort. The view is priceless. Although at the bottom of the walk it says the top area can be a little dangerous, if you take it easy and are sensible, it’s absolutely fine. From the top, you can see across the whole bay, including the sea and mountains. You’ll also be able to see all the terracotta roofs of the old town below. You won’t be disappointed in the view from the top. Remember to bring lots of water though!Kotor is charming and a lovely place to sit and relax in cafes and wander around, getting lost in all of the cobbled streets. The locals are friendly and there are a variety of places to eat and bars to enjoy.Along from the stunning bay of Kotor is the unmissable village of Perast. You can’t quite call Perast a town as the population is just over 500. There are no street names and only about ten restaurants. We visited in February when only one of the restaurants was open – bear this in mind if you travel in low season! Although you can hop on the bus and do it as a day trip from Kotor, we actually stayed in a guesthouse for the night. It was so peaceful and quiet.The main attraction of Perast are the two islands just off of the bay: St George Island and Our-Lady-Of-The-Rock Island. You can get a boat there and back to take in the stunning scenery and explore what each little island has to offer (note that the islands are tiny!).
In low season, there was one man and one boat. He enjoyed a beer while we looked around the two islands. Upon returning we decided to do as the locals do so we grabbed a beer and enjoyed it on a bench by the water.Montenegro is most definitely worth a visit, whether it’s for a short holiday or if you are travelling around the Balkans. The coast hasn’t quite turned into a mass of hotels yet and the prices are cheaper than in Croatia. To this day, it still remains one of my favourite countries in Europe.
Helen is the creator of Bristolian Backpacker. She lives a life on the road, working and traveling with her boyfriend. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter for photos and updates of her current travels!
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Have you visited Montenegro before? What drew you to this destination?