Bursting at the seams with majestic mountains, breathtaking beaches and larger-than-life locals, minuscule Montenegro proves once and for all that good things do indeed come in small packages.
The country where land and sea embrace. It’s not even 300 km from tip to toe, but Montenegro’s coastline crams in some of Europe’s most spectacular seaside scenery. Mountains jut sharply from crystal-clear waters in such a way that the word ‘looming’ is unavoidable. Ancient walled towns cling to the rocks and dip their feet in the water like they’re the ones on holiday. In summer, the whole scene is bathed in the scent of wild herbs, conifers and Mediterranean blossoms.
Loosen your belt and pack pants one size up: you’re in for a treat. Eating in Montenegro is generally an extremely pleasurable experience. By default, most of the food is local, fresh and organic, and hence very seasonal. Despite its small size, Montenegro has at least three distinct regional styles: the food of the old Montenegrin heartland, mountain food and coastal cuisine. Sun-seeking holidaymakers, this is what you’ll mainly encounter – and it’s absolutely delicious. The food on the coast is indistinguishable from Dalmatian cuisine: lots of grilled seafood, garlic, olive oil and Italian-style dishes.
‘Wild Beauty’, crows Montenegro’s enduring tourism slogan, and indeed the marketing boffins are right to highlight the nation’s extraordinary natural blessings. In the mountainous interior are pockets of virgin forest and large mammals, long since hunted out of existence on most of the continent, still hanging on – just.
National parks in Montenegro include: Durmitor, Lovćen, Biogradska Gora, Lake Skadar and Prokletije Montenegro’s newest national park. Many species of animals and birds have managed to find solace in Montenegro’s hidden nooks and national parks. Precisely because those nooks are so hidden, you’re unlikely to see any of the more dramatic mammals.
There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Montenegro. Two of these are cultural sites and the other is a natural site.
Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor. During the Middle Ages, Kotor was an important natural harbor in the Adriatic Coast. It was an important center for cultural, artistic and commercial activity. There were also several historic monuments in the region, which includes the town walls and four Romanesque churches. However, most of them were destroyed by the earthquake that hit Montenegro in 1979. Since it was inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Montenegro, it was gradually restored to help preserve the legacy of this cultural town.
Dumitor National Park. This is the only natural site featured in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Montenegro. This national park is breathtaking as it features rivers, glaciers, and underground streams. It also features some of the deepest gorges in Europe. Meanwhile, the national park features a beautiful blend of natural features such as clear lakes, dense pine forests, and an endemic flora species collection.
Stecci Medieval Tombstone Graveyards.This is the newest addition to this list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also a cultural site. The monument medieval tombstones are scattered along some territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina and near the borders of Croatia, Serbia, and Montenegro. The epitaphs to these tombstones indicate that they were around since the 12th or 13th century.
Venetian Works of Defence between 16th and 17th centuries: Stato da Terra – western Stato da Mar. This transnational property is the newest addition to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia, Italy and Montenegro. This property encompasses the 6 fortifications that were built along the Adriatic Sea from the 16th to the 17th centuries. These forts represent the evolution of the military solutions by the Venetian army. At the same time, they are recognized for their innovative use of architectural techniques. These fortifications served as the defensive line that protected the Venetian commercial network.