Montenegro is back. As of today (October 11), the only European country that was on the UK’s red list sees the quarantine requirement in hotels for returning travelers lifted. If you’ve had the chance to visit this obscure but alluring Balkan country before the severe restrictions came into effect on August 27, you’ll know it’s a reason to celebrate.
It’s a land where historic port towns induce cultural reverie, the turquoise Adriatic expanses of sandy and pebble beaches, and the rugged mountainous interior challenges even the most daring adventure sports enthusiasts.
The preferred destination in Montenegro for British visitors tends to be Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A glorious little secret world, protected by medieval fortifications, it is hidden deep in the Bay of Kotor, a long, winding cove bordered by dramatic limestone mountains. Its cobbled lanes lead to century-old churches, noble Baroque residences, lively little cafes, rustic seafood restaurants and a maritime museum, which traces the maritime heritage on which Kotor’s fortune was built. .
Further along the coast, where the vast Adriatic disappears into a scintillating horizon, the Budva Riviera offers sandy beaches and pebble coves. At its heart is the old town of Budva, founded by the ancient Greeks and later fortified by the Venetians. Beyond its rugged walls, the large modern waterfront resort hotels with pools and spas are especially popular with vacationing Russians and Serbs – here Cyrillic script prevails over Latin .
As you move inland, you will discover the high mountains after which the country is known. The Venetians were the first to invent the name Montenegro, literally “black mountain”. The Montenegrins themselves call it Crna Gora, which translates to the same thing. Here you will find sleepy rural villages, where locals raise sheep and make their own cheeses, and Biogradska Gora and Durmitor National Parks, popular with hikers. And if you visit in winter, you can even try skiing. It is this alluring combination of the jazzy coast and the forgotten mountains that makes Montenegro so special.
Ideal for couples
Since Antiquity, passing sailors have taken refuge in the Bay of Kotor. Protected from the turbulent open sea and bordered by sublime mountains, its supernatural is superbly romantic. Here, the noble Baroque buildings of Kotor and Perast date from the Venetian era (1420-1797), when local wealth was based on maritime transport.
But Kotor can get crowded. Instead, stay in the nearby town of Dobrota, where the 18th-century Palazzo Radomiri offers 10 rooms furnished with antiques, a leafy restaurant in the garden, and a stone pier for swimming in the bay. Their three-night romantic getaway for two includes transfers, in-room treats, and a candlelight dinner, making it a great surprise for a special event.