Month of travel – March 2017
After arriving bright and early in Montenegro on the Monday morning, I was instantly in awe of the beautiful mountains and tall Cyprus trees (so many trees!) that looked convincingly like a back drop to a postcard not a destination for a work trip. But here I was, running very low on energy from being up since three am, cruising through the glorious blue sky and sunshine on route to the first half of my trip. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect of Montenegro. I had heard of it before I started my new role but Croatia seemed to overshadow its neighbouring country.
I took this to be a great sign of great things to come. I wasn’t wrong!
Being only the end of March, I highly expected that the weather would be better than England, but was even more fortunate to have beautiful sunshine and warming temperatures – even the Montenegrin’s said that the weather was more favorable than usual. I took this to be a great sign of great things to come. I wasn’t wrong!
The places I needed to visit were Budva, Becici, Petrovac and Tivat which all provided amazing views of the Adriatic coastline and the black mountains which Montenegro got its name from, (it literally translates to ‘Black Mountain’). Selfishly I was able to experience these destinations preseason, which meant I could avoid the hustle and bustle of crowds and holidaymakers but at the same time still being able to get a sense for how busy it would be in mid to high season.
I’m lucky I love cheese
I feel it’s necessary to try the traditional food and drink when I visit a foreign country, but since becoming a vegetarian a few years back, I have to be careful in what I order. Was this an issue here? Absolutely not. They were more than happy to make something up for me. (Although I’m lucky I love cheese because this was a starter for all my meals). If you’re a vegetarian and you are travelling with someone who isn’t – be prepared if they order fish! They will bring it out to you to pick, so if you see the waiters return shortly after ordering with a big plate then look away so you aren’t traumatised by their cute faces! Oh and make sure you try the local grappa before dinner (it will knock your socks off) and try the local wine.
You have to visit Kotor, and take the scenic (longer) route rather than the tunnel, it’s worth the longer journey travelling along the bay with rustic traditional buildings coming into view the closer you get. The old town is surrounded by century old walls with churches dating back to 1066. The cobbled streets are lined with restaurants, bars and a couple of Irish pubs! Perfect for an evening out. I can only imagine how busy these streets are in the summer, with tables and chairs laid out in the street.
I don’t think you can compare two countries with each other.
Its neighbouring country Croatia is becoming more and more popular the last few years and I find that it’s often being compared to Montenegro. I don’t think you can compare two countries with each other. Yes you can comment on what you like more of. For example one is busier than the other or that one has better beaches. I believe we should travel to a destination with a clear mind and perception (and not to make the first impression on only a few hours of sleep – this is really important!) My recommendation would be to visit both countries and make your own conclusion. Croatia does have more to offer with its thousands of islands and cruising opportunities but you also have to bear in mind that Croatia has bounced back better from the war because of this tourism pouring money back into the economy.
Montenegro is a beautiful country – I won’t forget the views, the sunsets and the people I met, and anyone that has the chance to visit should feel very lucky! (I know I do).
I’m counting down until I go again (which hopefully is soon).