Montenegro is a country in South-eastern Europe on the coast of the Balkans. It's not on the top ten list, but that's not a bad thing, as this unassuming yet intriguing country has so much to offer and fewer crowds.
With majestic mountains, breathtaking beaches and welcoming locals, Montenegro verifies that good things do come in small packages. Not even spanning 300 kilometres from tip to toe, Montenegro's coastline is some of Europe's most spectacular seaside scenery. The pristine beaches lapped by the crystal-clear Adriatic waters are already luring those in the know.
White-washed towns line the coast. There's Herceg Novi the ancient on the edge of the Bay of Kotor and the town of Kotor itself, one of the most beautiful in the country. Ottoman forts strung out along the coast date to the 14th- mid-19th-century. Budva is known for its parties in summer. Travel further south along the mountain-edged coast to Bar, home to more terrific ruins.
Once you've had your fix of the coast head inland to the mountains that you can see from the beach – there are even fewer tourists here. In summer the countryside is carpeted by wild herbs, interspersed by conifers and Mediterranean blossoms. Venture off the beaten track to the rugged mountains of Durmitor and Prokletije, or maybe the primeval forest of Biogradska Gora.
There are stories that wolves and bears still lurk throughout the forests and mountains within the country, so it's best to venture out in a group. It has a rich cultural history where Roman villas display intricate mosaic floors or maybe visit an Orthodox monastery or ornate Catholic church. Ancient walled towns such as Ulcinj near the Albanian border can be visited where streets lead to the friendly locals with their daily chores, but they will always have time to stop and chat and be prepared for a big hug. Durmitor is a spectacular national park where you can hike or raft through the colossal Tara Canyon in summer, and in winter ski past 2000-metre-plus peaks.
Podgorica is often the starting point for most travellers which allows easy access to most attractions including the Dinaric Alps in the north, in the south the Adriatic coast, and many cultural treasures. Montenegro is a beautiful country on every level.
From April to September is an ideal time to visit all regions of Montenegro. The country's climate follows two patterns: The coast is typically Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters. The interior is sub-alpine, and while the summers are generally warm, the winters can be bitterly cold with temperatures dropping well below zero and snow falling.