Why so far: Questions we often heard were: Why Montenegro? Why so far?… Well, why not? The idea to travel to Montenegro we had a few years before our trip. We usually buy either used books or the ones on sale. This time among whole bunch of thrillers I found a tour guide through Montenegro and I said: “why not.” Few years after it, we were wondering where we would like to take our daughter for her first trip. We picked Croatia, as one of the closest warm-sea-destination to us, and not such a cliché as one week beach holiday in Mallorca, Ibiza, etc. Croatia is a gate to Balkans. We had been there already once and loved its people and atmosphere. We are really a bad material for one-week-in-one-beach-resort-holidays, so we started to plan our trip around the coast. “We can stay here …. , and another 5 hours drive …. we’re here…. mmm … Dubrovnik is so close it would be a pity to skip it. Oh, wait, 1,5 hours of drive and we are in Montenegro already. I think we should have somewhere even a tour guide.” And that’s how we landed in Montenegro as well and decided to make it the highlight of our trip. Here I have to admit that the close distance to Albania and then to Macedonia was extremely tempting. On the other hand I’m pretty much sure this is not our last Balkan trip, so everything is still ahead of us.
From Makarska to Montenegro we took the coastal road, which we can recommend. It doesn’t take that much longer than the highway and has beautiful views. Although the drive takes only 4-5 hours, we crossed the borders of three countries. On the way from Makarska to Dubrovnik there is a few km part which belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina, so don’t get confused if in the middle of the road you find border check points 🙂 We skipped Dubrovnik on the way to Kotor, as we wanted to get as soon as possible to Montenegro. The time for visiting this hot tourist spot will come on our way back.
Montenegro (Crna Gora) became an independent republic in 2006 (before that it was a part of Yugoslavia). The official language of the country is Montenegrin, a variation of Serbian. Many people speak English though. However, knowing any of Slavic languages will make your communication easier. People are really friendly there, so even if you don’t really understand each other, they will still do their best to help you. Although Montenegro is not a part of the European Union, it decided to make its official currency Euro (€). Here comes the huge applause for the government. Bravo! As a tourist, I may just say: Thank you! No more exchange offices and recounting necessary, uff. Many guides write that Montenegro is just a small Balkan country, well we don’t agree. Beautiful mountains, still rather undiscovered nature, beautiful Adriatic coastline with historic towns, fishing villages and pebble beaches, canyons, hospitable and friendly people make this country grandiose!
After crossing the border we felt really excited. We are finally here! We made it! Let our Montenegro adventure begin! And it began indeed with the first curve on road. When travelling by car, you must know one thing about Montenegro: Curves, curves, curves. You won’t find any straight street anymore, only curves. And not just that, also each curve has a very small radius and not seldom lead you 180° back. My memorable sentence from the trip: “If a road looks like vomit on GPS, it is vomit.” If you have motion sickness, it will get scared by Montenegro’s roads and run away from you 😀
-Don’t forget that Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro are not a part of the European Union. Take your valid passport with you. For visa information check the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration page. Having German and Polish citizenship we didn’t need any visa. While going by car to Montenegro, on the border you need to show your driving license, vehicle registration/ownership document and a special insurance card for abroad (check with your car insurance company, they usually send you the “green insurance card” for free). As we are not following updates on required documents for all the countries in the world, be sure to check one more time on the official page for your country the documents you need.
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