Poles have loved the Balkans, and especially Croatia, for years. However, the price increase in an already not very cheap country made them look for cheaper alternatives. Montenegro has met the expectations of tourists on the Vistula River. It is equally beautiful, sunny, has a climate very similar to Croatia, and is even one-fifth cheaper. What other reasons are there to visit this country?
Montenegro is a true Balkan gem on the Adriatic Sea, where you can find everything you need to spend an unforgettable and extremely successful holiday. Tourists have at their disposal phenomenal landscapes, a combination of relaxation by the sea and in the mountains, untouched nature and historic cities. In one word, everything that is best about a holiday in the Balkans.
Perfect weather and lower prices than in Croatia
Hot weather lovers will certainly appreciate a holiday in Montenegro in the summer, because from June to the end of August there is real heat here, and the water is so warm (especially in August) that bathing in the sea becomes a real pleasure. The coldest time here is from December to March. In July and August, temperatures reach 27 degrees Celsius, and in June or September, around 24 degrees. At the end of April and the beginning of May, i.e. during the Polish May holiday, temperatures range between 20 and 25 degrees. It’s pleasant, and there are not too many tourists because the season doesn’t start here until June.
It’s not just the weather that encourages you to relax in Montenegro. The flight from Poland to Montenegro takes less than 2 hours. Round-trip ticket prices start from PLN 200. This country also has a wide range of hotels, apartments and guesthouses, including those with a convenient all-inclusive formula. Additionally, their prices are much more affordable than in Croatia. You can spend a week for two people in Budva on the Adriatic Sea for about 400 euros, even in hotel conditions and during the August price peak. Before the season, e.g. in April or September, a two-person apartment in Budva can be booked for less than EUR 200.
Polish travel agencies started selling package tours. In the peak season, prices for a week’s holiday start from PLN 4,000, but during the May weekend you can fly for less than PLN 3,000 per person. A week-long stay around New Year’s Eve costs approximately PLN 2,500 per person.
Additionally, in Montenegrin supermarkets and stores, the same products cost about 10-20 percent less than in Croatia. Smaller price differences, but also to Montenegro’s advantage, concern prices in bars and restaurants. The food, however, is almost identical.
What to see in Montenegro
Montenegro is a country that should satisfy every tourist: it has the sea and wonderful beaches, mountains, wild nature and exclusive cities with monuments. There are plenty of attractions. One of them is undoubtedly the wonderful Bay of Kotor, which is located in the northern part of the country. Interestingly, the local inhabitants call it “Boka”, which means “mouth” in Italian, and indeed the shape of the bay resembles a mouth. There are lots of magical small towns, mountain peaks and charming cafes. While here, it is also worth seeing the city of Kotor, full of monuments, which has huge fortifications and the interesting City Museum, where you can learn about its history.
Another tourist attraction, crowded in summer, is the city of Budva. This metropolis undoubtedly often comes to mind first when you think about holidays in Montenegro, because it is the most frequently chosen place for a holiday in this country, both by locals and visitors from other countries. Therefore, it is best to visit them out of season. The city has several sand and gravel beaches, a beautiful old town located on a promontory, not without reason called little Dubrovnik, and a multitude of monuments. While here, it is also worth seeing the church of St. Trinity Church, the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary or the Orthodox Church of St. Sava.
In the southern part of the coast, it is worth visiting Ulcinj and Stary Bar. Both of these cities delight with their oriental character. Ulcinj is located right next to the border with Albania and has a typically Muslim atmosphere. There is a long and beautiful sandy beach, lots of stalls and winding streets. Stary Bar is located under the Rumija mountain, just 3 kilometers from the sea. It has a typical Turkish character. Tourists are enchanted by its huge defensive walls. Here you can also visit the Citadel, see the church of St. John, St. John’s Cathedral Gregory, and also take a walk up to the clock tower.
Food worth sinning for
Poles like to eat well on vacation, and food in Montenegro is undoubtedly one of the reasons why it is worth visiting this country. The perfect composition of Balkan and Mediterranean flavors makes everything here a culinary masterpiece. Although the country is tiny, its cuisine is very diverse. The food on the coast is definitely different than in the high mountains. However, one thing is common and similar to Croatia, as well as other Balkan countries: everywhere, a meal is considered a feast and an opportunity to meet and talk, which can turn into a long feast.
Where to start feasting? Locals love plates of appetizers over which they engage in long debates. Such a plate will include prsut, thinly sliced ham dried for a long time in the sun and wind, reminiscent of Italian Parma ham, excellent njeguski sir made from sheep’s milk, as well as tomatoes and olives.
There are also, just like in Croatia, many small bakeries where burek, local street food, is prepared. It is a roll made of jufka dough (or filo, which is similar to French dough), which is stuffed with meat, then baked and served cut into large pieces. They are eaten with ajran, a Balkan drink based on yogurt. You should also try sirnica, a pancake stuffed with cheese, or zeljanica with spinach.
Like other Balkan countries, Montenegro is a paradise for carnivores. The leading dish here is, of course, cevapi, i.e. grilled sticks made of several types of minced meat, served with pita bread or fries, onion and ajvar. Locals also recommend grilled classics such as pljeskavica, vjesalica and the popular grilled lamb.
On the coast you must try sea bream and grilled seafood, and on Lake Skadar you must try carp, trout or eel caught there. All dishes can be washed down with refreshing local beer. In Montenegro, just like in Croatia, rakija is also produced, and recently also good wines.