Action packed 1 week in Montenegro itinerary

Fabulous Tara bridge in Montenegro

Montenegro is a Balkan realm with lots of mountains, medieval villages and a thin strip of beaches along its Adriatic coastline. The Bay of Kotor, resembling a fjord, is dotted with coastal churches and fortified towns such as Kotor and Herceg Novi. Durmitor National Park, home to bears and wolves, encompasses limestone peaks, glacial lakes and 1,300m-deep Tara River Canyon.

Small but not limited this action and attractions packed country is known as a marvellous summer destination because of its gorgeous beaches. Montenegro is named after its mountains. In case you missed, here are even more reasons to love Montenegro!

In just one week you can discover all most visited sites in Montenegro.

Let’s start with some facts to drive away uncertainty. 

Is Montenegro a safe country?

Montenegro is generally a safe country. There is, like all countries in the world, several criminal activities, but police forces are generally fast in their duties. The number is 122, as well as the international distress call 112. Organized crime is regarded as being widespread, but doesn’t target tourists. I just want to warn you, the police are very active inroads so, please obey speed limits as policemen will unquestionably stop you if you break some rules. Well, I can’t picture everything in black colour, even when you are stopped they are forgiving!

1 week in MOntenegro

Depending on arrival airport there are few options to start travel.

Basically, there are 3 airports that are used in Montenegro:

  • Tivat airport
  • Podgorica Airport
  • Nikšić Airport

I have arrived to Tivat airport which is probably most common arrival destination from other European parts. Actually, this is very good start point as Kotor is really nearby. In my itinerary we will start here. There are no problems startig elsewhere just days in this itinerary would be shifted a bit. So let’s get started!

Day 1 – KOTOR

One of the most beautiful and visited the city of Montenegro. There are so many activities there that I have posted another separate post to cover The 7 Reasons Tourists Love Kotor. After arriving you probably will not have much energy to fully explore this place so I would recommend Kotor’s Old Town as it is a charming place to roam. But if you have more power I would recommend to walk by all harbour which provides a magnificent view.

Lots of places to stay, you can find more deals bellow:



Booking.com

Day 2 – Budva/sveti stefani

Lovcen
Lookout of landscape in Lovcen national park

First, I would recommend to take a detour and visit the Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic-Njegos, which is in Lovćen national park and at an altitude of 1660 m above sea level. Be prepared the road ahead is challenging! Lots of turns and quite a narrow road, but well worth it. Also, I would suggest leaving early as the parking is very limited which usually is occupied by buses. You may have to leave your car a bit further and walk uphill, but you are well-rested and prepared for this! I advise you to do park your car around the last corner of the road and turn your car around it will be so easy to leave and road tend to receive a lot of traffic.

The mausoleum is worth seeing, although there isn’t much information around the history of this place. Don’t miss out on the burial site which is located downstairs in the basement! You might think it is some sort of bathroom as there is no indication around this monument. There is a small stairway in the back before you exit to the viewpoint.

Ah, the viewpoint! Circular viewing platform where the view is breathtaking. Sit on the edge, take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. I have seen some people brought some snacks to fill up in this astonishing view.

In the restaurant area, you can buy food or ice cream. We bought some ice-cream and enjoyed the view even more.

Entrance to National Park: 2e

Entrance to mausoleum: 5e (2.5e for students)

Tip, look hesitant about buying an entrance ticket. This way we got 2 tickets for 5 euros!

Lipa cave
Lipa cave with stalaktites and stalagmites

Lovcen to Lipa cave is around 1 hour away. The road is pleasant, however, lots of curves as usual in Montenegro.

Lipa Cave is one of the largest cave monuments in Montenegro. The cave, with its beautiful and wild system of 2.5 km of passages and halls is a place you must visit on your trip in Montenegro. Plan at least a couple of hours for Lipa cave. The temperature in the cave is always between 8-12 degrees. Bring a light jacket and get ready for a pure adventure in a low-carbon experience in the heart of the earth!

There are 2 tour options to choose from cave tour and cave extreme.

I have chosen a simple cave tour which lasts for around 1 hour. Possible cave tour schedule: 10:00h; 11:30h; 13:00h; 14:30h and 16:00h. So plan accordingly! Price is 10.90e per adult, some discounts available for families and children. I would say it is really worth to spend this money, there is a train ride included.

Another option is an extreme tour which includes a wide range of possibilities from entering the cave in high style by descending from the ceiling on the rope to exploring every single hidden nook and cranny, ornament and lake. The tour includes basic accident insurance, parking, a ride with the tourist train, guide and necessary equipment and can be customised according to your needs. Price is 50e per adult.

More information, photos and etc can be found here: http://lipa-cave.me/.

Skadar lake Viewpoint

We do have some time left, so let’s go to Skadar Lake Viewpoint. It is around 20 minutes away from Lipa cave. Here we will touch a bit of Lake Skadar. So the viewpoint is located here:

There is one viewpoint near some restaurant where the majority of travellers stops by but I am not recommending that one. The view is not so beautiful as in the spot I have shown above and lots of tourists are pushing around. Warning, you will have to go through really ruff road and it looks dangerous at some point. However, there are alternative roads which can be easier to drive but it does add some time to your journey.

Rijeka Crnojevića bridge

Depending on your chosen path you may or may not passed Rijeka Crnojevića bridge. This bridge is a fine example of Montenegro bridge culture which is impressive. You can find this bridge here:

Unfortunately, the nearby restaurant Nowy Most Rijeka Crnojevica feels like owning everything so we got shooed away from stopping on a side road for few minutes! I would say skip this restaurant because of the attitude towards customer is horrible. Anyway, stopped a bit further away and took some pictures of the bridge.

Budva/Sveti stefan

Time to head back as tomorrow is dedicated to Lake Skadar.
First, let’s start with Budva – the coastal area around Budva, called the Budva riviera, is the centre of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well-preserved antiquated city, sandy shores and loud nightlife. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. Here you can find plenty of accommodation because it is a very touristic city. If you are staying in Budva I would recommend going to Sveti Stefan and spend 1-2 hours anyway. Budva has a lot to offer – authentic walled old town, pleasant beaches and 24/7 alive nightlife. You might wonder where to stay, so check some deals here:



Booking.com

Sveti Stefan – is a tiny island with the 5-star hotel on the coast of Montenegro, around 6 kilometres of Budva. The hotel is recognised as Aman Sveti Stefan and includes part of the mainland, where the Villa Miločer is located. This hotel is costly so there was no chance that budget traveller like me stayed there. However, there are loads of options to choose around it.
Although you can’t visit the island, I recommend having a walk through Milocer Park. The whole area used to be the summer residence of the Karadjordjevic family and it’s beautiful. The road winds through Milocer park which is filled with olive groves and exotic trees. It takes you past Villa Milocer and King’s Beach, which are also part of the Aman resort. Start from the path in front of Olive Restaurant and follow it through the park. If you decide to stay at Sveti Stefan, you can compare some deals here:


Booking.com

Day 3 – Lake skadar

From Budva or Sveti Stefan, there is a 1-hour drive to Virpazar where we started our journey around area. Important: leave your car near a bus stop, there is some kind of parking which is free of charge. Riding in Virpazar is madness, streets are so narrow and there a lot of parked cars where you can merely pass by. The city is really small so you can easily walk anywhere. We have visited Besac Castle which is near the end of the city centre. Well, this castle is very basic, not much to see so seeing it is optional. However, once you have climbed to the top of this small castle lake Skadar panorama reveals. Entrance is 1e, so if you have spare time you may visit this place. You will be approached quite a few times to rent a boat or have another kind of tour. You can say that already bought a tour and they will ‘let you go’.

The lake is located in Zeta – Skadar valley and is surrounded by mountains, it is 7 km away from the Adriatic Sea. Two-Thirds of Skadar Lake is in Montenegro and the rest is in Albania. The size of the lake varies from 530 to 370 km2 where it is 44 km long and 14 km wide. The coastline is very sharp, especially on the north-west side. Lake is a very special place starting from birds, flora and other fauna.

We can start with the birds and there are many kinds of birds in this area. It is stated that 270 kinds of birds inhabit this Lake. Around 90% of birds are migratory and are of international importance. During the migrating season, white little egret, white spoonbill and various kinds of ducks pass over this region. Cormorant nest in north swamps and represent one of three most important colonies in the world. Rare and endangered kind of curly pelican nest at floating peat islands in the north end of the Lake. Believe it or not, there are flamingos as well!

Monuments: in the region of Skadar Lake there are 20 monasteries, churches, villages, fortresses and sacred monuments. This lake is a witness of Montenegrin history from the 11th century up to now. Around Lake itself, there are 18 important historic monuments.

Now you know what to see and only proper way to do that is boat tour. Depending on your stamina and what is interesting for you can choose between 1 to 6 hours tours. I would recommend the 2-hour tour which is enough to get a taste of this experience. Also, tours depend on your interests from bird watching to a nature lover. You can take a boat tour from the streets as there are plenty of options.

Just a note, the tour does not include a national park pass and you will have to get it yourself. Ticket kiosk is on the left after crossing the bridge and the price for the ticked is 2e. What I like most about the tickets, that it is visually appalling and looks like a postcard, this should be done everywhere.

You must be tired by now so head to your resting place, have a nice dinner and have a good sleep as loads of more awaits you. There are quite a few places to stay at Virpazar, some you can find here:



Booking.com

We have stayed at Wood House, super cosy place with super caring hosts.

Day 4 – Podgorica or GRBAJE (optional)

This one is optional and probably relevant only for hikers. Small village Grbaje in Prokletje national park. Nearly 4-hour drive from Virpazar in Montenegro or 3 hours through Albania. This might be a deal-breaker. A long journey and really hard road might look like a pain so I would say this route is optional. However, we wanted to take the maximum from Montenegro so decided to go. The road itself gives lots of pleasant views and you may want to stop every few kilometres to take a picture. I was “saved” by rain, so no stopping. Be sure to fill the gas tank as there are just a few gas stations.
I have planned a stop to Vodopad Niagara, near Podgorica where majestic waterfalls should be. Unfortunately what I have seen were completely dry stones. End of August done its thing so even week or two can change things. Seen on google reviews that 2 weeks ago it was full of water. Drove past Podgorica, but if you are not going Grbaje maybe this is the stop for you. It is Montenegro capital after all. Colourful houses, quite a few monuments, shops and other attractions are there.
I give you some ideas bellow:

Grbaje

Fast forward 4 hours we reached Grbaje. Small wooden logs around and wall-like mountains surrounding this valley, it feels really special. We have stayed here, that’s cheap and enough for resting. We arrived in the late afternoon so had to put hiking for the next day as it gets dark early. Had a pleasant dinner in the nearby restaurant and had a walk through the little forest to some plains where cows roam freely. Remember, you are still surrounded by sharp and steep mountains. Chosen a comfy rock to sit on and enjoyed an hour or so. Feeling and view are breathtaking! Got back on camp and after it got dark, we spotted that on another side of mountains thunderstorm is raging so stay a bit more outside to witness some lightening. Good sleep is a must as we have a hike coming next day. Had breakfast early so went for a hike. Don’t forget to pack essentials: comfy hiking shoes, water, sun cream, a hat and some snacks. Note: there is a problem with hiking track markings as everything is marked in the same way – a white circle with a red dot in it. This is common in all Montenegro so be careful where you go. Chosen around 10 kilometres route which shouldn’t be difficult. Well, it was. Dashing through the forest was quite a challenge as the morning was very moisture and it got hot pretty quickly. The steep track was not friendly and elevating higher got our breath also! Nevertheless, seeing the old forest and it’s fauna is very worth it. We were greeted by 3 wondering dogs and the barking did add some scare for us. However, they were pretty friendly and minded their own business. After the forest, we reached a valley where you can go left or right and make a round trip through the mountains. It was challenging as the majority of the track is in sun and it gets pretty hot, but the view is amazing.

Biogradska Gora

After returning we are going to Biogradska Gora and it’s internet famous lake. You may see this picture in Windows 10 background at some point! The ride is long, around 2.5 hours. There is track around the lake so a good way to observe the flora and the lake itself. There are quite a few info points where you can get basic info about the place. However, at the end of summer lake is quite dried up which takes a lot of natural beauty from the surrounding. Ticket to Biogradska National park is 3e per person. We have spent over an hour walking at an easy pace and wandering around.

Tara bridge

Next on our list is Tara bridge – a face of Montenegro.

Majestic construction, spectacular view and a good starting point for rafting. We have not rafted on this trip but it is strongly recommended. You would go with a professional with all the required gear. For rafting in the spring, the rapids are faster than at the end of the season. Grade 2 maybe 3 rapids at the end of the season.

Are you an even bigger adrenalin junkie? Well, there are two zip lines over the valley. Take a good look which zips line to take as some are more adventurous than others.

Žabljak

Should be getting dark by now. If you are not going for rafting then Žabljak is a city for your next stay. There are various options in this town, you can find some ideas here:



Booking.com

Day 5/6 – Žabljak

Small town, where in winter it becomes a skiing resort. We have stayed at Guest house Holiday Extremely helpful host, he can arrange fun activities for you if you like or give recommendations on where to go or eat.

However, there is not much to see in the town itself but nearby is Durmitor National Park.

Durmitor national park

In my humble opinion, this place has one of the most beautiful mountains. It is wild, it is wonderful and every peak has its beauty and story. A paradise for hiker as there are so many tracks available. There are 25 marked mountain-hiking trails in the Park of various length and for different levels of physical fitness. The trail system, 150 km long, leads to the mountain world of unique geomorphological features. Star of the Durmitor National Park – Black Lake or Crno jezero. The coniferous forest which surrounds the lake and the mountain heights Međed, Savin Kuk and Crvena greda give a special beauty to the lake making it a trademark of the Park. The lake is situated at 1416 m.a.s.l. and it is composed of two smaller lakes connected by a narrow strait. Boats and kayaks can be rented from the Park supervisor on Crno jezero. There are lots of hiking trails so be ready to explore. A must go trail is around Black lake which provides breathtaking viewpoints. There are quite a few benches for you to rest and admire this natural gem. Another trail we have chosen was to reach Barno lake which goes through Ivan Do village. The path is pretty easy so it’s great for travelling families. Another point is Ice Cave, however, be warned it does require.
I would recommend to go there and start exploring early in the morning as there will be just a few tourists and you could take pictures and admire nature all by yourself. It does fill up with fellow tourists pretty quickly but can’t blame them, it’s such a beauty. The restaurant at the shore of the lake is pretty decent, portions are big and the dishes are tasty so I would say stay there for a lunch or even dinner, as in city Žabljak the choices are poorer.
Ticket will cost you around 3e per person.

Prevoj Sedlo

The landscape is astounding! On the one side of the panoramic road, the Piva lake can be seen, there is a beautiful hill with lots of wildflowers and the mountain is wild. The road itself is in quite a good condition, however, be warned, that there are lots of hairpin bends. On the other side of the road is very steep, tight and without a guardrail, so it is challenging for persons that are afraid of heights. On the top, there is a parking lot which tends to fill up pretty quickly so you might need to wait or squeeze in a tight spot. The reason behind this is not only a marvellous landscape viewpoint but also a starting point for several hiking trails. If you plan to start from here, make sure you arrive early.

Vrazje Jezero

Not just another lake in Montenegro. Clean, blue water glacier reservoir with postcard-like surroundings and mountain views. Perfect place to have a picnic, fishing, walking or even a swim, just be warned water might be cold. Of course, a place to relax with a warm breeze and cows/sheep bells dangling in the distance. You deserved a good rest and some peace!

So depending on your pace, you might be on day 5 or 6. If you are on day 5 and visited all the recommended places stay another night here and have a good rest as the next destination is Kotor again. We have left Kotor without doing important activities! If you are on day 6 be sure to get up early and visit last places but leave at 11 am latest as there are around 3 hours trip to Kotor.

Day 6/7 – KOTOR

Perast

On the way to Kotor, please make a small stop in Perast. This is a miniature village located on the corner of the bay and could be identified as the most fascinating places in Montenegro. Once you arrive here, you will confirm this statement instantly!
According to archaeologists, the first settlements appeared in the area of Perast in the Neolithic age (that’s about 12,000 years ago!) so history is strong with this village. Another thing to mention is the population which is around 300. You would imagine that it is quiet but there are lots of tourists flocking around the streets and enjoying magnificent views of churches, shore and other pictorial views.

Kotor boat tour

It is nice to have everything planned before you arrive so you might buy speed boat tours even before you arrive in Kotor so you can have a pleasant beverage before your tour starts! I would recommend to go through these deals and pick one that fits you:

There are quite a few options to choose from. We took 3 hours tour and seen the most popular sites. It was extreme and fun activity to do. More activities in detail can be found here.

Hope you got inspired by this itinerary also will use these tips and suggestions. Have I missed your most favourite place or do you have another recommendation that could be added here? Please write to me or leave a comment below! Have a great BatVoyage!

Related Posts

Leave a comment

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.