Although Montenegro has only regained its independence in 2006, its story goes back a ways. Thankfully with its compact size, it is easy to experience this historic land with as little as 3 days in Montenegro. Read on.
Day 1 – Kotor
For my 3 days in Montenegro I based my self just outside the old town of Kotor. This walled city is quickly becoming a must visit stop for cruise ships and road trippers along the Adriatic coast. One could (and I did) spend an afternoon getting lost in its alleyways, having a beer in the Square, touring the churches, and shopping. Don’t miss climbing Kotor’s City walls for the incredible view of Kotor Bay and beyond.
Tour the Coast
Much of the country scenery and population lies along it’s 295 kilometers of shoreline. Naturally, spending one day of my 3 days in Montenegro seeing it made sense. Explore the ancient Roman mosaics in Risan before taking a short boat ride out to the Our Lady of the Rocks. This 15th century church is said to be built on a man-mad island consisting of rocks thrown into the sea over hundreds of years. Why?
According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of Madonna and Child on the rock in the sea on July 22, 1452. Upon returning from each successful voyage, they laid a rock in the Bay. Over time, the islet gradually emerged from the sea. The custom of throwing rocks into the sea is alive even nowadays. Every year on the sunset of July 22, an event calledfašinada in the local dialect, when local residents take their boats and throw rocks into the sea, widening the surface of the island, takes place.
From there I continued my day exploring the coast with views from above it before visiting the old town of Budva. From there it is a short drive south to Sveti Stefan and the island hotel it is famous for. This picturesque town turned resort is a popular stop for celebrities, and royalty while visiting the country. Unfortunately this didn’t include me on my 3 days in Montenegro. Still impressive though!
Day 3 – Head Inland
Of course there’s much more to this country than it’s incredible coastline. On the last of my 3 days in Montenegro I headed inland to explore its mountains and natural beauty. There are several national parks and scenic vantage points within driving distance of Kotor. I headed past these and made a pilgrimage in the pouring rain to the Monastery of Ostrog. Considered the Petra of the Balkans, this 17th century monastery is built into a rock face high above Montenegro. The views (so I am told) and the drive up are incredible. On the last of my 3 days in Montenegro the weather turned leaving me with little visibility.
As I was in the middle of my 12 day road trip with Auto Europe Car Rentals through the Balkans I continued my 3 days in Montenegro towards Serbia. Just before the border I came across the Đurđevića Tara Bridge above a misty and jaw-dropping Canyon. There you can hike or zip line across the 564 feet deep gorge. If only I had known this prior to stumbling on it. I had no time to check it out but once again, my loss is your gain.
3 Days in Montenegro is just Enough
As you can see 3 days in Montenegro is enough time to explore its walled cities, beautiful coastline, and rugged interior. Of course these are just a few highlights. One could spend 3 days in Montenegro just enjoying the coastal beaches or hiking its national parks. Whatever you decide to do, consider heading there sooner than later. Tourism to this Adriatic gem is on the rise and with it comes more people and higher prices.