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An 8-Day Nature Tour of Montenegro and Dubrovnik

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Welcome to Montenegro, a breathtaking geographical treasure in the heart of the Balkans. The journey begins in Podgorica, the vibrant capital, where modernity meets history. From here, you’ll travel south to the tranquil waters of Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans, and enjoy the serene beauty of the village of Virpazar, a charming gateway to the picturesque views of the lake. Continue along the coast to Petrovac, where golden beaches and historical charm create a perfect get-away. The world-famous Sveti Stefan is located nearby, boasting medieval allure, stunning beaches, and an air of exclusivity. The next stop on the beautiful route is Budva, the pearl of the coast, offering a perfect blend of history, nightlife, and pristine beaches.

Popular itinerary for Nature Tour of Montenegro and Dubrovnik:

Moving towards the enchanting Lovćen National Park and the historical town of Cetinje, you’ll find a perfect balance between natural beauty and cultural richness. The mountainous road then winds through the Kotor Serpentine, leading to the town of Kotor, nestled within a dramatic bay. Pass through the picturesque village of Perast to reach Herceg Novi, a coastal town rich in history with Mediterranean and Eastern influences.

Crossing into Croatia, you’ll arrive in the renowned city of Dubrovnik, known for its well-preserved medieval architecture and captivating coastal landscapes. Heading back to Bosnia and Herzegovina, you’ll explore Trebinje, a charming town surrounded by vineyards and steeped in cultural traditions.

Returning to Montenegro, visit Durmitor National Park with its majestic peaks, lakes, and diverse landscapes, and continue to Biogradska Gora National Park before heading back to Podgorica.

This suggested 8-day itinerary covers a distance of approximately 500 miles.

Day 1: Podgorica

The tour begins at the iconic Millennium Bridge, an engineering marvel suspended over the Moraca River, offering a modern gateway to the city. Enjoy the splendor of the Resurrection of Christ Cathedral, a symbol of Montenegro’s religious heritage, set against the backdrop of Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian architectural remnants. Visit the National Museum, showcasing items documenting the nation’s famous past.

Millenium bridge over Moraca river view, Podgorica

A stroll through the grand halls of King Nikola’s Palace provides insights into the country’s royal history. Relax in the lush vegetation of Gorica Park and experience authentic local life at Pijaca, the bustling city market, where the scents of fresh produce, cheeses, and local craftsmanship fill the air. As the sun sets, the dynamic nightlife along the Moraca River come to life with its cozy cafes and lively bars. Enjoy a range of entertainment options and savor the local cuisine, including njeguški pršut, a traditional local specialty.

Spend the night in Podgorica.

Day 2: From Podgorica to Skadar Lake and Petrovac

From Podgorica, take Road 80E for about 18 miles until you reach Skadar Lake, the largest lake in the Balkans. The lake offers breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife, creating an idyllic sanctuary for nature lovers. Take a boat on the lake to discover its hidden treasures, from charming islets adorned with monasteries to secluded coves and abundant birdlife, including various species of waterfowl and winged inhabitants.

The picturesque village of Virpazar, situated on the lake’s shores, is the gateway to this natural wonder. Stroll through its narrow streets, lined with traditional stone houses and welcoming cafes. Lakeside restaurants, featuring fresh fish and traditional dishes, offer delightful cuisine.

From Virpazar, continue on Road 80E for approximately 15 miles to Petrovac, a coastal town boasting pristine beaches, golden sand, and crystal-clear waters. Petrovac is renowned not only for its natural beauty but also for its rich historical heritage. Explore the narrow streets of the old town, where Venetian architecture and ancient fortifications provide a glimpse into its famous past. Don’t miss a visit to the fortress perched on rocky cliffs, offering panoramic views of the coastline and surrounding landscapes.

Spend the night in Petrovac.

Day 3: From Petrovac to Budva

Today, you’ll explore the picturesque, meandering Adriatic coastline between Petrovac and Budva, with scenic beaches and panoramic views. Along the route, stop at Sveti Stefan, situated on a small rocky island connected to the mainland by a causeway. Originally a 15th-century fishing village, Sveti Stefan is now famous for its upscale stone cottages and villas with red roofs, meticulously restored to preserve the medieval charm. The island’s architecture blends with the surrounding waters, creating a tranquil atmosphere as you stroll through the narrow cobblestone streets adorned with vibrant flowers. Sveti Stefan’s historical fortifications offer a glimpse into its renowned past, and the restaurants provide a sophisticated blend of international cuisine with locally inspired dishes.

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

The next destination is Budva, a town with historical charm, a lively atmosphere, and breathtaking beauty. This coastal town combines the allure of ancient architecture with the vibrant energy of a modern tourist destination. Explore the town’s medieval walls, narrow streets, and well-preserved structures such as the Citadel and the Church of Saint John. Budva’s coastline is awe-inspiring, boasting stunning beaches that are a paradise for sun and sea enthusiasts. When the sun sets, experience the town’s lively nightlife, complete with trendy bars, clubs, and beach parties.

Spend the night in Budva.

Day 4: From Budva through Lovćen National Park to Kotor

Embark on a scenic 25-mile journey along Highways 80E and 22P until you reach Lovćen National Park—a land of natural wonders and cultural heritage. At the heart of the park, you’ll see the majestic Mount Lovćen, a symbol of Montenegro’s pride and sanctuary, crowned by the mausoleum honoring the revered poet and ruler, Petar II Petrović Njegoš. Take in the awe-inspiring panoramic view from the mausoleum’s look-out point, and, as you explore the park, enjoy the variety of flora and fauna along a network of trails leading to hidden gems like Petar II Petrović Njegoš’s birth house and the picturesque village of Njeguši. The village is renowned for its traditional smoked ham and cheese, and it is home to the Njegoš Museum, showcasing the life and legacy of Petar II Petrović Njegoš.

The town of Cetinje, nestled amidst stunning landscapes, was once the former royal capital. Explore the elegant Royal Blue Palace and the iconic Cetinje Monastery, and wander through the historic streets, adorned with charming stone houses and flourishing gardens. The graceful architecture of foreign embassies and consulates reflects the diplomatic significance Cetinje held in its golden days.

Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along King Nikola Street, a delightful promenade lined with cafes and boutiques, exuding the charm of bygone eras.

After exploring Lovćen National Park, proceed along Route 1P, descending the Kotor Serpentine—a winding road stretching approximately 25 miles—until you arrive in the town of Kotor to spend the night.

Day 5: From Kotor through Perast to Herceg Novi and Dubrovnik

In the morning, take the opportunity to wander through the charming town of Kotor, surrounded by impressive walls, with the peaks of the Dinaric Alps providing a picturesque backdrop. Passing through the well-preserved city gates into the heart of the old town, navigate through narrow streets, delightful squares, and centuries-old structures. Be sure to visit the Saint Tryphon Cathedral, showcasing its Romanesque and Byzantine influences. For the adventurous, ascend the winding paths to Fort San Giovanni for a panoramic view of the bay and the iconic red-tiled roofs.

The Bay of Kotor, often referred to as the “southernmost fjord in Europe,” offers boat trips to nearby islands, such as Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George, each steeped in its own local legends and traditions.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Continuing on Highway 80E, you will arrive in the town of Perast and from there, proceed to Herceg Novi, approximately 31 miles from Kotor. Herceg Novi’s old town is captivating, featuring an intricate network of narrow paths adorned with centuries-old stone buildings and colorful bougainvillea. The strategically important Forte Mare, overlooking the town, attests to the area’s historical importance. As you stroll through the town, you’ll find historical landmarks like the Clock Tower and Kanli Kula Fortress. Along the promenade, cafes and restaurants offer stunning views of the bay and passing boats.

After exploring Herceg Novi, take Route 65E for about 31 miles to reach the city of Dubrovnik to spend the night.

Day 6: Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik, often hailed as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” or the “City of Game of Thrones,” is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a gem along the Croatian coastline. This historical city, with its well-preserved medieval architecture, showcases formidable fortress walls and breathtaking sea views, blending cultural richness and natural beauty. The old town, nestled between impressive stone walls, is nothing short of a living museum. Strolling through the main street, you’ll find elegant buildings, charming cafes, and bustling shops. Explore historical landmarks such as the Sponza Palace and the Rector’s Palace, housing an impressive collection in its Museum of

For panoramic vistas of terracotta roofs, the Adriatic Sea, and nearby islands, take a walk along the defensive walls surrounding the old town. The Minceta Tower and the Lovrijenac Fortress, integral parts of the city’s formidable fortifications, provide both historical insights and breathtaking views.

Dubrovnik’s maritime heritage comes to life at the Old Port, where medieval ships once anchored. Today, this area is brimming with delightful seafood restaurants, and boat trips to nearby islands depart from here. The hidden cliffside bar, Buža, provides a unique spot to enjoy a drink with a view of the sparkling Adriatic Sea.

Immerse yourself in the local culinary scene and indulge in gastronomic delights at the vibrant Gundulićeva Poljana Market.

Spend the night in Dubrovnik.

Day 7: From Dubrovnik through Trebinje to Durmitor National Park

Drive along Route 20M for about 25 miles to the picturesque town of Trebinje, surrounded by the scenic landscapes of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The old town radiates timeless charm with its cobblestone streets leading to historical landmarks such as the Arslanagića Bridge, the Clock Tower, and the Osman-Paša Resulbegović Mosque. The historic Arslanagića Bridge, gracefully arching over the Trebišnjica River, provides a captivating backdrop for riverside walks and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Arslanagića Bridge, Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina

Trebinje is celebrated for its Ottoman-era architecture, and the Old Bazaar presents a vibrant mix of shops, charming cafes, and traditional art. Bustling market squares, including Platanus Square, offer a glimpse into local life with vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, and regional specialties. At the heart of the town lies the Serbian monastery, Trebinje Gracanica, serving as a spiritual and cultural center with its unique architecture and mural paintings. Nearby, the Tvrdos Monastery, surrounded by vineyards and renowned for its wines, adds a touch of tranquility and local artistry to the town.

After a brief visit to the town, continue on roads 6M, 762E, and 5P, covering about 80 miles, to Durmitor National Park. Nestled in the Dinaric Alps, the park offers an extensive network of trails ranging from leisurely strolls to challenging ascents, allowing visitors to experience diverse ecological systems and breathtaking landscapes. The Tara Canyon, one of Europe’s deepest canyons, cuts through the park, creating a dramatic panorama. The Tara River is known for its emerald waters and offers the exhilarating adventure of rafting on its turbulent currents against the backdrop of stunning nature.

Within the park, you’ll discover “mountain eyes” Lake and Crno Jezero Lake (Black Lake), surrounded by lush vegetation, providing a serene and picturesque environment. Durmitor National Park not only serves as a haven for nature activities but also as a habitat for diverse flora and fauna, including rare species like the Balkan chamois and numerous endemic plant species.

Spend the night in Žabljak.

Day 8: From Žabljak through Biogradska Gora National Park

Set out on a scenic 50-mile journey along Route 4P to reach Biogradska Gora National Park, nestled in the heart of Montenegro. This reserve is renowned for its ancient forest, serving as a sanctuary for a diverse array of flora and fauna and offering pristine landscapes of unparalleled beauty. It is one of the last three primeval forests in Europe, with centuries-old trees.

The park boasts a network of walking trails that unveil a rich tapestry of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the Eurasian lynx, brown bear, and various eagle species. The crown jewel of the park is the Biogradsko Lake Trail, winding through the forest and providing opportunities for birdwatching, photography, and moments of quiet contemplation amidst the towering trees. With over 220 documented bird species, the park is a paradise for nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers in particular.

The park features a network of walking trails that reveal a rich tapestry of flora and fauna, including rare species such as the Eurasian lynx, brown bear, and various eagle species. The crown jewel of the park is the Biogradsko Lake Trail, meandering through the forest, providing opportunities for birdwatching, photography, and moments of contemplation amid the towering trees. The park is a haven for nature enthusiasts, and with over 220 documented bird species, it is a paradise for birdwatchers.

As evening approaches, head along Routes 65E and 80E towards Podgorica to spend the night.

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