Most of people around the world prefer to travel to Montenegro in summer. Of course, they have a point in it if the idea is to enjoy seaside in a hot summer. However, if this is not the case, if you wish to travel somewhere where you won’t meet a lot of tourists, if you want to see wonderful landscape by travelling across the country, then probably winter is also right time to visit Montenegro since the accommodation and all other prices are usually also below average. Meaning you can get very cheap rooms, cars, and probably flight tickets in winter while not compromising on quality of trip.
Then let’s get started:
We arrived to Montenegro to Podgorica airport. I had already booked the car from company Sixt. They work every day from 8 A.M. till 8 P.M. However, keep in mind that if you want to get or return your car during the time which is not fitting within their working hours, you will have to pay additionally 25 euros. Yet, the car itself we booked quite cheap, for 78euros per week.
We didn’t take navigation for additional 10 euros per day, but bought 4 GB internet card for 10 euros at the airport. So, saved about 60 euros :) I have to say that google maps navigator works quite decent and never let us down. It took us about 15 minutes to reach Podgorica from the airport. It could be because of winter season, but we didn’t see too much traffic on the roads. However, you have to drive very carefully on the roads because you may meet quite few unpredictable drivers.
We arrived to our hotel 4 star Hotel Crnogorska Kuća which we booked for 35 euros per day. I am just saying the numbers of stars not for being proud of it, but for giving you the sense of the price for comparison. Although hotel lies about 20 minutes walking from the city center, I must say that Podgorica itself is not very big city, therefore, you will probably find many options close to the city center.
If you have read our previous post about the problems that we had to face before arriving to Montenegro, you may imagine how tired we were. Therefore we decided not to make any active vacation but go somewhere where we could have our dinner in a calm atmosphere. The guy in reception recommended us to visit Monastir Ostrog which was about an hour to drive and then afterwards to have a dinner at the restaurant of Sokolin Hotel which was 10 minutes away from that church.
Restaurant Sokolin Hotel
Although we were pretty tired, the happiness of the fact that we made it to Podgorica inspired us to drive there and have a dinner somewhere far away from the city. I must say that it was very lovely restaurant offering relaxing atmosphere. For the meal below, as well as for coffee we paid about 20 euros. Although we got also about 10 percent discount because of special day.
We drove back already full and as you may suspect being drunk from the joy that we got, completely forgot about Monastir Ostrog. It was already pretty late and coming back to hotel, we stayed there for the next day. Next morning our couple friends supposed to arrive and we woke up early to get our breakfast and drive to airport. Most favorite breakfast in Montenegro seems to be omelet with cheese. Although it is tasty, really tasty, if you eat it 10 days in a row, you may hate it at some point :D
Famouse cheese omlet
We arrived to the airport and meeting our friends, Aynur (her) and Vurgun (him) – who were super late and forced us to wait about an hour (bad guys!!!), we started to drive directly to hotspots. I need to note that you can also drive back to Podgorica making small ring tour which passes through some worth seeing places which may take you up to 2-3 hours overall.
We drove to one wonderful waterfall which is not far away from the Airport. It took us about 10 minutes to arrive there. Local people call it Niagara waterfall since it makes pretty strong noise when you are nearby. There is also beautiful scenery opening to your view from the top, with river flowing through the huge rocks. It is particularly wonderful for drone footage.
Waterfall near Podgorica
Spending some time over there, we decided to proceed further driving towards Virpazar. It is a small village near lake Skadar while lake Skadar itself is also very beautiful. There are trees growing right in the middle of the lake and mountains which are covered with snow creates very mystic scenery.
First guy who met us in Virpazar
In Virpazar you can get some fresh fish and overall the village itself you can discover within 30 minutes. Afterwards we set our course towards Cetinje. Since it was raining and foggy, we could not spend much time discovering landscapes but decided to stop in one restaurant called Poslednja Luka. Everyone was already hungry. We ordered fresh carp and that was the most delicious fish which we ate during our Montenegro trip. 300 gr portion costs about 6 euros. As a salad we took Sopska which is mix of vegetables and Onion from Cirnichki salad. And the last was actually onion cut into 4 pieces. We paid 2 euros for one onion. For one onion, Karl!
here are those famous onions on the top right
It was already afternoon when we finished our lunch and decided to drive back, leave our luggage, and discover Podgorica. After Aynur and Vurgun checked in we agreed to be ready in 20 minutes to discover beauty and old town of Podgorica which was not the case since these guys felt asleep = ) However, after hard battles, we managed to wake up first Vurgun and then Aynur : ))
Frankly speaking there is no old town in Podgorica, literally no, and the city itself seems to be relatively young to offer you old architecture samples. The only thing that caught my attention was church of the Holy Heart of Jesus. The only roman catholic church with brutalist architecture. Otherwise, I would not recommend you to plan much time for Podgorica. However, there are two restaurants which I can recommend you to visit. First is Pod Volat, where you can get big portions for cheap price, while the second is Maika where you can get still big portions for a bit higher price but as we were told more homemade oriented as they grow their vegetables on their own. From these two, the second one was my favorite.
Cevapi in Podvolat costs around 3 euros one this portion
There is one thing that you MUST keep in mind, before travelling to Montenegro. Everyone smokes, everywhere!!! If you enter restaurants it feels like you are entering smoking cabin in airports. It doesn’t matter much if it is family with children or single person, everyone smokes everywhere even near children. That was actually disaster for us as none of us used to smoke. Although there are signs everywhere that smoking is forbidden, no one really gives a care. Therefore, if you are sensitive to that, I would recommend you to choose always tables near the doors where you can get some fresh air at least.
Another very specific characteristic of these restaurants is that they bring you the bill immediately. If you order water first, they bring you bill of say 3 euros. If you order salad afterwards, they will bring you the bill for this salad separately. Literally, they will bring you a bill for every single thing that you have ordered separately. Don’t get surprised or offended. Although we felt a bit offended first, but then realized that it’s common culture here. Wondering why..? Dunno..
We ordered some local food from meat in Podvolat and got some big portions. Part of it we ate, part of it we took away. Though they threw our French fries away and packed only meat for what I harshly blame them! : (
Parking was not a problem for us in Podgorica. Before parking my car I saw the sign that parking here is not for free but I could not find a parking machine to pay for it. Therefore I decided to ask local man passing nearby who replied that there is no need to worry about it as no one cares and as no one ever controls.
For the next day, we had to drive towards Budva. But before that we decided to visit Monastir Ostrog since it was completely on another side of the country. Once we were in Budva it would be difficult for us to visit Monastir. We reached Monastir in 1 hour and I must say that it was really worth visiting it since the church itself is built inside of the rocks. Currently about 12 monks are living there. It is forbidden to capture any pictures. We had to face this problem particularly when I tried to fly the drone and one man came asking me to turn it off.
Afterwards we headed towards Budva on the mid of the day I had already couple of concern. Aysel got sick and had some pain on the backseat, Aynur is pregnant, can’t act much, and Vurgun, her husband got strong headache while I am driving in super foggy road on the mountains. At one point, Vurgun told me that he wants to vomit and asked me to stop the car. I clearly could not stop the car in that foggy road since one could see only 10 meters front. Therefore, I asked him to resist till we get into clearer place. We also immediately asked for pocket while I opened the window for security reasons. However, our ladies failed to deliver a pocket on time and Vurgun started to vomit from the window. Now the picture is the following. There is nice local music plays in radio, while road is super foggy, Aysel is lying sick, Aynur pregnant, and Vurgun vomits from the window under this music:
Somehow we saw a small village on our road and decided to stop there to take our breath. We cleared car, luckily it was only little dirty outside which we managed to clear very easily. The village was completely covered with snow thus I saw wonderful opportunity for my drone footage. There was an old lady whom I asked if she doesn’t mind that I use my drone to what she reluctantly agreed. Once I started to fly my drone and was about to finish the process, another old lady came asking for my documents and insisting that she called police.
Although we asked for permission, although I knew that it’s not forbidden to fly drone in Montenegro, it was extremely uncomfortable experience this. She checked the number of the car, while we started to drive away despite her armed warning to stop.
One of those snowy villages
We reached Budva in the next half an hour, and checked in. For double apartments we paid 50 euros for 4 people 2 nights.
Cat as an honourable guest in Budva restarant, you can see them everywhere and cats of Montenegro are adorable
Budva is little city which has real small old town. Within couple hours you can see everything in Budva’s old town and get some nice food near seaside. I must say that the tastiest food that we tried was not fish in Budva buuut pizza in Fishermen. Quatroformagio! If you love pizza, highly recommended.
Oh completely forgot about wine. If you want to taste good local wine then I think Vranac Pro Corde is the right one to go. But make sure that it is pro corde.
For the next morning we had relatively luck with weather as the Sun started to shine a bit. One of the places which was on our list to visit was Sveti Stefan. By the way, if I am not wrong, Sveti means holy, which you may see in many places.
Sveti Stefan lies not far away from Budva and is wonderful island which is currently protected and rented by one hotel. Unfortunately, you cannot enter the island if you are not living in hotel. However, you can order guided tour for 10 euros per person. Nevertheless, we managed to see Sveti Stefan through our drone ; ) the video you can find at the end.
After finishing shooting in Sveti Stefan we set our course towards peninsula Luštica. If you are fan of landscape scenery, and I hope you are, then it’s right place to drive. I don’t know special place where you could stop there but overall the nature that opens to you while you are driving is very beautiful.
Guys trying to take our photo under rain while Aynur tries to cover Vurgun :D
After we arrived back to Budva it was fish in our plan for evening dinner. There is special way that they bring you fish in restaurant. Usually you can find two types of fish in menu. First class which is about 50 euros per kg, and second class which is 45 euros per kg. They bring you different types of fish which belong to first class, or second class and then you can choose which fish you want from there respectively and according to weight you pay the price. If you chose fish which is 1350gr of first class, then you pay 50*1.350.
thats how they bring it
There supposed to be shining day tomorrow, therefore we have planned to make a little tour through the most beautiful towns on Kotor bay. In any case, we had to check in in Kotor that day and I must say that among the hotel that we stayed during our travel in Montenegro the hotel Garni hotel Vila Panonija appeared to be my favourite.
These guys are everywhere! Organized crime groups!
After checking in, we left our luggages in hotel and drove further towards Perast. If you ask me to describe Perast briefly I will say that it is Hallstatt version of Montenegro. The stunning beauty of Perast lies in the fact that it is located on the shore of Kotor bay bordering with high mountains nearby. In Perast you can make small trip to the island which is in the middle of Kotor bay and it costs 5 euros per person to travel there via boat. The island is called “Our lady of the rocks” and consists from church which is built there. This island is human made and not created by nature. The story says that once two fishermen found an icon of Madonna and Childlady on the rocks. After bringing it home, the fisherman who was sick got healed. Therefore, they decided to build a church there and created artificial island.
After Perast it was Herzog Novi lying on our way. They are located 15-20 minutes away by car from each other. HerZog Novi is clearly larger city than Perast and Kotor where you can visit two castles, if they are open. Yes, when we wanted to visit main castle in Herzog Novi it was closed due to lack of tourists. Officially it was open but the people who were on charge simply closed it and went home, what we learned from information center after trying to call them. Most of restaurants were also closed due to winter season and as we understood they usually open close to summer. Nevertheless, we enjoyed city very much by getting an icecream, walking in downtown, and having shining Sun above us.
On the way back, we took boat shuttle which transported our car from Kamenari to Lepetane. Though, it did not make much difference in time, it was still fun to sit in the car which was in the boat travelling to another shore. Unfortunately we did it already in the evening and could not see beautiful scenery.
We arrived back to enjoy downtown of Kotor in the evening which is in the list of world heritage unesco. Old town of Kotor is really beautiful covered by huge walls. Anyways, I am not going to describe something what you can see by yourself. However, I am going to tell couple of words about hiking that you can experience in Kotor. You can walk from old town of Kotor up to ruins of St. John castle which lies 1350 steps above. Steps, exactly. And they can be slippery, therefore make sure that you have proper hiking shoes in order not to increase your injury risk. I am proudly saying that Aynur who was 5/6 months pregnant by that time made it with a help of her loving husband Vurgun.
Vurgun helping Aynur
We made it!
Wrapping up, our week trip in winter to Montenegro was very colorful. We believe that in winter you will discover this country completely from another frame.
And last but not least, I am feeling obliged to write few words about our wonderful couple trip with Aynur and Vurgun with whom we had a pleasure to travel. It was a lot of fun for everyone and this trip only helped us to strengthen our friendship. Couple travel? Totally worth of it! Try it!
Thank you guys for all this wonderful experience which we delighted to share together!
And as promised, our Montenegro footage you can find in this link below: