Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Our Montenegro Itinerary

In 2015, my boyfriend and I planned our very first two-week-long trip abroad, and tried our best to see something off the beaten path - and we succeeded! I've already written a few posts about our trip to Montenegro, but here is a really long post, with our itinerary, and everything you need to know about doing all this on a budget!

In case you1re interested in my gluten-free experience in Montenegro, click here.

  • BUDVA - Old Town and the Beaches
     Our first destination was the wonderful gem of the Adriatic, the town of Budva. This is where we stayed, mostly because of the amazing town, and secondly because of its perfect location - all of our destinations were very easily accessible from here. So, on our first day, we explored the Old Town, wandered around the place for hours, got lost quite a few times, but we had a lovely time! We also went inside a church, and found a hidden corner, from where we had a breathtaking view of the sea. We also looked for all the beautiful beaches of Budva: there were two, a bit smaller beaches beside the old town, one of them quite well-hidden, the other right next to the famous dancing girl's statue, and of course, the two Mogrens (with blue flag!), widely known about their beauty. There's another huge beach that streches along the city centre (Slovenska Plaza), which was not our favourite, honestly, we tried our best to avoid it - too busy, also a bit dirty, with no great attractions or cliffs in sight.

  • BUDVA - Mogren Castle
     This place was absolutely off the beaten path, very well hidden! We made our plans for this trip for about a month, and never once read about this castle - we only saw it by chance, when we drove past the Mogren Castle's sign on the Adriatic Highway on our way to the accommodation on our first day. The castle and the path leading there is absolutely abandoned, and it seemed like only a few other travellers knew about it, and the locals, of course. Actually, we were in doubt when on the path, worrying if it actually still is open for the public, because our way was blocked by garbage all the time - but don't worry, you're on the right path, the castle is there, and it's totally free, only a little abandoned, which we love! We spent about an hour admiring its beauty and the picturesque view from the top of the ruins, but we only met an older traveller couple, and that's it. We climbed on top of the ruins, sat in silence, then walked along the walls. Admired the wonderful sight of the island and the sea, found lots of plants and flowers that we never saw before. The perfect positive disappointment!

     We took a bus (Mediterranean Express) from Budva to Rafailovici, which cost us €1 each, and we walked all the way to Sveti Stefan from here, to see all these cute little towns along the shore. Rafailovici is famous for its great rock tunnel that everyone should walk through, and all the huge rocks on the beach - what I also loved about the town was the big amount of green pebbles and rocks in the crystal clear sea! Przno was one of my favourites, an adorable fishing village where time has stopped, and well, it has a surprise for you: the ruins of a small stone castle in the sea, right next to the beach! I fell in love.
     From Przno the walk was somewhat longer to Milocer, but we didn't mind a bit, as we walked through amazing parks, gardens and admired all the cacti and palm huts we walked by. Because the beach of Milocer is private, it's beautiful and clean, surrounded by rare exotic plants, situated right by the former summer residence of the royal family. On our way to Sveti Stefan, these amazing exotic plants accompanied us to the island of luxury, where you're not likely to go inside unless you have tons of money to spare. It used to be a fishing village as well, so you can admire all these amazing old building from outside, with lovely ivy covering the old stone walls, while you swim or sunbathe right beside the walls that you wish could talk. At the end of the day, we took the bus from Sveti Stefan to Budva, €1.50 each

  • KOTOR Now, Kotor took our breath away! If you take the bus (which cost us €3.50 one-way each), you should be prepared to arrive later than you were supposed to!
    In case you arrive before 08.00 in the morning, or visit during the colder months, you will be able to climb up to the fortification of St. John for free, else you'll need to pay a fee. We arrived at 07.59! We were very happy not to pay, and we were even happier to climb up there in a somewhat cooler weather. Our early arrival also meant that the path up high and the castle itself wasn't busy at all. It took us about an hour to get to the top, and it was a bit tiring, but it was so worth it! I needed to stop every minute to take a look at the breathtaking view of the 'Mediterranean fjords', and I couldn't get enough of the beauty even on the top of the mountain. The castle ruins and the old church tower looked magical, and my heart still aches for the picturesque view of Kotor. Fortunately, we were already in the shady old town of the city when the weather became schorching hot. The place reminded us both of Venice, with all its narrow streets, old stone buildings and church towers wrapped into history, and the picturesque view of the mountain with the fort we'd climbed up to.

  • BUDVA - The Citadel 
     If I'm not mistaken, the ticket to the Citadel in the old town costs around €2.5. It was really worth it! First, we went inside the Maritime Museum, and we spent quite some time reading about all the ships, boats and caravels, while the place smells of salty fresh air. There were several mock-ups to admire, and though the museum was small, it was really enjoyable. Afterwards, we climbed onto the old city walls, from where we had a wonderful view of both the old town and the turqouise sea. We were also very excited to find THE fish, symbol of Budva, that we've been looking for since the first day! There was also an old library, the most elegant and perfect I've ever seen, with red leather armchairs, oak desks, old globes, nice decorations all over the place, and of course, thousands of historical books!
     After a long time in the Citadel, we went inside the old town again, and enjoyed a long walk through narrow streets, people-watching by old pubs and relaxing.

     We were extremely excited for this one! The boats are at Slovenska Plaza beach, we took Magic Stars, and a return ticket cost €2. It leaves every 30 minutes, and it takes 20 minutes to get from A to B. We enjoyed the journey a lot, as one could even sit on the net streched above the sea, which we did, and absolutely loved! The island is really small, but adorable. There's a little church which was closed when we were there, a public toilet, a bar and a restaurant. Apart from these, it's just rocks and water! We climbed most of the rocks, for a lovely view, and lots of cacti that I love! The beach that is not on the side of the island, but behind everything, was magical, with a great view. This place was really special, and we are still in love with it!

Unfortunately, we didn't have time to visit the Canyon of Tara, but I hope to go back someday and see it for myself! Have you visited Tara?

 Have you been to Montenegro? Are you planning on visiting this place?