Our travels brought us to Montenegro and we want to share our travel itinerary!
Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to see many places that we had originally planned to, but this doesn’t me that we cannot go back! We arrived here just as the season was picking up and decided to leave sooner due to this same reason.
In fact, traveling around with a campervan gives us the freedom to explore new places at our own pace. We aren’t tied up to car rentals or Airbnb. If we are enjoying a location we can stay longer. If we are not we can leave the next day. This freedom makes travel for us so much more enjoyable!
When moving around by camper van we don’t make set plans. We learn a lot more about the country once we arrive, chat with the locals, and decide our movements one day at the time.
Now let’s talk about our Montenegro travel itinerary, ready to come with us? This is what we experienced while exploring this beautiful country!
Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Once we crossed over from Croatia we stopped just outside of the town of Herceg Novi. We found the lovely Camping Zlokovic along the way and made this our home for 3 nights! We were welcomed by a very friendly couple who helped park our camper in the perfect spot in this campsite, which sits on the Bay of Kotor. One of my favorite parts about it is that it is full of olive trees. Luca didn’t waste time and became friends with their daughter, of course!
This is not an easy area to explore with a camper van in full summer. So how do you visit all the little towns, or at least some, on this lovely bay without having to worry about parking? You go by boat! We took a one-day tour with Pajo and had a great time!
Did you know that the Bay of Kotor, also known as Boka Kotorska, was created by the flooding river valleys? It does resemble a fiord due to the depth of the sea entering the mainland, the vertical mountainous sides, and the quantity of precipitation. It is no wonder that this Bay was also included in the list of 28 most beautiful bays in the world.
So off we went to explore this stunning Bay on the coolest boat around!
Our Lady of the Rocks in Montenegro
The first stop of our tour took us to Our Lady of the Rocks. This is a manmade island created by sailors.
Legend says that years ago two fishermen saw an icon of the Madonna on a ridge in the sea. They took it with them, to the church on the mainland. However, the icon disappeared. It was found in the same location the next day! The locals decided to build a church where it was found. They built it with old sailboats they sunk and added stones, thus creating an island on which they built a church in 1630. Since then every time a boat sails out, the sailor throws a stone at the island as a wish for a safe trip.
On 22nd July the Perastians celebrate St Mary Magdalene and her church. The boats sail out from Perast, the town in front of the island, sail round the island, throw stones and sail back to Perast. The festival is called Fasinada.
A very popular stop here in the Bay is to the little town of Kotor. It is situated in the most secluded tip of Boka Kotorska. Kotor is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in this part of the Mediterranean. It is surrounded by walls and backed by sheer mountainside. The town’s walls extend for about 3 miles.
Due to its alleys in the old town, Catholic and Orthodox churches, architecture, cuisine, nature, history, and culture it is probably one of the most visited cities on the bay. We spent a few hours wandering around the little alleys and also managed to get lost, but found our way shortly after! It was fun to run around all the corners of this little village!
Perast is a baroque town, one of the most beautiful on the Adriatic. It is just one kilometer end-to-end with barely 360 citizens. It used to be a town of sailors and is very close to the islets of St. George, which houses a 12th-century Benedict Monastery and Our Lady of the Rocks.
It once was an important port for traders back when it was under Venetian rule. Perast has been a frequent target of conquerors in the past but thanks to the courage of its sailors and captains it has always been defended.
In fact, unlike other cities on the coast that have walls, Perast does not have any. However, in front of Perast, there is Verige, the narrowest part of the Boka Bay. Here, a long time ago, they used to set up large chains from one side of the sea cape to the other to prevent enemy ships from approaching the city.
Being a very small town that you can explore quickly we made our way from one side to the other in less than 10 minutes. We tried to go up the bell tower though to see the view. Unfortunately, access is denied to young children due to an accident that happened a few years before. So we had to skip this!
Check out our full video about our time on Kotor Bay to get a better feel for this adventure!
After 4 days on the Bay, we were ready for some cooler temperatures and headed up to the mountains!
Ostrog Monastary, Montenegro
On our way up, we decided to make a quick stop at Ostrog Monastery. This is a very revered religious site. Up to a million tourists and pilgrims visit it every year from all over the world. It welcomes people from all nationalities and religions.
What makes this monastery so particular? First of all the fact that it was built in 1600 by carving it in the face of the cliff! However, this isn’t any ordinary cave. The walls are painted with frescoes from many years ago. The shrine was founded by St Vasilije, a Bishop of Herzegovina, whose body is now in the cave church.
Legend says that St Basil was also guided by God to create something special here. In the first cave, he built a church. The second cave he made a bedroom for guests. And the third cave was where the religious artifacts would be held.
It is in fact believed that the relics of St. Vasilije of Ostrog are miraculous. According to pilgrims’ testimonials, praying in front of these relics has helped them cure or lessen their life’s troubles. Many pilgrims go barefoot for the last three kilometers from the lower monastery, up the winding road to the upper monastery.
The entry to the monastery is free of charge but you cannot film or photograph when entering the shrine.
There is something extremely powerful about visiting a place like this. It isn’t the first time we visit a monastery built in the rock, but it amazes me anyway all the time. The dedication and the challenge to build something like this in such a particular place means that there must be something really special there and the people can feel it.
Durmitor National Park, Montenegro
The next stop of our travels around Montenegro was in Durmitor National Park.
This breathtaking national park was formed by glaciers and is traversed by rivers and underground streams. We parked our camper in a campsite just a few minutes away from the National Park. This gave us the chance to easily walk to the Black Lake which is one of the biggest and most beautiful glacier lakes in the area.
You can enjoy the view at the delicious restaurant – cafe overlooking the lake or rent one of the wooden boats to explore it more actively. It is also a fun walk to get there with many stalls selling all fresh products from the area. We bought fresh fruit, honey, jelly, and one of their liquors.
A few days after we also took a chair lift up to the top of Savin Kuk, so Mass could paraglide off of it. What did we do? After admiring the view from the top. We played in a small unmelted patch of snow with other foreigners and then took the chair lift back down. At the base of the mountain, there are a couple of restaurants, a play area, and a small zip line, so kids can continue having fun!
Tara Canyon and Tara River in Montenegro
Which is the best way to visit Tara Canyon? By rafting of course!
The canyon is part of the Tara River rafting route. You have different options of rafting tours that you can go from half a day to a full day, it all depends on what type of adventure you are seeking. In our case, it was our first time and we were not sure how everyone was going to react, so we did the shorter one. We went with RAFTING KLJAJEVIĆA LUKA and were lucky enough to get our own boat although we were over 15 people. Check out for yourself in this video to see how it was!
For those who don’t know Tara Canyon is the largest and deepest canyon in Europe. It is for the most part located in Montenegro, and to a smaller extent in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company we used for rafting was located very close to the Đurđevića Tara Bridge. This bridge is 365-meter-long and has five arches. At the time of its completion, it was the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. Another couple of exciting activities that you can do from there are bungee jumping and zip-lining from one side to the other. Of course, we did this one too!!!!
Many wondered why we were heading in a city when there were so many natural environments to see all around the country. First of all, we were meeting up with another worldschooling family from Parents, Passports, and Profits. We also wanted to take a few days off from traveling, especially considering how hot it was. Also if it is the capital of Montenegro, it isn’t a very big city, but actually very manageable and pleasant.
Podgorica doesn’t have many historical sites to visit, however, it is a fun city to bike around since it is mostly flat. One of our favorite things to do, with many of the locals, was go swimming in the Morača river, especially since the days were extremely hot!
We also had a chance to experience a few fun activities for kids. We did our first escape room at Cluville which is a kids’ escape room for who is between the ages of 6 and 14! However, they also offer a room for adults. What is great about this activity? It teaches kids to reason and to work together to achieve their goal of getting out! We went twice with our friends because we had so much fun.
Another great activity is the zipline at Adventure Park Gorica. It is located right on the top of the hill Gorica that and it is a popular getaway for locals and visitors. The adventure park offers 5 levels of trails: yellow, green, blue, red, and black, aligned by the challenge of the trail. Our kids were followed by instructors throughout the trail checking that they were comfortable doing it. Meanwhile, my friend Elly and I were enjoying the afternoon watching our kids move around like monkeys!
You are probably wondering what about all the beach area? After all, Montenegro has over 116 beaches!
The plan was to explore more of the coast, but it was so crowded! Lots of traffic and many people everywhere. This is not our favorite way of exploring places so we decided that it was time to move on. It will give us a great excuse to come back maybe in the spring or the fall when things slow down and it is easier to travel to this part of the country.
However on our last night in the country, we decided to head to this beach in Ulcinj which is famous for being a great place for kite surfing. As we arrived we saw so many in the water, it was amazing!!! I had never seen so many kite surfers together. It was a great way of ending our time here, with the idea of coming back of course!