travel report: Montenegro

This May, I had a trip planned with my best friend, her family and a group of their friends. 

Logistically, it was a bit of an adventure to get to Montenegro as there were different ways of travelling, different starting points and timelines included.

The group of friends, all men and passionate bikers, started the journey 4 days prior to us flying to Montenegro on their motorcycles. They started in Berlin and traveled through Austria, Serbia and Kroatia among other countries.

Three days later, I went on the first part of my trip, taking the train from Cologne to Berlin to stay one night at my friends house.

On day 4, in the early morning hours, we got on a taxi to Berlin Schönefeld airport, where we met another friend and wife from one of the bikers. Our group of four women, including my best friends 8 months old daughter, took the plane to Podgorica, Montenegro.

Around noon, we arrived there, got our rental car, managed to cram all our luggage and the stroller in it and began our one hour long ride to our destination, Utjeha, a small town located at the adriatic coast.

For the seven days of our stay, we had booked a very nice, huge house, less than 100 metres from a small cove, which I can fully recommend. Our hosts were very friendly and helped us in every way possible.

In the afternoon on our first day in Montenegro, the bikers eventually arrived, dirty and tired, but happy to be there. The first evening ended with a lot of beer, Schnaps and a barbecue on the terrace, overlooking the adriatic sea.

During the next days, we visited different destinations in Montenegro, some of them by car, some of them by motorcycle. We found a really nice, empty beach, Drobni Pijesak beach, and a great restaurant nearby with delicious, fresh food and stunning views.

I had the pleasure of taking two small trips by motorcycle, which was real fun. Also a little bit scary, but mostly fun 🙂

One of them to Budva, a small, antique town overlooking the sea with nice little alleys and museums.

The other trip was a bit more exhausting but even more memorable, as it led us to the Lovćen mountain, one of the main mountains in Montenegro, where we drove up to the Jezerski Vrh summit to visit the Njegoš-Mausoleum. While driving there, it got colder every minute, so that we made several stops to try and find more clothes for me, as I wasn’t equipped well enough to be confronted with a motorcycle ride to a snowy mountain. It was freezing!! So at the end I felt and looked like a Michelin man, but at least didn’t loose any limbs to the cold.

On our way up, we drove through the clouds and then reached the top of the mountain, where, only 461 steps (I think) later and with a little lack in oxygen, we had the greatest view over Montenegro.

On another day, we went to see the little town of Ulcinj, located close to the Albanian border. We climbed some small streets, passed a tiny tower, from where the muezzin was calling the muslims in the town for their prayer. Many cities in Montenegro have a variety of churches and different architectural aspects due to the four different religions in the country: the Orthodox church, the Muslims, Catholics and a small Jewish community.

There are also five different official languages spoken in this country: Montenegrin, Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian und Croatian. I must admit that we never managed to speak more than two words in one of these languages, two very important ones ( „thank you“ and „beer“), but most of the times when we needed to speak to someone or in nearly every restaurant we went to, the Montenegrins greeted us in German or English, some even in Italian.

One last remarkable trip was to the Skadar Lake National Park, where we drove endless through the mountains, passing tiny villages, many cow, donkey and goat herds and finally arriving at the Skadar lake, where we had hoped to find a nice restaurant to rest a bit, feed the baby and maybe take a swim.

Unfortunately, like many locations in Montenegro off season, the restaurant was closed and we had to drive back. The distance to our house was only 50km, but the streets were mountain trails only where in most of the cases only one car could pass at a time and many times, there wasn’t even a guardrail to separate us from the canyons we were passing. At the end of the day, although we didn’t see much, I was pretty exhausted only by driving hours long and being so concentrated not to crash or drive off the road 😀

Montenegro is a good place to visit. If you are looking for friendly people, nice, traditional food, attractive spots to hike, drive the bycicle or motorcycle, take trips to the beach, snorchel, dive and in the winter also ski, you can do all this in one small country. You won’t find a perfectly developed, touristy destination with perfect infrastructure, but you will find a stunning landscape and have a very relaxing, Mediterranean atmosphere.

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