Are you planning a road trip in Montenegro? Then this complete and practical one week Montenegro itinerary is for you!
Montenegro is a stunning and quaint European country located along the Adriatic Sea. This small country is packed with natural beauty, historic monuments, and a plethora of undiscovered sites and attractions.
The country is often overshadowed by its neighboring country Croatia. However, in recent years, the beauty and magic of Montenegro has been uncovered and it is quickly becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations in Europe, especially for road trips.
One of the best things about Montenegro is its small size. This makes a Montenegro road trip, traveling to various cities and different areas, easy, quick, and efficient.
Its small size does not mean everything is the same though. In fact, the cities in Montenegro differ greatly and, in every place, there is something new and unique to discover.
From coastal cities to ancient old towns, impressive religious monuments, and grand national parks. There are so many facets to Montenegro waiting to be unveiled.
Since Montenegro is so small and there’s so much to see around the country the best way to travel here is by car.
A one-week Montenegro road trip will give you just enough time to see the top sites and attractions and have you eager for more. This itinerary is fast-paced, but feel free to slow it down by adding a few days to your trip, and enjoy this hidden gem of Europe before it becomes overrun with tourists.
Also Read: Why Should You Visit Montenegro?
The Perfect Montenegro Road Trip: Everything You Need to Know
When to Visit Montenegro
Montenegro is best visited in the warmer months of the year as this is when the country is most alive and full of things to do.
Recently the summer months of June to August have welcomed significantly more tourists which has made it quite busy. As a result, if you visit in the summer months you may experience higher costs, busier attractions, and longer drives due to traffic.
This is why visiting in the shoulder months of April and May or September and October are best. These months still offer lots to do, but with fewer people and a more intimate travel experience.
How to Get to Montenegro
Montenegro is a very accessible country and you can get here by boat, car, or plane.
There are two airports in Montenegro, one in Tivat and one in Podgorica.
There is also an airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia which is very close to the border of Montenegro and this airport offers more flight options at lower costs.
Also Read: How to Find the Cheapest Flights
There are boating options in the form of speed boats and ferries from various countries in Europe.
A popular ferry route is from Bari in Italy to Bar in Montenegro. You can take your car on those ferries and start your Montenegro road trip from there.
Renting a car from a neighboring European country and driving into Montenegro is another great option. Or, if you don’t live too far from Montenegro you could start your road trip in your home country.
Renting a Car in Montenegro
When renting a car for a Montenegro road trip keep these tips in mind:
- A car will cost you around 30€ per day, and fuel for a one-week road trip will be around 100€ total. But check Rentalcars.com as sometimes you can find really cheap rental car deals.
- The smaller the car the better! The roads are very narrow in Montenegro and parking spots are tiny so a small car will save you a lot of headaches.
- It’s possible to rent a car from one airport and drop it off at another. This will give you more flexibility but does cost you an additional fee.
- If you arrive from a different country and rent a car there but depart from an airport in Montenegro, renting a car is still an option. The car rental agency can transport the car back for a fee, and you will generally also have to pay an extra 5€ for each day you are driving outside of the country where you rented the car. So, make sure you check what exactly the extra fees are.
Also Read: Tips For Driving Abroad For the First Time
A One-week Montenegro Itinerary
Montenegro Road Trip Day 1: Off the Beaten Track
Start at Herceg Novi
If you are arriving by plane in Dubrovnik, Croatia, then the small town of Herceg Novi is the perfect place to start your Montenegro road trip.
As said, you can rent a car in Croatia and drive to Montenegro to get to Herceg Novi.
Herceg Novi is a quaint coastal town full of life and excitement. It is one of the best places to visit in the Balkans and a great place to get your first impressions of Montenegro.
Herceg Novi has a plethora of beaches, a stone filled old town, and two fortresses that used to defend the country long ago. Spending at least a few hours here is a must to see a side of Montenegro that is relatively untouched by tourism, as of now.
Stop at Catovica Mlini
From Herceg Novi you will drive on the highway that runs along the stunning Bay of Kotor and make your way to Perast.
On the drive to Perast, which is only 40 minutes from Herceg Novi, you will be blessed with stunning sea views and lush mountains. It is a beautiful drive like most in Montenegro.
Along this route there is a secret restaurant called Catovica Mlini that is well worth a stop at for a bite to eat. The restaurant serves authentic Montenegrin food and is a place frequented by Serbian celebrities like Novak Djokovic.
This is one of those hidden gems that very few know about but that will give you the best tastes Montenegro has to offer.
End Your Day in Perast
Perast is the last stop for day one and where you will spend the night.
This is a small village very close to Kotor that has its own special charm. It is much less touristy than Kotor and is a lovely coastal place to spend a peaceful night.
Also, it offers accommodation at much lower prices than Kotor but is only 20 short minutes from this famous city.
Montenegro Road Trip Day 2: Famous Places
Kotor is the place to explore on day two of this Montenegro road trip.
This is by far the most famous and popular city in Montenegro and it is understandable as to why!
It has an authentic old town made of white stones and winding streets that looks and feels very similar to the ultra-famous old town in Dubrovnik.
Beyond this, Kotor has a hike of 1300 steps to the Kotor Fortress atop the huge mountains. From up here, you can see the whole bay of Kotor, the old town, and the surrounding lush mountains. The views are awe-inducing and one of the main attractions to Kotor. If you plan on doing the hike, try to arrive in Kotor between 8-9AM so you aren’t in the direct sunlight and there are fewer people.
Visit Our Lady of the Rocks
In the summer months, Kotor can get extremely busy during midday and an escape is needed.
The perfect place to escape to is Our Lady of the Rocks which is a small island in the middle of the Bay of Kotor reachable by boat. This excursion will only take a few hours but is perfect for leaving behind the crowds in Kotor for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
On this island you’ll find one lone church and an interesting history. The island is actually artificially made by people throwing rocks and sinking ships into the Bay.
For more things to do in Kotor check out this Guide to Where to Go in Montenegro
Montenegro Road Trip Day 3: Lovcen National Park
Located a one-hour drive from Kotor is the famous and stunning Lovcen National Park.
This national park will require a whole day but is undoubtedly worth it.
Just know, the drive to the park is on very windy and narrow roads, so be sure you are feeling comfortable with driving in these conditions. Although the roads are a little unsettling, the views from the drive up and once you arrive at the park are very much worth it.
Prepare for a day of hiking and exploring before heading back to your accommodation in Kotor.
Montenegro Road Trip Day 4: Hidden Gems
Visit the Ostrog Monastery
The drive from Kotor to Ostrog Monastery is the longest drive you will have in this itinerary, totaling up to 2 hours.
However, venturing to this hidden gem is a must while road tripping Montenegro.
Ostrog Monastery is an old Orthodox Serbian Monastery that is built almost vertically into the steep cliffs of Montenegro. It is a very significant religious, cultural, and historical site in Montenegro that attracts thousands of locals and tourists each year.
The drive here offers stunning views of the countryside and the monastery itself is architecturally beautiful to admire.
Stay in Podgorica
From Ostrog Monastery the closest city to spend the night in is Podgorica, which is 30 minutes from Ostrog.
This is the capital city of Montenegro and you can explore here with the time you have left in the day.
Montenegro Road Trip Day 5: Coastal Adventures
Drive to Bar
Driving one hour from Podgorica will bring you to the beautiful coastal town of Bar.
Bar is an old town that sits along the Adriatic Sea and has some very unique and interesting offerings. The town is home to an old town with settlements dating back to 800BC, a 2,200-year-old olive tree and some great beaches.
The cobbled street that leads to the old town I’d say is one of the prettiest streets in Montenegro. It’s a colorful collection of restaurants and souvenir shops that showcases the Turkish influence that 300 years of Ottoman rule had on the area.
Stop at Sveti Stefan
From Bar you will drive 40 minutes up the stunning coast until you reach Sveti Stefan, a small island that is connected to the mainland by a small strip of land.
This is a postcard-perfect destination in Montenegro that is well worth a stop before heading to Budva.
Note: You can visit the mainland and the beach parts of Sveti Stefan but you can only go onto the islet if you have a hotel reservation.
End the day in Budva
Budva is the last stop on day 5 and where you will set up accommodation for the next two nights.
Montenegro Road Trip Day 6: A Day of Beauty
Spend the Day in Budva
Budva is one of the best cities to visit in Montenegro.
It sits along the Adriatic Sea and is full of beaches, has a beautiful old town, and has the best nightlife in Montenegro.
Spend a day here to relax in the sun, explore the old town, and spend a night enjoying all of Budva’s liveliness.
Montenegro Road Trip Day 7: Modern Montenegro
Drive to Tivat
The final stop on this Montenegro itinerary is Tivat.
Tivat is a very different city in Montenegro because of its modern architecture, high-end stores, and exclusive beach clubs.
It is a great place to end the road trip because there is an airport here so you can fly out from Tivat plus it has a relaxing vibe that is ideal for unwinding after this whirlwind of a road trip.
Alternatively, you could decide to add a day to your road trip and drive back to Dubrovnik. The airport there might have better and cheaper flights, depending on where you are going.
Enjoy your Montenegro road trip!
- Why Visit Montenegro?
- Is Montenegro a Good Destination For Working Remotely?
- Where to Go in Croatia – The Best Places to Visit
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