I did not know much about Montenegro to be honest. During my years studying Wildlife Conservation management in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands) I had a friend who was born in the mysterious Montenegro. It always sounded like an exotic country far away in the Balkan mountains, which was the home of big casino’s and ancient castles right next to stunning Adriatic coastline. And now it was time for my road trip in Montenegro.
An unusual, yet interesting mix that would intrigue me to add Montenegro on my road trip list. And in case you are wondering, I indeed felt like James Bond driving my Green Volkswagen Beetle across the serpentine roads. The name is Guy… Road Trip GUY!
My road trip in Montenegro route
That was easy..
Crossing the border from Albania to Montenegro is a one of a kind experience. It cost me exactly .. well.. it did cost me anytime at all, to be honest. “What are you talking about?” You might think. Well, let me put it this way: “There is no border! Like, at all!”
Yup, just like I said. There is no border when you drive from Tirana to Ulcinji and I realized that as soon as I was standing at welcome sign of Ulcinji. “Did I miss something?” I said to myself. Till this day I still do not understand how I got into Montenegro, but if you had a similar experience traveling from Albania, please leave a reply in the comments below. What a great start of my road trip in Montenegro
Budva: A personal journey back in time
Located right next to the beaches, Budva is a populair tourist destination in Montenegro. I wanted to explore the city with a local, but all the tourist traps included getting hammered and stuffed on a big “booz” cruise. I had already my fair share of experiences with those during my teenager years in Turkey and Spain, so I was looking for something more traditional. It seemed a bit impossible until I saw a old fisherman looking a bit lost while sitting in his 3 person boat.
We started talking a bit and the season had been slow and you could see he was struggling to make enough money with his fishing activists. I told him that I was not interested in going fishing, but I would pay 20 Euro if he could show me around Budva marina. A big smile appeared on his face and before I knew it we were heading out to sea and even though we did not speak each others language we had the best time ever!
I wanted to explore Montenegro by sea, but I refuse to go on some party boat full of drunks. I wanted a local to show me around. After searching a bit in the marina I found an elderly local fisherman who would show me around Budva for about a hour for just € 20,- . Dirt cheap for a private boat tour and we really had an amazing time together even though we had to communicate in Russian with eachother. It was like a movie scene haha. Living the dream! 🙂 #budva #boattour #livingthedream #meetingpeople #cultures
Kotor & Tivat
Kotor and Tivat are just 25 minutes drive from Budva. Of course, if you do not have traffic! Unfortunate, you can see that the roadworks are not up to date compared to the tourism boost over the last 20 years. This results in very long traffic jams and especially in Kotor it was a real nightmare.
Go as early as possible to find a parking sport or be prepared to walk over an hour back to the city center. The main attraction is visiting the amazing Kotor Fortress and although the climb is not an easy one (1350 steps and 1200 meter up), the view is something from a movie-scene!
If you take the left turn when you enter Kotor, you can actually dive all the way to Tivat with the sea right next to you. The roads are very small, so we had a few close encounters but as long as you drive carefully it should not cause any major problems.
In Tivat you can visit Porto Montenegro. If you are into huge boats, Russians and glitter and glamour then this is the place for you! It is free to go, but you pay around 2 euro per hour for parking. There are several restaurants, shops and of course boats.. lots of boats! Which you can also buy if you wish. Starting price about 7-figures! :O