Close your eyes and think about the most romantic, dramatic landscape you can possibly imagine – a mixture of dreamy aspects from some of the most beautiful European countries. The spectacular, crystal clear waters that define Croatia’s coastline. Cobblestone streets and palazzos that make walking and dining throughout famous Italian cities so memorable. You are surrounded by jagged peaks that resemble the Alps, but you breathe in warm, Adriatic air. Such a place does exist. This tiny, breathtakingly beautiful, Balkan country is called Montenegro, and it swept us off our globetrotting feet.
The people of Montenegro are giants, but the country is small, scenic and scattered with medieval villages. We drove the length of Montenegro in just a day – one of the most scenic drives of our lives – and we left wanting more.
We settled within the ancient walls that surround the old town of Kotor, overlooking a famous, picturesque bay. The history and architecture found throughout the old town is fascinating, but the highlights of our time in Montenegro were the many, mind-blowing moments that we experienced hiking, driving and exploring this phenomenal country’s vast landscapes.
In a place of such scenic beauty, I believe that pictures speak louder than words. Not even the most eloquent stanzas of poetry can do justice in describing Montenegro. Here are ten mind-blowing moments from our two weeks spent in this breathtaking country…
Mind-Blowing Moment #1: Discovering the Castle of San Giovanni after ascending 1,350 stone stairs along the medieval fortress walls of Kotor.
Mind-Blowing Moment #2: Watching the sun set over the Bay of Kotor.
Mind-Blowing Moment #3: High above Slano Lake on our drive north from Kotor towards Niksic.
Mind-Blowing Moment #4: Gazing at the glacial lake in Durmitor National Park known as ‘The Black Lake’, shadowed by a rounded mountain known as ‘The Bear’.
Mind-Blowing Moment #5: Discovering a hidden section of The Black Lake, which transforms into a vibrant, turquoise oasis when water levels are low.
Mind Blowing Moment #6: Driving the sharp curves of the narrow road that cuts through the middle of Durmitor National Park.
Mind Blowing Moment #7: The panoramic view from Seldo Mountain Pass, in the center of Durmitor National Park.
Mind Blowing Moment #8: Driving through stone tunnels as we pierced rugged mountains.
Mind Blowing Moment #9: Roaming along The Tara River Gorge, the longest and deepest canyon in Montenegro.
Mind Blowing Moment #10: Getting lost in sheep-covered countryside near the Etno Village.
To those of you who would like to follow in our footsteps, here’s a map marking each scenic spot on our drive north from Kotor and back. (Click the arrow to the left to list each location, and the box on the right to expand the map)
We spent around 7 hours in the car that day, stopping at scenic locations along the way, but I can assure you that every mile was filled with beauty beyond belief. Here’s a a video that gives you a little taste of the scenery we experienced on this epic road trip.
Our Montenegro home, Kotor, was better than we could have imagined. Beyond the ancient walls that gracefully wind their way up surrounding cliffs, the sparkling bay and pristine beaches, Kotor is the perfect jumping off point to venture deep into the Montenegrin countryside.
Wherever you may roam in Montenegro… focus on the journey, not the destination.