At the end of April, we will be venturing into a completely new destination. We’re opening our doors at the Falkensteiner Hotel Montenegro in Budva, one of Europe’s up-and-coming holiday regions.
But what do I need to know about the fashionable destination that is Montenegro? What can I do there and how can I get there? We’ll get to the bottom of these questions, and others, in our latest blog post.
How long does it take to get to Montenegro?
Who would have thought it: by direct flight. It is just 90 minutes from Vienna or Munich to Montenegro. There are also direct flights from Hanover, Frankfurt and Dusseldorf to the international airports in Montenegro: Tivat (TIV) and Podgorica (TGD). Alternatively, you can fly into Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia.
Once you’re on the ground, you can quickly get from A to B by rental car, or alternatively, you can take your own car there via Croatia or via ferry from Italy’s Bari.
If you travel by car, you absolutely need to adjust to the local speed limits: the upper limits here are 100 km/h on motorways, 80 km/h on regional roads and 50 km/h (or follow signage) on urban roads. It’s best to stick to these limits, as penalties tend to be hefty in Montenegro. For example, simply driving through a traffic light at red might be enough for you to lose your licence.
Do I need a visa for my holiday in Montenegro?
No, a valid passport is absolutely all you need for your holiday. You only need a residence permit if you are staying for 90 days or more.
It’s also good to know that Montenegro has been using the euro since 2002, even though it is not (yet) an EU member state. This means that you are spared the hassle of changing money.
What can I experience in Montenegro?
With an area of 13,812 km², the small Balkan state is only marginally larger than the Tyrol and somewhat smaller than Schleswig-Holstein. However, Montenegro offers a wide range of landscapes and things to do that you can squeeze into a single holiday. For example, there is a total of 70 km of beach on the 300 km of coastline, spread over countless bays. One of the most beautiful of them is surely Bečići beach, which stretches for a full 1.8 km and offers crystal-clear turquoise water. It is ideal for sunbathing, but anyone who wants more activity can get their money’s worth with jet skiing, kayaking and taking out a pedalo. Even divers and kitesurfers will not return home from a holiday in Montenegro disappointed.
Inland, there are lakes and national parks (a total of 5!) which shape the landscape. Here, there are mountain peaks more than 2,000 metres tall, along with impressive waterfalls and one of the few rainforests in Europe. Impressive, almost untouched nature begs to be explored through hiking or even exploring the water, and offers almost unlimited biodiversity.
Last but not least, you should not forget about the numerous historic old towns when planning your trip. Above all, the old town of Budva, one of the oldest towns on the Adriatic, with a history that goes back about 2500 years. Situated on a peninsula, its combination of plenty of picturesque streets, traditional red tiled roofs and the charm of the small cafes and shops that characterise the town. Long walks along the city walls, a visit to the ancient churches and the view from the citadel’s roof: it is definitely worth visiting the fairy-tale heart of this coastal town.
And what should I make sure I don’t miss?
There are so many things to do that you won’t have time to get bored. Sveti Stefan is one thing you absolutely should not miss. The small private island is connected to the mainland via a narrow bridge, and has become the most photographed location in the country. Although full access is only allowed for guests staying at the Aman Resort, dinner at one of the hotel restaurants allows you to visit on rather more affordable terms. The view of Sveti Stefan from the coast alone is fantastic.
Another popular photo opportunity is the bronze statue of a dancer which can be admired on the pavement from Budva’s old town to Mogren Beach. Making reference to Copenhagen’s famous tourist attraction, it is also called Budva’s mermaid.
If you really want to commit to the Montenegrin feeling, you can also enjoy a cool Niksicko beer in the shade of one of the numerous Konobe. These are small coastal restaurants that are scattered along the beach promenades, overlooking the sea. Lunch in this country is usually a rather small meal: for example, you might snack on a pita filled with sheep’s cheese or meat. However, dinner can be a truly elaborate feast, also when you’re on holiday, of course!
What do I need to pack?
Due to the range of opportunities for exploring, taking part in sport, or just relaxing, what you pack greatly depends on how you like to spend your holidays.
In principle, the summer months on the Montenegrin coast are hot, hot, hot – so you need to pack appropriate sun protection. A sunhat or cap should have as central a place in your suitcase as your swimming trunks or bikini. May, June and September are also ideal for beach holidays, but you will need to make room in your bag for a jumper for cooler evenings or a trip to the mountains.
If you like to spend time outside, sports shoes are a good idea, whether for a trip to a national park or a morning run along the beach promenade. And if you don’t want to miss out on a visit to the Casino at Hotel Montenegro, you’d be best advised to include a rather more elegant outfit for the evening.