“Over the clouds
freedom must be borderless
all fears and all your sorrows, they say
remained unseen underneath, and then
whatever seems big and important to us
became vain and small.”
There are moments in life when reality is simply more beautiful than a book. I had several of these moments during our last vacation in Montenegro. A place where I feel small. That’s when I realize how unimportant my problems are. Our problems. The social standards that can make life really difficult.
Nothing matters up here. How many followers you have on Instagram, whether you wear size 34 or 44 or whether you have cellulite. Sometimes it takes an aha-moment like this.
I almost cried up there and wanted to stay forever. Would’ve been cold at night though. So I came back with a few tips in my luggage and would like to recommend you to fly there yourself with this post. And to put the book aside from time to time to experience breathtaking moments for yourself.
Montenegro is the most beautiful country I have ever visited. By the way, it is only 2 flying hours away from Germany. Here are the nine most beautiful places_
We are located in the western part of the country, five minutes by car from our apartment. The city lies directly in a bay (surprise: “Bay of Kotor”). We park our rental car at the roadside and walk through a small fruit and vegetable market, which mainly offers mushrooms and pomegranates. On the other side of the road is the city’s harbour, a speedboat is currently docking.
And then we stand before a wall. An ancient city wall with archway, a path in front of us, paved with large stones that shine with wear and tear. It leads us into the old town of Kotor and into a new old world.
Warm light in narrow alleys, pretty cats running free on the windowsills and small shops selling handmade jewellery. This place enchants us with its historical charm, our cameras look completely wrong here, much too modern.
We look for a small meal and find a tiny shop selling mini pizzas. Mini pizzas as big as car tires. When he asks 2 Euro for it, we can hardly hide our surprise. It is the first day in Montenegro and we didn’t know that we could eat for so little money. Good for our already quite small holiday fund.
Kotor and Budva are mentioned everywhere in one context. And rightly! Budva also offers a unique old town. The city walls are still standing and we immediately get lost again in the old Montenegro, in pretty little alleys. We eat in a romantic little restaurant and review the impressions of the first day.
3. Sveti Stefan
Not far from Budva is Sveti Stefan. The small island is only connected to the mainland by a narrow dam and only accommodates hotels. The buildings from the Middle Ages have been largely preserved and offer perfect photographic material.
As drone-fliers this place is a must. Montenegro is bursting at the seams with breathtaking panoramas, Perast is one of these places. The two small islands in front of the city, St. Georg and St. Martien, lie like abandoned boats on the smooth sea level in the sun and can be photographed. One houses the cemetery of Perast, the other a church, which is a well-known place of pilgrimage.
5. Porto Montenegro
The city of the rich and beautiful, the luxury yachts fight for attention. Large palm trees line the promenade. This place shows no trace of poverty that the rest of the country can hardly hide. We sit at the water and enjoy the moment, the fresh sea air, the sunset.
6. Tara Bridge
It takes over three hours to get to Tara Bridge, but the route is the destination. We cover countless height meters, I have constant pressure on my ears. But this view, halleluja. It is the middle of October and the gigantic forests around us are bathed in the brightest colours. Then everything goes very fast, we almost drove over the Tara Bridge by mistake. We park in one of the ziplining car parks and hello miracle of nature. The colours are bright, the woods deep below us look like painted.
7. Monastery Ostrog
The Ostrog Monastery is our next destination. Founded in 1665, it is considered one of the most important pilgrimage sites in the Balkan region. We start from the parking lot and although we wear good shoes, we almost don’t get to the top. We walk up a staircase of mixed stones, it leads right through the forest. Some stones are so slippery that we fall several times. Next to us, people with suitcases and socks are moving faster than we are. Then we stand in front of the monastery and can also explain the suitcases. Hundreds of people lie on mats on the floor, have almost made themselves at home. At the entrance to the monastery, the pilgrims kiss the walls of the building. We’re out of our element. The aura of the monastery intimidates us and we don’t stay here much longer than necessary. Nevertheless, the monastery of Ostrog is already visually a place worth seeing.
8. Njegos Mausoleum
Up the mountain for hours again. Every day it goes steeply uphill. From habit one already steps into the void if one runs times on straight surface. Then arrival on a viewing platform with restaurant on the cliff. It was worth it to drive up here. Now allegedly a few more steps to the Njegos mausoleum. But then there are almost 500 steps, they lead through a kind of tunnel, in which the sound is unpleasant. Then we’ll step outside. A tourist asks us laughing in English why we are so exhausted after the few steps. But we’re barely listening, already in a trance. We stand before the mauseleum, above the clouds of Montenegro. In the distance you can still see some mountain peaks. Behind us, several people have built towers of stones, it looks unreal. We don’t talk, we just breathe and absorb the impressions.
I feel tiny and I never want to leave again. No other place in the world can offer me that freedom.
9. Lake Skadar
The alarm clock rings much too early, but we do without some sleep on this holiday, because the time in Montenegro is much too short to see everything we have planned. On the way to the airport we want to make a stop at Lake Skadar and start before sunrise.
The roads lead us up the next mountain, there are unbelievably many serpentines. Most of them without crash barriers but with a view. We are rewarded with a gorgeous red sunrise above the clouds and soon after we stand on a road that looks more like a footpath and does not allow any oncoming traffic. The thorn bushes at the edge scratch the paint of our rental car. Then the view.
Broadening the horizon. That’s fulfilling.
A personal recommendation at the end:
We lived in Muo, a neighbouring village of Kotor, directly at the bay of Kotor. From here we could easily reach all hotspots by car and had a wonderful view of the illuminated old town of Kotor at night. The apartment was quite large, had a balcony and a kitchen and was simply cosy. The host Ilija provided us daily with information about travelling and was always available for us.
Have you ever been to Montenegro? If so, what did you like most?
Until next time!