MONTENEGRO NATIONAL PARKS
St. Stephen Island
Bursting at the seams with majestic mountains, breathtaking beaches and larger-than-life locals, minuscule Montenegro proves once and for all that good things do indeed come in small packages. Montenegro is a south European and a Mediterranean country. It is one of the most southern European states and faces the south part of the Adriatic Sea. The most southern point is located in the mouth of river Bojana in the Adriatic Sea, and the most northern point is found deep in the continental part not far from the junction of the three borders between Bosnia, Serbia, and Montenegro. Where Land & Sea Embrace It's not even 300km from tip to toe, but Montenegro's coastline crams in some of Europe’s most spectacular seaside scenery. Mountains jut sharply from crystal-clear waters in such a way that the word 'looming' is unavoidable. Ancient walled towns cling to the rocks and dip their feet in the water like they're the ones on holiday. In summer, the whole scene is bathed in the scent of wild herbs, conifers and Mediterranean blossoms. All of this – and much, much more – is wrapped up into an area two-thirds of the size of Wales.
Podgorica is the capital and largest city of Montenegro and it is the official commercial and cultural center. The city was also called Titograd between 1946 and 1992 when Montenegro was part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (SFRY), in honor of Josip Broz Tito. Podgorica's favorable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Morača rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlići Valley has encouraged settlement. The city is close to winter ski centres in the north and seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea. Further cultural and historic monuments in and around Podgorica are Sahat-kula Adzi-pasa Osmanagica, the ruins of Nemanjica Grad, remnants of the city of Doclea, Stara Varos, and Vezirov.
Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of Wold’s most beautiful bays and it is a city of traders and famous sailors, with many stories to tell. The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor a UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site”, as part of Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries. Carnivals and festivals are organized each year to give additional charm to this most beautiful city of the Montenegrin littoral.
Budva is the metropolis of Montenegrin tourism, known for its well-preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife. The coastal area around Budva is called Budva Riviera, which has some of the most attractive beaches of south Adriatic, and the most pleasant climate in Montenegro. The town of Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast. Old Town lies on a small peninsula and represents a treasure chest of culture heritage, crossed with narrow streets and squares are famous buildings. During the summer months it turns into a City Theatre with numerous local performances and shows from abroad.
Herceg Novi is a coastal town in Montenegro located at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor and at the foot of Mount Orjen. Herceg Novi was known as Castelnuovo ("New castle" in Italian) between 1482 and 1797, when it was part of Ottoman Empire and the Albania Veneta of the Republic of Venice. Herceg Novi is recognizable by the abundance of mimosa trees and its numerous flights of stairs. A history of varied occupations has created a blend of diverse and picturesque architectural style in the Old Town of Herceg Novi. Sahat – Kula (1667), Kanli – Kula (1483), Fortress Spanjola (1538) and Fortress Forte Mare (1687) are only a part of the cultural heritage of this renowned town. It is a ‘city of the sun’, thanks to the large number of sunny days all year round.
The Tara is a river in Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The total length is 144 km, of which 104 km are in Montenegro, while the final 40 km are in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Tara River, at its end making confluence with the Piva, becomes the Drina, and is some hundred and fifty kilometers long. The Tara River Canyon, is 82 kilometers long and the last 36 kilometers constitute the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro. The canyon at its deepest is around 1,300 meters. These parameters make the Tara River Canyon among deepest river canyon in Europe and indeed the world. The canyon stretch within Montenegro is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lake Skadar lies on the border of Albania and Montenegro and it is the largest lake in the Balkans and Southern Europe. It was declared a National park in 1983. And it is one of 5 national parks in Montenegro. It is famous destination for bird watching, with 298 species of birds and 43 species of fishes from which 20 are autochthonous and live only in this lake in the whole world. Because of this, the lake is included in the IBA and RAMSAR lists. In addition to a rich animal and plant life, Lake Skadar also has a rich history and culture. Numerous archaeological sites, monasteries and churches, fortifications, and the like, will enchant you and certainly attract your attention.
The Durmitor is a massif that gave its name to a national park in northwestern Montenegro. The massif is limited by the Tara River Canyon on the north, the Piva River Canyon on the west, and by the Komarnica River Canyon on the south. The Durmitor was declared a National Park in 1952, covering the area of 390 km². With a large number of number of natural attractions, Durmitor each year attracts many tourists. The peaks of the great mountains, unique canyons, clear rivers, glacial lakes, beautiful dense forest makes Durmitor one of the most famous places around the world. From 1980, Durmitor is on the UNESCO World Natural and Cultural Heritage list.
BOKA KOTORSKA BAY
The Bay of Kotor, known simply as Boka is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro, and among the loveliest in the world. It consists of four connected straits. It is all surrounded by steep cliffs that mirror in blue waters of the Adriatic Sea. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity. Its well-preserved medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi, along with their natural surroundings, are major tourist attractions. The Bay region, with it’s natural and cultural-historical heritage has been declared a World Heritage Site since 1979. and it is under the protection of UNESCO.
Cetinje is an Old Royal Capital of Montenegro. It is also the historic and the secondary capital of Montenegro, where the official residence of the President of Montenegro is located. It was founded in the 15th century and became a center of Montenegrin life and both a cradle of Montenegrin culture and an Orthodox religious center. It scent with the architecture from 18th and 19th century that comes from rich greenery of this small city. During King Nikola’s reign many embassies were built that give it today’s specific looks. Two of the most representative buildings are the Monasteries of Cetinje and Biljarda. Cetinje abounds in museums, as well as the Art Academy, parks and from Orlov Krs there is great view of the city and the mountain of Lovcen.
The Monastery of Ostrog is a monastery of the Serbian Orthodox Church, specific by the place in which it is located, situated against an almost vertical background, high up in the large rock of Ostroška Greda represents one of the most valuable culturally – historical and spiritual places in Montenegro. It is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog (Sveti Vasilije Ostroški), who was buried here. This monastery is the most famous pilgrim place in Montenegro. It is one of the most visited monasteries on the Balkans, and believers from all over the world. It is the meeting point of all three confessions: Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Islam, because there is a belief that the bones of Sveti Vasilije Ostroski are miraculous.
Piazza of the arms
The Square of the Arms is the main and the largest town square in Kotor, Montenegro. Its name hails from Venetian times, when munitions were made and stored here. That square was and remained the main place for gathering. Various gatherings happened there and it was the place where people from Kotor assembled. Cultural richness of Kotor is made priceless by its treasury which hides some significant cultural monuments like: Tower watch (VIII century), Cathedral of Sveti Tripun (XII century), Church of Sveti Luka (XII century), Prince’s palace (XVII century), Church of Sveta Marija (XII century), Church of Lady of Health (XV century), and Napoleon’s Theater (XIX century).
Kotor’s Castle Of San Giovanni
San Giovanni, also called St. John’s Castle, is perched 1200m high on the hill of St. John. The fortifications date back as far as 532 when Byzantine Emperor Justinian I had the fort built. Since it’s creation, the fort has under seen plenty of changes and battles under Venetian, Russian, and French rule. It’s been bombed by British Naval armies, occupied during World War II, and even survived three separate earthquakes. The walking path to San Giovanni castle has 1,350 steps and needs good shoes. The view over the Kotor bay is breathtaking from the top.