Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Montenegro Day Trips

We used Kotor as our base for exploring other parts of Montenegro. The whole country is smaller than Connecticut, so we had plenty of opportunity to branch out. Here are three day-trips we took:

Lovcen National Park and Centinje:
I had read good things about Lovcen mountain--particularly that the drive up is gorgeous and the mausoleum at the top is worth a visit. We drove an hour out of Kotor up windy switchback after switchback only to have to turn around 3/4 of the way up. It was pouring so hard that we couldn't even see out the window. Getting out and walking around seemed pointless when we couldn't see two feet in front of us. It's a shame that we missed the famous masoleum and abbey, but at least we had a nice meal at Konak. I can imagine that on a sunny day this would be well-worth the trip.

Break in the rain in Lovcen National Park

When researching where to go in Montenegro, several people mentioned checking out Ulcinj (pronounced ool-seen), a beach town close to the Albanian border. Though small, it was supposed to be oozing Albanian charm. To get there, we drove an hour and a half along the "Montenegro Rivera." We got fairly lucky in that the massive thunderstorm that followed us to Ulcinj let up just long enough for us to poke around the town. It wasn't beach weather though, which was such a shame because the white sand looked gorgeous.

The old town is tiny with only a few restaurants to choose from. This was definitely our worst meal of the trip (we ate at Terra Promessa). Outside of the old town, we had fun spotting quirky attractions along the boardwalk, like this 6D movie theater! Not only did you get 3D glasses, but the chairs moved, rain spritzed in your face, and there was a bubble machine. I was pretty tempted to try it.

On the way back to Kotor we took some pictures of Sveti Stefan, the exclusive island where rooms start at 950 EUR. There was also a brief moment of sunshine, so we pulled over at the nearest beach (Petrovac) and ran in the water. Again, Zahara loved it!

Sveti Stefan

Lake Skadar
Our final day trip was to Lake Skadar, where we took a two-hour boat ride. It was absolutely gorgeous! The boat ride was a little slow--I think an hour would have been enough time--but the scenery was lovely. Zahara had a great time playing with the other passengers and watching the wildlife fly by. After our boat ride, we had a delicious (and huge!) lunch at Konoba Badanj in Virpazar. I still can't get over how fresh all of the fish is in this country.

We drove straight from the Lake to the airport in Dubrovnik, taking the ferry across the Bay of Kotor. It was a wonderful trip, despite the weather. I can't believe that was our last trip before we move back to the States!

Read more about this trip:
Bay of Kotor Towns
Dubrovnik in a Day
A Day in Bosnia-Herzegovina

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