As part of our recent trip to Croatia, we took a day trip to Montenegro from Dubrovnik. There are many options for tours out of Dubrovnik, including Montenegro, but given our penchant for independence, we rented a car (about $90) and drove south, first to Kotor and then on to Budva.
The border crossing was simple (we just had to show our passports and rental car paperwork) and there were no lines, given that it was late October. We were warned by our rental car provider to keep to the speed limit, since the Montenegro police watch closely. We did see a few police along the roads, and I made sure we kept to the limit, even though others were driving faster. The roads were in good shape, the signage was clear, and there were plenty of fuel stations.
It took us about two hours to reach Kotor, via Perast, following the shoreline of Kotor Bay-which feels more like a lake, because of the surrounding steep mountains and calm, deep water.
Kotor is a beautiful old fortified city. We hiked up the old walls behind the city all the way to the fort at the top. In the valley behind the fort, and not visible from Kotor, are the ruins of an old village.
From Kotor we drove to Budva, another old walled city right on the Adriatic coast.
Budva is about 45 minutes by car from Kotor. We also went to Sveti Stefan (St Stephen), just south along the coast from Budva. It is a small island village that is now an exclusive hotel. The scenery all along our trip was beautiful. Even in October, the weather was in the 60’s F.
Montenegro felt like a slightly poorer country than Croatia, but is rapidly developing, as evidenced by all the construction and real estate signs. I would love to go back and explore more of this small, but fascinating country.