Saturday, March 8, 2014

SUMMER RECAP 2013: Montenegro

 Getting to montenegro was a horrendous and awful affair. I had a horrible experience, felt extremely unsafe, and was also thoroughly ripped off. I will probably discuss it later, but for now if you are trying to get through Albania be aware that buses are extremely unreliable and it is a bit of a nightmare. Upside- Montenegro has a really great bus system!


So I arrived in Budva at about 9am ready to explore. Budva is basically just a resort beach town but I still wanted to check it out and enjoy the beaches! I checked into my hostel and immediately met the most incredible girl! She was from Norway, Mare, and was the sweetest person. We got along instantly so we went out together to explore.

Old Town
Like the idiot I am, I left my swimsuit in Albania, so I had to get a new one. We walked around looking and shopping for a new one on the oceanfront and then just walked along the oceanfront to the old walled city. Old town was gorgeous and jutted out along an peninsula which was perfect. We walked the walls and looked at the blue waters, a chatted.

The walls were very walk able and we went all the way around the town.

As you can tell, the weather was perfect and warm and beautiful.

We stopped for lunch in old town and had some awesome fish. Montenegro wasn't as cheap at Albania, but was still a cheap place. It was more touristy than Albania, but beautiful, safe, and clean. Plus the sharp contrast of the mountains jutting up to the beaches makes for amazing scenery.

After lunch we turned the corner and saw the beaches just tucked behind old town. We found some beach chairs (you didn't have to pay!) They were pretty crowded with people but not too busy. They were nice but not as nice as those in Albania.

We were exhausted so we collapsed on some chairs and fell instantly asleep in the last sunlit hours of the day. After our nap we wandered back to the hostel to clean up for the night.


Budva has the biggest club in the Balkins- Top hill. It is literally a giant club and venue on top of the mountains overlooking the city. We were originally planning on going up there, but found out there was a Serbian pop-star playing that night and it would make for a heavy cover charge. Coupled with that, high price of drinks, and the cab ride, we didn't want to swing the expense.  However, if I'd had more time I would have absolutely gone up there! It's apparently a must see in Montenegro!

So instead, we decided to check out all the bars and things on the beach-side strip. It is a resort beachy town so there were just heaps of bars all up and down the beach. We spent the better part of the night bar hopping with the awesome group of friends we made at the hostel who joined us.It was a lot of fun, but a bummer that all the bars close down at 1:00 because they aren't clubs and can't serve alcohol anymore. Overall though, the nightlife was pretty good in Budva!


The next day Mare and I took a bus 30 minutes away to the beautiful town of Kotor, which is on the fiord that create the bay of Kotor. This place came highly recommended and did not dissapoint one bit. I feel head over heels for this place that was stunning, laid back, and just so perfect I couldn't even put words on it. Charming does not even begin to cover this place! Mare and I spent the entire day just saying "wow this is the most perfect day!"

We arrived and I checked into my hostel, which was Old Town Hostel. The location was amazing being right in the heart of the tiny old town, and it was easy to find with a friendly staff! We dropped our stuff and headed out for the day. We walked around the old city, which is extremely small, but gorgeous and then decided to head across the bay to see a town called Parast that was also highly praised. I AM SO HAPPY WE DID.

Parast is what sold me on the Bay of Kotor. It was adorable and perfect! And then right off the town are two picturesque islands perched in the bay.

There were tons of boats waiting to taxi people over to the islands. We paid 10 euros each to have a man drive us over. The boat ride was short but the weather was so ideal and the place so beautiful we didn't care. We were just so overjoyed to be on the water at all.

Parast was even more beautiful from the water. We arrived at the first island which housed the most adorable church with a blue dome. The beautiful Mediterranean architecture really stole the show for me.  Look at that little island!

The island was seriously tiny but we still loved seeing the church and walking around. We loved seeing the whole bay from the middle.

We visited the second island as well which was a private residence so we just walked the perimeter and then returned on our boat back to shore. We had enjoyed the boat so much that we asked the driver of the boat if we could get a ride back to Kotor instead of busing it but he quoted us a pretty high price. So we said no.

We climbed up the little streets of Parast to the top to get more stunning views. It was beyond perfect and the most sunny and wonderful day!

When we descended we saw a boat with people climbing in and asked them if they were going to Kotor. They said yes and that we could also pay just 10 euros and ride across the bay for an hour back to Kotor. Mare and I looked at each other and then responded with a HECK YES.

We laid right up front on the bow of the boat and just took it all in. Such a perfect enjoyable ride. We soaked up the sun and enjoyed the views. And that was just half of the day so far!


We went back to Kotor, got some food, and then climbed up the old Fortress so that we could see the views of the bay at sunset. Climbing the fortress is like the number 1 main attraction in Kotor so we were excited!

The climb took about 40 minutes on the stairs and was hard, but not impossible by any means. We chatted with other going up and others coming down and coming up. And then we made it and the view was 100% worth it.

With the sun going down behind us. The bay of Kotor was perfect! I would not miss this spot- it's the main reason to come to the Balkans.

There isn't much in Kotor because it was so quiet but my hostel did have a little get together in the lobby with sangria, and then they took everyone to a pub afterwards.

It was a quiet and charming town but definitely not to be missed! If you head that way at all, be absolutely sure to make it to Montenegro, a charming and laid back country! Croatia is on the map as a travel destination, but it's neighbor is not to be missed.

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