Flag of Montenegro 🇲🇪

In 2006 the marriage between Serbian and Montenegro was over. Today the country of Montenegro is a Republic; and a hidden jewel within Europe. It isn't very big, just 14,000 square kilometers. It isn't very populated, less than 700,000 people. But, it boasts some 117 beaches along the Adriatic Sea. And since it isn't exactly one of the world's biggest tourist spots, it's not all that crowded.

Location Map

For starters, in the town of Ulcinj you'll find seven miles of beach. And after you're done lounging around paying homage to the Sun God, come see the rest of the city that's got a City Museum housed in the Renaissance Church Mosque.

The town of Kotor, a cute little port city with an Old Town, has its own historical sites, like the 17th century clock Tower, but the 12th century Cathedral of St. Tiphun is the show stopper.

Montenegro's capital city of Podgorica isn't a totally happening place for visitors, many prefer to head to Bar; home to the oldest olive tree in the world (more than 2,000 years old). The olive oil produced here is some of the world's best. Take that, Italy!

Bar is reached by rail from Podgorica, as are some other of Montenegro's towns. Driving can be a bit rough because many roads are in poor condition, making night driving especially hazardous. Then you've got the toll boots to contend with. Stick to the train.

Whatever small inconveniences you might incur to get from place to place is but a mere blip, considering what you'll get on the return. Montenegro's Primeval Forest National Park is one of the few remaining "jungles" left in Europe. As you're walking along Biogradska Lake, make sure you look up to find the eagles.

Another must-do is the Durmitor National Park, a UNESCO area that's got all sorts of hiking and biking trails through its pine forest and gorges. This is where you'll find the deepest gorge in Europe, so in this park make sure you look down.

The 17th century monastery in Ostrug is another spot where you should look down, as it was built right on the edge of a vertical cliff.

Speaking of monasteries, there's one in the 700 year old town of Herceg Novi. And it's right back full circle after you've seen it, since there are some fantastic beaches here, too.

Some people prefer eating their way around a country, and Montenegro is a good place to do it. Try the clear fish soup, or smoked ham known as prsuta. The markets in Montenegro offer the freshest fruits and veg, as well as locally made cheese. Who needs expensive restaurants when you've got this. And don't worry, all produce in Montenegro is considered safe to eat, and water safe to drink. You could always stick to just drinking grape brandy known as Rakija.

For nightlife you'll have to stick to the major towns and cities, offering nightclubs and discos. Shopping is a bigger activity than clubbing, and in Herceg Novi you'll find art galleries and local jewelry craft shops.

To get here you'll just need a passport or EU Identification Card. No visa or onward ticket for most foreign nationals to complicate things.

All the better to get to Montenegro then.