places of interest
The oldest parts of Budva date back over two millennia to the 5th century BC. The town, picturesque and charming, sits upon a small peninsula and is a repository of cultural heritage. Narrow lanes separate centuries-old buildings and lead to quaint squares lined with unique shops and restaurants. Notable historic edifices include: the Church of St. Sava the Sanctified which features remnants of frescoes and inscriptions from the 1100s; the Church of Santa Maria in Punta and St Ivan’s Church, both built in the 7th century; and the town’s fortress of Citadela. Wandering the streets and walkways of Budva one can’t help being swept back in time.
The honourary capital of Montenegro and the official residence of Montenegro’s president, Cetinje was founded in the 15th century. A town of immense historical heritage, it is home to many museums, libraries, galleries and archives, as well as an art academy. Bordering its gracious tree-lined lanes and boulevards you will find the stately buildings of former foreign embassies, the palaces of Montenegro’s regal past, Art Deco consular buildings and the Cetinje Monastery which was built in 1701. These and many other attractions make Cetinje one of the most interesting tourist destinations in modern Montenegro.
Perast showcases some of the best examples of Baroque architecture in this part of the Adriatic. The town boasts many churches and buildings that were erected as early as the 15th century, but it is also graced by beautifully ornate palaces and mansions. These were built in the 18th century when the town flourished due to the development of the shipping and trade industries. Perast overlooks two picturesque islands, one of which is the Isle of Lady of the Rocks. This man-made island is home to a Roman Catholic Church built in the 17th century.
Founded in the 17th century, the Monastery of Ostrog is set against an almost vertical backdrop, high up in the large rock of Ostroska Greda. Dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog, it offers superb views of the Bjelopavlici Plain and is the most popular pilgrimage destination in Montenegro.
According to legend, a love story created Skadar Lake. Every day, the women came to the fountain to carry water back to the village, carefully shutting off the flow before they left. One day at the fountain, a young bride heard the wonderful news that her husband would return from abroad that night. Excited, she rushed home, forgetting to turn off the fountain. All through the night, the sweet fresh water flowed. In the morning the villagers discovered what is now known as Skadar Lake. The largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, it is today one of the four national parks of Montenegro. It is also home to 280 bird species, some of which are on the endangered list including the Dalmatian Pelican and the Black Ibis. Surrounded by mountains and incredibly picturesque, the lake is best explored by boat.
bay of kotor
Sometimes called Europe’s southern-most fjord, the Bay of Kotor is a winding bay on the Adriatic Sea. The bay has been inhabited since antiquity and supports a number of well-preserved medieval towns along its shores, including the town of Kotor – a World Heritage Site. The old town of Kotor is surrounded by an impressive city wall – built by the Venetians during their four centuries of rule (early 1400s to late 1700s). First mentioned in 168BC and known as Acruvium in Roman times, Kotor shows evidence of its two thousand years of history in every stone.