Great Britain

Plan now, go later: Montenegro Bay offers Europe’s best scenery

AT the start of 2020 as operators upped offerings to Montenegro, the tiny nation on the Adriatic seemed set to be the next big holiday hotspot.

Covid clearly put a pause on all that, but 2021 is looking good for travel to the black mountains and golden beaches of this Balkan nation. 


Montenegro, which is not part of the EU, has so far operated a laidback stance on Covid restrictions making it a good bet for booking a summer holiday for later this year.

Europe’s southernmost fjord, the Bay of Kotor offers some of the Dalmatian coast’s most dramatic scenery.

In the few places where the mighty cliffs don’t plummet directly into the sea, well-preserved medieval towns squeeze between the steep hills and stunning waters.

In the middle of the bay sits Our Lady Of The Rocks, a 15th-century island church.

A short boat ride from Kotor town takes you to the island, where guided tours through the church and museum are less than £1pp.


Take a kayak out on Skadar Lake, the largest in the Balkan Peninsula for a paddle with the pelicans. 

A bird lover’s paradise, the national park is home to more than 280 species and the only pelican habitat in the south of Europe. 

Family-run businesses run boating and kayaking tours led by experienced guides to ensure maximum protection for the wildlife while providing insight into its history and culture. 



Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architectural styles overlap in Old Town Kotor. Wander its UNESCO cobbled streets or climb the 1,300 steps up to St John’s Hill fortress, which offers panoramic views of the Bay of Kotor. Find free self-guided walking tours at


Montenegro boasts five fantastic national parks.

Visit Lovcen National Park and walk the 461 steps to the peak of Mount Lovcen.

Here you’ll find the Mausoleum of Njegoš, the prince-bishop poet admired as Montenegro’s greatest leader who died in 1851. 



Attracting visitors with its wild beauty, Durmitor National Park in the north of the country is a favourite with hikers and photographers year-round.

The highlight is the Black Lake, which takes its deep-blue shade from the surrounding pine forests casting a perfect reflection on the mirror-calm water.

Book a day trip at 


Truly off the beaten track, the fishing village of Rose rewards visitors with a sense of solitude and tranquillity, not to mention the freshest seafood.

Arrive for lunch for mussels in one of the renovated medieval fortress restaurants.

Grab a table at Forte Rose and enjoy the sunset with your seabass in this renovated lighthouse. See


Budva’s bars are the place to party. Head to the stylish terrace at the Old Fisherman’s Pub for craft beer, cocktails and bay views — see 

Or head a few miles down the coast to explore the chic islet of Sveti Stefan.


COVID: All travel corridors are closed and testing is required on return to the UK as well as 10 days of self-isolation. Visitors travelling from the UK require a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of travel to enter Montenegro. 

GETTING THERE: Seven nights’ B&B at the 4-star Palmon Bay Hotel and Spa in Igalo is from £419pp including flights departing May 20. See 

INFO: See 


Velika Plaža, or Long Beach, is a 7.4-mile sandy strand ideal for families with young ones due to its shallow waters.

After an afternoon on the fine sands, head to one of the fish restaurants jutting out over the Bojana River and watch one of the prettiest sunsets in the world.

NEW FOR 2021

At more than 1,300 metres, the Tara River Canyon in the Durmitor National Park is the longest and deepest gorge in Europe.

A family rafting and hiking package tour of the Tara River and Stabanska Lakes costs from £121pp. It includes six meals and two nights in a four-bed cabin with ensuite at


Carved into a mountain cliff 900 metres above the Zeta Valley, the 17th century Ostrog Monastery is one of the most important religious sites in the Balkans.

Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says airline will slash flight prices over next year - with 60-70% of planes full this summer

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