I wish we’d had longer, but one day was all we could spend in the small but beautiful country of Montenegro. We were worried about driving into the mountains after hearing mixed reviews of the roads, and so hired a driver to take us across the border from Dubrovnik.
The border crossing was quick, and we passed by a few abandoned resorts as we headed away from Dubrovnik and toward the border. The crossing was relatively quick (15 min or so between both borders) and we were adding a new country to our list! Our first stop was Perast, home of the famous Our Lady of the Rocks church, built on rocks deposited where an icon of the Madonna and Child was found on a reef. The church and museum are filled with gifts from thankful sailors who have had safe sailings, and it is beautiful to be on an island in the middle of the fjordlike bay. (It’s about 5 euro for a return trip with a half hour on the island per person, sometimes negotiable).
After a wander through tiny Perast, we headed for Kotor, our main stop on the trip. We had a few hours to spend here, and first decided to walk up the famous walls. Before you go up, you should know it is far more like hiking than walking city walls.
They are built into the mountains surrounding the city and have deteriorated quite a bit. There’s a church about halfway up with excellent views. We made it to the fort on top, but didn’t continue into it because a thunderstorm was rolling in. Still, a great hike with excellent views of the city and bay. Kotor is a beautiful walled old town but it gets absolutely packed with tourists, especially as it’s recently become popular with cruise boats. Still, there are plenty of cafes, churches and adorable stray cats to keep you entertained.
After lunching and shopping in Kotor, it was time to head up into the mountains toward Njegusi. The famous road has 24 switchbacks, and it’s a bit terrifying, as tour busses often travel up it, forcing cars to back up down the switchbacks, which don’t always have guardrails. You could drive it yourself, but you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the views without pulling over and it’s a bit of a white knuckled drive. The benefit to doing it yourself is that you could do a loop around the national park, whereas we had some confusion with our driver and he ended up not taking us to the places he was supposed to according to the itinerary posted on his company’s website which was annoying.
We had a scenic and uneventful drive back to Dubrovnik, where we spent the last night of our trip eating a delicious pizza and enjoying our last taste of Croatian wine. Overall it was an amazing trip, from our travels in Slovenia to taking pretty much every type of transport across Croatia and daytripping to Montenegro, it wasn’t a vacation we’ll soon forget!