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Looking for your next European roadtrip destination? Make it Montenegro.

Some destinations are so beautiful that simply travelling around them is a breathtaking experience. 

Montenegro is one of those countries, which is a why a road trip is the best way to explore.

This small Balkan country is still one of Europe’s hidden gems, but word is starting to get out. One of the best things about driving around Montenegro, though, is that you’ll discover places and views you’ve never heard of.

 

 

 

Montenegro is so saturated with beautiful places that even some that would be worth travelling hours to elsewhere get overlooked.

If you’re thinking of taking a Montenegro road trip, there won’t be a better time to do so than now. Here is everything you need to know to roadtrip Montenegro the right way!


Short on time? Pin this post for later:PLANNING A ROAD TRIP IN MONTENEGRO

 

 

Planning to roadtrip Montenegro

A Montenegro road trip will take a little planning – but it will (of course) be worth it. Here are the things you’ll want to have sorted before you arrive. 

Travelling to Montenegro 

Obviously you need to get to Montenegro… that kind of goes without saying. But getting to Montenegro isn’t quite as straightforward as some European countries.

For a start, the best places don’t have airports. That means there’s no real obvious starting point. If you’re flying in by air, you’ll need to start in either Podgorica (the capital) or Tivat. Both are fine, but flights aren’t always the best.

 

 

 

Alternatively, you might want to consider flying into Dubrovnik and taking a transfer from Croatia to Kotor. Kotor is the most popular destination in Montenegro – for good reason! – and the transfer takes around 1.5 hours. It’s the same as the distance to Podgorica, so many travellers choose this option for the better flights. 

It’s also possibly to travel to Montenegro by ferry from Albania or Italy, which is what we did. In this case, you will probably also want to book a transfer to Kotor – another journey that takes roughly 1-1.5 hours (spot a theme here?). 

In the Montenegro road trip itinerary below, I’ve started things off in Kotor. I’d recommend spending a few days in this cute city before you begin your roadtrip, but you may want to adapt it if you plan to start elsewhere.


TRAVEL TIP: Search for the best prices on RentalCars.com to compare all the options.


Hiring a car in Montenegro

Hiring a car in Montenegro is relatively straightforward but can be frustrating. It’s best to to book a rental car online before you arrive to avoid lengthy waits and bartering. 

You may still have to be patient when collecting the car, but having something pre-booked will certainly make it less stressful.

If you’re travelling to Montenegro in summer, you’ll definitely want to make sure you have a set of wheels before you get there because things get booked up pretty fast.

A site like RentalCars.com allows you to compare prices and availability from all of the main car rental companies.


Bay of Kotor in Montenegro
Kotor is the perfect starting place for a Montenegro road trip!

Insurance

It’s never a good idea to travel without insurance. As I found out last year, you never know when you’ll need it.

I always use World Nomads because they cover the little things that other insurance companies won’t – and that can be the difference between getting your money back and getting caught out!

You can read more about the pros and cons of World Nomads in this post, or click here to get a free, 30-second quote.

GET A QUOTE

WiFi 

When you’re on a road trip, WiFi will be your best friend. From checking maps to looking up information on the sights around you, it’s always a good idea to have a connection.

Unless you have a SIM that works in Montenegro, I’d recommend picking up a WiFi device. If you’ve never used one before, check out my full guide to pocket WiFi.

After testing loads, the SkyRoam Solis is my favourite of all so I teamed up with them to give my readers an exclusive deal. If you use the code “ALAJODE”, you can save up to 15% off your order. 

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Buildings in the Old Town of Kotor at sunset

Spend at least one night in Kotor.


A 5 day Montenegro road trip itinerary

Kotor is one of the must-see places in Montenegro, but it’s not very car-friendly! In fact, the Old Town is entirely pedestrianised, meaning you’ll have no need for a car at all.

I’d recommend spending a couple of days in Kotor before beginning your Montenegro road trip. When you’re ready to hit the road, you can collect your rental car from Tivat airport.

The airport is about about 15-minute drive from Kotor and the journey will cost around 10 Euros in a taxi. You might need to barter a little bit but the drivers tend to drop their prices pretty quickly!

 

 

 

Day 1: Prevlaka Island and Sveti Stefan

The best time in Kotor is the morning. Spend the morning enjoying a big breakfast in one of the many great restaurants in Kotor before heading off.

Since Montenegro is such a compact country, you can always take the scenic route – and that’s what we’re going to do today.

Follow the coastline round to Tivat, and then round to Prevlaka Island (The “Island of Flowers”). Here, you’ll find a small monastery, an abandoned shipwreck and views of the surrounding Montenegrin coastline. 

After a short stop, follow the E65/E80 down to another island: Sveti Stefan Peninsula. Unfortunately, this island is a resort so you can only visit if you stay there (and cough up the high prices!). But the best way to enjoy it is from the beach anyway. Stay here for sunset if you can. 

Afterwards, spend the night in Budva, a medieval town with stone walls and cobbled streets.

Where to stay in Budva

Boutique stay: Indulge in the boutique Hotel Moskva and experience a little Montenegrin exuberance with hammam and sauna. 

Something unique: The Falksteiner Hotel is an adults only resort with beachfront views and quirky interiors.

Budget pick: Enjoy a comfortable night at a budget price at Apartment Sofija.


Budva old town
Budva has a charming old town and beautiful sea views

Day 2: Budva and Lovcen National Park

Spend the morning exploring Budva’s beautiful beaches and medieval backstreets before checking out. If your hotel doesn’t include breakfast, head down to one of the beachfront restaurants for breakfast with a view. I recommend Astoria‘s eggs royale.

After checking out, it’s time to hit the road and head east. Take the M2.3 towards Lovcen National Park, stopping at Lipa Cave on the way. 

Spend the afternoon exploring the Cetinje area, taking in the monastery, mausoleum and views.

Get ready for a windy drive afterwards, as we head down towards Lake Skadar National Park. Head east on the M2.3 until you pass by Groblje Meterizi on the left, and then turn right to head down towards the park.
 

 

 

As you enter the park, you’ll pass by a couple of incredible viewpoints: Skadar viewpoint and Pavlova Strana viewpoint. Follow the road down and round to Rijeka Crnojevica viewpoint and then continue down to Virpazar, where you’ll spend the night.

Recommended hotels

Something unique: You’ll experience a true countryside getaway at Orahvovo Cottages, a great place to enjoy the Montenegrin scenery.

Eco credentials: Enjoy a peaceful night at Eco Villas Merak. There is a swimming pool and free bike hire is available.

Go local: Experience a traditional stay at Apartment Vida’s House. You’ll have a private apartment with a modest balcony and perfect location.



Day 3: Skadar National Park and Podgorica

Today, we’re going to head towards the Montenegrin capital and soak up one of the best national parks in Montenegro along the way!

Before you head off, take a quick visit to Besac Castle. Then, it’s time to head off again.

Take your time driving through the park – you’ll probably want to stop regularly! Don’t miss Fort Lesendro or Marina Plavnica.
 

 

Once you’ve soaked up the nature, head towards Podgorica to spend the afternoon exploring. You won’t need a whole of time in Podgorica, but it’s worth making a stop.

Accommodation in Podgorica

Something unique: You won’t find cookie cutter hotels here. The Hotel M Nikic looks like a sci-fi film on the outside and a cruise ship on the inside.

Budget find: The Podgorica Central Hostel is perfectly located and perfectly priced for anyone on a budget.


A white monastery embedded in a cliff edge
Ostrog Monastery is impressive!

Day 4: Monasteries and Lakes 

Get ready to explore a lesser seen part of Montenegro as we head north west. 

Take the E762 out of Podgorica, and follow it until you reach Filindar. Turn right here and follow the road across the river until you reach a series of monasteries. 

One of those monasteries in Ostrog, and it may just be the coolest monastery in all of the Balkans. It’s build into a cliff, and its bright white front is visible from miles away.

After visiting Ostrog, it’s time to head back down from the mountains. Continue on the same path, until it joins up with the E762 again.
 

 

Turn left just before the Zeta river and follow the road until it reaches the P15. Turn left and you’ll soon be at a little town known as Orlina, where you can enjoy an incredible view of Slansko Lake.

Afterwards, head north on the P15, turning right on to the M6 and then left on to the E762. A short way up the road, you’ll arrive at Vilina pećina and another beautiful viewpoint – this time over Krupac Lake.

Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring the nearby town of Niksic, where you’ll spend the night.


Hotel recommendations 

Lucky Dip: The Royal Garden Hotel has a mix of ultra modern and super rustic rooms. It’s a lucky dip which one you get!

Lakeside Lodging: Want to wake up with incredible views? Why not stay at Kod Draskovica, which is right on the lake.

Central stay: Rather be in the middle of the action? Garni Hotel Atrium is right in the middle of town.


A boat on the lake in Perast Montenegro
Don’t rush around the bay – there are many views to soak up!

Day 5: Back to the Bay of Kotor

It’s time to head back to the bay! Follow the M6 all the way down until it joins the P11. There aren’t really any attractions along the way but plenty of great views, so factor in enough time to stop.

The real great views, though, will begin when you reach the Morinj area. This is one of the most beautiful areas of Montenegro, with photo opportunities around every corner.

It’s impossible to stop everywhere, but you shouldn’t miss Risan or Perast. These beautiful bay-side towns are full of character and charm, so spend some time wandering around each.

If you find yourself in Perast around dinnertime, pop into the Admiral for some incredible seafood. After watching sunset somewhere along the bay, head back to Kotor.

Where to stay in Kotor

Budget stay: If you don’t mind sleeping in a dorm, Hostel Pupa has clean rooms in a great location

Local experience: If you want the most authentic stay in Kotor, you can’t beat Guesthouse Viktor.

In the action: You’ll pay extra to stay inside Kotor’s pedestrianised Old Town, but it will be worth it. Hotel Rendez Vous has rooms for a very reasonable price.


 

And that brings us to the end of this 5-day Montenegro road trip!

Of course, you can easily extend your trip by staying a little longer in Kotor – something I’d highly recommend. You may also want to spend a little longer in some of the destinations en route, like Budva and Lake Skadar.

The great thing about Montenegro is that it’s pretty compact and, with a car, it’s fairly easy to get around.

Check out all of my Montenegro blog posts and guides for more tips and inspiration for your trip.


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how to plan a montenegro road trip