Airports in Montenegro are among the 200 busiest in the world during the first half of this year. Eleven airports from former Yugoslavia have been ranked among these top two hundred, out of which one is in the top 100. Montenegrin airports Tivat and Podgorica, are place 166 and 175 among the busiest.
Belgrade's Nikola Tesla Airport has been ranked 94th on the list as the busiest of the eleven with 2,612,981 passengers, 27,879 departures and 8,786 tons of cargo carried between January and June. It was ahead of London City, Vilnius and Tbilisi but behind Bergen, Thessaloniki and Bilbao. as data from the International Airport Council (ACI) show, EX-Yu Aviation News reports. EX-YU Aviation News was launched on June 1, 2008, with the aim of bringing together commercial aviation news from the former Yugoslavia. Ever since, the site has become the go-to place for news from the region and is updated on a daily basis with fresh articles available from 09.00 Central European Time.
Zagreb Airport took 116th place with 1,529,281 passengers, 19,206 departures and 4,069 tons of cargo. Although better than Tirana, Chisinau and Florence, it fell behind Treviso, Wroclaw and Verona.
Split Airport continued to improve its position among European airports, becoming the 131st busiest airport on the continent in the first half of the year.
It was followed by Dubrovnik (134th), Skopje (135th), Pristina (136th), Ljubljana (146th), Podgorica (166th), Sarajevo (173rd), Airport Tivat (175th) and Zadar, which occupied 184. place.
Of the major European cities, Sarajevo had the least passenger traffic, while London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Madrid were the busiest on the continent.
Although the number of passengers at all eleven airports in the former Yugoslavia in the first two hundred in Europe increased during the first half of the year compared to the previous year, all registered a decrease in the amount of processed cargo, with the exception of Skopje.
Over ten thousand people have been recently enjoying a stay in Kotor, around five percent more than in the same period last year, said the director of the local Tourist Organisation, Ana Nives Radović.
She added that this is never a real indicator of how close to capacity they are, as year on year there is both more hotels and private accommodations.
“Statistics, however, do show that occupancy is at the same level as last year. On the other hand, in Kotor, there is greater awareness of tourist registration, particularly in private accommodation. It’s extremely laudable that owners of accommodation recognise that they have a responsibility to register guests, and on this issue Kotor is number one in Montenegro,” stated Radović to Skala Radio.
She mentioned just a few of the newest features of Kotor, which this year is second on the list of best and most interesting cruise destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean. It occupies the same spot in the list of top 15 European destinations this year.
Radović believed that the praise speaks for itself, but the most important way for tourism employees to improve business is by listening to tourists’ comments.
“One of the main complaints is the noise in some places in the Old Town, and then there is the issue of cleanliness, or rather lack thereof, particularly regarding beaches and bathing spots. Most problematically, there is a lack of litter bins,” said Radović.
She added that traffic congestion wasn’t so much a problem for tourists, but for locals who feel it most in the high season.
“There is a longstanding problem of unresolved and overlapping responsibilities between the Municipality, Morsko Dobro, Kotor Utilities Company and the Directorate for Planning and Development of Kotor. This is particularly a problem when it comes to maintenance of promenades along the sea, benches, fixtures, and public lighting,” said Radović.
Due to the lack of clear information as to who is in charge and responsible for which work, locals and tourists often turn to the media and the Tourist Organisation.
Radović highlighted the problem expressed at the start of the main tourist season in Kotor, which is parking for an even higher number of tourist buses.
“This reached a peak when there was a change in the local authority in Kotor, and there was no coordinating body to monitor the tourist season, because it had not been established for this year by the former authorities,” stated Radović.
She believes that such a body should be in place throughout the year, as Kotor generally relies on excursion and cruise tourism.
Since there had been no local assembly sessions, no decision had been made to collect a fee for the economic use of cultural goods, or a fee otherwise collected from tourist buses.
“Because of this, we lost a significant sum daily, some several hundred euros, with only one bus paying a 15 euro tax. Already in March, a large number of agencies were asking where and to whom they should pay the fee,” Radović stated.
When it comes to tourist buses, we also have a problem of stopping, parking, holding, noise, crowds and a lack of alternative locations, all at a time when the tourist season is already well underway.
“Kotor Tourist Organisation managed to inform the agencies of where the buses should be, maintain contact with them and announce all the arrivals to all those for whom the unresolved situation and confusion could be a reason to not return to Kotor,” concluded Radović.
09 August 2019 - The only cave in Montenegro open for organized visits, the Lipa Cave near Cetinje, with 2 km of passages, halls and galleries, is one of the greatest tourist attractions in Montenegro. Even if you are taking a walk through only one of its parts, it is still an unforgettable experience.
The entrance to Lipa Cave is located near the famous Belvedere viewpoint, some 30 km away from Budva and Podgorica, at the entrance of Cetinje and Director of marketing and sales Milena Raičević says that this is favorite location of tourists and explorers, as CdM reports.
“The beauty of Lipa Cave has been well known since ancient times. Great figures of Montenegrin history, Petar II Petrović Njegoš and King Nikola particularly praised its authentic beauty. Lipa Cave was discovered much earlier, before Njegoš. And even back then, people had access to the cave. Famous explorers and scientists from the 19th century left documents about their researches, cave ornaments and motives,” pointed out Raičević.
A whole kilometer of the main cave hall is available for visitors these days. The illuminated pathway is around 600 meters long and is surrounded by untouched cave parts. There are two types of organized cave tours. Both tours start with a little train ride to the parking at the entrance to Lipa Cave.
“Visitors are accompanied by experienced and well-trained guides. They are specialized in cave tours and know everything about its history. Ticket prices depend on the type of tour. The price includes: train ride, tour guide, insurance and parking, sometimes equipment,” said Raičević.
The Cave is available for visits starting from April, two times a day - at noon and at 2 PM. From May to October tours begin at 10 AM, 11 AM, 1 PM, 2 PM and 4 PM.
“Visitors can choose between Cave tour and Extreme tour. Visitors are mostly interested in the first one. It lasts for 60 minutes. It's not very demanding and we recommend it to families with children. Lipa Cave Temperature is 8 °C - 12 °C. Visitors should take jackets and appropriate shoes. This basic tour does not require special equipment,” stressed out Raičević.
Ticket for the adults costs 10,90 EUR, for children under the age of 5 it costs 1 EUR and for children under the age of 15 years old it costs 6,90 EUR. Family visit package costs 29,90 EUR.
“Extreme adventure is scheduled in advance. The difference between these two tours is the fact that extreme adventure starts with visitors descending down to the cave using a rope and they tour around 1 kilometer of cave channels and passages. Before they start the adventure, visitors get special equipment,” stated Raičević.
This two-and-a-half-hour tour costs 50 EUR per person. For children aged between 5 and 15, it costs 25 EUR.
“Safety of our visitors comes first. There have not been any accidents ever since the Cave opened. The part of the cave used for tours is arranged in accordance with the highest world standards in the arrangement of speleological structures,” stressed Raičević.
However, Lipa Cave offers even more - there is wine and juice tasting in the cave bar. In addition, visitors can enjoy short classical music concerts organized in one of the largest cave halls – the Hall of Njegoš.
The number of visitors to Lipa Cave is increasing every year. Visitors are mostly foreigners.
“On Trip Advisor page, we are in the first place according to the impression of visitors, the main tourist attraction in Cetinje. That is a great success,” concluded Raičević.
For more information about Lipa Cave please visit their official website.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
08 August 2019 - As an integral part of Portonovi Resort – one of the most prestigious resorts in this part of Europe, D-Marin Portonovi Marina began its operations.
Situated in one of the most beautiful spots in Boka Bay, Portonovi is comprised of 26 hectares of exclusivity with over 1,8 kilometres of beachfront access, delivering 214 residences with a variety of tenure in its first phase. Portonovi will provide the very best in service and understated luxury and world class amenities that include Europe’s first One & Only and Espace Chenot Health Wellness Spa which are to open in 2020 as well as the deep-water D-Marin Portonovi Marina already welcoming its first guests.
D-Marin Portonovi Marina, opening just before the grand premiere of Portonovi this summer, is a deep-water marina which will host yachts up to 120 metres and offer 238 berths, a choice of entry points and a sheltered position at the entrance to the bay. This state-of-the-art marina will offer its clients all the necessary maintenance and safety requirements, along with as a recently opened customs entry, as well as the soon-to-be-open fuel station. The marina promenade will also provide versatile experiences for all guests and visitors.
D-Marin Portonovi marina will offer superyachts and boating enthusiasts the opportunity to explore the network of D-Marin ports in Croatia, Greece and Turkey through its so-called Happy Berth Days, which offers privileged access of 7-day free stay in other D-Marin marinas and additional 40% discount after the free days expire.
The addition of Portonovi to the Mediterranean coast will continue to position Montenegro amongst the most attractive yachting destinations world-wide, guaranteeing a first-class tourist and lifestyle offering.
D-Marin is a Doğuş Group company that was established to set a new benchmark in operations of the marinas. By managing 10 unique marinas in Ionian, Aegean & Adriatic Seas, D-Marin creates one of the largest international chain of marinas in the Eastern Mediterranean that promotes recreational yachting and develops sustainable businesses that encourage local employment and growth within the economy.
Read more informations on how to get to Montenegro and what to visit at TMN's dedicated page.
08 August 2019 - The summer tourist season in northern Montenegro is in full swing and the capacities of the ski centers have been active since June. Cable cars on Savin kuk on Durmitor has been functioning since 1 June and the one in Kolašin 1600 was officially open on 6 July.
CEO assistant of the Ski Centers of MontenegroNeda Bokan said that six-seat cable car at Kolašin 1600 ski resort is available for use every day. Tourists can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of extraordinary Montenegrin mountains. The starting point is at 1.600 meters.
“The panoramic cable car ride enables tourists to enjoy our beautiful Bjelasica mountain. From the exit point, this pastoral mountain invites nature lovers for an easy hike towards the peak Troglav (2.075 m). The view from here is amazing, as tourists can see Prokletije, Komovi, Sinjajevina, and Moračke planine,” pointed out Bokan.
And for more active visitors, there’s a tour around the trails of Bjelasica. From Troglav, they can head towards Zekova glava. From the top of Zekova glava tourists can enjoy a prolonged stop at a nearby glacial lake – Pešića lake. Then, they can continue towards the highest peak – Crna glava (2.139m).
“Also, Kolašin 1600 ski resort has a coffee shop and a five-star restaurant. There’s a new playground - Bambi,” Bokan added.
Durmitor also has a lot to offer this summer. There are two cable cars on Savik kuk. They connect the bottom and the top of Savin kuk. The cable car fun finishes near Savina voda.
“The Savina voda source is an attraction. It is located at an altitude of 2.212 m and it never dries out. The legend says that the water in Savina voda has healing properties. From Savina voda, visitors usually hike to reach the main peak – Savin kuk (2.313m). There they can enjoy all the beauties of the National park using two telescopes for panoramic sightseeing,” stated Bokan, as CdM reported.
Ski resort Savik kuk complex also has a coffee bar, a restaurant – Durmitorsko sijelo, a playground and adventure park.
Panoramic cable car sightseeing of Bjelasica at Kolašin 1600 ski resort costs 7 EUR for the adults, 4 EUR for children and 5 EUR for groups. At Savin kuk ski resort adults will pay 8 EUR, children will pay 5 EUR and group visitors will pay 6 EUR.
“By 1 September, season ski pass at Kolašin 1600 ski resort will cost 150 euros. With ski pass, tourists get gratis vouchers for three-day skiing at Olympic Center Jahorina and three-day skiing at one of the Serbian resorts,” concluded Bokan.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
07 August 2019 - Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković congratulated President of the Municipality Samir Agović, President of the Municipal Assembly Mehmed Adrović, members of the Municipal Assembly and citizens on the Municipality Day of Petnjica - 4 August.
"The progress of the whole society is seen through the quality of life of our citizens. The Government is consistent with this commitment and therefore we continue to invest in the North, in all sectoral policies, especially in tourism and agriculture, as well as the development of overall infrastructure," the Prime Minister's congratulatory message reads.
The message reads that Montenegro invested about 4 million EUR in the reconstruction of the first phase of the Berane - Petnjica road alone, and by the end of the year when the completion of works on the complete road is expected, another 8 million EUR will be invested. Petnjica will be a step away from the motorway, so the benefits of this significant project will be felt by this region as well.
"With such a reinforced and equipped infrastructure, and excellent conditions for the operation of the local government for which the Government has built an administrative facility, I am sure that a successful development stage is expecting one of the youngest Montenegrin municipalities," Prime Minister Duško Marković noted.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
From 1st April to 1st August, 99,402 tourists visited Kotor’s fortresses. The total revenue from entry fees was €795,216 euros.
In the same period last year, 68,218 tourists visited, bringing in €545,744.
Speaking to Boka News, Željko Knežević, from the Directorate for Planning and Development of Kotor, which manages the city walls, stated that 30,000 more visits had taken place over the same period.
The reasons cited by Knežević were the 20 percent increase on last year in cruise ship visits, along with opening earlier in the year. Another possible reason given was the changing weather, making conditions for visiting the fortresses much more pleasant.
The ticket price is 8 euros.
6 August 2019 - The service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs "Cameras at Border Crossings" has been put into operation, and thanks to it, citizens will be able to be informed about the situation at border crossings at any time and plan their travel accordingly.
According to the Ministry, the service can be accessed through the MIA (MUP) website www.mup.gov.me/ministry via the eponymous banner or directly by accessing the camera.mup.gov.me web address.
“The service provides a visual representation of the entry and exit of the two-lane border crossings - incoming and outgoing. At this moment, the cameras are installed at the six of the most frequent border crossings, and it is possible to see the current situation at the Bozaj and Sukobin border crossings towards Albania, at the Vracenovići BC (GP) towards Bosnia and Herzegovina, at Dracenovac and Dobrakovo BCs towards Serbia, at Debeli Brijeg BC towards Croatia," states the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
They announce that the system for three more border crossings - Scepan Polje, Sitnica and Rance will soon be put into operation.
"Camera shots can be accessed from both PCs and mobile phones, using the mobile Internet or WiFi signals. Video streams are loaded into the HTML5 player, which means that no additional application is required. All you have to do is click on the desired border crossing and wait for the video to load," MUP explained.
The implementation of a system for visually and timely informing the public about traffic intensity at the borders is of particular importance during the summer tourist season, as estimated in the Ministry.
"The goal is to facilitate border crossings for both our citizens and guests residing in our country," they concluded from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, recalling that they are continuously undertaking activities to improve electronic services in order to provide even more efficient service to citizens and to justify their confidence.
06 August 2019 - Budva-based companies Adriatic Properties and HTP Miločer, are going to construct the new Queen’s Beach Hotel. Acting chief state architect, Dušan Vuksanović, gave consent for a conceptual design for this hotel, as CdM reported.
The old Queen’s Beach Hotel in Pržno was recently torn down, making space for the new 5-star hotel at an area of 37,296 square meters. The Adriatic Properties management earlier announced the construction of the new, 70-million worth hotel would start after all the necessary permits are obtained. The construction should be finished in two and a half years.
The new hotel was designed by Podgorica-based Studio K in line with the urban and technical requirements issued by Montenegro’s Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism on 31 December 2015 and 12 April 2019. The total area is 12,255 square meters. The technical part of the project suggests that hotel capacities are going to be significantly expanded, thus enabling the development of high-end tourism compared to the old hotel.
Queen’s Beach Hotel is going to have two underground levels with 137 parking lots, a ground floor and four floors. There will be 126 accommodation capacities in it, of which 60 rooms and 66 luxury apartments.
Adriatic Properties earlier emphasized that preservation of natural beauties and cultural heritage of this area had been their topmost priority while selecting the conceptual design for the new hotel.
The old hotel, built in the early 1980s was removed following the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism decision of 7 June 2017. Adriatic Properties is a long-term leaseholder of the town-hotel Sveti Stefan and Villa Miločer, as well as Queen’s Beach Hotel based on the 2007 lease agreements with HG Budva Riviera and HTP Miločer.
Petros Stathis is the President of the Board of Directors of Adriatic Properties, while Goran Bencun is the CEO. HTP Miločer CEO is Dragan Miković, the President of the Board of Directors is Milena Radulović, while the Government of Montenegro is its owner.
The area of hotel rooms will be ranging from 30 sqm to 70 sqm, projected as single and double rooms. Apartments’ surface will range from 62 sqm to 317 sqm, and they have been projected as double, three-bed, four-bed, five-bed and 6-bed suites. The apartments are going to have a dining room, a living room, 2-4 bedrooms with a separate bathroom and a wardrobe, a workroom, a staff room, a kitchen and a terrace surrounded by greenery.
Read more about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
05 August 2019 - One of the UK's largest walking and outdoor holiday providers with over 100 years of experience, HF Holidays, created an exceptional guided walking holiday which includes the cultural discovery of Montenegro, the ‘Black Pearl’ of the Balkans.
“Montenegro is one of the smallest and newest Balkan countries. Walk around its beautiful Lovćen National Park, pass through traditional villages and enjoy a boat ride on Lake Skadar, one of the largest lakes in Europe. It has 40 different kinds of fish and 270 bird species! It has a mountainous interior and a superb Adriatic coastline. The footpaths in the hills are seldom walked and are rich in natural beauty, ”says the detailed explanation of the tour provided by the organisers.
They also explained that Kotor Bay is one of the most famous areas of the country, located in the Adriatic Sea. Its landscape and features make it difficult to define what it is, due to the unusual geographical information surrounding it. Places of interest include the Blue Grotto, St. Tryphon's Cathedral and Mount Orjen, providing a variety of activities and day trips throughout the holiday.
Situated on the beautiful Montenegrin coast, the small resort of Petrovac is a very attractive base from which to explore the local area. The town itself centres on the pretty promenade and picturesque harbour, where tourists find a good selection of souvenir shops, bars and cafés. Immediately behind rise the Paštrovići Mountains, the foothills of which form the basis of some of the walks within the holiday. Just to the north of Petrovac is the stunning old town of Sveti Stefan built on a tiny island and reached by a spit of land. Inland lay the beautiful waters of Lake Skadar, and the tour will include a cruise after a walk above its shores. The highlight of a fantastic week’s walking will be the day spent in Lovćen National Park high above the dramatic Kotor Bay, and a trip to the perfectly preserved old towns on the bay is highly recommended for the planned free day. A visit to Montenegro, the Black Pearl of the Balkans, is a fascinating cultural experience and walks and sightseeing visits of the tour provide great insight into this charming new country.
The offer includes a full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day, all transport to and from walks, the services of experienced HF Holidays leaders, "with flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers, 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms and a half board - continental breakfast and evening meal.
The holiday package includes accommodation the 4-star Hotel Palas in the Petrovac resort, which is located on the promenade with attractive terraces and gardens planted with orange and olive trees. It is within easy walking distance of the shops and behind the hotel is the towering Paštrovići Mountains. The hotel owns part of the sandy Lučice beach. WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
Get more information about the holiday, including tips on what to bring and the review of the tour at HF Holidays' official website.
05 August 2019 - Croatia has been complaining about a weak summer season, which is probably happening due to the high prices. The situation in Montenegro is different and the prices, according to foreign tourists, have not changed compared to the last year and correspond to the quality of Montenegrin offer, as CdM reported.
Managing Director of the Directorate for the Development of Tourism Destination in the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism Ćazim Hodžić said that prices in the Montenegrin cities are the same as last year.
“We have not changed the prices, but I have to say that many places enhanced the quality of their offer,” Hodžić pointed out.
He claims that Montenegro is not an expensive tourism destination and also that the country offers packages for high and low net-worth individuals as well.
Comparing the tourism offer with the region, Hodžić said that Montenegro is way cheaper than Croatia. As for the results of this year’s summer season, Montenegro visitor numbers hit record levels, but it is too early to speak about the revenues and the number of tourists.
General Manager in Hilton Podgorica, Nemanja Nikolić, also believes that Montenegro cannot categorize a destination as cheap or expensive, but that it can be said that certain amenities in a destination are cheap or expensive.
“As for Montenegro, it has diversified tourism offer, that is, we are oriented towards both high net-worth individuals and those spending less money in our country. Unfortunately, we can not describe our country as the leading tourism destination as we need much more than 5-star hotels. All tourism destinations are easily accessible and it is important to understand that Croatia or Greece are not our only competitors but all the other destinations similar to ours,” stressed out Nikolić.
President of small and medium-sized hotels in the Montenegrin Tourism Association, Dejan Rađenović, thinks prices easily succumb to changes thanks to the internet.
“Every tourism company/entrepreneur determines its own pricing policy. Prices easily succumb to everyday changes thanks to the internet, depending on the offer and demand in accommodation capacities,” Rađenović emphasized.
He also pointed out that Montenegro is not too expensive and that the tourists can choose different kinds of accommodation, depending on their finances.
President of small and medium-sized hotels in the Montenegrin Tourism Association, Dejan Rađenović, believes prices are not the greatest problem of Montenegrin tourism, but that the problem is the grey economy.
“In addition, this year the authorities did a lot in order to reduce noise and that is a huge step forward,” Rađenović concluded.
Read more news about traveling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.