02 May 2019 - If you are a real enthusiast who likes to wander and explore hidden destinations and experience the unique feeling of discovering something new, hidden and so well preserved, check out the top five hidden locations in Montenegro by Meanderbug Travel.
Montenegro is following in the footsteps of our neighbor Croatia and becoming the next “it” destination. However, like anywhere else, you cannot expect to truly immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage just by visiting the tourist hotspots.
In order to truly understand the people of Montenegro and our culture, you have to go back to our very own roots–the villages. It’s where our grandmas make the best, hearty dishes, where the air is as fresh as it gets and where the family tribes have chosen to live for the last 19 centuries.
A village holiday in Montenegro is a great idea if you are looking for an escape in the country of wild beauty. You can get to know the authentic Montenegrin culture in the households locals built for tourists and immerse yourselves in the rustic landscape, while at the same time enjoying gigantic portions of organic food.
Here’s a list of 5 villages that are perfect destinations for a village holiday in Montenegro. These are great for solo travelers, couples, families–literally anyone!
Full of apple orchards decorating the land of our partners, Lubnice is located on the backside of Biogradska Gora National Park. Although it is not officially within the borders, it is just as beautiful as the national park itself. The village presents several access points to some of the less explored places in the park. One of the most rustic parts of Montenegro, Lubnice is perfect for activities such as mountain biking, hiking, and fly fishing. There are also many opportunities to forage for mushrooms, herbs, and berries, which grow in abundance in the nearby forests.
Think Lubnice is exactly what you’re looking for? We can help. And, booking through Meanderbug means you are investing in the families of so many locals as we continue to work with, support, and coach a growing number of village partners. Your stay expands the economy of the underdeveloped north and helps locals live a better life!
Zabes selo, Skadar lake
Located in the heart of Skadar Lake National Park, Zabes Selo is a gem hidden from nearby Virpazar. Here, tourists rent boats to meander around the beautiful Skadar Lake. This area is also known for its vineyards that produce the best quality wine in the whole country. There are many vineyard tours you can book for wine tasting, as well as lake tours on Skadar Lake. Both are within proximity to breathtaking mountains and the warm Adriatic sea, making Zabes a perfect village holiday destination in Montenegro for a full Montenegrin experience.
We invite you to book a cabin in Zabes. Due to its popularity, we advise you to make your booking before the New Year!
Konjuhe used to be a favorite retreat destination for many emperors long ago. Locals also know it by the names of Emperors’ retreats and Emperors’ households. The name of the village comes from the word “konj” which means horse because it is believed emperors kept their favorite horses there. Surrounded by the slopes of Komovi mountain, your holiday village in Montenegro here combines elements of quiet retreat with plenty of opportunities for adventure, such as mountain biking, hiking, caving, and Nordic skiing!
Konjuhe is a central location in the crossroads connecting historical sites such as the ancient Roman settlement of Doclea (Duklja), medieval Budimlja and the medieval Serbian Orthodox monastery of Dečani. It is also an ideal spot for exploring Mount Komovi.
Surrounded by the slopes of 3 mountains – Sinjajevina and Bjelasica with Durmitor in the distance, Lipovo is a perfect village for hikers and mountain bikers, as one main road connects all of the mountains with the village. It is also close to the Biogradska Gora National Park, a green haven of Montenegro.
If you’re looking for a smooth, scenic hike, you can go for Mount Sinjajevina, which has a perfect terrain. Its plateau is ideal for winter cross-country and backcountry skiing.
Ravna rijeka, Bijelo Polje
Ravna Rijeka has a train stop on the Belgrade–Bar railway, which National Geographic rated as one of the best train trips in the world. One of the least explored areas in the country, Ravna Rijeka is an excellent, year-round destination that offers snowshoeing, Nordic and cross-country skiing during winter, and scenic hiking trips. You can enjoy various outdoor activities during the summer as well. Ravna Rijeka is another hidden Montenegrin gem that is rustic, but provides access to Bijelo Polje, the largest Montenegrin city in the north.
03 April 2019 - Traditional festival May Carnival Evenings marks the beginning of the summer tourist season in Budva, and visitors of the festival so far were all amazed by the program content full of thematic nights, theatrical performances, dance workshops and most importantly, great atmosphere!
The organizers of the event, Budva Municipality, Budva Tourism Organization and the non-governmental organization “Feštađuni”, announced an exciting and varied entertainment program for all residents and guests of Montenegro, and have kept their word.
"We want the May Carnival Evenings to become a manifestation that will properly open the tourist season in the city that creates more than half of Montenegro's tourist product. It is a great pleasure to have included a large number of different organizations and that Budva perceives this manifestation as its own," said Veselin Marković, Vice President of Budva Municipality.
During the first five days of the Carnival, events that took place included the Bikers’ evening, Folklore, Zumba and Salsa nights and music of various genres. Bikers’ evening marked the first evening of the Carnival, and on this occasion, the audience enjoyed rock sounds from various bands who competed for the main three prizes of the Rock Competition.
The stars of the festival were high-quality performers from the Balkans: YU Grupa on May 30 within the Bikers’ night, Sanja Ilić and Balkanika on May 1 within the Evening of Folklore, Jelena Rozga on May 2 within the Zumba and Salsa Evening. May 3 was marked with masks which traditionally invited citizens and tourists to the feast, while the citizens, in return, offered traditional gastronomic specialties in front of their homes as an act of hospitality and welcome. This performance was followed by the sounds from brass orchestra and The Group.
On May 4, the Big Masquerade Parade will take place on the streets of Budva, in which more than 2000 carnival groups from more than fifteen countries will take part, including Cuba, Spain, Italy, Austria, Ukraine, Russia, Poland, the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Turkey and other countries of the world.
On Sunday, May 5, 2019, a children's carnival procession will take place in Budva, which begins at 4.30 pm and on the same day, while various dance groups and the Amadeus ballet studio are also scheduled to perform.
May 2, 2019 - President of the Municipality of Žabljak, Veselin Vukičević, says that they can show off many implemented projects, as well as those that are in the preparation phase and that is eventually going to make Žabljak become regional tourism center again.
Mr Vukićević said that the Municipality was putting efforts in improving road, public utilities and water supply infrastructure in order to create preconditions for the realization of large investments.
Preconditions for tackling the issues of solid and liquid waste management have already been created. Also, the recycling center has been put into use and the first phase of the wastewater purifier has been completed. The majority of the lake has been connected to the sewerage network.
“We’ve planned construction of the sanitary bath this year. Since Žabljak is going to be a place of intense construction work, we’ve also planned construction of the construction waste landfill”, said Mr Vukićević.
The special challenge for the local administration is an improvement of infrastructure.
“One of the problems is lack of parking spaces. In that context, tender for the construction of public garage has been submitted. Once this project is carried out, we will significantly relax the center of the town. We’re also planning to invite the tender for he conceptual design for the arrangement of the town square”, said Mr Vukićević.
They are well aware that it’s impossible to develop tourism without high-quality transport infrastructure.
“Last year, the road leading to the ski center Savin Kuk was finished, as well as parking space for the skiers. Works in Baja Pivljanina Street have also been completed. Works on the reconstruction of the Duke Mišić Street will begin soon. Works on the construction of the street from the town mall to Ravni Žabljak started off last year and the design of the road from Ravni Žabljak to “Durmitor” hotel is underway. Also, works on the displacement of the local road Žabljak-Tepca are being carried out, so that one of the rafts on Tara is more accessible to tourists. A lot has been invested in the reconstruction of the asphalt road surface too”, says Mr Vukićević.
Local road infrastructure is just as important. Around 800 meters of the road in the local community Poščenski gaj has been asphalted.
In cooperation with the Armed Forces of Montenegro, around 21 kilometers of macadam roads in the rural area have been asphalted. The roadway in Dobro do have been filled.
Mr Vukićević points out that agriculture and tourism are considered great chances for development. That’s why most activities of local administration are aimed at the improvement of these branches.
“Works on the construction of Zminica pipeline were completed last year. The first phase of the pipeline in Njegovuđa was also finished and now the second phase is about to start. First and the second phase of the pipeline Krš were finished. The third phase was planned for the current year. We’ve applied for the project of the construction of the artificial accumulation in Šaranci through the program “Development of clusters and transformation of rural areas”, says Mr Vukićević.
Contract on co-financing insurance premium for the insurance of agricultural production of registered agricultural producers has been signed. This contract envisages a 30% share of the Municipality. The Ministry pays 50% and the farmers 20% of the amount of the premium.
In addition, the Municipality is taking part in milk purchase and last year it took part in the provision of 10 solar panels and it covered 50% of costs.
The priority of the Municipality is to return Žabljak to what it used to be – regional tourism center.
Reconstruction of the water supply system will create preconditions for artificial snowing, thanks to artificial accumulation on Savin kuk. Additionally, the Municipality has financed the construction of Nordic ski slope, as another segment of the winter tourism offer.
Construction of the hotel that will be located where hotel “Durmitor” is now is going to begin soon. Adriatic Properties Company is going to invest around €20 million.
Local administration is constantly trying to create conditions for investments in order to stop migrations.
“Many new investments will create new jobs. We’re looking forward to opening the Aroma mall. Representatives of the company have already interviewed interested parties. Investments in the hotel industry will definitely create possibilities for our youth”, said the president of this Municipality.
Citizens’ will – satisfied
The first man of the Municipality of Žabljak has welcomed the plan of the councilors for the withdrawal of the Temporary Structures Plan.
“This Municipality is serving to its citizens and I think citizens were very clear about this”, said Mr Vukićević.
Mr Vukićević cites that the municipality is stable in financial terms. He is proud to say that they don’t have any pending debts. The number of employees is optimal.
“The only problem is that we have some funds in Atlas bank. Hopefully, we’ll be able to charge claims through the bankruptcy proceedings”, says Mr Vukićević.
Adoption of the amendments to the Law on Financing Local Administration will provide more money for the municipalities in the north and that would be very important for the development of the north.
“Hopefully, this will enable us to improve our economic parameters and stop migrations towards Podgorica and the coast. €400.000 profit was planned. The new Law will definitely bring significant financial benefits”, says Mr Vukićević.
Financial benefits will be aimed at the improvement of the overall infrastructure in the town and suburban areas in order to raise the level of the quality of life of our citizens.
New tourism complex
The military resort, ”Mediteran”, one of the most attractive locations in Žabljak, is going to be revalued very soon.
“I’d like to inform you that the contract on the long-term lease of this land has already been signed. We expect that works on the construction of the new complex will start very soon and that will considerably enrich our tourism offer”, said the president of the Municipality of Žabljak.
Text by CdM on May 2, 2019, read more here.
29 April 2019 - The contest of rock bands, which was supposed to be opened on April 29, named the Carnival Nights of May in Budva, was postponed to Tuesday due to poor weather.
According to the Tourist Organization of Budva, seven bands will compete for prestigious awards: "Refugee Jesus & Apostles", "Jack Lupino & The Leftovers" and "The Grupa" from Budva, bands "Esid radio" and "Winged" from Podgorica, "Štrajk Mozga" from Nikšić, and the band "Eastock" from Užice.
The three-member jury, composed of Živorad Žika Jelić, YU group frontman, Miodrag Džemo Radonjić, bass player of the former cult Montenegrin group "Makadam" and Vladimir Bulatović, the vice-president of the Municipality of Budva will select the three best bands. For the third-ranked band, a cash prize of 300 EUR is prepared, while the second prize is 500 EUR, and the winner takes 1.000 EUR.
According to the jury, the two best rock band at Carnival Nights will perform on the main stage as a pre-band "YU group" whose concert should begin at 10 PM.
The rock night will be opened by a biker rally that will start at 6 PM in front of the "Beer & Bike" club in Budva. The rally will go to Petrovac and then return to the main town square.
On Wednesday, May 1st, at noon, the concert will be held by the City Music of Budva. At 7 PM the folk dance groups from the region and Turkey will take place, while the singing choir "Grbalj" will perform at the main stage simultaneously. Folklore ensembles will perform at the main stage, and ethno-night will round up the concert of the group "Sanja Ilić and Balkanika" in the most beautiful way, which is scheduled for 10 PM.
Zumba and salsa night will be the job for Jelena Rozga and her band which is scheduled for Thursday (May 2nd), Abrum and The Band group concert for Friday (May 3rd), a large carnival rally for Saturday (May 4th) and a children's Carnival for Sunday (May 5th).
From May 2nd to 5th, DJs and local groups in the Old City, the Palais Square and the Square between the churches are planned.
During the event, the parking of vehicles on the access roads to the Old Town and the square is forbidden, while the traffic will be completely prohibited on the trip: Tre Canne - Mediterranean - The old bus station on Saturday, May 4th from 5 PM and 30 minutes, until the passage of the carnival rally, the Tourist Organization of Budva announced.
30 April 2019 - The Spring Camp is a ten-day event dedicated to the maintenance of hiking trails. It intends to promote eco-tourism and the sustainable development vision in Montenegro.
In the spring of 2019, this event will take place in the Mediterranean part of Montenegro to improve the conditions on the Coastal Mountaineering Transversal and to point out the beauty of this region to the volunteers. It aims to enhance environmental awareness among the local inhabitants and to serve as an example for future activities of this kind.
International volunteers can become a witness of the natural beauty, spontaneously spreading the word about their experience in Montenegro.
”Spring Camp” will conduct two parallel activities:
1) Volunteers will clear the overgrown trails, refresh the signage and collect plastic rubbish
2) Spring Camp filmmakers will record events in the camp thus making an easily accessible story about the event and the area where it would be conducted.
Last year, within the 5th Spring Camp, volunteers who worked on cleaning up the trails were from Austria (pre-camp, April crew), Australia, Bosnia, Netherlands, Slovenia, Switzerland, USA, and Montenegro.
Again, this year’s wish is to have many international and regional participants, people who love mountains and voluntary work and want to share their experiences. Montenegro offers fascinating trails that are a part of some of the most picturesque hiking areas in Europe.
Volunteers will get some amazing photography opportunities, lots of local knowledge that volunteers from the region are happy to share, great friendships that will last a lifetime. Not to mention the opportunity to be a pioneer in helping Montenegro to develop sustainable and eco-friendly tourism!
During the Spring Camp, volunteers will have several excursions and restaurant meals to experience local hospitality, food, culture, and history.
The volunteering Spring Camp 2019 will last ten days, from May 3 to 12 and will be based in three different campsites.
One of the three campsites is owned by a local family interested in hosting outdoor tourists.
The Spring Camp activities should connect this campsite with the Coastal Mountaineering Transversal site and improve the hiking trails in Rumija and Lisinj mountains.
All interested parties can get more information and apply at the Spring Camp official website.
30 April 2019 - The representatives of the National Park Biogradska Gora announced that they completed all preparations for the beginning of the tourist season which starts on May 1.
According to the data collected by the Biogradska Gora National Park, over 58,000 tourists visited Biogradska Gora in 2018, which was a record of visits. "This year, according to announcements, there are indications that the season will be better than last year," said Mile Rnković, the head of the National Park’s Protection Service during an interview for TVCG.
As every year, according to Rnkovic, National Park Biogradska Gora has made an effort to complement the offer with new contents, and this season will offer a new children's park as well as a botanical garden. "We will be working on directing our guests to visit the botanical garden," said Rnković.
He also reminded that the National Park recently acquired tourist land trains. This new segment of the tourist offer of Biogradska Gora delighted all locals as well as visitors who are eager to visit the Park.
"The goal is to shift vehicles from the heart of the rainforest gradually. This year, the drive will be promotional, and it is planned to finish the initial infrastructure during this year as well," said Rnković.
The National Park representatives have worked hard to innovate and complete the offer of the Biogradska Gora Park, so they added a new activity that all tourists can enjoy – bear observations.
The National Park Biogradska Gora is situated in the central part of mountain massif Bjelasica, between Tara and Lim rivers. The park consists of numerous forests and water surfaces. There are six lakes in the park area, among which the greatest is the Lake Biograd. The major part of the park is actually is the protected area of rainforest, and it is one of the oldest protected areas in the world. Some of the trees in the rainforest are estimated to be over 400 years old!
This national park is like a paradise on earth for hikers since it is full of hiking trails and each of them leads to the highest peaks and lakes. There is also the so-called educational trail, only 3.5 kilometres long and it has six interactional stops where you can learn more about flora and fauna of NP Biogradska Gora.
26 April 2019 - Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the development of Ulcinj is considered significant for the development of the whole of Montenegro and that Ulcinj should very soon have a place at the top of the municipalities by the level of development.
"The development perspectives of this municipality are remarkable, not only in the Montenegrin context but also wider. In the first place, we are committed to a responsible approach both at the state, and especially at the local level. And it must be not only administrative, but essential when it comes to resolving the development priorities of such a representative city. In the previous period, the State provided favourable conditions for investing in high-quality hotel capacities, and their attractiveness was additionally raised by the recent launch of the economic citizenship programme," the Prime Minister noted at the Prime Minister's questions. He assessed that the enviable tourist tradition of Ulcinj represents a reliable basis for attracting investors with a clear vision and potential, and that the Government wants such investors at the locations of former tourist facilities "Galeb", "Lido" and "Jadran"
Answering the question of Vice President of the Assembly Genci Nimanbegu on the plans for these three locations, the Prime Minister said that all three locations have so far been unsuccessful examples of potential development projects.
PM Marković welcomed MP Nimanbegu's interest to discuss the challenges in the implementation of these three projects, which in terms of expected investments have the potential to be the development milestone of Ulcinj, as well as to enrich the tourist offer and contribute to the employment of citizens.
He said that the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism in the previous period provided detailed information on the chronology of the procedures and the status of implementation of these projects. He further stated that to implement the Conclusions of the Government of Montenegro from 10 March 2016, a legal adviser was engaged to draft an analysis of the obligations of the contracting parties and the undertaken activities of both contracting parties in the case of the Galeb Hotel, which provides an overview of possible termination procedures, as well as the legal consequences of the contract termination. The opinion of the Controller related to the Agreement on the sale of the Galeb Hotel noted that the buyer paid a purchase price of 5.7 million EUR in accordance with the deadlines stipulated by the Contract, that he provided timely guarantees and fully respected the Social Programme in the amount of 1.7 million EUR, but did not implement the investment in accordance with the Investment Plan due to the delay of the local self-government in providing planning assumptions for the implementation of the project. The Municipality of Ulcinj passed the spatial planning documents six years after the date of conclusion of the Contract, which prevented the buyer from investing the amount determined by the Agreement.
"When it comes to the implementation of the Lido Hotel Purchase Agreement, the findings of the Controller confirm that in this case the buyer paid a full purchase price of 10.8 million EUR within the agreed period of time, that he respected the Social Programme, but that the investment was not implemented in accordance with the Investment Plan, among other things, due to the lack of solution for 75% of the environmental problem - the Port Milena channel," PM Marković said.
In the case of a lawsuit filed by the Public Enterprise for the Management of the Maritime Property before the Commercial Court to terminate the Long Term Rental Agreement on the location of the former Jadran Hotel, a final verdict on this case has not yet been issued, the Prime Minister said, adding that inertia of the local self-government was observed regarding the recommendations of the Government to remove objects from Cape Bratislava, in order to create conditions for the tourist valorization of this site.
Prime Minister Marković stressed that investors with a clear vision and potential are desirable in Ulcinj, and that the Government will act in partnership with all those who are willing to invest their capital in sustainable development projects.
April 27, 2019 - Will Montenegro, like neighboring Croatia, soon become a gay-friendly tourist destination for millions of LGBT tourists from Europe and the world and is it ready to provide them with quality offers?
April 26, 2019 - The new destinations and routes of the "Meeting of Cultures" project connect Sarajevo, Novi Sad and Kotor. It is just the beginning of the promotion of the memory of our ancestors, with the hope that this idea will expand to the entire region and be an example for the whole of Europe and the world, said the organizers of the seminar "Meeting of Cultures" in the church of St. Paul in Kotor.
25 April 2019 - Councilors in Bar have adopted the agreement on mutual rights and obligations of the municipality and Sonuba Montenegro company regarding the Maljevik project.
Using this agreement, Sonuba Montenegro is obliged to invest from 30 million to 60 million EUR since the commencement of works. Dušan Railević, president of the municipality, has reminded of the tumultuous history of this project.
“Unfortunately, in the last eight months, the local administration has been dealing with the issue older than ten years. Maljevik has had a tumultuous history and changed the owner three times. In each case, planning documentation has envisaged the construction of hotel structures with an area of 249.000 square meters. We missed a very good opportunity in 2011 and 2012. The degree of construction could have been reduced following the principle of exclusivity. I have said this was the project of the century. And it really is,” said Raičević.
The project itself is proof of the investors’ huge interest.
“To pay 11,5 million EUR for a project that is about to start – it is a big deal,” said the head of the municipality of Bar.
According to him, Maljevik was the best project that the municipality has concluded in the last 50-60 years.
“If we managed to sell the land for 32 million EUR, it is because we were not aware of the problem that it might arise. Investors even less so,” said Raičević.
How did residents of Sutomore benefit from the sale of Maljevik? Raičević said that 24 residents had a profit of 6,4 million EUR based on restitution.
Asked if there are any guarantees for the work, Raičević said that the enforceable and final judgment was the best guarantee.
“Was it necessary to request a bank guarantee on the occasion of the conclusion of the agreement? Probably. But if you had an investor that paid 32 million EUR immediately, what guarantee did we need? What other guarantee? The investor has been settling liabilities on a regular basis, and between 2010 and 2018, the investor paid 550.000 EUR based on the real estate tax,” concluded Raičević.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
23 April 2019 - The fortress walls of the Old Town Budva, which reveal the marvellous Budva Riviera, are officially open for visitors, and the entry ticket price is two euros.
As announced from the Museums and Galleries of Budva, the price of the ticket includes a brochure about the history of the fortress wall, which interested visitors can request in English, Russian, Montenegrin and soon in the German language.
The access to the fortress walls of the Old Town Budva is currently available from 10 am to 6 pm. Starting from June 1, the working hours will be from 10 am to 8 pm.
Budva represents one of the oldest urban centres on the Adriatic, being more than 2,500 years old.
As vividly illustrated by Way to Monte, the mighty fortress wall around the Old Town Budva in Montenegro was rebuilt by the Venetians during the Renaissance after a devastating earthquake in the 17th century. The first defensive constructions of the city were erected at this location in the 9th century, and one of the ancient fortress walls was part of the Benedictine monastery that overlooked the coast. According to ancient engravings in the Museum of Budva, the city fortifications of the 16th century have six somewhat elongated towers and one round tower, between which there are stretched thick walls laid out of hewn stone. Its borders were unchanged for several centuries, as the number of residents of the city did not exceed 1000 people.
After the massive earthquake in Montenegro on April 15, 1979, Old Town Budva and its fortification wall were destroyed for the second time, and restored only later in 1987. To date, the Old Town Budva is an architectural monument of antiquity and is protected by UNESCO. The Old Town Budva is a whole open-air museum with a great number of attractions, cultural sites and historical monuments where people still live in medieval buildings of hewn stone. Its protective fortress walls are a famous tourist attraction, since the whole Budva Riviera is visible from the site. From this viewpoint, visitors can observe the modern residential part of Budva, fishing boats and luxurious yachts, various churches and temples, as well as ancient streets and ancient inner courtyards.
Narrow aisles and staircases on the fortress walls of the city are found in several places of Old Town Budva. One of these passages to the fortress is located near the gate opposite the hotel Avala. To get to it, a visitor just needs to go inside the Old Town, immediately turn left and go through the summer terrace of the Mozart restaurant.
The fortress wall has a shape of a horseshoe, which means that it is not closed and visitors cannot make a full circle around the Old Town. Despite this, they can spend a lot of time looking at the brickwork and ancient loopholes, as well as enjoy stunning panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea, the mighty rocks, the marvellous nature of Montenegro and the coastal settlements.