Physical rating: Please contact Riviera Travel if you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility.
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Riviera Travel with specific dietary requests.
Tour code: 1MT
Tour operated in:
Montenegro's wild beauty and incredible heritage, encompassing the legacy of the Venetians, Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire and former Yugoslavia, make it a unique and enticing area to explore. Only independent once again since 2006, this small yet mighty country boasts fascinating history and truly magnificent scenery. Christened Montenegro by the Venetians for its imposingly rugged mountains - seen from the sea, the towering peaks appear black - this tiny Balkan nation combines an alluring coastline with a glorious, wild hinterland. Neighbouring Dubrovnik, described by Byron as the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', is the icon of Croatia's spectacular Dalmatian Coast. The perfectly picturesque old town offers unforgettable vistas that never fail to impress, whether you are visiting for the first time or the 50th. A prosperous independent republic and sea power for centuries, UNESCO-listed Dubrovnik affords wonderful views from every angle with its Baroque buildings and marble streets harbouring riveting stories. While Montenegro has been conquered many times, it is telling that the Venetians and Austro-Hungarians never took the starkly rustic inland areas and instead settled the rich coastal areas. This left the bucolic village life of the Montenegrin mountain clans barely changed over the centuries and with little in common with the seafaring traders of the coast. From its hearty mountain fare of smoked meats and cheeses, to the many traditional dishes left behind by successive invaders, Montenegrin cuisine is appetising and varied. The UN's 192nd country also has excellent but relatively unheard-of wine - little surprise with its pleasant Mediterranean climate and proximity to Italy's wine regions. An integral figure in Montenegro's eventful past is Nikola PetroviÄ?, who ruled Montenegro for 50 years as a duke and eight as a king. Nikola and his wife, Milena, drove their tiny kingdom into the 20th century with innovations including the country's first constitution and currency. The forward-thinking monarchs also increased Montenegro's presence on the international stage by marrying five of their daughters to European princes and kings, earning Nikola the epithet of 'the father-in-law of Europe'. We will learn about Nikola, his queen and the rest of the intriguing PetroviÄ? dynasty's impact on Montenegro during an enthralling tour of their former royal seat. You will return home with memories of the wonderful contrasts of this compact country, from the drama of the immense landscapes and mesmerising coastlines to how the people of the historic towns of Cetinje, Kotor, Budva and Bar shaped this surprising corner of the Balkans. Along with the eternal magic of Adriatic gem of Dubrovnik in neighbouring Croatia, Montenegro offers us a glimpse of the Mediterranean of yesteryear. By the end of this insightful tour you will have explored the rustic charm and coastal appeal that characterise Montenegro: a country still off the beaten track.
You will be greeted at the airport by a member of the Riviera Travel team to help you check in for your flight to Dubrovnik or Tivat. Upon arrival, you will be escorted to the four-star Hotel Moskva. Settle in before rejoining the group this evening for a welcome reception with drinks and then a tasty dinner in Hotel Moskva’s restaurant: the perfect opportunity to meet your fellow travellers.During high season, Budva is a lively and sociable resort.
MorningOur tour this morning, led by an expert local guide, uncovers the secrets of Budva’s atmospheric old town. Blessed with a beautiful climate and stunning coastline, lively Budva attracts visitors of all ages with its captivating mix of sand and pebble beaches, sheltered coves, lush gardens and a dazzling marina lined with shiny yachts. Along the seafront promenade are bustling restaurants and cafés, loved by both visitors and locals, with menus offering fresh seafood, barbecued meats, pizza and pasta. AfternoonIn the afternoon we drive past Podgorica, the understated capital situated at the confluence of two rivers, overlooked by rugged mountains. For nearly half a century, it was known as Titograd after Yugoslavia’s leader during communist rule. The first wine was produced in the region more than 2,000 years ago and Montenegro is no exception. To discover this ancient tradition and enjoy a tasting of some delicious local wines, we visit the mammoth Šipčanik wine cellar. It occupies a former underground military hangar, and now houses around 2 million litres of wine. Set directly below the vineyards where the grapes are grown, the cellar is the perfect setting for our tasting. Tonight, we enjoy dinner together in one of Budva’s charming restaurants.
MorningThis morning we drive west to breathtaking Kotor, with a stop on the twisting road to marvel at the awe-inspiring view of the city, set against the commanding backdrop of towering peaks surrounding the bay. We will have a guided tour of Kotor with a local expert, with free time afterwards to enjoy the area and try some of the many local cafés and restaurants for lunch at your leisure.AfternoonYou have a wide range of cafes and restaurants in Kotor to choose from at lunch time, before we continue to the captivating town of Perast. We take a short boat ride to the man-made Our Lady of the Rocks island, shaped like a boat , where you have some free time to wander. The island’s small Catholic church is resplendent with art, including many Baroque works by famous 17th-century local artist, Tripo Kokolja, and countless silver votive tablets from sailors grateful for salvation on the seas. Upstairs the tiny museum is crammed with treasures, including a masterpiece painted by Kokolja at only 14 years of age and a tapestry worked on for 25 years by a local woman waiting for her husband to return from sea. Amongst the gold and silver threads, she added her own hair and eventually went blind from the years of dedicated work.We return to the hotel for dinner in the evening.
MorningWe head to Cetinje, the former capital of Montenegro and royal seat of the ruling Petrović family. This attractive Cetinje town is home to fewer than 15,000 people now but is replete with signs of its prestigious past status as capital, with ornate former embassies and traditional-style public buildings. We visit King Nikola’s Museum, located off the charming main square with its al fresco café culture. This huge burgundy building gives little away from the outside of the fascinating artefacts within. Learn the incredible story of this tiny kingdom over the 58-year reign of its innovative rulers, Nikola and Milena, through a guided museum visit. From examples of the first Montenegrin currency, vibrantly hued national dress and captured Ottoman flags illustrating the long struggles with its erstwhile neighbour. The museum provides a glimpse into the compelling story of the proud Montenegrin people through the 19th and 20th century. AfternoonFollowing our museum visit, we head to an authentic restaurant in the countryside for a tasting session of traditional Montenegrin favourites: smoked meats and cheeses with delicious priganice – incredibly moreish doughnuts served with honey, which locals traditionally offer to house guests. We then return to Budva and have dinner together in the hotel.
Today you have a free day to explore Budva as you wish. Why not meander along the marina or explore the narrow, cobbled lanes in the old town? Later we enjoy our final dinner at Hotel Moskva.
Stari Bar, or Old Bar, is a time capsule dating from 1878 when the town’s old quarter was abandoned following liberation from the Ottomans. The steep but pretty street leading up to Stari Bar is filled with small shops and quaint cafés with colourful shutters and flowers. MorningWe drive along the coastal roads to Stari Bar, with a photo stop at Sveti Stefan along the way. Once we arrive at the pretty town, you will have the option to explore freely, or to join your Tour Manager for a walking tour along the cobbled streets.AfternoonThere’s a wide variety of lunch options to try before we depart Stari Bar, most of which are looking down over the new town to the Adriatic.The largest lake in southern Europe is our destination for the afternoon: Lake Skadar is home to half of Europe’s population of endangered Dalmatian pelicans, amongst over 280 bird species which call this vast, unspoilt wetland area home. To fully enjoy the lake’s serene and dreamy ambience, we take a boat trip with birds flying alongside us and occasional fishermen dotting the banks. In the summer months, there is the possibility to take a dip in the pristine waters of the lake, or just sit back and unwind with some complimentary local cheese, priganice doughnuts and traditional brandy. In the evening, we enjoy a dinner together at a local restaurant overlooking Budva Bay. We’ll experience a traditional Balkan ‘under the bell’ feast, where a hearty meal is cooked in a bell-shaped metal pot.
MorningToday we leave Montenegro to visit its northern neighbour, Croatia. Here, we will spend the day with a local expert to see the unique city that Byron dubbed the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. Nestled behind the excellently preserved city walls are countless narrow lanes with steep stairs just waiting to be explored. Paved with marble, the main street gleams enticingly in the sunlight and takes you all the way through the old town, from the fortified Pile gate to the Ploče gate by the harbour. AfternoonThe afternoon is at your leisure to explore the rest of the city. For lunch today, you may wish to dine at one of Dubrovnik’s many top-quality restaurants. Why not take the opportunity to try some tasty Dalmatian-coast seafood or risotto? You may wish to take the cable car to the hilltop fortress above the city for spectacular panoramic views. Perhaps walk the circumference of the medieval city walls that still encompass the old town. We then check in to our hotel for the night, the four-star Remisens Hotel Albatros in Cavtat, just across the bay from Dubrovnik in a wonderful location right by the sea. In the evening we visit a local restaurant for dinner, complete with a traditional folklore show involving Balkan music and singing, a great way to round off an exhilarating week of discovery.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Enjoy a lunchtime tasting of traditional Montenegrin mountain food
Take a boat journey to the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks in the Bay of Kotor
Stay in Budva, a beautiful town on the Montenegrin riviera, and in Cavtat on the Croatian coast
Enjoy a tasting of Montenegro’s excellent wines close to the capital, Podgorica
Take a serene boat journey on Lake Skadar, southern Europe’s largest lake, where birdlife abounds
Visit the fascinating town ruins of Old Bar
Plus your tour manager’s drinks reception and a welcome dinner to meet your fellow travellers
Happy by day two or we'll bring you home with a full refund
Seven nights in excellent four-star accommodation inclusive of local taxes, with breakfast and dinner
Covid Cancellation protection included as standard
Uncover the story of Montenegro on a visit to the former capital, Cetinje, with an expert local guide
Enjoy a farewell dinner with a live folklore show
Explore historic Dubrovnik with a local expert
Tour the stunningly sited town of Kotor
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