It’s one thing to adore a remarkable town like Kotor, but it’s another thing to fall in love with an entire country like Montenegro. It’s no secret that Kotor has been a notable place in my life for the past 3 years (five visits and counting) but I’m starting to believe that Montenegro as a whole may just be my soulmate. It was by touring with 360 Monte Travel agency on my most recent visit that I came to this conclusion so I want to talk a little about my experience with them.
As a last minute decision I found myself on a day-long boat tour of the beautiful bay of Kotor. I’m not usually a tour company girl — everything I do is usually solo and self-planned — but I was in for an exceptional day! Relaxing on a boat being fed fruit and champagne, jumping off of it to swim through vibrant blue caves, and seeing unique sights along the way… well, that was all dreamlike enough, but as a bonus I also met some really incredible people and for me that’s the best part about travel.
After this wonderful experience I decided to book another tour with 360 Monte. After much deliberation I jumped on the Northern Montenegro tour because it was a part of the country I hadn’t come close to exploring. While the bay is indescribably beautiful and certainly attractive as a tourist destination, it was important for me to see that there is so much more to the country — especially after having been here so many times! Our guide Slobodan was amazing, giving us information and telling us stories which got me hooked onto Montenegrin culture.
I had been warned that there was going to be a lot of driving involved, but to be honest I found that to be part of the magic. The countryside, towering mountainside, twisty roads, mountain plains and canyons do not get boring. This is as much a feature of the trip as the marvellous stopping points along the way (Salt Lake, Tara Bridge, Durmitor, Black Lake and Ostrog Monastery — yes you do get to go inside). Everyone was laughing and forming new friendships, and with a little car dancing to keep spirits high and some local food along the way all I could do was smile and appreciate the wild beauty of Montenegro’s North.
How I know Montenegro’s my soulmate:
1. It has beauty and soul.
It will charm you every chance it gets, from the mountains to the sea and all the wonderful people in between.
2. It calms and exhilarates.
There is no wrong way to spend your time here. Wild nights, lazy days… it simply lets you follow your heart.
3. Its stories never bore you.
It was love at first sight, but every tale told will make you profess your love for it even more. You’ll be enthralled.
4. You love it beyond all others.
It’s true love when you’re in an open relationship with the world but would give all it up to be here once more.
5. It leaves you wanting more.
After all this time I’m still constantly discovering and seeing this place with new eyes — and I hate leaving!
As with all travel experiences they are what you make of them. Sometimes you just connect, find your type of people, and get seduced by your surroundings. We’re all different, but for me Montenegro is what the fire inside me now burns for. I rarely give recommendations, but if you want to make the most out of your experience in this country come to Kotor. These are my five favourite businesses in town:
1. Old Town Hostel (budget accommodation done well).
2. Palazzo Drusko (amazing luxury accommodation).
3. 360 Monte Travel Agency (offering 4 day tours and transfers).
4. Scala Santa (restaurant with great food and atmosphere).
5. Letrika (great coffee by day, phenomenal bar at night).
My vows to Montenegro:
1. I’ll learn your language (just give me time).
2. I’ll come celebrate with you when I graduate.
3. I’ll do my best to capture you in my writing.
4. I’ll not forget the times we’ve had together.
5. I’ll cry everytime I leave you (100% guaranteed).