After finishing high school, every summer I’ve worked for a travel agency in the beautiful coastal city of Budva, Montenegro. It was certainly the most dynamic summer job I could ever think of. In only one day I met hundreds of people. Working there seven summers in a row certainly meant a lot to me, especially because people were visiting my agency mainly in search of help with finding accommodation, touristic sites and general advice to make their stay in Montenegro a good one. When I recall this experience, I feel proud of the successful mission I accomplished there. This summer job has provided me with precious experience of looking through the touristic natural beauties of Montenegro. The hospitality of the local people is a factor that greatly shapes the experiences of tourists in our country. This taught me about how important it is, for the development of tourism, to be gentle, polite, sincere, trustful, willing to help, etc. As you might have noticed, my experience of working in Budva is colored with amazing nuances and I would like to share some of them in this blog.
When I traveled through Austria this summer, I was surprised when one local person ironically asked me what I meant by mentioning tourism in Montenegro. Nevertheless, it actually reminded me how important it is to promote the beauty Montenegro offers, and improvements we managed to make in the field of tourism. My country has ancient forests, stunning mountains, beautiful beaches, and breathtaking canyons - everything concentrated within a rather small territory. A service called the Montenegro tour was one that all tourists liked and best promoted the country. The trip included a visit of 70 percent of the country in only one day - amazing, right? Montenegro has a small geographic area, however it is still diverse because you can drink a morning coffee somewhere at the seaside, maybe in the Boka bay or Ada Bojana, and then flee the heat and spend the afternoon in Biogradskagora or in Durmitor, in the north, and enjoy the mountain air.
Locations such as Boka Bay, Kotor town, a medieval city, dotted with 13th-century churches, museums and palaces, Sveti Stefan, and Perast, which is considered by some to be the prettiest village in Montenegro, are well known. On the other hand, there are locations in the continental region, which, according to many tourists, are real discoveries. In this case, I would mention Lake Skadar and River of Crnojevici. Lake Skadar or Lake Shkodër is southern Europe’s largest lake and natural phenomenon, which straddles Montenegro's border with Albania. It's home to pelicans and dozens of other bird species, along with fish including carp and eel that very often end up on the area's dinner plates. In the area of the River of Crnojevici, one can enjoy the countryside by taking guided hikes, kayak trips and visits to winemakers where you can eat authentic local foods and lather your tongues with local vino.
The Durmitor area with a canyon on the river Tara and the Black lake is my next recommendation. The canyon of the river Tara is the second deepest canyon in the world and the deepest canyon in Europe. Above it you can witness the grandiose Djurdjevica Tara Bridge and there is the most exciting zip line adventure right beside this unique bridge. Can you imagine the feeling of how a flight over a deep gorge and turquoise river, seen from 200 meters of altitude, encourages a strong adrenaline rush? I could not, until I tried. This is certainly one of the experiences that will be etched into my memory forever. Other attractions you can experience there are cycling through the mountains, a jeep safari, and horse riding. The rocky trail in Durmitor will lead you through woods with the heavenly scent of wild sage, thyme and spring flowers, while the beautiful panorama spans glacial lakes and forested peaks reflected in the clear water of lakes, among which are the Black and Skrcko lakes.
There are many other equally unique and interesting areas of untouched nature in Montenegro, which are to be discovered. Thus, Montenegro is a country to be visited in the Balkans as it offers an enriching experience for all.
Author: Bojana Lalatović
Bojana is passionate and has an inspiring knowledge in Politics and European Integration processes. Currently, she is working as a Trainee in the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Montenegro, Operational Communication Center in Podgorica. While previously she has worked in the NGO sector working in the area of EU integration and raising awareness for EU process and perspective for the Balkan region what is more she has also volunteered for the Red Cross Offices in Niksic.
She has finished her BA in Political Science from the University of Montenegro in Podgorica and holds a Master’s Degree of Law in European Integration from the University of Belgrade in Serbia.
Bojana has participated in the ERASMUS + mobility programme at the University Roma Tre, Rome in Italy. She speaks four languages, Montenegrin/Serbian, English, Russian and Italian.