Planning a Montenegro road trip?
In this post, I’ll share all my tips for planning a Montenegro road trip, including the itinerary, what it’s like to drive in Montenegro, and the best places to stay.
Let’s get started.
Driving in Montenegro
Wondering what it’s like to drive in Montenegro? Well, there are three things you should know before you get behind the wheel. Pay special attention to #2:
- Montenegrins drive on the right side of the road and the left side of the car (as in the US and most of Europe)
- Locals tend to drive aggressively
- There are lots of twisting open roads and tunnels
Driving in Montenegro is generally safe, but the twisting, turning, winding open roads amp up the risks. So, drive carefully and beware of other drivers as many of them are speeding.
What to bring on your road trip
So, what do you need to pack for your Montenegro road trip?
Obviously, it depends on the season. If you’re visiting during winter, you need to pack warm clothes as it gets quite cold here (we’re talking snow and below 10 C degrees. In the summer it gets up to 40 C degrees.
This road trip itinerary is made for the warmer season (May – October).
One week in Montenegro itinerary: Your Montenegro road trip route
- Day 1: Kotor
- Day 2: Perast and Budva
- Day 3: Ulcinj Beaches
- Day 4: Sveti Stefan
- Day 5: Tara River Canyon and Durmitor National Park
- Day 6: Lovcen National Park, Ostrog, and Moraca Monasteries
- Day 7: Skadar National Park and Cetinje
Where to stay on your Montenegro road trip
Montenegro is a small country with well-connected roads so it’s easy to get from A to B with a car. I explored Montenegro from a base in Kotor and I personally liked to come back to my apartment every night.
With 7 days in Montenegro, I recommend spending half of the nights in Kotor and the rest in Sveti Stefan or splitting them up with a few days in Durmitor.
Kotor and Sveti Stefan are near the sea and offer easy access to all the best spots in Montenegro, while Durmitor is a national park.
Kotor: Apartmani Ćetković – (⭐ 9.7) An amazing place to stay in Kotor. The apartment is clean, and spacious, and has private parking. The beach is a minute away and the Kotor town centre is just 10 minute walk.
Sveti Stefan: Apartments Villa Milan – (⭐ 9.2) Located 50 m from the beach, this air-conditioned apartment offers amazing views from your private balcony. Free WiFi and free private parking. You’ll also get a furnished kitchen and a seating area with a flat-screen TV.
Durmitor: Apartmani Prisoje – (⭐ 9.5) This apartment has a kitchen, flat-screen TV, ironing facilities, a desk, and a seating area with a sofa. There’s a private bathroom with a shower. It’s located in Žabljak, 3,8 km from Black Lake.
Montenegro road trip itinerary: Day by day
You’ve got 7 days in Montenegro and there’s lots to see and do. This is the itinerary I suggest so you can experience the best places in Montenegro:
Day 1: Kotor
The number one sight in Montenegro is Kotor. It’s really beautiful!
Kotor gives you a perfect introduction to the history, architecture, and atmosphere of Montenegro. It’s like the gateway to Montenegro, showing you everything you need to know about the country.
After you’ve explored its cobbled streets in the old town, head down to the water and look at the beautiful fjord. If you’re up for a little hiking, you’ll be rewarded with the best view of Kotor at the San Giovanni Fortress.
The climb is steep, but you can complete the hike in about an hour and it’s one of the must-do’s in Kotor.
Day 2: Perast and Budva
On your second day, you’ll be exploring the nearby area, more precisely: Perast and Budva.
After breakfast, head out of Kotor and drive towards Perast. It’s a small town at the edge of the water, 12 km from Kotor.
You can spend a few hours here, exploring the beautiful churches. Just make sure to visit the best church of them all: Our Lady of the Rocks. It’s a floating church on the water.
Once you’re done exploring Perast, head over to Budva.
It’s probably the most diverse and popular city in Montenegro with attractions ranging from tombs to theatres and beaches. Spend the rest of the day here savoring some local food.
Day 3: Ulcinj beaches
Day three is all about Ulcinj.
This town has a huge Albanian population so if you’re into Albanian food, you’ve come to the right place. Ulcinj is different from the rest of the country because it’s the Muslim center of Montenegro.
The must-visit beach in Ulcinj is Mala Plaža and the best place to view the sunset over the water.
Day 4: Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan is a small town, well actually an islet with an ocean on three sides. This makes it perfect for a day of relaxation.
Reading a book by the pool, getting a massage, swimming in the sea, and finding a shadow to enjoy your lunch.
Day 5: Tara River Canyon and Durmitor National Park
Day 5 is all about adventures. First, head to Tara River Canyon, the deepest canyon in Europe, and then to Durmitor National Park, a rugged natural landscape full of wild animals and the stunning Black Lake.
When you visit, stay at Apartmani Prisoje to wake up the next morning in a wilderness paradise.
Tara River Canyon
The dramatic Tara River Canyon offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun. You can go rafting, horseback riding, hiking, and even zip lining on the Đurđevica bridge.
This area is the prettiest in Montenegro, which you’ll see once you enter the canyon by road.
Durmitor National Park
Just 24 km from Đurđevica bridge, you’ll find the enchanting Black Lake (the reason why I visited Montenegro in the first place).
Black Lake is a glacial lake located inside Durmitor National Park, and it’s considered one of the most beautiful lakes in Europe. The lake is surrounded by lush green forest and is home to wildlife such as deer, chamois, and foxes.
Durmitor National Park has UNESCO World Heritage status, and it’s the best place in Montenegro for outdoor experiences if you ask me!
Day 6: Lovcen National Park, Ostrog and Moraca Monasteries
From one national park to another. Lovcen is filled with mountains and green hills, but it’s best known for being the final resting place for Petar II Petrović Njegoš, a beloved cultural leader in Montenegro.
Head to Ostrog and Moraca monasteries once you’re done exploring – they’ve got an atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.
Lovcen National Park
What makes Lovcen National Park unique is the beautiful mountain views and the mausoleum of Petar II Petrović Njegoš.
The park is named for Mt. Lovcen, which gives Montenegro its name (Montenegro means “black mountain”).
Besides the mausoleum, there are numerous hiking trails throughout the park that offer amazing views of the countryside.
You might be lucky to meet a deer, wild boar, a lynx, or even a brown bear, although the latter is unlikely as there are estimated to be less than 130 living in all of Montenegro.
As you enter Moraca monastery, you’ll be bombarded with frescoes.
As one of the most important Orthodox monasteries in Montenegro, Moraca features some of the most accomplished religious art in the entire country.
The lush mountains and serene landscape add a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere. Perfect for a monastery.
The next monastery you’re going to visit is completely different.
Located on a cliff 900m above a valley, Ostrog monastery is the most dramatic sight in Montenegro. It’s quite similar to the Geghard monastery in Armenia, which is also built into a rock.
*Women must wear a scarf to enter.
Day 7: Skadar National Park and Cetinje
On your last day in Montenegro, head to Skadar Lake and Cetinje. While Skadar is an incredible piece of perfect natural beauty, Cetinje is the former capital of Montenegro.
Skadar Lake is a blissful area encompassing steep mountains, island monasteries, clear waters, and floating meadows of water lilies.
Cetinje is dripping with cultural history and charm, and it’s also the official residence of the President of Montenegro, which alone makes it worth visiting.
The best thing about Cetinje, though, is that it’s not really that touristy. It’s the perfect place to finish your Montenegro road trip.
FAQ – Montenegro itinerary 7 days
How long would it take to drive around Montenegro?
Driving around Montenegro could take a day or two, depending on stops. It’s small but full of winding roads.
How many days are enough for Montenegro?
For a good taste of Montenegro, aim for at least a week. You can see a lot in less time, but a week lets you explore more leisurely.
Where can I go by car in Montenegro?
By car, hit up Kotor Bay, Durmitor National Park, and the beaches of Budva and Ulcinj. Montenegro’s size makes it great for road trips.
Is 5 days enough in Montenegro?
Five days in Montenegro is decent. You can cover the highlights, but a couple more days would give you more breathing room to explore.
Before you go – don’t miss out on these posts:
- How to Rent a Car in Montenegro
- The Ultimate Montenegro Travel Guide
- 10 popular things to do in Montenegro
- A day trip to Durmitor National Park and Black Lake
- Yoga and relaxation at Palazzo Radomiri Hotel