Montenegro in One Day: Two Itineraries for Your Perfect Day Trip

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After spending six months in Montenegro, a small country nestled in the Balkans, I realized that it’s a real gem that deserves a lot more attention. With its stunning mountains and coastline, it offers an array of experiences for those seeking adventure or relaxation. In this blog post, I want to show you what you can do in Montenegro in one day and offer you two distinct itineraries that allow you to make the most out of your time.

This map was made with Wanderlog, for making itineraries on iOS and Android

On one hand, you can choose to immerse yourself in Montenegro’s mountainous terrain by visiting the Bay of Kotor, Durmitor National Park, and Tara Canyon. On the other hand, you can opt for a coastal experience by exploring Kotor, Budva, and Sveti Stefan. Regardless of which itinerary you choose, if you plan to visit Montenegro on a road trip through the Balkans, I promise that even one day will be enough to leave an indelible mark on your memories!

Two Montenegro Itineraries: Mountains or Coastline?

Choosing between Montenegro’s mountains or coastline can be a dilemma for travelers looking to make the most of their day trip. For those interested in immersing themselves in coastal villages, beach hopping, and enjoying local cuisine, the coastline itinerary is perfect. This itinerary includes stops at the charming town of Petrovac with its stunning architecture and pristine waters; Budva, known for its charming old town and beautiful beaches; and Sveti Stefan island, a former fishing village turned luxury resort.

On the other hand, if scenic hikes and mountain drives are more your style, then the mountain itinerary may be better suited for you. The mountain itinerary includes visits to Durmitor National Park with its impressive canyons and glacier lakes; Tara Canyon, the second longest canyon in the world; and Ostrog Monastery perched on a cliffside overlooking breathtaking views of Montenegro’s landscape.View of Kotor Bay From the Top of a Mountain

Regardless of which itinerary you choose, both offer unique experiences that showcase Montenegro’s diverse beauty. Coastal villages provide an idyllic setting for relaxation while experiencing local culture through cuisine. Meanwhile, hiking through mountains offers challenging yet rewarding adventures that allow you to appreciate Montenegro’s natural wonders up close.

How to Travel in Montenegro?

To efficiently navigate through the country, it is recommended to rent a car in Montenegro. This will give you the freedom to explore its diverse landscapes and cultural experiences at your own pace. While public transportation options are available, they can be infrequent and unreliable, particularly in remote areas.

If you want to save time and money and support a good cause, I highly recommend checking out my car rental section where you will find search widgets from Giving Getaway partners and Economy Bookings. From each successful booking, I earn a commission of which I donate 50% to charity.
To Efficiently Navigate Through the Country, It Is Recommended to Rent a Car in Montenegro

When traveling by car in Montenegro, it is important to follow local traffic laws and regulations. Speed limits are generally lower than those found in other European countries. While the roads can be winding and hilly in some areas, the drivers are generally courteous and respectful, so there’s nothing to worry about when you plan to make a road trip through Montenegro. Now let us take a look at the best places you shouldn’t miss when traveling around Montenegro in one day.


No matter where you start and which itinerary you choose for your trip to Montenegro, Kotor simply has to be on your list! Located in a stunning fjord on the Bay of Kotor, this picturesque harbor town boasts one of the best-preserved Medieval old towns on the Adriatic coast and offers breathtaking views from St. John’s Fortress.

Kotor’s history is rich and diverse, having been settled in Ancient Roman times and ruled by various empires throughout its existence. The city was an independent Republic from 1391 to 1420, and until 1797, it was under Venetian rule. Today, you can explore its impressive architecture dating back to these different periods.The Stunning View of Kotor From Its Walls

Although Kotor does not have any sandy beaches within walking distance of the old town area, there are plenty of beautiful beach options nearby that are easily accessible by car or public transport. Jaz Beach is a popular option just outside the town center where visitors can enjoy crystal clear waters and soak up some sun on a lounger or towel.

Kotor’s cuisine is a reflection of its many cultural influences over time. You can indulge in delicious local specialties such as Burek, a pastry made with layers of thin flaky dough stuffed with meat or cheese, which can be found at pretty much every bakery in Kotor. Italian-influenced restaurants serve up mouth-watering dishes with fresh seafood caught in the bay. And for those looking for something sweet, many gelato shops are offering tasty treats to satisfy any cravings.

Kotor is a must-visit destination for travelers who appreciate history and architecture along with delicious food options reflecting Montenegro’s diverse cultural heritage – all set against a backdrop of spectacular natural beauty making it an ideal destination for those seeking a unique adventure.


Perast is another gem that, no matter which itinerary you choose for your Montenegro road trip, should not be missed when exploring Montenegro in one day. Perast is a small town in the Bay of Kotor that is steeped in history and maritime culture. It was once part of the Venetian Republic between 1420 and 1797 and experienced its greatest development in the 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, Perast boasted a fleet of around 100 ships and a population of around 1600 inhabitants. The town’s baroque palaces and churches are evidence of its rich past.

Already one or two hours in Perast promise to be an unforgettable experience. The town is packed with attractions, including Our Lady of the Rocks church located on an artificial island just off the shore. This iconic landmark is a must-visit as it is richly decorated with silver votive tablets featuring ships from the Bay of Kotor. The picturesque water promenade in Perast on One Day in Montenegro

Despite being badly damaged by an earthquake in 1979, Perast remains a charming and picturesque town that makes for a perfect getaway from Kotor’s crowds during summertime. Its inclusion on UNESCO World Heritage List in the same year underscores its significance as a cultural treasure trove worth exploring.

Perast’s maritime culture has left an indelible mark on its cuisine. The best restaurants in Perast serve delicious seafood dishes that reflect this culture. Local specialties include grilled fish, octopus salad, black risotto with cuttlefish ink, stuffed mussels, and fish soup made with fresh herbs and vegetables, among others.

In summary, Perast offers visitors an opportunity to immerse themselves in Montenegro’s rich history while enjoying breathtaking scenery along with culinary delights unique to this region!

Route 1: Mountains of Montenegro

The Bay of Kotor offered you both, mountains and the sea, but now it’s time to choose: will you stay at the coast or head inland and explore the mountains? If it’s the latter, this is what you can expect!

Ostrog Monastery

The Ostrog Monastery perched 900m above the Zeta valley, is a significant site for Orthodox Christians and attracts up to a million visitors annually. The monastery is known for its religious significance and architectural marvel that blends seamlessly into its natural surroundings. As one approaches the monastery, the spiritual aura of the place becomes palpable.

The pilgrimage experience to Ostrog Monastery is unique and unforgettable. Pilgrims from all over the world queue up to enter the atmospheric shrine where Saint Basil’s bones are kept wrapped in fabric. To enter this sacred space, one must wear long skirts or trousers and cover their shoulders, while women also cover their heads with scarves. The devout can often be seen making signs of the cross and kissing lintels as they move through doorways.The Ostrog Monastery Is a Significant Site for Orthodox Christians

One of the most striking features of Ostrog Monastery is its panoramic views over the Zeta Valley. You can climb up to another cavelike chapel at the very top of the monastery and witness faded frescoes dating back to 1667. The Lower Monastery located two kilometers (1.2 miles) below houses Holy Trinity Church (Crkva Sv Trojice) with vivid frescoes and a natural spring behind it.

If you don’t have the opportunity to come to Ostrog Monastery by car, numerous tour buses offer day trips from all tourist hotspots in Montenegro at affordable prices. Additionally, hiking enthusiasts may enjoy taking on a 90-minute hike from Ostrog train station that offers stunning views along Danilovgrad road leading towards the monastery. 

Durmitor National Park

Moving on from the spiritual and historical significance of Ostrog Monastery, it’s time to explore the natural beauty of Montenegro through a visit to Durmitor National Park. This UNESCO World Heritage site boasts 23 peaks towering over 7,500 feet, a dozen glacial lakes, and the awe-inspiring Tara River Canyon. With its diverse flora and fauna, Durmitor National Park is home to various endemic species found only in this region.

The park’s hiking trails are some of the most popular activities for hiking enthusiasts, with miles of scenic paths available to explore. Black Lake is undoubtedly one of the must-visit destinations within Durmitor National Park. The lake offers an excellent starting point for hikers looking to experience this stunning landscape up close. When Visiting Montenegro in One Day, You Shouldn't Miss Durmitor National Park

There are almost 50 limestone peaks for hiking in Durmitor National Park alone, reaching up to 2,523 m (8,278 ft) on Bobotov Kuk. The Via Dinarica Trail passes alongside the Tara River, which stretches from Albania through Kosovo, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia – perfect for long-distance hiking enthusiasts. 

If you would like to extend your stay you can opt for camping options provided in designated areas throughout the park or choose one of many accommodations offered by nearby towns such as Žabljak town. Here you will find guesthouses, private apartments, traditional hotels,second-longest and individual cabins.

Besides hiking trails and glacier lakes, Durmitor National Park also offers other outdoor activities like rafting excursions down Tara River Canyon, the next and last stop of your trip through Montenegro in one day!

Tara Canyon

Located within Durmitor National Park, the Tara Canyon is a wide gorge stretching over 82 km (51 mi) in length and reaching depths of 1300 m (4,266 ft) on average, making it the second-longest canyon in the world and an adventure playground for thrill-seekers. The Tara Canyon Bridge stands hundreds of meters above the river below, offering breathtaking scenic views to visitors. This impressive bridge also offers bungee jumping opportunities for those seeking an adrenaline rush.

The Tara River flowing through Montenegro provides a thrilling rafting experience with options for white water rafting outings depending on skill level and taste-for-thrill level. The rapids range from class five at the start of the season to more manageable classes four and three as the water level decreases through the summer. Additionally, zip lining across rivers is another exciting activity that can be enjoyed by both beginners and experts alike.Tara Canyon Is the Second Longest Canyon in the World and an Adventure Playground for Thrill-Seekers

Considered one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Montenegro, Tara Canyon is home to various activities that cater to all kinds of interests ranging from white-water rafting experiences to zip-lining adventures. Moreover, you can hike around limestone peaks or enjoy scenic views while crossing the Durdevica bridge or exploring nearby caves like Nevidio and Hrčavka. It’s no wonder why this place appeals not only to adrenaline junkies but also to nature lovers who are looking for freedom amidst scenic landscapes!

Route 2: Exploring the Coastline

If you just can’t get enough of the sea, then the following itinerary will be just right for you. Get ready to explore more picturesque old towns and rugged capes which offer breathtaking views of Montenegro’s coast!

Budva and Sveti Stefan

If you choose the coastal road trip when traveling around Montenegro in one day, you will head back from Perast towards Kotor and leave the Bay of Kotor behind you. Budva and Sveti Stefan are two must-visit destinations for those seeking beaches, history, cultural landmarks, scenic drives, and coastal cuisine.

Budva’s rich history dates back 2,500 years and has witnessed numerous civilizations come and go. As you walk through the narrow streets lined with Venetian-style architecture, you will encounter numerous monuments, including churches and palaces that provide insight into its rich history. One such monument is St. Ivan’s Church, which was constructed in the 7th century AD and provides breathtaking views of Budva from atop its bell tower.The Budva Ballerina Statue and Old Town in Montenegro in One Day

In addition to exploring historical sites, tourists can enjoy sunbathing on some of Europe’s most beautiful beaches a few meters away from Old Town Budva. Mogren Beach boasts crystal-clear waters and golden sand that provide an idyllic setting for relaxation.

A short drive away from Budva is Sveti Stefan. This idyllic island resort boasts crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and a rich history dating back to the 15th century. As you approach Sveti Stefan, you will be immediately struck by its picturesque beauty. The island’s red-tiled roofs and cobblestone streets exude an old-world charm that transports guests back in time.

When Visiting Montenegro in One Day, You Shouldn't Miss Sveti Stefan

Once upon a time, this stunning landmass was home to fishermen and farmers who built simple stone houses for themselves. However, in the 1950s, Sveti Stefan was transformed into an exclusive holiday destination for the wealthy elite. Today, it remains a luxurious retreat where guests can indulge in world-class amenities such as private beaches, fine dining restaurants, and opulent villas.

Taking a scenic drive along Montenegro’s coastline while stopping at cultural landmarks like Budva and Sveti Stefan Island should be included in any itinerary for those seeking a perfect day trip on Montenegro’s coast. Another picturesque coastal town is Petrovac, the next stop on the list!


Petrovac’s magnificent crescent-shaped bay, with its reddish gravelly sand and green treelined promenade, offers a picturesque setting to enjoy a wide range of beach activities. The town has a beautiful beach that stretches over two kilometers (1.2 miles), with crystal-clear water and soft sand. 

Additionally, the surrounding mountains provide a stunning backdrop to the idyllic scenery. One can spend hours sunbathing on the beach or taking a refreshing swim amidst the serene surroundings.

Second Longest Canyon in the World and an Adventure Playground for Thrill-Seekerswhether You’re Looking for Adventure or Relaxation on Your Vacation, Petrovac Has Something for Everyone

Apart from beach activities, Petrovac also boasts numerous historical landmarks that are worth exploring. One such landmark is the sixteenth-century Venetian fortress known as Kastel Lastva. This fortress sits at the top of the north bay and shelters the tiniest of harbors. Additionally, in front of this small city lie two islets located in the middle of its waters; these can only be reached by sea.

Petrovac is an excellent stopover on any road trip itinerary through Montenegro due to its unspoiled natural beauty and rich cultural heritage. It’s actually worth spending more than just a few hours here to immerse yourself fully in this charming gem tucked away in Europe’s southeastern corner, but if you choose to go further, there is one more stop awaiting you!

Lake Skadar

After exploring the charming town of Petrovac, it’s time to venture out and experience the natural beauty of Montenegro. The last must-visit destination that should be on your itinerary is Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkans. This magnificent body of water is shared between Montenegro and Albania and offers a diverse range of activities.

Lake Skadar is considered a biodiversity hotspot, as it boasts an impressive array of flora and fauna. Its protected status as a national park in Montenegro and nature reserve in Albania highlights its ecological significance. Birdwatchers will be thrilled to know that over 250 bird species reside here, making it a prime location for birdwatching tours via boat or kayak.Winding River of Lake Skadar, an Attraction You Shouldn't Miss When Spending One Day in Montenegro

Aside from observing wildlife, you can also take part in other recreational activities such as fishing or hiking along one of many scenic trails around the lake’s perimeter. The landscape here is stunning with rugged mountains surrounding crystal clear waters dotted with tiny islands. It’s no wonder why Lake Skadar has been nominated for UNESCO World Heritage status.

For those who enjoy indulging in local wines, there are several wineries located near Lake Skadar where you can taste some of the finest vintages produced in Montenegro. To fully appreciate this incredible place, I recommend taking a boat tour around the lake to witness its sheer size and grandeur up close while enjoying stunning views from every angle.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to visit Montenegro?

Montenegro’s best seasons are spring and autumn. Mild weather conditions make outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and sailing enjoyable. Festivals like the Kotor Art Festival take place in summer but also coincide with peak tourist season, so plan accordingly.

How much does it cost to travel around Montenegro?

Transportation options in Montenegro vary depending on the mode of travel, with buses and taxis being affordable choices. Accommodation prices range from budget hostels to luxury resorts. Food and drink expenses can be moderate or high, depending on the type of restaurant. Tourist activities costs are reasonable, with many free attractions available. Shopping for souvenirs is also reasonably priced in local markets.

Are there any specific cultural customs or etiquette to keep in mind when visiting Montenegro?

When visiting Montenegro, it is important to adhere to greeting etiquette such as a handshake and formal address. Dress codes vary based on the occasion, with modesty preferred for religious sites. Dining customs include waiting for the host to begin eating. Religious customs should also be respected while visiting sacred spaces.

How do I exchange currency and what is the local currency in Montenegro?

The local currency in Montenegro is the Euro. Currency exchange can be done at banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. ATM locations are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most places. Currency conversion rates vary depending on the location and method of exchange.


Montenegro is a small, yet stunning country that offers an abundance of natural beauty and cultural experiences. Whether you choose to explore the rugged mountains or the picturesque coastline, there is something for everyone in this Balkan gem.

It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this beautiful country, and I’m sure it will be the same for you! If you are now planning a trip to Montenegro (or any other city or country), I would like to invite you to book your hotelflightrental car, and other travel essentials with Giving Getaway.

Every completed booking earns Giving Getaway a commission, 50% of which will be used to organize charity events like the 2021 Christmas gift drive for kids and teenagers in a children’s home in Montenegro.

So not only will you be experiencing the trip of a lifetime, but you’ll also be contributing to a great cause. Start planning your trip now and make a difference with Giving Getaway!


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