Some of my friends from Miami University moved to Podgorica, Montenegro (pronounced pohd-gor-izza) several years ago, and they have been high on my list of people to visit. For those of you who haven’t heard of Montenegro and/or wouldn’t be able to find it on a map (like me when they first moved there), let me help you.
Montenegro regained independence in 2006. Prior to that, it was part of former Yugoslavia. They speak Montenegrin, and the capital is Podgorica.
There are direct flights between Zurich and Podgorica, but with the extra train travel to Zurich, I decided a 4-day weekend would be best for a visit. Easter worked out perfectly for all of us.
I arrived to a welcome committee at the airport on Friday afternoon, which was so fun! We dropped the kids at home and the adults headed out to a beautiful vineyard just outside of town – Radevic Estate. The owner was so hospitable and so knowledgeable about what seemed like everything. We loved our visit!
On Saturday, my friends planned a day of fun! As someone who is usually the planner, it was such a treat to have someone else plan the fun! We stopped at Bite on the way out of town for WARM croissants and pastries!
Less than half an hour into our journey to the coast, we had a flat tire.
Thankfully, it happened almost directly across the street from a used car dealership that also had a small garage. While it took an hour in total to resolve the situation, the guys in the garage were able to drive the tire to the neighboring town to get it plugged and then bring it back. It could have been much worse, so I’m thankful it was only a slight detour! With a plugged tire, we were back on the road!
Our first stop was Kotor – a medieval town on the Bay of Kotor. A number of cruise routes now stop there, and I was amazed at how many tour groups were in this tiny town!
My friends took me to some of their favorite spots, like a handmade jewelry shop with so many unique and inexpensive pieces and the Kotor Bazar, where I could buy my Montenegro Christmas ornament.
We posed for a couple of group pictures around town, including one with a giant painted Easter egg in front of one of the churches.
Our next stop was Perast – another picturesque town 10-15 minutes away. It’s also situated on the Bay of Kotor, and it is stunning!!
We enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch at Restaurant Conte with beautiful views of the water.
I had an octopus salad. We also ordered Baklava for dessert, and they served us enormous pieces! I should’ve taken a picture! The food, the views, the company – it was all great!
There are two small islands out in the water – one natural and one man made. We took a boat ride out to the man made one, Škrpjela, which means Our Lady of the Rocks.
The youngest of the kids was SO EXCITED to be on the boat!
The views of Perast and the islands were beautiful from the boat.
The man made island is remarkable, because it was made over several hundred centuries by locals, fishermen, and seamen throwing rocks into this spot and sinking ships filled with rocks on this spot. The woman in the church on the island says that they think 100 sunken ships can be found below the island!
We walked through the church and museum, which had a few interesting things inside:
- 68 paintings by a local 17th century artist, one of which is 10 meters long
- Lots of silver tablets
- Dried bouquets from the brides who get married in the church
- An embroidered tapestry made by a local woman named Jacinta Kunić-Mijović. She worked on it for 25 years while waiting for her love to return. It was so intricate with 650 stitches per square centimeter! Plus, she used her own hair (along with silver and gold fibers).
We took the boat back to Perast and kept on driving around the Bay until we reached the ferry crossing. We crossed the Bay and drove to Budva to have a drink on the beach while the kids played in the rocks.
We ate dinner outside at The Old Fisherman’s Pub. The fish & chips were delicious!
I’m so thankful for beautiful weather that made it a truly wonderful day – even considering the rough start with the flat tire!
After the kids went to bed, we prepped all of the Easter goodies!
On Sunday morning, we went to church at Capital Church. After the service, they had an Easter egg hunt for the kids, which was hilarious to watch!
We went to lunch at Pod Volat, where I got to try traditional local dishes, like Cevapi and Kacamak.
In the afternoon, we decorated eggs and prepared to have a big Easter dinner with friends.
On Monday morning, we stopped for donuts at Donut Time on the way to the airport, which was a treat!
I left Montenegro with a full heart and a full belly! I’m so happy that I finally got to visit! My friends are amazing hosts, their kids are fun, and it was great to experience a new-to-me country!