For a little place tucked away along the Adriatic coastline, Montenegro has made enough headlines of late. Never mind that this small Balkan country, blessed with dramatic natural landscapes and medieval villages is in news these days thanks to the controversial former IPL boss Lalit Modi.
Also called, Crna Gora or the Black Mountain, Montenegro's name itself conjures images of romance and drama: It is dramatic enough to be featured on the Game of Thrones, and it forms a part of the Game of Thrones tour.
Just like Modi, Montenegro will have you constantly reaching for your camera. So here it is: Our list of the top 10 places in Montenegro you need to visit to feed the beast of your social media profile.
Part of the river Tara, known as 'Tear of Europe', runs through in the National Park Durmitor. It springs in the north of the country, is 156 km long and merges with the river Piva. Together they make river Drina, one of the longest and most abundant rivers in the Balkans. For centuries this strong mountain beauty has carved the limestone it runs through and shaped numerous narrow parts, gigantic obstacles and chasms, giving birth to a 93 km-long long canyon. It is the second deepest canyon in the world right after the Colorado River canyon. Here's something to mesmerise you more: The deepest part of the canyon is 1,300m deep, and has an ecosystem unique to it.
Durdevica arched Tara Bridge over green Tara Canyon. One of the world deepest Canyons and UNESCO World Heritage in Montenegro (All photos: Shutterstock)
2 National Park Skadar Lake (Skadarsko jezero)
With the area ranging from 370 to 530 sq km, depending on the water level, Skadar Lake is the biggest in the Balkans. Due to its geographic position and sub Mediterranean climate, it is one of the most important habitats of swamp birds in Europe, right after the river Danube delta. There are around 280 bird species on the lake, including the rare curly pelican, which became a trademark of the National Park.
3 Ada Bojana
Away from the noise and bustle of the city, Ada is a place you'll definitely fall in love at first sight. Surrounded by pure beauty and adorned with Mediterranean plants, this triangular island is spread over five square kilometres. In the 19 century, Ada Bojana was created artificially: Legend has it that a ship got stranded here and this little paradise on earth was sculpted after years of depositing river sediment. Ada is a famous tourist jewel of Montenegro, a nudist resort with a beautiful sandy beach and specific landscape, skilfully hidden from curious eyes, surrounded by a beautiful river Bojana on two sides and by the cleanest sea water ever on the third side. If you ever dream about having a holiday in the costumes of Adam and Eve, Ada Bojana is definitely the right choice.
A wooden house along the lush Ada Bojana riverside in Montenegro
Canyon Nevidio is the place where millions of years ago the mountains of Durmitor and Vojnik crashed into each other. The river Komarnica had cut this canyon deep in the severe rock long time ago. This is the last conquered canyon in Europe. It is located 50 km from Žabljak in the direction towards Šavnik. The name Nevidio (Never Seen) or Nevidbog (Never Seen by God) speaks for itself - it is hardly accessible.
5The Bay of Boka Kotorska
This is one place where you don't bother about the specifics: Whether you enter Boka by land or fly into the city, youir experience will be the same. It looks as if the mountains have cracked and let the sea in. This is the southernmost fjord in Europe. The high mountains bend over the thin coastline, protecting it from the severe climate from the north. That is why Boka is an oasis of Mediterranean vegetation: agave, palm, mimosa, oleander, kiwi, pomegranate, medicinal herbs. When its peaks are covered with snow, the roses bloom in the foothills.
The Bay of Kotor, known simply as Boka, is a winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro
The Šipcanik Wine Cellar was opened in late 2007. It is placed in the hearth of the largest vineyard in a single complex in the entire Europe, spanning across 2,310 hectares with 11 million grapevines of both local and world famous varieties. The cellar is placed at an average depth of over 30 meters.
Porto Montenegro is the project of construction of a settlement around the marina and home port for yachts, with great perspective designed to meet sophisticated needs of all yachts, their owners, guests and crew, with additional infrastructure for the largest yachts. The main investor of the project is a Canadian businessman Peter Munk, founder of Barrick Gold Corporation. Other investors are: Lord Jacob Rothschild, Nathaniel Rothschild, Bernard Arnault, Sandor Demjan and Anthony Munk.
Porto Montenegro is a luxury yacht marina and adjacent waterfront development under construction in Tivat in Montenegro
8Three major Christian relicts
The Cetinje Monastery keeps the following relicts:the Right Hand of St. John the Baptist (the hand that baptized Jesus Christ) and particles of the Holy Cross (the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified); also, the icon of Our Lady of Philermos is kept in the Blue Chapel in the building of the Government House.
This monastery is located in the vicinity of Nikšic, built in the steep rock overlooking the Bjelopavlicka Plain. This monastery is the most famous pilgrimage site in Montenegro. It was founded by the Herzeg Archbishop Vasilije in the 17th century. He was buried here and canonised as a miracle-performing saint.
A view of Ostrog Monastery
When you step on Prokletije the doors of an astonishing ecological treasury will immediately open in front of you. If you want to get rid or consumer mania and you have enough adventure some spirit for a close encounter - Prokletije mountains are what you have been dreaming of.