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Visit Croatia and Montenegro: Find Out What To Do Here

Some of the main objectives you should not miss if you plan your holiday in Croatia and/or Montenegro: visit Dubrovnik (Croatia) and Kotor (Montenegro), Stand Up Paddle Board in Croatia, do some snorkeling wherever you get the opportunity, drive or kayak through Tara Canyon (Montenegro), Zip line at Tara Canyon, visit Pivsko Jezero (Montenegro)... and many more, but for now there would be the highlights.

Montenegro: Mountain and Seaside adventures

Montenegro is truly a wonderful country for us, mostly because besides vast mountain ranges it also has a spectacular seaside that comes with decent prices.

Our first zip-line: Tara Canyon

Zip-lining is something we have never experienced before going on this holiday. We heard a lot of good things about Tara Canyon from a lot of friends and we also heard that among other things (like beeing a great place for rafting, kayaking and canoeing) it has one of the longest and most impressive zip lines in Europe... so we just had to try it out!

When we reached the place we were presented with two options: one long and dull zipline (Big Zipline - 850 m in length) versus a short and adrenaline hyped zipline (Red Rock Zipline - 350 m in length). Everybody was directing us to try the short one... and we had no regrets! I must admit that we had quite a scare! Starting from the beginning, we reached the place and there was no queue. We inform the guy that it is our first time doing this and kindly ask them to give us all the details, what we need to do, how we need to sit, etc. The guys, radiating confidence, tell us that they will inform us shortly.

They geared us up, helmet, harness, the works and we decided to go together. This is possible as there are two parallel lines. So we were waiting for the OK from the guys on the other side of the gorge and for some further instructions when suddenly we hear, OK GO! What? Now? What do I have to do? Their answer was "Just enjoy" and they pushed us down. Crazy!

Alex's zip-line was somehow more arched and as such he had a lot more speed at the beginning but started slowing down towards then end, while mine was totally the opposite, I was slower at first but caught on speed till the end. Closing in to the finish I literally thought I will hit the building as I had no breaks and no one told me how I should stop. I got scared for nothing as everything was calculated, but before my sudden full stop, I reached 50 km/h!  Woohoo!

Costs: 10 € / person (Red Rock) or 20 € / person (Big Zip Line) Location.

Kayaking on Biogradsko Jezero

We wanted to enjoy a different type of activity at each location we visited. Even though kayaking would have been more spectacular at Crno Jezero in Durmitor National Park, we chose to go jogging there and to postpone the kayak for another cute lake,  Biogradsko Jezero in Biogradska Gora National park.

Our experience was quite exquisite: our first kayak tour with paddles for kids (they didn't help us much but we had a lot of fun), a speed contest with a small water snake (needless to say that after 1 minute of competitiveness he won by diving), plus the grand privilege to watch out friend Norian flip the boat while docking with a tiny help from his wife. Our only regret was that we didn't manage to catch it on camera, Norian's desperate face and his wife's laughter attack.

Costs: In order to visit the national park you need to pay 3 euros per person per day and for the kayak we have paid 6 euros per hour.

Yoga in Durmitor National Park

I started practicing yoga for over a year and a half now and even though I enjoy exercising at home it simply doesn't compare with outdoor sessions where the cool mountain air invigorates you and the fresh smell of nature brings you peace and contempt.

One of my favorite spots to practice, besides the camping, was on the P14 alpine road as you are traveling Durmitor National Park from east to west. You can stop where ever you feel like it, I chose this one in particular. And time for some partner yoga as well!

Morning Run at Crno Jezero

Among many fantastic mountain areas in the park, one particularly calls you not to hike but to run. It seems that getting an early start in the morning will leave laziness aside and will simply put your heart in motion and pump you up full of energy. As such the early morning light caught us at 15 minutes until 6 AM sweating during an easy jog around Crno Jezero lake. Probably this was one if the best jogs I ever head, even though I don't do this as much as I'd like. This is 3.5-kilometer circuit around the lake that resides at roughly 1400 meters altitude. When you are done you can go on a relaxing stroll with the kayak.

Costs: If you want to visit the lake you will need to pay 3 euros per person per day.

Kotor is a Must See in Montenegro

Kotor is another fortress city, similar to Dubrovnik, that resided in the Golf of Kotor, Montenegro and that even though it saw an opening to the sea it looks more like a very still lake.

Many times when you head about UNESCO sights your expectation get really high but Kotor clearly deserves all of them as it is truly a fantastic city. It is no wonder that over the course of time the city has been under so many different banners: The Bulgarian Empire, Venice, The Ottoman Empire, The Habsburg Empire, The Napoleonic Empire, Yugoslavia and recently it has remained under the flag of Montenegro once it has obtained its independence.

One of the main attractions besides the old city itself is the Castle of San Giovanni the is located above the city by following the fortified walls. The location offers a stunning view of the city, of the bay and of the surrounding villages. Among the great amount of churches located in the city that you can visit, another attractive objective is the old clock tower.

The narrow and winding streets resemble the ones in Venice where you walk with little sense of orientation and that open up out of the blue into crowded piazzas full of merchants, tourists and locals.

It is a real pleasure to walk through this city located at the mountain's footsteps and to simply window shop at all the handmade goods specially created for tourist's delight. We have spent more than half a day wondering the busy and colorful streets and we could have continued a lot more but that was all the time we had available for this city. I strongly recommend you to give it a try.

The ups and downs of Montenegro

  • A clear thumbs up: Montenegro had a seaside AND a mountain side.
  • Prices are significantly lower than in Croatia. The camping grounds are cheap (at least the mountain ones) and the prices in restaurants are similar to the ones in Romania (so also low).
  • The touristic hikes are really well marked - at least the ones in the national parks we have visited.
  •  I will write this as a neutral point - if you are a vegetarian (I'm not even going to mention vegan) I can honestly say that you will probably not be impressed by the Montenegrin cosine, but this is generally true for the Balkan region. You are not meant to starve here but you do need to expect people looking strange at you when you don't eat meat as they are really serious meat eaters.
  • Moving on to negative aspects - the traffic is pretty bad, with people engaging in dangerous overtakes - not very civil - it is a place where I would have serious second thoughts about riding a bike on the public roads.
  • Another negative aspect is about the general cleanness of accommodations, showers, toilets... there's definitely a place for improvement.
  • The service quality isn't always that great even though in general people are pretty hospitable, they still have a thing or two to learn about client service.
  • You will not find many beaches in the Kotor area and for good reason - it is a mountain landscape. Instead of beaches, you will find concrete platforms that open up to clean and clear waters full of rocks.
  • The touristic infrastructure is just starting to show up. Not many info points, maps and so on but I think they are slowly working on it.


SUP Experience - Our new passion!

Probably one of the most attractive summer destinations in Europe would be Montenegro and especially Croatia. For this holiday Croatia became our most anticipated destination as well mostly because we had some serious plans going on and it involved going on a SUP (Stand Up Paddle Board). This is something we wanted to experience for a long time but didn't really managed to.

What is a SUP? It is a board similar to a surf but used on much stiller waters (you can go a bit more extreme but nothing mind blowing) and that comes with a paddle to help you row. In other words, it's a modern and fun raft invented by the cheerful Hawaiians!

We had a blast with it. You catch the drift pretty fast on how to operate it and how to hold your balance especially if the waters is still. You can paddle standing on your knees or standing upright, you can take another person as a passenger on your SUP and when you have enough experience you can even practice some yoga on it. Of course, this would be the ultimate goal for me but I don't think I'm going to get there all that soon. In any case, I still did some downward facing dog, warrior pose and vinyasa flow on it as I really needed to try it!

PS: We are accepting donations for a SUP anytime! :D

Yoga at the Adriatic Sea

We were lucky enough to find an excellent camping place (Kate Camping in Mlini) that also featured some neat terraces with a sea view that I found absolutely perfect for my yoga practices, might they be in the morning, evening or during storms.

A couple of things about Camping Kate - we absolutely enjoyed it. The place is really nice, clean and close to the sea (about 5 minutes walking time going downstairs). The prices are decent at about 20-25 euros per 2 persons, a tent and a car. Showers are included in the camping fee and the WIFI is free but pretty lousy and it only works around the reception area (nothing new here just the regular 'camping Internet connection'). Just across the road, you have a restaurant with decent prices and at about 1.5 kilometers away there is a supermarket where you should be able to find anything you require.

Dubrovnik: Let there be Love

Dubrovnik is the number one touristic destination if we are talking about towns on the seaside of the Adriatic, but in short, it represents one of the most enigmatic medieval cities that has an opening to the sea. It is perfectly preserved and restored and it is a UNESCO world heritage site since the 1970s.

The town is located in a hilly area by the coast and it features an old section and a modern one. The main attraction is the old city where we also rushed without hesitation.

Even though not many buildings have survived the earthquake of 1667 there are still enough to see the Renaissance architecture that surrounds the city. The Sponza Palace, The Franciscan Church and Monastery and the St. Saviour Church are just a few of the Renaissance objectives you can visit.

One of the most iconic churches in the city is St. Blaise which dates from the 18th century, has a baroque architectural style and was erected in the name of the city's patron saint. The clock bell tower dates from 1444 and it is the tallest building in the old part of town with a height of 31 meters.

Probably the main attraction is the city tour on the defensive walls that have a total length of 2 kilometers, go all around the old town and have a width that varies from 4 to 6 meters. The walls are built out of a white stone that gave the city the title of Pearl of the Adriatic Sea. The price per person is 12 euros and the walk usually takes about 1 hour but this depends on how fast you are going and also on how crowded the walls are. We chose to take the tour at sunset because we wanted to avoid the high temperatures of the day and we also wanted to avoid the crowds, but also because the light at the end of the day is perfect for photography.

The town walls have been the movie set for many big tittles over time but most recently they have been used in the highly successful TV show, Game of Thrones.

The old harbor offers a lot of possibilities if you are looking to rent a board or to go on different types of tours. You can choose from catamarans, sail boats, speed boats or even some sort of submarine-like vessel that I presume is perfect for little kids.

Next to the main entrance into the city (at the bridge over the moat) you can find an excellent ice cream shop that I warmly advise you to try out. If you are found of kayak tours or stand up paddle boards you will find close by a renting center.

The town is full of restaurants and terraces that mainly serve seafood so if you are looking for something to tickle your taste buds you'll have plenty to choose from.

There are multiple accommodation facilities in medieval houses that look really good but one thing you need to take into consideration is that the old city is for pedestrians only and situated on small hills so you will have to carry all your luggage by hand on stairs.

FYI: You will need to have a decent sense of orientation if you wish to explore the narrow streets of the city  as it is pretty easy to get lost. Funny might it be we are always walking with our GPS app on.

The ups and downs of Croatia

  • The water is really clean - excellent for snorkeling;
  • The food is good - but as with the whole Balkan area, the offer for vegetarian dishes is limited;
  • The traffic is more civilized compared to Montenegro;
  • The camping grounds are really clean and the prices are decent (we found campings that were 40 euros per night but if you don't want to sleep in Dubrovnik you will find most of them are around 20 euros);
  • The beaches are not so crowded and you can find close anything you might desire;
  • Neutral grounds: For me, the fact that the beaches have pebbles and no sand is really a good thing - but for those who go to the sea for the sand this might be a problem;
  • Prices, in general, are somewhat higher than in Montenegro and lower that in the Western part of Europe;
  • They have no mountains... and I am referring to big ones because hills and stuff like that they have a ton;
  • The roads are generally in good condition... but the highways are a bit on the expensive side (nothing too crazy though);
  • Parking is really expensive (at least in Dubrovnik central area);

Visit Croatia and Montenegro: Find Out What To Do Here Reviewed by Karina Isar on 15:05 Rating: 5

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