Travel, Teach, Live in Europe and Middle East
Quaint little Montenegro has come out of its Yugoslav shadow with a personality all its own. Sandwiched between Serbia and Albania, and just an hour away from Dubrovnik this small country is a land of amazing diversity, with plenty of sights, scenery and adventure to go around.
The sapphire- blue Adriatic and Montenegroâ€™s 182 mile-long lauded shoreline, to the backdrop of spectacular mountain ranges, proffers pristine beaches, secluded coves and rocky headlands. Historic walled towns punctuate the coastline with Budva at the heart of the Montenegro riviera-like coast. A blend of ancient and modern, Budvaâ€™s stari grad (Old Town) features charming shops and medieval churches, the oldest, the Church of St. Ivanâ€™s dating from the 7th century. A span of medieval wall and charming old houses, clustered together on close-knit streets reveal the townâ€™s heritage as a former outpost of the Venetian Empire. Budvaâ€™s lively modern town boasts a glamorous marina with delightful sidewalk cafes and a sweep of exclusive sandy beaches comparable only to Franceâ€™s Riviera.
Picturesque Kotor with its walled Old Town, a labyrinth of cobbled alleyways linking small squares with ancient churches and former aristocratic mansions, nestles at the head of its eponymous bay and boasts Montenegroâ€™s most spectacular setting. Bordering the town, the dramatic Bay of Kotor, southern Europeâ€™s deepest fjord, is a winding channel leaving its mark on Montenegroâ€™s splendid coastline.
While the seaside, with its host of water sports on offer- sailing, scuba diving, snorkeling or just relaxing â€“ is the main draw for visitors, Montenegro also has much to offer inland. In a setting of dramatic mountains with lush pine forests dotted with lakes you find Montenegroâ€™s foremost natural wonder â€“ its giddy-deep Tara Canyon. Set in the pristine mountainscape of Durmitor National Park, the Tara River Canyon, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, lays claim to being the second largest canyon in the world, topped only by the Grand Canyon. Baffling though it may be, few outside the Balkans have heard of this amazing gorge.
This 85 km long canyon, 1300 m. at its deepest, is punctuated by a sculpture of rapids, narrow passes, massive obstacles and deep abysses. The canyon draws nature lovers and adventure seekers, its main attraction being rafting and floating on the river. Intrepid travelers can glide down the canyon on rafts made of single logs bound together, or you can admire this creation of nature from the Durdevica Tara Bridge, the main crossing point which spans the divide in spectacular fashion. Youâ€™ll feel lightheaded just viewing this canyon from the walkway while listening to the gurgling, echoing chasm below.
Venture into Montenegro and you step into condensed adventure. Explore fascinating historical towns sailing or boating down the Adriaticâ€™s beautiful coast; relax on its lovely beaches; bike through boundless highlands around Montenegroâ€™s lakes and experience the thrills of whitewater rafting down the Tara River Canyon. These are just several of the many highlights this tiny country offers up for the taking.
Sylvia is a trip consultant, planner and manager who creates unique intercultural adventures for families and loves to impart information,tips and personal experiences especially related to family adventure travel. www.familyadventuretravelworks.com [email protected] www.familyadventuretravelworks.com/unique-vacations-in-montenegro.