Laid back Mediterranean gem of historic towns and dark mountains


Laid back Mediterranean gem of historic towns and dark mountains

‘At the birth of our planet the most beautiful encounter between the land and the sea.’ So said poet Lord Byron of this small Balkan country, nestled on the Adriatic coast between Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia. Home to just 600,000 inhabitants, Montenegro gained independence in 2006 and has rapidly won notoriety in its own right for summer beach life, medieval quarters, delicious delicacies and seriously Instagrammable scenery.

Many of the 1.6 million annual visitors are attracted by peak season sunshine, adventure sports, and beautiful beaches. They are increasingly enjoying the fruits of significant nvestments made in infrastructure, luxury 5* hotel chains and fast free wi-fi. However, choose to experience Montenegro during low season, November to March, and you’ll find an authentic winter hideaway offering excellent value for money. The crowds of summer fade away, allowing you to engage with locals and enjoy activities in relative peace, buying artisan hand-made products and filling up on traditional mouthwatering cuisine.  Plus it’s so easy to get around. In a single day you can visit the mountainous north for a ski fix and a few hours later, be back at the beach for pre-dinner cocktails in the mild winter sun.

Coastal Fjords & Old Towns

The twisting Montenegrin coastline is blessed with towering cliffs and rocky shores sheltering no fewer than 117 beaches from tiny pebbled coves to 13km stretches of sand. With average low season temperatures of 10°C you might not be catching rays on the beach, but it’s perfect for strolling by the sea and exploring the coast’s picturesque old towns and villages. The historic centres once more belong to the locals as summer day trippers trail off. Roman, Venetian, Ottoman and more recent occupiers have all left their mark resulting in unique architecture, monuments and fascinating tales. Explore Ulcinj, a former pirate town; beautiful Tivat with its superyacht marina; Budva, which at 2500 years old, is the oldest urban centre in the Adriatic; Kotorwith its February masquerade carnival; or Herceg Novi known for its beautiful structures, many steps and gorgeous mimosa festival that celebrates the start of each spring. Hire a car and find your favourite.

Adventures in the Rural North

Head inland from the coast visiting family farms with wine and food tastings and experiencing live music, dancing and a traditional village lifestyle.  Drive through woods, lakes, and pastures to reach UNESCO protected Durmitor National Park. Here there’s a stunning view of the Black Lake and an easy 4 km track around the lake meandering past historic caves and grazing cattle. Nearby, don’t miss Tara River Canyon the second deepest in the world, after the Grand Canyon itself. Montenegro boasts 4 other national parks including Lovcen and Lake Skadar. This latter is one of the biggest bird reserves in Europe with 280 species of birds including the rare kudrava pelican. Lake Skadar is also known to have the best wine in Montenegro, delicious with smoked lake carp. Finally, wherever your Montenegrin adventure takes you, you’ll never be far from the slopes of one of the foreboding mountain ranges that give this special place its name. Whether you climb the snowy peaks, or take an autumnal hike along the rushing streams, you’ll adore low season Montenegro.

Low Season Months

Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov

Featured Hotels

Top Experiences

Explore Boka Bay

The beautiful winding bay was designated a region of Natural, Cultural, And Historical significance by UNESCO in 1979. It’s packed with small towns and exquisite Orthodox and Catholic churches. Highlights are Kotor’s city walls, St. John’s Fortress, St. Tryphon Cathedral, Perast town and Our Lady of The Rocks islet.

Cycle or E-Bike Lustica Bay peninsula

The 20 km off-road ride will take you from the village of Tici, where you can taste local farm products, up Obosnik Hill, and through Luštica's most interesting quaint villages. Take in the open Adriatic sea views and Austro-Hungarian coastal fortresses of Mamula and Arza. A stunning ride at any time of year.

Lovcen Mountain

Visit glorious Lovcen National Park and its much revered mountain, reaching a peak of 1749 metres. Locals love the picturesque hiking trails especially in autumn and spring, with views of almost the entire country. The mountain is also home to the mausoleum of Njegoš, the great Montenegrin ruler.

Insider Tips

  • Montenegro celebrates Christmas twice, once in December for Catholics and again on January 7th for Christian Orthodox Montenegrins. The entire period is filled with wholesome festivities for family and friends. Don’t be surprised in rural areas to hear gunshots being fired in celebration.
  • 1355 little steps are all that separate you from the best view in Boka Bay. Impressive San Giovanni (St John’s) Fortress dates from the 9th century, and no visit to Kotor is complete without a hike to the top. The stunning views take in the whole bay, Mt Vrmac and Kotor harbour and old town.
  • If conditions are too cold or fast for white watering rafting, see Tara Canyon from the magnificent Djurdjevica Bridge, once the biggest vehicular concrete arch bridge in Europe. It towers 172 metres above the riverbed below. Autumn brings fabulous fall colours to adorn the wild landscape.

Good To Know

  • There are two small airports in Montenegro, in the capital Podgorica and at Tivat in Boka Bay. In low season there are far fewer international direct flights so you may need to opt for connecting options. Arriving into Croatia’s Dubrovnik, just over an hour from the border, is one idea.
  • Car hire is easy and well priced, especially with low season discounts. Use the advantage of the small and diverse country to experience every hidden coner. With excellent networks, you can explore the coast, mountains, villages and coves that public transport doesn’t reach.
  • Capital city Podgorica is worth a visit for good, affordable culinary offerings. However if you are a history and culture fan, we’d rather recommend the old royal capital, Cetinje. Its monastery of 1701 and is said to house the right hand of John the Baptiste, while Lipa Cave is just 3 miles away.

Food & Drink

Traditional Delights

Pick up local snacks from street stalls and bakeries. Favourites are pogača (homemade bread), burek (filo stuffed with cheese, meat, spinach), raštan (a leafy green veg) with smoked meat, or priganice (dough balls) with honey and cheese.


Every autumn families all around the country brew the grapes to make this strong brandy in a tradition dating back generations. It is said to cure everything from viruses to stomach ache. Be warned, it is often 40-80% alcohol.

Seafood Restaurants

Don’t miss the small coastal restaurants serving up the freshest fish dishes. Try the fish grilled or fried, or ask for buzara - shellfish in a herby red or white wine sauce; or black risotto made from cuttlefish ink, garlic and nutmeg.

Hotel Deals