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Montenegro Review

Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
Montenegro Review

Hi I thought I would just post this regrading a day trip I went on this week to Montenegro, speaking with others it seems that people are not told/aware of a few things and just thought it could/might be useful for someone.

We booked the trip to Montenegro through Michael at Cavtat travel (highly recommend him he was so informative, generally nice and cheaper than others- including cheapest for the water taxi to Dubrovnik !) Paid around the equivalent to £40 for the trip, very reasonable. Pick up was at 8:30am, it took about 15-20 minutes to get the the boarder, but then around 2 hours (possibly more) to get through this boarder. I understand it was August and busy but equally I believe this is quite common on a daily basis. We were behind a few coaches and it seemed to take forever for each coach. When it was our turn, the police get on the bus take everyone’s passports have a look at everyone and then take the passports, around 10 minutes later the police man comes back the passports return and your free to leave. Next to the Montenegro boarder, we waited here around 10 minutes.. they didn’t even look at our passports just the information the guide had given them. The guide explained that if herself and the driver take them fresh water they are happy and will let you through quickly.

Then we get into Montenegro, quick stop at a shopping centre for a drink, toilet, fag break and back on the road to Budva. So much traffic that it took maybe an hour to hour and half to get here- not ideal. We had 1.5 hours here and went for lunch, which was fine, we had a quick browse about and not much to write home about, actually has some vibes of Benidorm (nightclubs etc) a beach front with restaurants and an old town. Nowhere I would return to. Back on the coach and luckily to drive to Kotor was much quicker although the guide did tell us it can take 2 hours as traffic is so bad at times. Kotor is absolutely beautiful, it included an optional guided tour for 30 mins which was informative. It’s stunning in Kotor, Old town, walls, shops, nice restaurants and bars- we had 2 hours 45 mins here.

On leaving Kotor we went back around the coach which included driving past our lady of the rocks (island with a church on basically) again beautiful scenery. It took a while in traffic to get back maybe an hour or 1.5 hours.

We got back to the boarder (Montenegro), luckily less of a queue but coaches from Albania. The guide explained she would ask if we could go through first as they would be along time checking each passport of these coaches and we wouldn’t want to be behind them at the Croatian boarder. Luckily they let us through which took around 20 minutes. We learnt that they had found 6 people with fake passports on the Albanian coach.

Next Croatian boarder and more Albanian coaches, the driver went through the lorry lane to attempt to beat this and luckily he did. However we still were waiting 45 minutes to an hour. We returned back at around 9pm.

It was a 13 hour day and we had been told we would return for 6:30-7:15.. others had missed dinner reservations etc because of this.

In hindsight knowing this I’m not sure we would have done this trip, which is a real share Kotor was beautiful. It’s a place that is now ticked off my list, but I felt like this might help some of you thinking of doing this trip. :)

16 replies to this topic
Rhuddlan, United...
Level Contributor
29 posts
14 reviews
1. Re: Montenegro Review

Thanks for that information, we were planning on visiting Budva when staying in Cavtat next month, after reading your review I’m having second thoughts.

Level Contributor
22 posts
1 review
2. Re: Montenegro Review

I’m not saying it wasn’t nice because it was fine, Kotor was much nicer, we just found the centre to have lots of bars including one meant to look like the Eiffel Tower, aimed at a younger audience.. so imagined in the evening it would be quite lively, also we noticed a few gypsies maybe ? Begging for money around the bars and restaurants which wasn’t too nice.

Manchester, United...
Level Contributor
269 posts
35 reviews
3. Re: Montenegro Review

I have to say i didn't enjoy budva when we did this trip.

We specifically requested a mini bus tour and this went into the mountains and a smaller border which took 20-30 mins on the way out and under 5 on the return. Similar time going to Mostar this year.

What a shame so much of your day was spent cooped up at the borders. Maybe we've just been very lucky.

Wales, United...
Destination Expert
for Fuerteventura, Istria
Level Contributor
13,671 posts
97 reviews
4. Re: Montenegro Review

Thanks for sharing your experience Becky. The long wait at the Montenegro boarder is not uncommon unfortunately, especially in peak season.

Fiona - Please tell me more about your tour, who did you book with?

La Calamine, Belgium
Level Contributor
56 posts
68 reviews
5. Re: Montenegro Review

Hi,

I would suggest to do the trip to Kotor on your own with a hire car. We did it end of June and started from Cavtat after 10 am and there was no queue at the borders on both ways. We had to wait max 20-25 min because Albanian cars and people were checked very carefully with a dog (we came back at 10 pm).

With a car , you can stop where and for the time you want. We stopped in Perast on the way to Kotor but it was so lovely there that we went again after visiting the old town of Kotor in the evening and had dinner there.

Aberdeenshire...
Level Contributor
279 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: Montenegro Review

I did the same trip last September and fared a bit better than you but still have similar comments. Being September the border crossings were less busy but we still waited > 1hr in each direction. Traffic was also less so we had no delays on the roads once we were in Montenegro. We enjoyed Budva old town but the surrounding area is very developed and commercial. Like you we loved Kotor. I'd go back but with the benefit of experience would look for a more focussed tour.

Brighton and Hove...
Destination Expert
for Trogir, Ciovo Island
Level Contributor
7,068 posts
77 reviews
7. Re: Montenegro Review

I did it with a car and in lower season and it was quite quick but there are real pinch points. I wouldn't go to Budva again - apart from the very tiny old town it is totally over built and ruined. Kotor and Perast are lovely and worth seeing. By using a car we went via the smaller check point on the way back - using the D516 road (we stopped in Molunat I think) where there was absolutely no-one. However, it may not be feasible for coaches to use that route. Interesting to hear about the fake passports - then you have to think it's a good thing that they are doing the checks.

Level Contributor
32 posts
103 reviews
8. Re: Montenegro Review

Very interesting to read these posts as we intend visiting Kotor by car in September. Does anyone know is it possible to hire a car for one day or two at max.

Canterbury, United...
Destination Expert
for Canterbury
Level Contributor
4,327 posts
196 reviews
9. Re: Montenegro Review

Hi, in April 2017 we rented a car just for a day to visit Montenegro, this was from Lovac-Rent which is a family-owned business in Cavtat. We later extended this for a second day so we could visit Sokol Grad and the nearby Konavle countryside.

[In 2018 we hired a car for the full week directly from the airport as the basic rate was very good, again in April, but decided against the cross-border add-on as it was quite a lot more for the week so explored more in the other direction.]

Our Montenegro self-drive experience was about 30-45 mins at the main border each way in April. Roads not too bad but not as good as the excellent standard in Croatia. Stopped at a supermarket on the main road just outside Herceg Novi to get some Euros from the ATM. Outskirts of Herceg Novi not very attractive but once on Kotor Bay it’s very scenic. Stopped at Perast, which had been recommended, to have a break. Very pretty waterside location to stretch legs and have a drink and ice-cream and take photos. Then hit heavy traffic into Kotor which was very slow-going, main car park full, got frustrated going back and forth looking for parking so we actually ended up skipping the old town unfortunately.

Level Contributor
32 posts
103 reviews
10. Re: Montenegro Review

Thank you BaybOy, you actually answered my other query regarding Euros. I have had a good look at Kotor on Google Earth so hopefully will have a few options for parking even if it means a bit of a walk. I'm also planning to do the trip when there are no cruise ships scheduled (allegedly)!

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