Travel Group livens up Montenegro

Here is Paul Thompson’s report of the very succesful trip the Travel Group made to Montenegro and Croatia at the end of May 2014:




The article in the Norwegian ‘In flight’ magazine read ‘Montenegro – the most beautiful country you have never thought of visiting’.

A bold statement, so we arrived late evening into Dubrovnik airport full of expectancy for the week ahead.

After a very swift clearance through immigration (apart from one member of the group whose luggage decided to remain in Gatwick) into Croatia our first task was to negotiate the border into Montenegro. Only a brief wait and spirits were high after actually gaining a stamp in our passports (obviously a group that was easily pleased!) As it was now past midnight any scenery would have to wait until later to be enjoyed.

Our base for the week was to be the Adriatic coastal resort of Budva, popular in July/August with many Russian tourists, but pleasantly warm and non crowded in late May.

The resort kept us occupied during our ‘free’ time by wandering the narrow alleyways of the old town, messing about in boats to local islands or just lounging on the beach and in cafes.

Three trips were organised, firstly one around the stunning ‘Bay of Kotor’, a beautiful lake surrounded by small villages and the small town of Tivat, similar to the marina at Portishead. The Old Town of Kotor was a great surprise, again with narrow alleys to explore.

We also had a circular trip around the countryside of Montenegro (population approximately the size of Bristol). After passing through the rather non descript capital of Podgorica (Titograd for those of you who remember Yugoslavia) the country opened out into mountains with hairpin bends that would test even the most experienced coach driver, crystal clear rivers, canyons, spectacular bridges and plants that added colour to the roadside.

Our third stop was across another border (no stamp this time) and into Albania for a walk around the town of Shkodra. Free flowing wine at lunch time ensured most of the group made an attempt at learning a local dance.

Our last day saw us back in Dubrovnik, this time arriving into port by boat after a fish meal on a sun kissed island. (This was memorable for one member of the group after they chose a cactus to sit on rather than a more conventional chair!)

I got the feeling that the high tourist city of Dubrovnik had been relegated into a firm second place after the many delightful surprises Montenegro threw up.

Where next? Watch this space.




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