The Best of Central Montenegro
Even though Montenegro is a small country, it has a diverse terrain. Montenegro is the all about its mountains, they plunge abruptly especially around the Bay of Kotor. One can’t visit the country without exploring its mountain and scenic views.
One of the best picturesque drives is 25 Serpentine. Not very far from Kotor Bay, this road is not to be missed! It is a 25 minute drive in a single lane narrow route, full of cypress trees with 25 curves. From here you can observe the Gulf of Kotor from birds-eye view and enjoy the fresh air from high up the mountain.
The engineer who constructed this road one a cleaver one. He made a donkey climb the mountain, because donkeys find the easiest way to climb hence this made it easier for them to construct the road and give it a constant steep. This road was the border between the old Montenegro and the Coast which didn’t belong to Montenegro before the 19th century. In 1918 it has become one country and the road leads you all the way to Njeguši.
Njeguši is on the mountain at 900 meters above sea level. This charming town is famous for the production of prosciutto and cheese. Being in this town gives you a taste of Montenegro’s products as the restaurant explains how prosciutto is made in their very own smoke house.
Prosciutto takes a whole year to produce, starting in December. Pork legs are placed in salt and put in a device which squeezes out the juices. This process is done daily for a whole month. The meat is then hung in the attic of the smoke house and small fires are lit daily to smoke it lightly for a whole 4 months. Then they leave it in the airy attic till the end of the year for it to be ready. The best part is trying their prosciutto and cheese. Yummy! Definitely worth a visit!
Standing high on Locven Mountain at 1657 meters above sea level, this is what looks like a walk into heaven. It takes 461 steps to
climb to the Mausoleum. This is where the great Prince Bishop Peter Petar II Petrovic Njegoseva is buried. This Prince Bishop, adored by all Montenegrins, was the ruler of Montenegro in the 19th century and was a philosopher and poet. He was a smart man and helped Montenegro to educate its people and helped bring peace to the country. He died at the very tender age of 38 and wanted to be buried on this very mountain where he could look over Kotor Bay. People asked why he didn’t want to be buried on the highest peak, but being a humble man he believed someone greater would rule after him and wanted to leave that spot for him. But according to Montenegrins that great man has never showed up. The Mausoleum is richly decorated with 4.5 meters tall black marble Montenegrin ladies which represent his sister and mother and his own statue being 28 tonnes heavy surrounded with 18 karat gold ceiling.
At the back of the Mausoleum, a narrow pathway on the mountain peak leads you into what is known as a Guvno. This was built as it represents the area where important decisions were made between the Bishops. It was like their Parliament. Guvno’s were also popular in town and used as a square where people met up had a chat and enjoyed their social life.
From the beautiful mountain peak, a 30-minute drive can go to Cetinje at the mountain's foot. This is historic old capital city of Montenegro, and is where the most humorous Montenegrins are from. Built at the end of the 15th century, Cetinje was the capital till 1945. They then had to move the capital to Podgorica, because Cetinje was built in a narrow valley and couldn’t be expanded.
In the 19th century it had 11 embassies, however nowadays they are being used for public facilities. Here you can soak in the historic town, see the Royal Palace where the Royal family lived in 1910 till the beginning of the 20th century. Next to which there is a building called the Billiard house. This is because the very first billiard was brought here for the Royal’s entertainment, from Kotor Bay on Foot!
One can also see the ruins of the Monastery which the Ottomen destroyed in a vendetta. On the exact same spot where a church was built. Cetinje is also the place in which the main monastery stands, the main seat of the Orthodox Christianity.
Rijeka Crnojevića is only a 30 minute drive from Cetinje, and is definitely the highlight of central Montenegro. First and foremost the drive is another scenic one, with impeccable views. Seeing the whole curve of the river is the wow moment! We then had fish for lunch caught freshly from the river. The best was saved for last. We took a relaxing boat ride down the river lane to soak in nature’s beauty, seeing not only the beautiful river but also many species of birds.
Most of these places are not accessible by bus and we recommend you to visit Montenegro Tours' website for a Full-Day Tour: the Best of Montenegro for an unforgettable experience.