Magical Montenegro

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Imagine a place on earth where beauty is abundantly unadulterated; where nature scoured expanses of blue, both of the waters and the skies, virtually alter your every perception of the stunning variety of its colorful extents; where mountains rule in their majestic might and beaches play about in their flirtatious allure; where every experience speaks of adventure through premises of its haughty highlands and beautiful bays; where the quaint villages and walled ancientries conjure up an image of existence riddled with contrasts, yet so forthcoming of harmony in its happy happenings that makes you feel like as if you have landed in utopia. Incredible in its glistening view of a country that exists in so much of its elements, each more captivating of the fancies than the others, even when being a rather small entity in physical dimensions, is a particularly mesmerising land of breathtaking beauty, pertaining to the characteristics of the European charm yet continuing in an aura that already makes it so distinctly identifiable, going by a name that translates literally as Black Mountains, is wherein lies a motley of magical moments summed up as Montenegro.

Picturesque beyond measure but only growing on the tourism radar even when it is no less phenomenal than any of the other European beauties in its diverse aesthetics and endowment, the past profile of Montenegro however had seen the small country as a well known tourist spot in the 1980s. Crippled by factors that have been mostly external, the tourism industry of the country has recently managed to rediscover its lost footing and by such measures that make Montenegro the new ‘it’ destination for a whole world of travel enthusiasts, who swear by the profound elements of varied dimensions that make things work for this Balkan stemming. In its spectacular setting encompassing the contrasts in its spree of coastal treasures and the might of the mountainous terrain, the country of Montenegro harbours a kind of dual fetish that which explains its rapid rise in popularity among tourists of diverse interests seeking all things of wonder in one world. And thus Montenegro rests today in a glamour that has made it the most sought after international destination- replete with picture perfect views and idyllic settings, and indeed a diversive spanning across the expanse of European history helped by its standing on the edge of the east and the west, that which has granted this slice of Mediterranean heaven exemplary fame outside the trodden trails of the travel world.

Today one of the fastest growing tourist destinations, Montenegro owes all its rise to prominence to its bounty of natural wonders, but building also on its own scroungings to craft out expanses of amazingness from its endowed brush with ancientry. Having been named among the 50 Places of a Lifetime by travel magazine National Geographic Traveler, the country also finds regular mentions by other popular tourism guides like Lonely Planet as a top tourist destination while having been ranked also at one point of time in recent history by Yahoo Travel as the second fastest growing tourism market in the world. In its visage of a trail of coastal cheer set against the wrinkled facade of its mountainous pride, interspersed further with myriad elements of variegated charms, be it in the style of its architecture or the hues thereof, or the pretty islands standing amidst a sea of water in the most striking shade of blue there ever has been, or canyons so dramatic and terrains so remarkably dramatic that offers you a plethora of options to seek out the adventure in them, or the perfectly walled cities so rooted in ancientry that will have you effortlessly stepping back in time offering you therefore a view of the world you can satiate the dynamic range of your interests with, Montenegro is the perfect one stop solution catering to all the expectations you have from a memorable trip of a lifetime.

Perhaps half the charm of Montenegro lies along its line up of coastal glory, offering spectacular views of what would easily be Europe’s most impressive scenery venturing beyond the lands. From towns to ports to marinas and even down to its history, no aspect of the country is unattached to its amalgamation of coastal repute, making it essentially a land dwelling along its waters. With numerous beautiful beaches scattered all along its 295 km expanse of coastline- more than 30 of them resplendent in their Blue Flag identity, it would be easy to applaud Montenegro as an exclusively coastal glory. But really surprising is the extent to which the diversities of this diverse region present in all their uniqueties, with charms galore residing also on its cobbled walls and other expanses of concrete even as the jutting mountains and rugged territory present another world of inclusivity altogether, sharply beyond the mavericks of the blue that greet you with such magnificence of their glimmer that has you fall in love with them at the very first sight.

To begin with, it really is quite a dilemma of sorts to outline the many riches, both natural and manmade, of this seemingly insignificant expanse of area that Montenegro is. Because across all its many features, whether that be encompassing of the blues of the water or the browns of its shores and the rugged greys of its mountains, the small identity of the nation belies its built in extravagance. Choosing therefore the easier way out by exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor is quite the obvious way to go about of a land steeped in riches to extents beyond what seems physically viable to it. A spectacular town not just in its beauty but also in its locational setting, this tiny walled town resides along shadowy lanes, lined by crumbled churches is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic. Housing a range of maverick sights, this place guarding an old- world enchantment of cosy charms is also as worthy a visit across its catering through realms of the cultural, residing in a peculiarity that makes it all the more endearing. Once named the best city to visit by Lonely Planet, the old town of Kotor is a jostling space of numerous cats, that has emerged to be so prominent a symbol of the city that has earned these feline creatures their own cat museum as well as the Cats’ Square! Part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, this ancient town of stupendous beauty is located on the Bay of Kotor, or the Boka Bay, that which in itself is Montenegro’s another exclusive claim to its famed beauty. Overhanging limestone cliffs across surrounding mountain ranges also lend Kotor another dimension of charm laden identity, that which sees this impressive region of Mediterranean region residing in a glory uncharacteristic of any other part of the world.

Another coastal centre of charisma that occupies as integral a presence in the entire Montenegro itinerary for tourists is the town of Budva and the adjoining Budva Riveira. In being again a mix of its well-preserved medieval walled city, sandy beaches and diverse nightlife, Budva encompasses the multitudinal identity of the country. In fact, as a significant tourist destination in the Adriatic coast, Budva surpasses even the allure of its country of origin, even while being by far the most popular of explorings within it. But despite being a region with deep entrenches in history, being one of the oldest settlements along the region, it is more renowned for being the capital of nightlife there, and surprisingly sparse in its offering of options that would be of historical and cultural interests. One particular old world wonder shines out though- the Stari Grad or Old Town neighbourhood that is resplendent in a charm characteristic of another prominent Mediterranean jaunt of Dubrovnik, with identical winding streets, orange roofs, and those unmissable mountains that greet you with all their might from within the precincts of the Dalmatian Coast.. Marked by its colossal marbled streets and Venetian walls, even this place so seemingly steeped in times of the past jazz up with enough of the Budva glam, as it offers options aplenty to dance away your nights as well. The many beach resorts built around the many beaches of the Budva Riviera, for which it is so famous, is just what makes this Montenegro destination a favorite among enthusiastic revelers.

budva
Source: Musement
budva-montenegro-night-scape
Source: KILROY

Towns and cities apart, and celebrating the real essence of Montenegro as an European phenomenon most resplendent in its bounty of natural treasures is the second deepest canyon on earth, the Tara canyon. A part of the World Heritage Site of the Durmitor National Park, the 82 kilometer canyon features a range of spectacular physical landmasses- from rocky and pebbly terraces to sandy beaches and high cliffs and many caves, seated amidst dense forests and magical lakes. Formed by the Tara river slicing through the grey mountains with its spectacular streak of turquoise blue waters, this is a gorge gorgeous and pretty adventurous as well. A part of the Tara river rafting route, the Tara River Canyon is quite a wonder to unearth on your trip to Montenegro, either for its catering to the senses or the sights. And not just rafting and other related water activities, and certainly not limited to its beauty either, the Tara River presents also an exquisite experience of bungee jumping, from atop its 150 meter high Đurđevića Tara Bridge, that which in itself is another glorious sight of beauty.

Another UNESCO enlisted attraction that is enough evidence of the marvelous magnificence of the magic meandering throughout Montenegro is Biogradska Gora. A forest and national park that is one of the last three large virgin rainforests in Europe and makes for a part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves, this is a region marked in its physicality by mountain ridges and slopes, glacial lakes, pristine temperate forests and a low land lake, the Biogradsko Lake. A unique geomorphological region that endows it with a scientific significance and also makes it beautiful in an uncharacteristic manner, the national park indeed is a true Montenegro revelation, hoarding also abundant cultural and historic heritage consisting of sacral monuments national building and archeological localities. Biodiversically rich as well in its range of diverse flora and fauna, the park and its terrains also is another hotspot of mighty adventure activities within the small country.

And of course how can we forget the mountainous terrains of Lovcen, that which is all the more significant in lending Montenegro its very name? Deriving from the appearance of Mount Lovćen when covered in dense evergreen forest, Montenegro, or what is Crna Gora in the native language is an apt reference to the vision conjured by the peak nestled within then Dinaric Alps. Also encompassing a National Park and therefore significant in realms pertaining to touristry as well, the imposing black mountain is also the final resting place of the country’s greatest ever ruler, encompassing within itself therefore a legacy of immense cultural and historical importance, to stand for the true essence and identity of this magnificent muse of the Mediterranean, that which is this mound of magical minglings called Montenegro.


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