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Montenegro - Kotor Bay Planning Tips and Fast Facts

Experience the Wild Beauty of Fjord-like Kotor Bay – Your Gateway to Croatia

Our Expert Opinion

Montenegro is the “VAT-free” gateway to Croatia which is the premier yacht charter destination in the region. The voyage through the fjord-like Bay of Kotor to get to the Adriatic Sea is breathtakingly beautiful. A side trip to the ancient city of Kotor prior to your charter is a must.

What is Destination Known For?

Local Rakija brandy, Sveti Stefan – retreat of the rich and famous, beautiful mountain trails, the breath-taking Dormitory National Park

Location and Size

Located in south-eastern Europe, around 468 miles (753 mms.) from Italy, Montenegro is bordered by Bosnia and Herzegovina on the north-west, Croatia on the west, Albania on the south-east and Serbia on the north-east. It has its coast along the Adriatic Sea and with an area of 5333 sq. miles (13,812 sq.kms.), Montenegro is roughly the size of Connecticut.

History

The first inhabitants of Montenegro were the Illyrians who arrived here during the late Iron Age. As the region gradually began to develop, the Greeks started settling in this Balkan territory. The Illyrians resented this encroachment and got hostile towards the Greek settlers, who approached the Romans for protection. In 228 BC, the Romans forced the Illyrian Queen Tueta out and secured Montenegro. However, the rich natural resources of this region prompted the Romans to stay back. They colonized and developed the towns, while the outer regions were still Illyrian-dominated. The Roman-Illyrian conflicts continued till 168 BC, when the last Illyrian king - Gentius, was defeated.

Around the early 4th century, Rome was in decline and the Roman Empire had to be divided. After a brief period of loss to the Ostrogoths, Emperor Justinian in Montenegro reinstated Roman command and introduced Christianity to the region.

The next era witnessed invasions of the Avars, the Slavs and the Turks, before a long period of the Ottoman control of the Balkans. In 1878, Montenegro achieved independence from the Ottomans. After the First World War broke out, Montenegro became a part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Slovenes and Croats, which was named as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929.

The Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was created in 1945, but after the departure of the other members in 1991, Montenegro, together with Serbia formed the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A period of political upheaval followed the next

decade and Montenegro disintegrated from the joint republic, to become an independent nation in 2006.

The 'Pearl of the Mediterranean' has since remained peaceful and its pristine natural wonder entices thousands of tourists each year.

Getting There

Direct flights connect Montenegro to Moscow, Vienna, Rome, Belgrade, Ljubljana and Istanbul. Stopover flights operate between Montenegro and various parts of America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. The international airport in Dubrovnik, Croatia is only 90 minutes from the main port of Tivat.

Best Time to Go

The weather is very pleasant at around 75ËšF(24ËšC) during the period from May to September, and this is the best for visiting Montenegro. However, since July and August are usually very busy, the months of June and September are optimum for this Mediterranean locale.

Local Customs to Observe

Three kisses, alternating cheeks are a customary form of greeting. Flowers, food or wine is usually brought as a present to an invitation. It is a prevailing practice to remove one's shoes and put on a pair of slippers while entering a house.

Helpful Fast Facts

Currency: Euro

Time Zone: UTC+01:00

Local language: Montenegrin is the official language of the country. English, Albanian, Bosnian and Croatian are also spoken in parts of the country.

Population: 603,055.

Airport: The Golubovci Airport(TGD) at Podgorica is the country's gateway to the world. The other international airport of Montenegro is at Tivat (TIV) which is the closest airport to the marinas.

Entry Requirements: All nationals entering Montenegro require a valid passport. Citizens of EU, USA, Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan may stay up to 30 days in the country without a visa. The stay limit without visa is of 90 days for holders of travel documents issued by the Organization

of the United Nations or its specialized agencies (Laissez-Passer).

Departure Tax: EUR 15 per person.

Legal Drinking Age: 18 years.

Smoking Regulations: Smoking is prohibited in all public places, including public transportation, clubs and restaurants.

Staying in touch: Internet coverage across Montenegro is good with cafes and Wi-Fi facilities existing far and wide. Landlines and cellphones also offer good tele-connectivity, with major service providers offering international roaming plans.

Medical Information: The Clinical Centre of Montenegro and the Meljine Hospital are among a number of specialist hospitals in the country. The UK and other EU countries have reciprocal health care agreements with Montenegro, facilitating free emergency hospital treatment.

Public Holidays: January 1 – New Year's day; January 7 – Orthodox Christmas Day; Orthodox Good Friday; Orthodox Easter Monday; Labor Day; May 9 – Victory day; May 21 – Independence Day; July 13 – Statehood Day.

Tourist Office: National Tourism Organization of Montenegro's website www.montenegro.travel provides all information pertaining to tourism in the country.

Shopping Information: Montenegro is not a renowned shopping destination. Yet, certain indigenous products are always a part of the shopping itinerary in this country. Various flavors of the local brandy Rajika – Loza, Šljivovica and Kruškovac are for the connoisseurs. Pršut (smoked ham), Kadulja (sage), Metvica (mint) and Kamilica (chamomile) are also among the most popular buys. The boutiques at Porto Montenegro are a good place to buy luxury clothing. Herceg Novi's old town is renowned for its jewelry shops. A number of shopping centers exist in Podgorica too. Besides, duty-free shops are available at the airport.

Top Ten "Must Do's"

  • Explore the bountiful mountainous wonders of the Durmitor National Park with everything from bungee jumping to rafting
  • Travel back into history, admiring the Venetian-Gothic architecture in Kotor town
  • Climb the 1350 stairs to the Castle of Giovanni ruins and a magnificent vista of the old city and bay
  • Spend some divine moments at the Aman Sveti Stefan resort prior to your yacht charter
  • Explore the architecture of the tiny town of Perast
  • Sample some locally produced olive oils
  • Find your way through the alleys of the Old Town of Budva into a lively nightclub
  • Soothe yourself with some local Rajika brandy
  • Grab your camera and head for the top deck as you capture the majesty of the fjord-like Bay of Kotor
  • “Eat everything our ancestors used to eat” at Konoba Koliba in Tivat

Major Local and Regional Events

  • Budva Music Festival (June)
  • Kotor Carnival – a festival celebrating the music, culture and fun of the Boka area
  • Sea Dance Festival – an event featuring cocktail parties and electro beats at the picturesque Jaz Beach

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