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2-Week Montenegro Road Trip Itinerary

Montenegro has everything: stunning mountains, idyllic villages, enticing beaches, and a history that dates back to the Illyrians.

It’s the perfect destination for a road trip; distances aren’t too far between attractions and you can experience both the coast and the mountains. As you journey across Montenegro, you will drive through groves of olive and pomegranate trees, along narrow seaside routes, and over mountain passes.

We structured our 2-week Montenegro itinerary so that we spent roughly one week in the mountains and one week by the sea.

Our Montenegro travel route is a circuit. So, no matter where you decide to rent a car, you can use this route to structure your trip.


When to Visit Montenegro

Shoulder Season: June, or September

In high season (July and August), the beaches and coastal routes are very crowded. If you still want to visit Montenegro in high season, we recommend spending the majority of your time in the mountains of Durmitor and Prokletije.

We followed this Montenegro itinerary in September and it was perfect. The weather was superb for both hiking and enjoying the coast.

Rijeka Reževići Beach, Montenegro

2-Week Montenegro Itinerary Route

  • Day 1: Podgorica – Komovi
  • Days 2-3: Prokletije National Park
  • Days 4-6: Durmitor National Park
  • Day 7: Scenic Route P14 – Plužine -Njeguši
  • Days 8-9: Kotor
  • Days 10-11: Budva Riviera
  • Day 12: Stari Bar – Ulcinj
  • Day 13: Lake Skadar
  • Day 14: Depart Montenegro

  • 1 Night in Komovi 
  • 2 Nights in Grebaje Valley
  • 3 Nights in Žabljak 
  • 3 Nights in Kotor Bay
  • 2 Nights in Budva Riviera
  • 1 Night in Ulcinj
  • 1 Night near Lake Skadar

Montenegro Road Trip Itinerary Map

ROUTE DESTINATIONS

Podgorica

Komovi

Prokletije National Park

Durmitor National Park

Plužine

Kotor

Budva Riviera

Ulcinj

Lake Skadar


How to Book this Montenegro Itinerary


Accommodation

Book 1 Night in Komovi | Chalets Etno selo Štavna (budget), or Komovi – Kobil Do Guesthouse (budget)

Book 2 Nights in Grebaje Valley | Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil (budget), or Bungalows Prokletije (budget)

Book 3 Nights in Žabljak | Snam Rooms (budget), Apartments Sipcic (budget), Vuk Popovic (midrange), Casa di Pino Eco Lodge Apartments (midrange-luxury), Hotel Soa (luxury)

Book 3 Nights in Kotor Bay | Read Where to Stay in Kotor.

Book 2 Nights in Budva Riviera | Apartments Viktorija (budget), Luxury Apartment Stefan (midrange), or Hotel Riva (luxury)

Book 1 Night in Ulcinj |Guesthouse Maritimo (budget), Apartments Secret Garden (midrange), or Hotel Pirate Old Town (luxury)

Book 1 Night near Lake Skadar | Vržina Farm House Skadar Lake (budget), or Skadar lake Apartments Pajovic (midrange)


Car Rental

Podgorica is the starting point for this Montenegro road trip. Alternatively, you can start the road trip in Dubrovnik, Croatia. 

We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Montenegro. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here.

Komovi, Montenegro

Day 1: Podgorica – Komovi


Drive to Komovi

After collecting your rental car in Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, start the drive inland in the direction of the Komovi mountains. The drive to the base of the Komovi mountains, Štavna, takes 2:30 hours.

Štavna is a high pasture dotted with katuns (herdsmen settlements) on the slope of Kom Vasojevićki. As you make your way out of the capital, you’ll start to see fruit stands on the side of the road as well as the occasional restaurant.

Off to the right, there’s a deep canyon that merits a few photos! As you drive further inland, you’ll pass through a series of tunnels that funnel you deeper into the mountains. All the roads were in good condition – just the occasional pothole.


Explore Komovi

We loved the remoteness, ruggedness, and authenticity of this area. There’s very little tourism in Komovi, so you’ll have a peaceful introduction to Montenegro if you start your trip here. 

After settling into your chalet at Chalets Etno selo Štavna, you can explore the nearby katun (temporary herdsmen settlement) and even hike to the summit of Kom Vasojevićki (2461 meters).

This Komovi out-and-back hike takes 4:30 hours (elevation gain: 710 meters). Use this Mountains of Montenegro guidebook for guidance.


Stay in Štavna

Budget | Chalets Etno selo Štavna (Ethno Village Štavna) comprises 10 chalets. Each chalet can sleep 5 to 6 people. There’s an on-site restaurant that makes delicious, homemade Montenegrin cuisine. Chalets Etno selo Štavna is also located directly at the starting point for all hikes in the Komovi mountain range. So, it’s an ideal place to park, sleep, eat & drink before and after hiking. We recommend making a reservation in advance.

Budget | Komovi – Kobil Do Guesthouse – Bungalows

Look for accommodation in Komovi.

Prokletije National Park, Montenegro

Days 2-3: Prokletije National Park 

Day two begins with a delicious and traditional Montenegrin breakfast of feta cheese, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and priganica sa sirom (fritters with cheese) at Chalets Etno selo Štavna.


Drive to Grebaje Valley

After hiking in the Komovi Mountains, it’s time to start the drive to Prokletije National Park – Montenegro’s best-kept secret.

We recommend basing yourself in Grebaje Valley (also spelled Grbaje Valley), which is a 15-20 minute drive from the town Gusinje. This scenic and narrow valley has a few accommodation options and restaurants.

Park Entrance Fee | There’s a 3 EUR national park fee per day per person. You’ll pay this upon entering Grebaje Valley. Prokletije National Park Pricelist.

Hiking Research | It’s important to research Prokletije hiking trails before arriving in Grebaje Valley. From our experience, wifi isn’t reliable. Use the Wikiloc mobile app for trail directions.


Hike to Volušnica and Talijanka (Popadija)

You have a full day to explore the Accursed Mountains of Prokletije National Park. We recommend prioritizing the hike to Volušnica, a moderate 5-hour hike. This trail rewards you with the most awe-inducing views of the Karanfili peaks and the Albanian Alps.

From Eco katun Maja Karanfil in Grebaje Valley, it takes about 2 hours to reach the Volušnica summit. The hike continues along a ridge trail to the Talijanka (Popadija) summit, which straddles the Montenegrin-Albanian border. The view is mind-blowing.

For the best light, hike the Volušnica trail in the late afternoon. If you hike in the morning, the sun will blind you and obstruct the view.

If you decide to extend your stay in Grebaje Valley, also consider the loop trail to the glacial cirque Krošnja and the arch Kissing Cats.


Stay 2 Nights in Grebaje Valley in Prokletije National Park

Budget | We stayed at Bungalows Katun Maja Karanfil. This accommodation has the best views of Dolina Grebaje, especially during sunset. From Maja Karanfil, it’s a 1-5 minute walk to any of the hiking trailheads. Maja Karanfil is also a restaurant. Each bungalow sleeps 4 people.

Budget | Another (budget) option in Grebaje Valley is Bungalows Prokletije. Their wooden cabins are a bit larger than the ones in Katun Karanfil. Guests are really pleased with the hospitality and food here.

Look for accommodation in Grebaje Valley.

Hiking Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Days 4-6: Durmitor National Park


Drive to Žabljak

The drive to Žabljak, the gateway to Durmitor National Park, traverses the rural heart of Montenegro. 

As you near Žabljak, the drive becomes increasingly more beautiful. You’ll drive along Tara Canyon and below rugged mountains.


Explore Durmitor National Park

Welcome to Montenegro’s crown jewel: Durmitor National Park. This is a fantastic hiking destination – possibly the best hiking area in the entire Balkans.

Entrance Fee | There’s a 5 EUR entrance fee to the park per day. Pricelist for Durmitor National Park.


Durmitor Hiking Trails

Trails are well maintained and easy to follow. There’s ubiquitous easy-to-follow signage marking intersections and directions.

The best time to hike in Durmitor is between late June and late September.

Crno Jezero Hike (Black Lake). This glacial lake is located only 10 minutes from the Durmitor National Park entrance and walking distance from Žabljak. To reach the lake, you’ll walk along a flat, paved road. This lake marks the trailhead for many park trails. 

Planinica Hike. This is a high alpine plateau that boasts one of the best views in the entire park. It takes 4:30 hours to reach Planinica, so this is a long day hike. The hike starts at Crno Jezero (Black Lake). 

Bobotov Kuv Peak Hike. This is the highest peak in Durmitor National Park. The final stretch of this moderately difficult hike entails some secured scrambling. Hiking poles are very helpful. Start the hike at the Sedlo mountain pass.

Learn More: Hiking in Durmitor National Park.


Stay 3 Nights in Žabljak

Žabljak is the best base for exploring Durmitor National Park.

Budget | Snam Rooms or Apartments Sipcic

Midrange | Vuk Popovic is a very clean and spacious apartment fully furnished and stocked with necessary amenities. The apartment can sleep up to 4, or 5 people.

Top Choice – Luxury | We recommend staying in Casa di Pino Eco Lodge Apartments, a modern, tastefully-furnished accommodation with 8 rooms and apartments. The room rate includes a breakfast buffet and use of the Finnish sauna. 

Luxury | Hotel Soa is the best accommodation if you want a spacious modern room, an excellent breakfast and spa facilities. The hotel is perfectly situated between the city center and the Crno Jezero (Black Lake).

Look for accommodation in Žabljak.

P14 Road, Durmitor National Park, Montenegro

Day 7: P14 Road – Plužine – Njeguši – Kotor

Day 8 of your Montenegro road trip is a thrilling adventure filled with epic roads, delicious food, and heart-expanding views.


Drive the Sedlo Route: P14 Žabljak – Trsa – Plužine

Prepare yourself for one of the most beautiful drives in all Montenegro. Begin the day by driving the Sedlo Pass Route from Žabljak to Piva Lake.

The route winds through the heart of Durmitor National Park, passing a treeless paradise where the mountains take center stage. At the beginning of the route, you can stop for coffee in the cozy cabin Konoba Lomni Do.

There are a number of trailheads located along the P14 route. If you get an early start, you could potentially hike to Mount Prutaš, a striking mountain that looks like a layered deli-sandwich flipped on its side.


Eat Lunch in Plužine

The route ends at Piva Lake. Cross the lake and have lunch in the town Plužine. We recommend eating at Restoran Sočica, a lovely restaurant with ample outdoor seating.

From Plužine, the drive continues to the underwhelming lake Slansko.


Visit Njeguši

We decided to drive around lake Slansko and take P15, followed by P23, to the town Njeguši, before descending into Kotor. This segment of the drive is long and windy, so if you’re already feeling tired, you might want to navigate to Kotor via P11.

The pros of taking the long windy route to Njeguši was the opportunity to eat the regionally famous – which really should be globally famous – Njeguški pršut (smoked ham) and Njeguški sir (smoked cheese).

After a very enjoyable break here, we continued the drive to Kotor.

If you have time, you can hike to Pestingrad Peak, before driving down to Kotor.


Drive the Serpentine Road to Kotor

The drive to Kotor from Njeguši is a steep hairpin road known as the Serpentine Kotor Road.

We arrived at the top of the road at golden hour, that time of day when the landscapes soften to pastel tones and the sun makes its final act.

There are many lookout points and opportunities to stop to enjoy the view along the way. 


Stay 3 Nights in Kotor Bay

Read our guide to Where to Stay in Kotor to find out the best places to stay in Kotor Bay: top areas and accommodations. 


Old Town of Kotor – Inside City Walls

The Old Town of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period.

There’s something so romantic about staying within the walled city, a tangle of narrow streets lined with historic buildings, which house humming restaurants and bars.

The entire UNESCO-protected Old Town is a pedestrian zone, so naturally, accommodations do not offer on-site parking. Ask your accommodation for clear parking instructions in advance of your stay.

Keep in mind that you’ll have to carry your luggage to your accommodation, as accommodations rarely offer a bellhop service.

If you’re sensitive to noise and loud music, don’t stay in the Old Town on Friday, or Saturday nights. There’s a midnight curfew on music, but it’s not strictly enforced.

Budget | Old Town Youth Hostel is a social hostel for the young party types with raving reviews.

Apartment | Palazzo Sindik is a lovely one-bedroom apartment in the old town of Kotor.

Apartment | Katareo Apartments offers newly renovated and spotless apartments with kitchenettes. Try to book the apartment with the terrace, if it’s available.

Luxury | Hotel Hippocampus is a stylish boutique hotel set in a 17th century building with a roof terrace and restaurant. A slow, mouthwatering breakfast is served on the rooftop, featuring local cold cuts and cheeses, freshly baked Montenegrin pastries, eggs-to-order, coffee, and orange juice. All rooms are air-conditioned.

Luxury | Boutique Hotel Astoria is a luxury hotel, housed in the UNESCO-protected 13th-century Buca Palace. The hotel’s restaurant spills outside onto the square. Rooms are spacious and feature funky, love-it-or-hate-it decor.

Luxury | Hotel Vardar is a 4-star hotel with classic rooms situated on the main square in the Old Town of Kotor, a stone’s throw from the Sea Gate. Guests have access to a gym, sauna, and steam bath. 

Look for accommodation in Kotor.


Kotor – Outside City Walls

The benefit of staying outside the city walls is on-site parking.

Budget | Apartments Ana is located just steps away from the River Gate (North Gate) of the Old Town at the Kotor Ladder trailhead. This is a great value apartment with private parking.

Budget | Apartments Qualitas offers snug apartments at the marina, very close to the South Gate. Contact host in advance about parking. 


Dobrota

Dobrota is the sprawling settlement to the north of Kotor, which stretches for several kilometers from the Old Town to Ljuta.

It’s hard to know where Kotor ends and Dobrota begins, as one bleeds into the other.

Many accommodations in Dobrota are within walking distance of Kotor’s Old Town. For example: Apartman Castello (midrange apartments) and Solaris Lux Apartments (modern apartments).

However, many others are 3-4 kms away (10 minute drive), including some of the finest seafront hotels in Kotor Bay.

Far from the bustling port and city, these accommodations provide private sea access, minimal  traffic, and a more peaceful environment.

Stand-out seafront accommodations: Hotel Forza Terra (5-star boutique hotel) and Hotel Forza Mare (boutique hotel), Villa Maestral (apartments), Corso Levante Luxury Suites (luxury suites), and Three Dots (private villa). 

Vrmac Ridge, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Days 8-9: Bay of Kotor

After a week in the mountains, it’s time to relax by the sea. Today, explore the old town of Kotor, walk along the bay and gorge yourself with seafood.

Surrounded by mountains, the Bay of Kotor is undeniably good looking. You’ll be enchanted from the very moment you arrive. 


Things to Do in Kotor

We recommend eating BBQ at the BBQ Tanjga eatery, savoring a mouthwatering breakfast on the rooftop terrace of Boutique Hotel Hippocampus, dining at the seaside Restaurant Galion, drinking craft beer at the Nitrox Pub, and walking the Dobota Promenade to Platanus café (their “Montenegro Platter” is very generous). 

Hike the Ladder of Kotor. The Ladder of Kotor is a hiking trail that connects Kotor with Krstac Pass. It was built in the 19th century by the Austrians, in order to connect Kotor with Njeguši and Cetinje, Montenegro’s former royal capital. The Kotor Ladder is defined by 70 switchbacks and starts on Tabačina road, just outside the UNESCO-protected Old Town of Kotor, near the River Gate (aka North Gate). There is no entrance fee.

Hike to the Kotor Fortress. The Kotor Fortress hike links the Old Town of Kotor with the hilltop Kotor Fortress (aka San Giovanni Fortress, St. John’s Fortress), passing the Church of Our Lady of Remedy along the way. There is 8 EUR entrance fee to hike the 1350 stone steps to the hilltop fortress. 

Watch the Sunset from Mount Vrmac. Vrmac is the long, limestone mountain that divides Kotor Bay (aka Boka Bay) into a “inner bay” and an “outer bay”. It’s the backbone of the peninsula that rises between Tivat and Kotor. The Vrmac Ridge Trail connects Fort Vrmac with Sveti Ilija (765 m), the highest peak along the ridge. Read our Vrmac trail guide for tips on where to watch the sunset. 

Learn More: Best Things to Do in Kotor


Stay a Second and Third Night in Kotor

Old Town | Hotel Hippocampus (luxury), Boutique Hotel Astoria (luxury), or Hotel Vardar (luxury)

Kotor – Outside City Walls | Apartments Ana (budget), or Apartments Qualitas (budget)

Dobrota | Apartman Castello (midrange apartments), Solaris Lux Apartments (modern apartments), Hotel Forza Terra (5-star boutique hotel) and Hotel Forza Mare (boutique hotel), Villa Maestral (apartments), Corso Levante Luxury Suites (luxury suites), or Three Dots (private villa). 

Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

Days 10 – 11:  Budva Riviera 

The Budva Riviera is a strip of Adriatic coast around the town Budva.

Here you’ll find Montenegro’s prettiest coves, most iconic architecture, and dreamiest islands. You’ll also find tasteless resorts and overcrowded beaches. 


Drive to Budva

It’s difficult to say goodbye to charming Kotor.

Luckily, the drive around Kotor Bay is captivating, making the farewell less bitter. As you drive along the bay (in the direction of Lepetane), you’ll pass beautiful waterfront estates, countless fishing boats, and flowering trees.

The white stone buildings with wooden shutters and terra cotta roofs complement the clear blue waters of the bay. It seems like every property is a vacation rental or apartment complex.

The water is animated with swimmers, sunbathers, and water polo players. The whole area evokes the ultimate seaside holiday feeling.


Visit the Old Walled Town of Budva and Mogren Beaches

Budva has a reputation for being a tourist hot spot and a magnet for partiers. We explored Budva in the mid-morning and had a really lovely time.

After walking through the charming and congested streets of the old town, we walked along the coast to Mogren beaches (there are two).

These beaches reminded us of the Algarve. Backed by towering orange-colored cliffs, the Mogren coves offer a wonderful place to indulge in a full day at the beach.

We spent at least two hours here. The beach is family-friendly. The sand is coarse, but not painful – the perfect size that feels like a foot massage. From the beach, you’ll have a great view of the triangular shaped Sveti Nikola Island.


Lunch at Paštrovica Dvori, Sveti Stefan

After Morgren Beach, we continued our drive to the restaurant Paštrovica Dvori, located high above Sveti Stefan. The owner is very welcoming. Products on the menu are either fresh or homemade (olive oil, cheese, smoked ham, olives).

Everything we ate was delicious. And, the cherry on top is the view of the fortified island Sveti Stefan. After lunch, continue driving up the road to the stone chapel called Sveti Sava Church. There are sweeping views of the Budva Riviera. 


Visit Budva Riviera Beaches

Pržno Beach. Family-friendly cove with beautiful scenery.

Rijeka Reževići Beach. A tiny hidden gem. There’s a small café at the beach that serves yummy Mediterranean food.

Lučica Plaža. Nice beach, but crowded. 

Petrovac Beach. This scenic cove is worth visiting in order to see Katio Castle, an old Venetian fortress built on a rocky promontory.

Plaza Buljarica. Long pebbly beach. The water is clear, but it’s less kind to the feet. It is a perfect place for a sunset dip, as the beach was nearly deserted when we arrived.


Stay 2 Nights in the Budva Riviera

We recommend staying anywhere between the towns of Budva and Petrovac.

Budget | We stayed in Apartments Viktorija, a clean, comfortable and affordable apartment in Petrovac, near Plaza Buljarica. It looks like they’re now accepting bookings with a 3-night minimum stay.

Midrange | Luxury Apartment Stefan is a lovely apartment with a terrace overlooking Pržno Beach, one of our favorite beaches in Montenegro.

Luxury | Hotel Riva is a stylish hotel with memorable views of the sea and the old town of Petrovac.

Look for accommodation in the Budva Riviera.

Ulcinj, Montenegro

Day 12: Ulcinj

Your Montenegro itinerary continues to Ulcinj, a town on the Albanian border.


Detour to Stari Bar

On your way to Ulcinj, you can take a detour to the old town of Stari Bar. The old fortified town is more of a ruin, but it’s enlivened by the many restaurants and shops lining the walls.

It’s difficult to understand the historical significance of the town without proper context. There were a few info boards, but a tour would have been helpful.


Explore Ulcinj

Ulcinj is a vibrant seaside town. Though our time in Ulcinj was quite short, we were really happy we included it in our Montenegro travel itinerary. Begin your visit by walking through the Old Town of Ulcinj.

Though not as well-preserved as other towns in Montenegro, it’s still captivating. Definitely check out the Sunset Beach Bar, which is accessible from the Old Town, but located outside the walls on the edge of the sea.

For dinner, head to Fisherman Hari for delicious freshly-caught fish. This was hands down the best fish we ate during our trip.

Ulcinj is also a beach destination. If you walk south along the coast, you’ll see many seaside restaurants, beach clubs, and coves.

Women should head to Ladies’ Beach, a woman’s only beach that is completely fenced off and guarded so women can bathe in complete peace and comfort.

If you’re into adrenalin sports, Velika Plaža is a popular beach for kitesurfing.


Stay in Ulcinj

Budget | Guesthouse Maritimo is a comfortable accommodation with sea views, a balcony, and a perfect location.

Midrange | Apartments Secret Garden is a thoughtfully-designed apartment-style accommodation in the center of Ulcinj. Bonus: an outdoor swimming pool.

Luxury | Hotel Pirate Old Town is located within the walls of the old town. Facing the Adriatic Sea, Hotel Pirate boasts the best views in town.

Look for accommodation in Ulcinj.

Puppy at Apartment Pajovic, Lake Skadar, Montenegro

Day 13: Lake Skadar

Your two weeks in Montenegro are nearly over, but we have a delightful surprise for you. After enjoying your morning in Ulcinj, drive inland to Lake Skadar.


Things to Do around Lake Skadar

Lake Skadar (Schkodra Lake) is a large freshwater lake that lies on the border of Albania and Montenegro. You can explore the lake by joining a boat tour, renting a kayak, or simply by the road.

This region is also famous for wine. So, if you have time, we recommend tasting your way through Virpazar and the surrounding region.


Stay near Lake Skadar

Budget | Vržina Farm House Skadar Lake

Midrange | Skadar lake Apartments Pajovic offers spacious and light-filled apartments. Surrounded by pomegranate trees and rolling hills, it’s easy to lose track of time here.

We arrived in the middle of the day and loved it so much that we just relaxed, played with puppies (there were 4), and enjoyed the solitude of our surroundings.

Our hosts made us a yummy feast for dinner accompanied by a bottle of their homemade white wine. We’re still dreaming of the wine, and plotting our return to this incredible hidden gem near Lake Skadar. Guests who have more energy can go on a boat ride (organized by the host).

Look for accommodation near Lake Skadar.

Horseshoe Bend, Lake Skadar, Montenegro Road Trip

Day 14: Lake Skadar – Podgorica 


Pavlova Strana Viewpoint

Your Montenegro road trip concludes with one final scenic drive and a visit to Horseshoe Bend (Pavlova Strana Viewpoint). To reach the viewpoint, drive back to Virpazar and continue on P16. Exact Location: Google Maps.

The best views are seen from the windy road that branches off to the left in the direction of M2.3 (highway). You can take that road to M2.3 and head directly to Podgorica. The whole drive takes 2 hours.


Where to Next?

Montenegro borders Albania. If you’re interested in traveling south, read our Albania Travel Guide. After dropping off our car in Podgorica, we took a bus to Shkodra (Albania) and embarked on this Albanian trip.

If your journey takes you north, check out our Slovenia Travel Guide for useful tips and top things to do.



Balkans Travel Guides

Montenegro:

Slovenia:


Montenegro Road Trip Itinerary

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati