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Montenegro – the pearl of the Mediterranean, unique in many ways, and situated in the south of the Adriatic. There is nowhere else that you can find, in such a small place, so much natural wealth, beauty, mild beaches, clear lakes, fast rivers and gorgeous mountains – except in Montenegro. In the morning you can wake up along the beautiful Adriatic coast, have lunch on the banks of Skadar Lake, and enjoy the evening walks in the Montenegrin mountains. Montenegro is a place that cannot leave you indifferent.
The poster child of Montenegrin tourism, Budva – with its atmospheric Stari Grad (Old Town) and numerous beaches – certainly has a lot to offer. Yet the child has moved into a difficult adolescence, fuelled by rampant development that has leeched much of the charm from the place. In the height of the season the sands are blanketed with package holidaymakers from Russia and Ukraine, while the nouveau riche park their multimillion-dollar yachts in the town’s guarded marina. By night you’ll run a gauntlet of scantily clad women attempting to cajole you into the beachside bars. It’s the buzziest place on the coast so if you’re in the mood to party, this is the place to be.
Podgorica is never going to be Europe’s most happening capital but if you can get past the sweltering summer temperatures and concrete apartment blocks, you’ll find a pleasant little city with lots of green space and some excellent galleries and bars.
The city sits at the confluence of two rivers. West of the broad Morača is what passes for the business district. The smaller Ribnica River divides the eastern side in two. To the south is Stara Varoš, the heart of the Ottoman town. North of the Ribnica is Nova Varoš, an attractive, mainly low-rise precinct of late-19th- and early-20th-century buildings housing a lively mixture of shops and bars. At its heart is Trg Republika, the main square.