Joanna Simmons review 11 Aug 2017
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?
White water rafting on the clear Tara River, stopping off for a beer at a riverside bar on the Bosnian side. The local honey served everywhere in the north
and the fresh pomegranate juice in the south. Friendly hosts who always lay on far too much food! Staying in a quite hamlet near Pluzine, getting a taste of
rural life, watching the cows being milked in the garden amongst the fruit trees and bee hives. The dramatic Prokletije National Park, where few tourists
go, but where the hiking is amazing and the views wonderful. Tasty priganice doughnuts for breakfast. The edges of Lake Skadar, fringed with lily pads
where herons stalk. Watching swallows skim over the river and between the arches of the old bridge in Rijeka Crnojevica. Seeing tiny jellyfish-like
creatures in the water while kayaking on the river Crnojevic. The sunshine! Endless mountainous scenery. The relaxed and friendly feel to the country.
Tasty fruit brandies and cheap beer!
2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?
Take swimming gear to Cerne Jezero, the lake in Durmitor National Park - in August it was warm enough to swim in. Take a two litre water bottle per
person if you're hiking in summer - even at higher altitude it's hot and you'll sweat! Go outside hot July and August if you can, especially if you're down in
the south, where the temperatures can reach 40C and the views across Skadar Lake are obscured by haze and smoke for mountain wild fires. Download a
good road map, check routes each night at accommodation where you have Wifi or even invest in a SIM for Montenegro once here, so you can use data
roaming - a paper map isn't usually detailed enough and it's easy to get lost. Don't eat meat in the heat! There's a risk of food poisoning if you try meaty
things when it's really hot - we know, we got it! Finally, come hungry! Montenegro hosts are generous and meals are large, and they do love a potato!
3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
Yes. Beyond the coast, Montenegro is not that developed. We stayed in a homestay, B&B and mountain cabins and felt our money went straight into local
hands. All guides were local, too. The water was safe to drink, so we took water bottles and didn't have to buy bottled water, cutting back on waste.
4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?
Excellent. The country is beautiful and this trip felt like a bit of an adventure, as we were driving around and exploring. We saw a lot of the country and the
itinerary was planned to avoid the over-developed coast, a good thing, and took us to little-visited parks like Prokletije, which was really beautiful. The drive
times were sometimes fairly long and some roads are narrow and steep-sided, so not for the faint hearted, but we enjoyed touring around. The country isn't
swish, but that's a good thing! All accommodation was comfy and characterful, but not at the luxury end of the spectrum, and the hosts were all really
welcoming, funny, chatty and kind. Our kids got sick on the last day and our B&B host let us stay in the room as long as we wanted, helped us pack a picnic
and was incredibly sympathetic. Finally, this trip is brilliantly backed up by Nikola, who organised the itinerary, answered any questions once we were in
the country and checked in throughout the trip. His support was really appreciated.
Read the operator's response here:
Many thanks Joanna for your review, we are all delighted you enjoyed your trip with us in Montenegro! It was a pleasure hosting you, your family are great guests as well. Warm Regards from Nikola, Alexa, Jelena & Scott