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Montenegro offers a wealth of things to see and do, from adventure activities such as kayaking and hiking to more relaxing pleasures like sunbathing on the beach or exploring medieval towns; the best thing about this compact country is that you can be lazing on the beach one minute and hiking in the mountains the next. Here are Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ choices for the best Montenegro attractions:
1. Relax on the beaches of the Budva Riviera. With about 7 1/2 miles of beaches and a beautiful mountain backdrop, the Budva Riviera is the ideal place to soak up the sun during the summer months. Swim in the sparkling blue waters of the Adriatic and admire the view over to Sveti Stefan, a private island resort that attracts a number of A-list celebrities.
2. Boat across the Bay of Kotor. Cruise along the waters of “Europe’s southernmost fjord” to Our Lady of the Rocks — a man-made islet with a pretty Roman Catholic church perched on top. Legend has it that seamen found a picture of the Virgin Mary there in 1452 and placed a rock in the same spot after each successful voyage, until eventually an island was formed.
3. Hike in the mountains. For a change from the beach, take a hiking tour through the mountains across the Vrmac Ridge, which separates the inner and outer Bays of Kotor. As you walk across the ancient pathway, you’ll be presented with spectacular mountain scenery and captivating views over the Bay of Kotor and the Adriatic Sea.
4. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Kotor. The entire old town of Kotor, together with the fortifications and the Bay of Kotor, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What makes this town so magical is its naturally beautiful setting alongside the Bay. The old town is incredibly well-preserved and is surrounded by a medieval wall that snakes up the steep mountain behind. Behind the city walls you can visit churches, museums and monuments, as well as explore the hidden back streets.
5. Lake Skadar. Straddling the border between Montenegro and Albania, Lake Skadar is home to more than 260 species of birds, making it a haven for birdwatchers. Take a boat trip on the lake to admire the magnificent scenery and look out for different types of wildlife.