Not Quite North's Essential Montenegro travel guide
Conjure up images of the most beautiful places in the world for mountains, aqua seas and elegant palazzo squares, add sunny days and clear skies and you are probably in Montenegro! If you want wilderness and wildlife AND beaches – absolutely consider a road trip in your motorhome to Montenegro.
It shares its borders with Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. It is approx 1450 miles away from London if you avoid the toll roads like we do, 1448 if you take the toll roads! The savings are obviously in time but actually, the time saved for toll and non-toll routes is only about 5 hours.
Montenegro is a newer arrival for the more adventurous motorhomer and a great addition for the Schengen Shuffle that now needs to take place for British passport holders (or non EU passport holders).
If you have found yourself on this page to find out the essentials of motorhoming in Montenegro, the chances are that you have more than a week off work – otherwise you will just get there – and have to leave again after one day!
This handy Montenegro travel guide will give you all the practical information that you need to know before you go! Get in now before all the crowds do!
Key Facts - Our Montenegro Essentials
When to Visit Montenegro
Montenegro is best enjoyed in the shoulder season months of May and June before the heat of summer arrives along with more people, and again in September and October. September the prices drop a little and in October you catch the changing of the leaves as Autumn arrives.
The coast line of Montenegro is approx 290km long, so in the summer months, it can feel pretty crowded, especially when not all that coastline is beaches – and there are no islands off of it, like there are in Croatia.
In the mountains, April – September is good – so if you like the hiking, rafting, mountain biking and out door activity, you will miss the crowds that flock to the beaches! There is even skiing in the winter. And of course, this is still the home to wild bears and woods. So be careful!
Although officially wild camping is not allowed, if you stay away from the tourist areas, the major beaches and generally use common sense (as always!) then locals are tolerant of motorhome visitors as a rule. Campsites in Montenegro are mostly great value – around 15-20 euros.
montenegro in Pictures
driving in Montenegro
Starting with the basics: Drive on the right and overtake on the left. Give way to the right. Compulsory seatbelts – front and back seats. Headlights always dipped for driving 24/7 all year round. Children under 12 must not be in the front seats.
Keep documents on you (licence, registration, insurance).
Drink drive limits are lower than the UK – including Scotland. 30mg per 100ml of blood. The advice we would give is pretty much do not drink at all. Random tests are carried out if the driver is expected to be over the limit.
Winter tyres are required if the weather conditions dictate. If you are driving in the mountainous regions in the winter, you might want to have them – definitely take snow chains – although not legally required.
Only use the horn if it is to create an audible warning to prevent an accident (not to communicate like the Italians do!).
Montenegro is declared to be a minefree zone.
Driving overall in Montenegro is fine, especially for the more experienced drivers. The roads though are windy as soon as you get out of the coast. The tarmac can be pot-holed and broken up and it could be narrow roads. Be mindful to pull over safely to let the locals pass when on the single track or narrow roads – it stops them just overtaking you anyway and you will be thanked! If you drive in the early mornings or late afternoons, you will ensure you miss any of the big tour busses and avoid that kind of stress on smaller roads!
Give yourself plenty of time for the journeys, do not be tempted to rush, enjoy the spectacular scenery and stop frequently!
The driving speed for your motorhome under 3.5 tonnes are:
- Urban – 50km/h (30mph)
- Minor roads – 80km/h (50mph)
- Major roads – 90km/h (56mph)
- Motorways – (not applicable – none exist!)
The driving speed for your motorhome over 3.5 tonnes are:
- Urban – 50km/h (30mph)
- Minor and Major roads – 80km/h (50mph)
- Motorways – (not applicable – none exist!)
Essential Driving Requirements for Montenegro
The following items are those which are either legally required (M) or advised (A):
- Current passport (M)
- Valid Drivers Licence (M)
- Proof of Insurance (M)
- Registration documents for the motorhome or camper (M)
- Reflective vest (A)
- A warning triangle in case of breakdown or accident (M)
- Spare wheel for your vehicle (A)
- Headlight beam converters (already fitted to the motorhome) (M)
- First Aid Kit (A)
- Spare bulbs and fuse box (A)
local foods in Montenegro
In Montenegro, there are many similar foods to that found in Bosnia and Croatia. There are many staples found in all of these areas which take their roots from the turkish palette – the Burek for example! However, the default position for food in Montenegro is fresh, local and organic – and lots of seafood on the coast – which is heaven for us!
Prsut (Prosciutto, smoke dried ham) – made in the village of Njeguski, anything on the menu that mentions ‘Njeguski’ is going to be a traditional locally made dish.
Burek – the traditional snack food of the region – simply delicious meat or cheese filled filo pastry snack but absolutely loaded with grease! It comes in spirals or long ‘sausage’ shaped pastry. Simply yum – but eat it fresh! These are common all over the Baltic region – so you may already have tried them. For me, the meat ones are the best – the cheese ones are more like cottage cheese filling, which I still enjoy – but Damo doesn’t.
Buzara – a coastal seafood speciality of the country. This is often confused with the Brujet, a stew which is made of fish. Although the Buzara is also a stew – it will be made with prawns or shrimps instead – it only has the one single ingredient. You may find a Seafood Buzara – which focus’s on more than one element.
Ispod Saca – This is lamb, cooked with potatoes, garlic and rosemary, in a traditional pot and under a metal lid which is covered with hot coals. It cooks for a long period of time, so the lamb literally melts in your mouth. You may find it with veal also – so check which meat it is if you are adverse to eating veal. It is often served with the traditional side dish of cabbage, sprinkled with paprika.
Crni Rizoto – A risotto which is coloured and flavoured with squid ink so that it is black. This is also a favourite in Italy and although it might put some off because of the colour – it really is delicious and should be tried.
Essential phrases to use in montenegro
We figured it would be useful to have some core phrases to get by in the restaurants of cafe’s – speaking just those core words show a little respect for the people and the country.
- Hello – Zdravo (zdrah-voh)
- Goodbye – Dovidenja (doh-vee-djen-yah)
- Thank you – Hvala (hvah-lah)
- The bill please – Racun Molum (rach-oon mollum)
- Have a good day – Prijatno (pree-at-noh)
- Do you speak English? – Da li pricate Engleski? (dah-lee pree-cha-tey lee En-gles-kee?)
We have given you the basics to start planning your road trip to Montenegro. Why not check out our blog posts for our Montenegro road trips itineraries – and get some inspiration. It is such a stunning country you really should make the most of it whilst you can.