Montenegro

This ecological mountain country is said to be the oldest ‘state’ in the western Balkans. It is here that mountains meet the sea in what most certainly must be one of Southeast Europe’s most stunning nature destinations. The seaside resorts and tourist towns are well known to tourists for their crystal-clear Adriatic seawater with breathtaking mountain views towering just behind.

Montenegro has a small landmass of 13,800 square kilometres and shares a boarder with Albania to the South, Kosovo and Serbia to the East, Bosnia & Herzegovina to the North and a tiny coastal boarder with Croatia to the North West. As of 2015, Montenegro had a population of 620,000 people.

In 2013, Montenegro welcomed 1.3 million international tourists – which is a fairly large number when you consider the domestic population! In regards to spots to check out, the resorts of Sveti Stephan, Herceg Novi, the Bay of Kotor, Bar and Budva are amongst the Adriatic’s best. Peel away just one layer of mountain, though, and a magical wilderness world opens up. Lake Shkoeder is a gorgeous bird reserve and a great place for boat rides and fishing.

The ancient capital of Montenegro, Cetine, is still the cultural backbone of the country. Durmitor National Park gets a high rating for its vast wilderness. Perhaps the most exciting experience in Montenegro is the three-day white-water rafting adventure on the Tara River, Europe’s deepest river canyon. The northern pocket around Plav has an interesting ethnic mix of orthodox, Slavic Muslims and Albanians. This area is rather poor and underdeveloped, but equally beautiful and worth spending your tourism money.