I’ve shared with you my Ultimate Guide to Montenegro, but I didn’t share any itinerary plans with you. That’s what I wanted to give you today. This post is meant to go hand in hand with that post. With these two guides in hand (and my post about the adventures lover’s guide to Montenegro), you’re really going to be able to plan the P-E-R-F-E-C-T trip. Make the most of this year’s holiday by taking a trip to Montenegro.
This itinerary is going to be for spending 10 days in the small, Balkan country. Of course, you can cut some things out and see less or you can extend and spend a few extra days in certain places, depending on what type of trip you are looking for. Or depending on how much holiday time you have right now.
If you’ve got extra time to spend in the Balkans, I would encourage you to check out my Ultimate Guide to Bosnia and Herzegovina, because that’s another country you should visit while you’re over in this region. Plus, these two are perfect to pair together.
Let’s jump right in!
My 10 Day Itinerary to Montenegro.
Day 1 Overnight in Kotor
Start the trip by flying into the Tivat airport. When you arrive, you can take a taxi to Kotor and stay in the old city for 2 nights. If you arrive in the morning, then you’ll have the whole day to explore, however, if you are arriving later in the day, just grab some food and wander the old city for a bit before calling it a day. You’re getting up early for day two!
Day 2 Overnight in Kotor
Wake up early today because you’re going to climb the fort before the suns up. I love doing this because it’s so quiet, it’s still cool outside and chances are, you’ll have the whole place to yourself. I recommend starting the hike up around 7am but if you’re really eager to spend some time up there, you can start earlier. It takes about 45 minutes to get all the way to the top of the fort and a little less time than that to come back down.
It officially opens at 8am but I’ve never had any trouble hiking up early. You just pay the entrance fee when you come back down. Grab someone from your hostel to hike up therewith! Chances are, lots of people will be interested in doing that with you.
Once your back into the city, grab a coffee and breakfast. There’s an amazing cafe with over 15 vegan options. Search that out and eat them all. Trust me. Luckily, you’re still going to be one of the only people up in the city so take this as a chance to explore and take photos of the empty old city.
After the city starts to fill up, skip out of the old city and go see some of the beaches surrounding Kotor. The water is so warm, I loved swimming around Kotor. Some of the beaches are a bit dirty, but the further you go from Kotor, the nicer they are.
After your day at the beach, you can head home, get cleaned up, have dinner and pack for your checkout the next morning.
Day 3 - Overnight in Bar
Checkout from Kotor and take the bus to Bar. Bar has the nicest beaches in Montenegro, they’re really stunning. That’s why I’d recommend going for a beach day there instead of Budva. You can spend the whole day at the beach, swimming and having a drink. I’d recommend staying overnight in Bar so that you really have the day to explore.
Day 4 - Overnight in Zabljak
On day 4 you’re going to be busy. You need to get up and take the bus to Budva. There you can rent a car from the bus station. With your car, you are going to have to drive the longest distance of your trip. You’re heading to the Durmitor National Park when you’re going to be spending a couple of nights exploring that region of Montenegro.
It’s going to take you around 4.5 hours to get there from Budva, so the earlier that you can pick up the car, the better off you are going to be. Driving in Montenegro is super straightforward, my biggest advice is to make sure that you always go the speed limit and drive safely, regardless of the Montenegrin’s all around you. But more on that later.
Chances are you are going to get to Durmitor pretty late in the day. You should head straight to your accommodation and get settled in. From there you go to see the Đurđevića Tara Bridge or you can just go for a walk, find some dinner and call it a day. You should get up fairly early for everything you’ll be doing the next day.
Day 5 - Overnight in Zabljak
Another early morning! Get up with the sun and drive into the Durmitor National Park. Pick one or two hikes and spend the day in the mountains. We thought it would be nice to pack a picnic and eat at the Black Lake (Cnro Jereno) right at the entrance to the park.
You can talk to your accommodation and plan your day out before you get there. Then all you have to do is show up and look for the right signs, pointing you in the direction of the hikes you wanted to do.
In the late afternoon, you should get back to the car and give yourself time to drive to the Đurđevića Tara Bridge. It’s about an hour from Zabljak so I would say you should drive there, see the views, do the zipline and then drive back to your accommodation for the night. It’s a really cool bridge, which is why I’d say you should still drive there in the evening.
After you’ve seen the bridge, you can head back to Zabljak for the evening. Tomorrow you’ll have a long drive ahead of you, but you don’t have to rush! So stay up, have a glass of wine and enjoy your evening.
Day 6 - Overnight in Virpazar
Make your coffee extra strong this morning because you’ve got a 4-hour journey to your next destination. You’re headed to Skadar Lake where you’ll be able to stay for the next couple of nights.
Once you get to Skadar Lake, you could go have dinner by the river in Rijeka Crnojevica. It’s a stunning, small town with a famous bridge and a couple of cute restaurants where you can have dinner after your drive. From there, you’re going to need to drive to Virpazar where you’ll be staying for the night.
Check out the Pelican Hotel for your accommodation! It’s so cute and it’s named after the famous Dalmation Pelican that can be found at Skadar Lake during certain times of the year! (Summer is not a good time to see the Pelican - I found that out too late unfortunately because I was really looking forward to seeing the Pelican)
Day 7 - Overnight in Virpazar
Have an easy morning! You’re going to be spending the day at Skadar Lake and it’s going to be an amazing day, believe me. I did a ton of research before going to Skadar Lake because I wanted to do some hiking in the area. But from what I could tell, everyone was mainly just hanging out on the lake, no one was hiking!
I found this to be weird and was determined to get to the bottom of it when I got there. I started my day out at the Information Center where they told me that the best way to spend the day would be on the lake. They highly recommended that I spend at least 3 hours exploring the northern part of the lake.
And just like that, I was convinced. The best place to book a boat tour is actually recommended by the Information Center. To find them, you head across the bridge and walk straight to the green building across from the bridge. There Alexandra will help you book a tour onto the lake with their captain, Alexander!
It was such a beautiful day, we saw tons of birds, swam in the warm lake waters and saw tons of amazing lily pads and other plants that grow on the lake. That’s why I recommend booking a tour on the lake as well.
After you’ve explored the lake by boat, there’s plenty of walks that you can do around the lake. For finding a hike to do, I would just recommend that you go to ask the information center. They’ll give you a map with directions for different hikes to small waterfalls and other small towns around the lake.
Day 8 - Overnight in Lovcen National Park
Today you are checking out of your hotel at Skadar Lake and heading to the last National Park that you will be staying at on your trip! You’re headed to Lovcen National Park today! It’s not too long of a drive today so on the way, you can make a lot of stops at the various viewpoints around the lake.
Then you’ll be making your way to Lovcen National Park where you’ll be able to stay in Cetinje. I found my favorite Airbnb in Cetinje, I’ll link it here and if you don’t already have an account, join today and get $35 off your stay!
Grab a bottle of wine, make dinner and have a wonderful evening out on your balcony while the sunsets tonight. Don’t stay up too late because tomorrow you have to get up fairly early to avoid the crowds.
Day 9 - Overnight in Tivat
Wake up early because you really want to beat the crowds today! Pack up your bags and checkout of your hotel. It’ll take you about an hour to drive to the Vidikovac viewpoint where you can see the city of Kotor hanging out below! It’s such a stunning view and the drive is probably the best one that I had to do. The road was the nicest (smoothest and largest) that I drove on in any of the National Parks.
After that though, you’ve got a windy, trippy road down to Kotor. It’s a serpentine road that’s going to blow your mind! I couldn’t believe how many twists and turns the road down had. And believe me, this is why you want to get up early and give yourself plenty of time. It took me 2 hours longer than I thought to get down that road, just because of the traffic and buses trying to get UP that road. It’s mental.
The views are stunning though because you can look out over Kotor the whole way.
Once you get to Tivat, you’ll be able to return the car and head to Tivat for the night. I loved walking along the pier area in Tivat. It’s very fancy, with lots of Yachts and rich people but it’s clean and beautiful. You can sit down and have some wine while the sunsets and think back on the amazing trip you’ve had.
You’ve got one full day left of your trip but it’s going to be a relaxing one, so really enjoy your evening and spend some time down by the ocean before heading home for the night.
Day 10 - Last day in Montenegro!
Good morning! You’re flying today so depending on what time your flight is, you can structure your day around that. A taxi from Tivat to the airport is going to cost you around 10 Euros and only take you about 10-15 minutes.
If you’re got the whole day and you’re not flying until the evening, then I would recommend going back down to the city, enjoying the sun and having a coffee at one of the nice cafes along the water. Then you can hang out and have some Aperol at the beach. You’ve deserved it!
And that's that! My 10 day Montenegro Itinerary, all laid out for you. Of course, if you have more than ten days and want to explore another country on your holiday, check out the bus routes to Bosnia and Herzegovina or into Croatia to see the famous city of Dubrovnik. I'll be writing more on Croatia coming up, so make sure you jump on my mailing list if you want to be the first to know when my posts are live!