7 years ago, a good friend of mine asked me where she should travel next. Her requirements were:
1. something in the Mediterranean/near warm waters
2. something not hit by the tourist machine yet
Without even blinking I told her: Croatia!
She loved it.
7 years later, Croatia is slowly becoming the it European tourist destination and this is happening for a number of reasons (its now a part of the EU, game of thrones, novelty, amazing history, great islands and swimming, the list goes on!). I finally got the chance to visit the country myself 7 years later ( I know I touted it before I even went..shush) and it came with the added bonus of Montenegro.
Rather it worked the other way around since when my friends (Tia, Kasey and Nila) and I were thinking of where to spend our spring holidays together, my friend Tia suggested her home country of Montenegro and we all were on board straight away. You see in this whole rise to popularity that Croatia has gone through, Montenegro remains a hidden gem. Some avid travellers make it to the country crowned by breathtaking mountains but most spend their time in Croatia, which is fair enough when you have so much to see in these respective countries...as in a visit back is due to hit up the vast amount we didnt see!
Since it was our spring break we took things very easily and took a lot of days off where we stayed in. Also, since we were staying with Tia's family wherever we went we often gave them agency to show us around. Further, a lot of time was spent meeting family in both Croatia and Montenegro. This was a unique experience for me and I learned a lot about the people, culture, history and food of the countries...I even picked up the language and its dialects to what--I think--is an impressive level. This happened mostly after Nila and Kasey left (they had come for a shorter time), meaning I was the only one left and I had very few english speakers left to converse with (which I didnt mind because I am introverted as it is and everyone so kindly tried very hard to accommodate me and tried to speak to me in english or Serbian as best they could).
Itinerary (March 18-April 1)
Day one: Flight out of London Standsted at 8:50 am.
Arrive at Podgorica airport at 12:40am
Took a long and scenic taxi to Herceg Novi our base and my friend's home
Visited Sveti Stefan Island on the wayDay two: Spent the day discovering Herceg Novi
Day three: Took the bus to Dubrovnik, spent the entire day there
Day four: Took the bus to Kotor, spent the entire day there
Day five: Nila and Kasey left
Went to Manastir Savina in Herceg Novi
Day six: Went to the local history and folk museum in Herceg Novi
Walked the seawall
Day seven: Tia's cousin arrived from Serbia
Walked the seawall in the other direction
Day eight: It rained, we stayed indoors watched movies
Day nine: Explored Herceg Novi from above: climbed up to Spanjola Fortress
Day 10: Took 2 buses to Split, with lunch in Dubrovnik
Day 11: Discovered Split
Saw Diocletian's Palace
Walked up the Tower of St. Domnius
Saw the seaside and the centre of the city
Went to the Roman ruins of Salona just outside of Split
Day 12: Drove to Šibenik, spent the day there
Day 13: Spent the day in Split again
Day 14: Went back to Herceg Novi, stopped over at Dubrovnik for lunch
Tia's cousin went back to Serbia
Day 15: Flight from Podgorica to London Standsted at 1 pm arrived at 2:55 pm