A complex and mystical land in the Balkan peninsula, Montenegro is the stuff of fairytales incarnate. The first references of Montenegro date as far back as 1053, and it is thought that the name was borne from ‘Monte Nigro’, i.e. The Black Mountain. Lord Byron famously called it ‘the world’s most beautiful encounter between the land and sea’, and that indeed is what it is: rugged mountains jutting out from clear waters, primeval forest and a rich and complicated history seen in relics that contrast epically with the steel blue waters.
A compulsory tourist spot for anybody invested in European history, Montenegro is a treasure trove of political and geographical wonder. Technically the world’s third newest country, this idyll in the Adriatic Sea voted itself independent from Serbia in 2006, and bears a convoluted legacy as a non-aligned Communist state, independent both from the Eastern Bloc and the West. The country is a small gem, meaning that the sites of interest are densely packed – to put into perspective, the entire population of Montenegro is smaller than that of Stockholm’s.
Thought to be built as far back as the twelfth century, Kotor, the best preserved town on the Adriatic, is blessed today with living history. Unlock the town’s age-old wonders on an expedition through the myriad beautiful areas; a medieval maze of museums, churches and squares, this is a region where the landscape is completely interrupted, thanks to the banning of cars, perfectly befitting the olde-worlde feel. Walk the private corridors of cobblestones, centuries-old buildings and Venetian palaces (Venetians ruled here for nearly four hundred years). In the Bay of Kotor, a miniscule island fondly named ‘Our Lady on the Rocks’ is extremely popular. According to folklore, fishermen saw the Madonna image and began to drop a stone there each time they passed, hence the creation of this rocky formation.
Lake Skadar National Park
The topography of Lake Skadar National Park is interesting; shaped like a dolphin, it is the Balkans' largest lake, with its tail and most of the body in Montenegro, and its nose in another country altogether: Albania. In the Montenegrin region of the lake, a large area has been officially protected as a national park since 1983, and today, it is renowed as a haven of fauna, and one of Europe's top bird habitats. Every corner is picturesque; water lillies float on the clear waters, and rugged mountains contrast from the serene lake perfectly.
Situated in a humble fortified fishing village dating back to the fifteenth century, Sveti Stefan showcases the very best of organic island contours. Nature has bestowed surreal beauty to this quiet corner of Montenegro; located near to the resort are snow-capped mountains, ancient forests and pristine lakes, all offering a playground for keen adventurers. Take a look at the Aman Sveti Stefan, Only Exclusive Travel's choice of property to represent the Montenegro porfolio.
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