First Choice Blog
  • It’s time to be controversial. Handsome Croatia’s been Europe’s ‘it’ country all summer. And, frankly, it deserves all the attention it gets. But, we think off-the-radar Montenegro’s even better looking. And, while it’s previously been a hidden gem that time’s forgotten about, we reckon it’s about to take off. Here’s why…

    Swap lattes in Dubrovnik Old Town…

    We challenge you to visit Dubrovnik and not fall in love. Although, be warned, it’s a near impossible task. Fall head over heels for its ancient old town, which is framed by huge stones walls that date way back to the 13th-century, or fast-forward through time with a stroll around its stylish harbour. To bag the best view of the magical city, we recommend cruising above it on a cable car ride to the top of Srd Hill. Head up there for sunset and you’ll never want to come back down…

     

     

     

     

    …For cappuccinos in ancient Budva

    Meanwhile, over in Montenegro, trendy harbour town Budva swaps out tourists for locals. Expect a sea of orange rooftops, ancient city walls, and Stari Grad, the atmospheric old town. Unlike Dubrovnik, you’ll be hard pushed to find any sort of crowd here. Don’t miss sleepy Kotor, either, with its stunning bay and shabby chic buildings. Get lost in a maze of cobbled alleys, grab a cappuccino from the cafes that spill out onto street corners, and shop for everything from Venetian masks to Christmas decorations.

     

     

     

     

     Swap waterfalls at Plitvice National Park…

    If you haven’t heard of UNESCO-listed Plitvice National Park, where’ve you been all summer? Here, you can shower under gushing waterfalls, splash about in bath-warm waters and dry off with a walk around the forest that decorates the park. Keep an eye out for everything from butterflies to bears, and be prepared for a LOT of greenery – there are over 1,000 different species of plants to spot and 16 lakes to dip into.

     

     

     

     

    …For mountains in Duritmor National Park

    Montenegro’s Duritmor National Park is way less well-known, so if you’re a trend-setter, this one’s for you. Explore winding canyons, dip your toes in glacial lakes, and get an appetite for the sweet chocolate-box villages hidden away in snow-topped mountains. Love an adventure? Zipline across the Djurdevica Bridge, go white-water rafting, and keep an eye out for the wolves and bears that roam the forest-cloaked hills.

     

     

     

     

    Swap Instagramming Brac Island…

    We don’t need to tell you that Brac’s pretty-as-a-picture. Get a boat to the island from Split, and pitch up on Zlatini Rat Beach to snap shots of its distinctive fishtail shape. It’s got two arms to choose from – one pebble, one shingle – and its turquoise waters are speckled with windsurfers and kite-surfers, if you get bored of sunbathing.

     

     

     

     

    …For Snapchatting Sveti Stefan

    Over in up-and-coming Montenegro, things get pretty exclusive. Sveti Stefan, a fortified island village, offers up the country’s money shot. And, while a stay here will cost you in excess of £4,000 a night, you can bask in the views of the 15th-century stone villas from the pink-sand beach opposite – minus the lofty price tag.

     

     

     

     

     

    Ready to make the most of Montenegro’s sleepy shores before the crowds arrive? Get the inside scoop on our brand new Holiday Village opening next summer. Don’t forget to see why Becici’s got serious beach-appeal, and find out how you can spot flamingos on Ulcinj’s salt pans.

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