Montenegro is one of Europe's hidden secrets, but that could be all about to change; this tiny Balkan republic plans to put itself firmly back on the map. The name, Crna Gora in the local language, means “black mountain”, and indeed the interior is a wonderland of magnificent soaring pine-scented mountains. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica. Montenegro is an independent and sovereign republic that proclaimed its new constitution on 22 October 2007.
Climate: Montenegro has a Mediterranean climate on the coast, with alpine conditions in the mountains. The average summer coastal temperature is 27°C. Inland, there is substantial snowfall in the mountains, with the average daytime winter.
Geography: Montenegro is bordered by Croatia to the north, Bosnia & Herzegovina to the northeast, Serbia to the east and Albania to the south. To the east lie the deep blue waters of the Adriatic Sea, and it is the 293-km (183-mile) Montenegrin coastal strip that attracts the majority of visitors, with top destinations being the centuries-old seaside towns of Kotor and Budva. he mountains of Montenegro include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe, averaging more than 2,000 metres in elevation. The Constitution of Montenegro describes the state as a "civic, democratic, ecological state of social justice, based on the reign of Law.
Nature: The beauty of a wild nature is rich in superlatives that everyone would wish for. Located in a small area you will find a sea with beautiful beaches, rivers with unique canyons, clear lakes and giant mountains. Such a beauty takes the breath away. . One of the country's notable peaks is Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor mountains, which reaches a height of 2,522 meters. Montenegro's large Karst region lies generally at elevations of 1,000 meters above sea level; some parts, however, rise to 2,000 m such as Mount Orjen. Montenegro has five national parks. Durmitor with the Tara River Canyon is part of the world natural heritage. The Tara River Canyon is on the list of international biosphere reserves. As a rare wetland habitat Skadar Lake is included on the Ramsar List.
Landscape: The landscape is dominated by dramatic soaring alpine mountains rising over 2000m with the highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, reaching 2523 m (8278 ft). Here you’ll find dramatic glacial features, such as lakes and canyons, the most impressive being the River Tara Canyon, and dense forests. Montenegro is said to be “The most beautiful meeting of land and sea at the time of the birth of our planet”. The landscape is dominated by white and gray waste land of limestone area rises above the coastline. “Sea of rocks” is only one segment of the sumptuous mosaic. In the centre of the country, around Podgorica and Niksic, lie fertile plains planted with crops and vineyards, while to the south, on the border with Albania, lies Lake Skadar, a vast wetland.
Flora and Fauna: The number of plant species in the Balkan peninsula has been estimated at well over 6500 a figure that includes numerous endemics and several species that have survived from before the last Ice Age. Upper mountain slopes are characterized by hardy, low thickets of dwarf mountain pine known locally as klek, above which typically rises an area of bare rock. The high grasslands are rich in flowers such as milkworts. The brown bear survives in Montenegro in small number. Other mammals include wild boar red deer roe deer , chamois , pine martin, forest dormouse, It is considered that the diversity of marine fish fauna of the Adriatic sea comprise 117 registered families but with low level of endemism. To date, 40 742 marine fish species have been registered in Montenegro which represents 70% of species registered in Mediterranean.
Capital city: Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro. The city is situated in central Montenegro, in the scarce Montenegrin lowlands between Dinaric Alps and Lake Scutari. Podgorica's favourable position at the confluence of the Ribnica and Moraca rivers and the meeting point of the fertile Zeta Plain and Bjelopavlici Valley has encouraged settlement. The city is close to winter ski centres in the north and seaside resorts on the Adriatic Sea. It is the administrative centre of Montenegro and its economic, cultural and educational focus. The city is definitely worth visiting, owing to its interesting mix of old and new, its cafe culture and nightlife, and its laid back Mediterranean atmosphere. Podgorica, situated on the banks of six rivers, is developing the characteristics of a modern European city. It is the metropolitan and administrative center of Montenegro.
Things to do: Visit The biggest lake in the Balkans, Lake Skadar, on the border between Montenegro and Albania, is on the Ramsar List of Wetlands and is a haven for bird watching, hosting some 270 species, many endangered or rare. Jaz Beach is considered the best beach in Montenegro. Montenegro’s largest wine producer, Plantaze is best known for its potent red Vranac wine. outheast of Budva, this medieval stone village, perched on a fortified islet, connected to the mainland by a causeway, is a luxury resort isit the bustling port of Kotor, sitting at the end of the Kotor Bay, with its UNESCO-listed fortified old town, Venetian architecture, 17th-century clock tower, 12th-century romanesque cathedral, naval museum, chic boutique hotels seafood eateries and many more things to do.
Cuisine: The traditional dishes of Montenegro's heartland, and its Adriatic coast have a distinctively Italian flavor which shows in the bread-making style, the way meat is cured and dried, cheese-making, wine, and spirits, the soup and stew. Cuisine varies greatly from one region to another. Along the coast, fresh fish and seafood from the Adriatic predominate, whilst inland, meat and cheese are more popular. Rakija is a regional drink made from a potent spirit made from distilled grapes, occasionally flavored with herbs or fruit, and often served before a meal as an appetiser. Montenegrin language distinguishes between a clear soup, soups are usually served as the first course of dinner at mid-day.