The legendary English romantic poet Lord ByRon once wrote: ‘At the birth of the planet the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have been on the Montenegrin coast’... It’s a country of stunning contrasts of rugged mountains, sandy beaches, deep dark mountain forests and snowy peaks.
Here is a list of 17 Interesting Facts about this mountainous country:
1. Montenegro is the smallest Slavic state and one of the smallest states in Europe.
2. Its name, “Monte” and “Negro”, means Black Mountain. It has the same meaning in Montenegrin: Crna Gora. This country is almost completely covered in dark mountain forests.
3. Lake Skadar, the largest lake in the Balkan region, and one of the largest in Europe, is home to a small island of Grmožur, better known to locals as the Montenegrin Alcatraz because of the fortress that served as a prison during King Nikola’s rule.
4. Bojana River, flowing from the Lake Skadar to the Adriatic Sea, is an extraordinary natural phenomenon. The bottom of its riverbed is 36m under the sea level in its upper part. Seawater rushes upwards, so there is both salty sea water and sweet river water in its riverbed. It also has two separate river flows with the same direction, one above the other, the upper one separated with gravel from the underground river flow.
5. Montenegro has over 290km of coastline. Its unspoilt nature is jewelled with 117 beaches.
6. Velika plaza (Big beach) in the town of Ulcinj is one of the longest sand beaches in Europe. Its sandy shore stretches for 12.5km.
7. Tara River Canyon is the deepest canyon in Europe. At its deepest, this canyon is over 1300m (4300ft) deep. It’s protected as part of the Durmitor National Park, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
8. The monastery of Ostrog, carved in a vertical sheer rock face, is one of the most visited Christian shrines in the world. It is dedicated to Saint Basil of Ostrog who is buried there.
9. In the village of Mitrovica lives the oldest olive tree in the world – it’s over 2000 years old! The whole mulicipatily of Bar has over 100,000 olive trees that are over 1000 years old.
10. Montenegro was the first country in the world to adopt the declaration to become an ecological state.
11. 60% of Montenegro is 1000m above sea level. Officially the highest peak is Bobotov Kuk in Durmitor Mountain - 2,523 m (8,278 ft), but some new surveys claim there are even three higher peaks near the border with Albania.
12. The longest cave in Montenegro is Pećina nad Vražjim Firovima, translated to a spooky: Cave Over Devil's Whirlpools. Its surveyed length is 10,550m (34613 ft), but some part of the cave are still waiting to be discovered and surveyed. The deepest cave is Jama na Vjetrenim brdima (-775m) in Mt. Durmitor.
13. The wettest inhabited place in Europe is the village of Crkvice, on the outskirts of the Orjen Mountain. It has the highest annual rainfall in Europe.
14. Biogradska gora, a national park in Montenegro, is home to one of the last remaining rainforests and one of the last three virgin forests in Europe.
15. The Boka Bay is the southernmost fjord in the world. With its high mountain peaks towering over the rocky coastline and bright blue waters, it really looks like you’re somewhere in Scandinavia.
16. The railways in this mountainous country are the most spectacular ones in Europe. But, bear in mind that the Montenegrin trains are also famous for being late. Hours late...
17. The country of Montenegro doesn’t require tourists to hold tourist visas. Pack your bags and go to the coast anytime between May to October, or go skiing on the mountains up north in the winter.