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The tremendous unspoilt beauty of Montenegro remains relatively unknown in the UK, however this only adds to the country’s appeal as a spectacular holiday destination. The name ‘Montenegro’ translates to mean ‘Black Mountain’. Whilst the origin of this name is still debated, it is widely thought to be a reference to Mount Lovćen and the dense forests that cover it. The name originates from Venetian dialect rather than Serbo-Croatian and shows the dominance of the Venetian Empire in the region’s history. Montenegro lies on the west of the west coast of the Balkan Peninsula and boasts a pristine coastline along the South-Adriatic Sea.
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Whilst Montenegro can be considered a ‘new country’, the region has a long and diverse history that is closely linked with its Balkan neighbours and dates back thousands of years beginning with the first known settlers ‘Illyrians’ in 1,000 BC. The region that makes up present-day Montenegro has been under Roman, Slavic and Venetian rule and their influences in the architecture and cuisine remain strong. In recent history, Montenegro formed part of the Republic of Yugoslavia after World War 1. After the collapse of the Soviet Union and subsequently Yugoslavia, Montenegro formed a federation with Serbia from which Montenegro gained independence in 2006.
Montenegrin cuisine takes much inspiration from Italy and Italian flavours, in particular with regard to cured meats, bread baking, cheese and wine making. Prosciutto and cheese certainly play leading roles in Montenegrin cuisine. Influences from Turkey, Croatia and Serbia are also evident in Montenegrin cuisine. Specialities can vary depending on the region, with coastal areas incorporating more fresh fish and seafood and mainland regional cuisine focussing more on meats and cheese. Soups and stews also play a big role in this country’s national cuisine. A ‘Konoba’ is a tavern-style restaurant where you will be able to try many of the traditional meals, sweets and drinks in the way that they should be served.
Things To See And Do
Montenegro is a real paradise for nature lovers and many of the noteworthy things to do here are nature related. No visit to Montenegro is complete without experiencing the beauty of Kotor and the stunning Kotor Bay. Kotor is a charming Venetian-esque town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kotor Bay, with its crystal clear waters and surrounding mountains has been voted as one the most beautiful bays in the world. Perast is another quaint town on the shores of Kotor Bay and from here you can take a boat trip to the small islets of St George and Our Lady of the Rock.