2011's tourism hotspots: What to do in Montenegro
Sunday 22 May 2011
The world's newest country has a lot to offer tourists, and time is running out if you want to get there before the rush really begins.
With 270km of Adriatic coast, Montenegro represents one of the most unique visitor opportunities in the world - a place where the country's early history is still being written, close enough to be a viable holiday destination for Europeans, and a safe place to visit.
This week, the World Travel and Tourism Council predicted that it will be the fastest-growing tourism economy in the world, with hotel projects already underway from Banyan Tree, Kempinski and Hilton International.
Air Berlin also announced a new connection to the country this week, and both EasyJet and Ryanair are said to be considering the idea, adding competition to the routes already offered by Montenegro Airlines ( http://www.montenegroairlines.com/) - so if you want to get there before the rush, here's what to do in this surprising country.
See the mountains. Most visitors currently visit the country for the beaches, but activities such as hiking, biking, water rafting and trekking are rapidly gaining in popularity.
Mingle with the wealthy. The new Porto Montenegro 'integrated resort' and marina is an attempt to brand Montenegro the new Monaco - Russian oligarchs, models and politicians party here both on and off their yachts.
Sunbathe. The beaches of Budva are popular with sunseekers - the peninsula boasts 21 km of coastline with 17 beaches on the Adriatic Sea.
Visit the lakes. Forget England's Lake District - Montenegro's lakes offer stunning views and an impressive collection of wildlife, including several species endemic to the country.
Visit a World Heritage Site. Kotor made UNESCO's exclusive list for a reason. It's one of the best preserved medieval towns in the region and contains plenty of historical artifacts for the history-loving visitor to appreciate.
Sample Loza. Montenegro's national drink is "Loza" brandy, a chilled form of Grappa which makes a delicious aperitif (although it's very strong).
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