Central Montenegro has it all: commercial retail areas, mountainous regions, traditional architecture, and a myriad of holiday and tourism activities. Visitors to the area can pass through the country’s new capital of Podgorica and witness the cultural centre of Crna Gora, which is the local name for Montenegro, on their way to the stunning coastal regions. They can alternatively opt for the relative quiet of the small villages along the Adriatic coast, such as Petrovac.
Take a Dip
Lake Skadar is on the Montenegrin and Albanian border, within a short drive of Podgorica; two-thirds of the watery expanse is in Montenegro. The lake on the Montenegro side of the border is classed as a national park and is therefore taken care of by the local authorities, which work to ensure that this place of splendid beauty is kept in its natural state and preserved not only for human enjoyment but also as a home for much local wildlife. A massive 270 different species of bird frequent the lake, which attracts birdwatchers from all over the world as they flock to rub feathers with some of the last remaining pelicans in Europe. Lake Skadar is also teeming with 34 types of fish, including carp, eels and bleak; of these 34 types, seven types of fish are unique to the lake.
The old capital of Montenegro is Cetinje, which is situated at the foot of Mount Lovcen. The old capital is a rich source of history and cultural significance. There are various buildings that reflect the colourful history of the region, including the spiritually relevant Cetinje monastery. Built back in 1701, the building has been subjected to many attacks and some parts have been destroyed and rebuilt many times over the years. Seeing photographs of the area and its accommodation online does not do justice to the real impact of Cetinje, where in every direction there are superb natural views. Those visiting the area who wish to find out more about the development of Central Montenegro should visit the museums in Cetinje.
Mount and Mausoleum
A short drive (13 kilometres) from Cetinje, towards Mount Lovcen, is the mausoleum of Petar II Petrovic Njegos. Found on the Jezerski peak (Jezerski vrh in the local dialect), the mausoleum is of immense cultural significance and the road leading up to the structure is laden with beautiful indigenous oak, linden and beech trees. The whole area seems to radiate a spiritual energy that is palpable to not only the locals of the area but also to first-time visitors to Petar’s Mausoleum. Those who make the trip up to the mausoleum can sit and enjoy a bite to eat at the restaurant, and there is also a souvenir shop that offers trinkets representing the culture and past of Montenegro.
There are various tourism recommendations for inland Central Montenegro, and the chances are that once a person has had a taste of the amazing scenery and rich cultural heritage they will have to return to the area to get the full taste of the real Central Montenegro experience.