Montenegro Day Tour
The tour guide for the day Evo was punctual and even early for the pickup in the morning which was lucky because I was early… I could see the promptness was going to be the message of the day, little did he realise at that point everyone else on the group was in holiday mode so meeting at 11:45 meant somewhere closer to 12noon…
I had paid extra to go on a tour that had a maximum of 10 people and I can tell you it’s worth it for the more personal experience, more time available for exploring and less time stuck in border check points as you cross into several countries and in and out of Schengen zone.
The first stop was somewhere for breakfast as it was a very early start most of the group hadn’t had a chance to get anything to eat yet, we stopped at a lovely little café on the edge of (lake/sea?) and we ordered some food and drinks, Evo said he preferred to stop here as the food and drinks were better priced and it was a nicer spot than the petrol station most of the other tour groups stop at down the road. The only issue was the café staff were not really in somewhat of a rush so it involved our tour guide freaking out a little at the staff and pushing them to speed up the preparation of our food and ensure we all had swapped from eat in option to take-away…. it was a bit chaotic and the café staff should have known we only had a limited amount of time, but the food was good even though we didn’t get any cutlery we ended up eating out breakfast (Panini/Omelettes) with our hands in the tour bus on the way to the next stop.
I was on holidays so was fairly relaxed about everything but I could see Evo got a little stressed at each spot as he had a specific time schedule to ensure we had as much time as possible at each location and it became quite amusing that at every stop we had we were usually late but each time it was a different person that was late pretty soon he realised that he couldn’t really get cross as he realised that next time it would be someone else.. this was something of a joke amongst the travellers and every one was rather light hearted about the schedule
We arrived at Kontar which was a impressive historical town with a random sculpture of a great white shark emerging from the moat surrounding the city, our welcome to the city started with a local guided tour who had much more indepth knowledge about what the history which was part of the benefits of the Amico tour. Once the tour had finished we had some freetime to explore the city and had a chance to climb the mountain to the historical fortress to get some breathtaking views of Kontar. We were warned we only had limited time and the hike up the mountain and back down again would take around 1-2 hours so remember that we have to be back at the meeting point. A few of the group seeing the opportunity for the challenge set off up the mountain, and wow the tour guide was right it was tough, I struggled along the rocky path stopping for photos and rest whenever I got the chance. It got to a point around half-way up that I let the other travellers continue their rapid pace to the top while I fell further behind due to my somewhat poor fitness level. Eventually I made it around 2/3 of the way up towards the fortress where I took a heap of photos and proceeded to race back down the mountain to reach the meeting spot on time, I was cutting it fine but made the decision to stop at a souvenirs shop and pick up a few things as I assumed the rest of the group would be running late as they climbed to the top. I finally returned to the meeting spot to see the full van driving towards me with everyone waving frantically to hurry the hell up and get aboard as we were late.
After midday we stopped by a small town Budva to have lunch, the rest of the group decided to spend the freetime exploring but I was starving so stopped by one of the restaurants along the marina to grab some lunch Jadran – Kod Krsta. Once I finished a cheap and relaxing lunch I headed off towards the old fort town and the beaches, I had every intention of going for a swim but I just didn’t get the motivation to get changed and dive in, it was a shame as it was terribly hot and the water did look so very enticing but I just walked around the town instead. Be aware there are not many public toilets in the town and as in most of Europe you have to pay, I didn’t have any small change on me so I managed to convince a local restaurant to let me use their bathrooms which was not as easy as I would have hoped, I’m sure I got a abused a bit but I couldn’t catch what they said but it was worth it. I got back to the meeting area early and kinda wished that I had of gone for a swim as it was still extremely hot waiting for the rest of the group under the shade of the trees. Sure enough several members of the group were very late as they walked too far away and had to jog back to the meeting spot and had to grab a take-away lunch to eat on the bus, but they did say the swimming experience was amazing and worth it!
For movie fans out there one cool part of the trip was head to and from €we drove through a tunnel used in the filming of James Bond Casino Royale which was a moment of fandom bliss and was almost the highlight of the whole day!
The last spot was overlooking a very expensive resort town Sveti Stefan that famous movie stars and ultra-rich choose to stay at when they are looking to get away from it all.
Apparently there are only two ways to get onto this Sveti Stefan island:
- have a restaurant reservation €50-100/pax
- be staying on the island €1200-1653/night
The tour was fun and Evo was a wonderful guide with a good mix of sarcasm and humour that everyone seemed to enjoy, Amico have several great tour guides on board and they are certainly ensure the tour is worth the money.