Hello and welcome! Today we will be exploring the 25 most interesting and fun facts about Montenegro. These will include its culture, popular destinations, history, and more!
Few words about Montenegro before we begin
The Balkan country of Montenegro is an adventurous place with a fascinating past, breathtaking scenery, and lively culture. There are a variety of fascinating facts about Montenegro, including information on its beautiful bays, mountain ranges, wine industry, and food.
It’s one of the few places on Earth where in one moment you can be enjoying the beaches and warm waters on its coastline, sunbathing, and swimming, and in just an hour and 30 minutes you can be walking on one of its stunning mountains.
We’ve compiled a list of 25 interesting facts about Montenegro that you might not know, that might be helpful if you’re considering a trip there or are just curious to learn more about this intriguing place. Join us as we explore this undiscovered gem of Europe and learn more about what makes Montenegro so unique.
# The meaning of ”Montenegro”
The first fun fact on Montenegro is its name. You are probably wondering if there is any meaning behind the name ”Montenegro”. And there is. Translated into English, it means ”Black Mountain”.
One version of the story goes that Italian sailors were approaching Montenegro, saw its dark forests and steep mountain ranges that dominate the landscape, and just called it ”Montenegro” which in translation from Italian also means ”Black Mountain”.
It’s important to know that locals do not refer to their country as ”Montenegro”, but instead say ”Crna Gora” Phonetically, it would sound: TZR – NAH – GOH – RAH, although the ”H” is always silent and just used as a reference here. The name ”Crna Gora” in Montenegrin ”Black Mountain”.
# Four languages are considered native
Formal languages spoken and used in Montenegro are Montenegrin, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian.
How did this happen?
Montenegro was a member of Yugoslavia, a country that consisted of Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Slovenia, and Macedonia. After it started splitting off, 4 countries that remained together, for the most part, were Montenegro, Serbia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Croatia.
They shared a similar language that remained to this day, regardless of the fact that now every country is independent.
Let’s move on with our fun facts on Montenegro.
# Tara Canyon – the deepest canyon in Europe
With some points of it reaching 1300 meters (4300ft) of depth, not only is it the deepest river canyon in Europe, it’s the second deepest in the world, following the Grand canyon.
# Montenegro has 117 beaches
Montenegro has 117 beaches, and for a very small country, you have to admit – that’s impressive! These are spread out across 293km (182miles) of its coastline. There are rocky ones, sandy ones, hidden ones and glorious pink pebble ones.
Whichever you choose, you will not make a mistake.
# Brad Pitt’s first movie was filmed in Kotor
The movie ”The dark side of the sun” was filmed in Kotor, one of the most beautiful cities not only in Montenegro but in Balkan as well.
Check out our article on Kotor and see why Brad Pitt was so amazed that he had to return with his then-wife, Angelina Jolie!
# Montenegro has one of the oldest olive trees in the world
”Stara Maslina” which translates into ”Old Olive tree” is over 2200 years old and is one of the oldest olive trees in the world. It’s located in the town of Bar, one of the beautiful coastal towns of Montenegro.
# Lake Skadar is one of the biggest bird reserves in Europe
Moving on to the next fact on our ”Fun facts on Montenegro” list – Montenegro, on the whole, is a paradise for bird watchers. But, Lake Skadar is something truly special and magnificent. It’s home to almost 270 bird species!
When visiting Montenegro, make sure you don’t skip this dream-like place!
P.S. Skadar lake is the largest lake in the Balkan!
# Ostrog Monastery – one of the biggest Orthodox shrines in the world
Visited by members of all faiths, Ostrog Monastery is viewed as one of the biggest Orthodox shrines in the world. It was built into a rock by a great saint, Saint Vasilije.
Many tourists visit the Monastery every year because the view from the terrace is something you will never forget.
# Montenegro’s treasure – The Bay of Kotor
On the Adriatic coast of Montenegro, there is a gorgeous natural seaport called the Bay of Kotor. The bay’s crystal-clear waters are surrounded by untamed mountains and are home to lovely towns, picturesque fishing villages, and historic churches.
It is proclaimed UNESCO World Heritage Site.
# Famous tourist destination
Montenegro is a very popular touristic place. With its beautiful, numerous beaches and its fascinating mountains, Montenegro hosts millions of visitors (which is A LOT compared to its size).
English romantic poet Lord Bryon once described the country this way: ‘At the birth of the planet the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have been on the Montenegrin coast’.
# Podgorica is the second largest city in Montenegro and its capital
The capital and largest city in the country is Podgorica. Montenegro’s governmental, economic, cultural, and educational centers are located in the city.
I’m biased toward Podgorica because it’s where I was born and where I live today!
# Second largest producer of raspberries
Raspberries make up a sizeable amount of Montenegro’s agricultural output. The region around the town of Berane is where most raspberries grow, given its climate and soil conditions are perfect for raspberries’ growth. It is the second largest producer of raspberries in the world.
# Most of the country is 1000m above sea level
About 60% of the country is more than 1000 meters above sea level, with the tallest peak – Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor Mountains – at 2,522 meters.
# A cave ”Crvena stijena” is more than 40000 years old
One of Montenegro’s oldest cultural and historical landmarks is a cave called Crvena Stijena, which is located by the village of Petrovici close to Niksic. Because of the numerous cultural relics it houses, the cave is exceptional in the entire world.
# Sveti Stefan – Marilyn Monroe’s favorite place
Sveti Stefan is undoubtedly one of Montenegro’s most famous tourist destinations. But, very few people know that Sveti Stefan used to be Marilyn Monroe’s preferred European vacation spot.
# Mausoleum of Peter II – The highest mausoleum in the world
The official tallest mausoleum in the world, the Mausoleum of Peter II Petrovic Njegos, is about 13 kilometers away from the historic city of Cetinje. This location, perched at a height of 1,660 meters above sea level, provides a breathtaking view of the nearby Lovcen Mountains.
# Montenegrins are one of the most hospitable nations
If there is a nation that is gonna welcome into their home even a complete stranger, that’s Montenegro! People are not afraid to invite you over, and they will offer usually some Montenegrin wine or rakija (traditional Montenegrin drink), and set the table for you to eat.
# Montenegrins have their own commandments
Based on a joke/stereotype that Montenegrins are lazy as a nation, they have constructed their 10 commandments that are anti-work! Some of these include: ”If you have to work, then at least be in charge”; ”Love thy bed as you love thyself”; ”What you can do today, leave for tomorrow. Maybe someone will do it tomorrow”; ”If you see people eating – approach, if you see people working – slowly move away”.
# Montenegrins are the second tallest people in the world
Montenegrins are the second tallest nation in the world, with an average height for males at about 183cm (6ft). The tallest nation in the world are the Dutch.
# Montenegro – considered to have an amazing cuisine
Montenegro offers a variety of different styles of cuisine. We have spicy food, barbecue, every sort of pie there is, our traditionally made cheese, ”cevapi”, and the most well-known Montenegrin dish in the region – kacamak. Make sure to try some of these when visiting Montenegro!
# Montenegrin language operates on both Cyrillic and the Latin alphabet
Montenegrin students are taught at a very young age the Cyrillic (age of 6) and then the Latin (age of 7) alphabet. They are also taught to write in cursive.
# Well known for its wines
Making wine has been a tradition in Montenegro for a very long time. The temperature, soil, and geography of the nation make it perfect for cultivating grapes, and its winemakers have perfected their art over many years. Several types of wine are produced in Montenegro, but the most famous ones are Vranac and Krstac, which are renowned for their distinctive and rich tastes. Another one of Montenegro fun facts is that Montenegrins love drinking wine!
# The infamous Montenegrin costume is one of the country’s trademarks
Montenegro’s traditional costume, known as the “narodna nosnja,” is beautiful due to its vibrant colors and intricate embroidery. The costume is typically made from high-quality materials and features bold patterns that reflect the country’s rich cultural heritage.
# One of the worlds highest proportions of bio-diversity
Montenegro has one of the world’s highest proportions of biodiversity, with over 3,000 different species of plants and animals living in its mountains, forests, and lakes.
The reason for this could be due to its diverse geography and climate. Montenegro’s mountainous terrain provides a wide range of habitats, including forests, meadows, wetlands, and coastal areas, which support a variety of plant and animal life.
# Montenegro is 10th smallest country in Europe
Last but not least, we finish off our list of fun facts on Montenegro with this one. With only 13,812 square kilometers (5,333 square miles), Montenegro is the 10th smallest country in Europe. When it comes to the global ranking, it’s the 39th smallest country in the world.
This, however, does not affect its natural beauty, nor the adventure you may have when visiting.
We are certain that all of the fun facts on Montenegro listed above will make you think about visiting Montenegro. And if you find yourself wondering whether you should do it, this is your sign – do not think for even a bit. The adventure you are about to have in this country is something you would want to share with everyone once you get back to your country!