Montenegro tourist information
Montenegro is a small Mediterranean country with rich architectural and cultural heritage, diversity of landscapes and climates, and well preserved natural environment. Naturally well-suited for development of all kinds of tourism, Montenegro is focused on becoming an elite tourist destination. Montenegro is considered one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations. In 2007, over a million tourists visited Montenegro, making some 7,3 million ovenight stays (23% increase, compared to 2006). This accounted for some 480 million EUR in tourism revenue in 2007 (39% increase, compared to previous year).
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Almost all economic activities in Montenegro are directed towards facilitating the development of tourism. The Government aims to attract greenfield investments, which should make best use of undeveloped parts of the coast, such as Jaz Beach, Velika PlaÅ¾a, Ada Bojana and Buljarica. Such investments could potentially reshape the appeal of Montenegro to tourists, making it a highly competitive destination for sustainable quality tourism.
Montenegro can be presented as a destination offering a variety of attractions and all-year tourism is possible by publicising its varied features. Therefore, the Tourism Masterplan of Montenegro is also paving the way for a national development program for nature based tourism, especially hiking and biking, with new infrastructure and services. The realisation of a 3-year-program was started in 2007.
The biggest problem of Montenegrin tourism is inadequate infrastructure, most notably the obsolete road network and difficulties with water and electricity supply in the coastal area. For that reason, a main investment of the government is building new roads and reconstruction of the current road infrastructure.
The South Coast region of Montenegro is considered one of the great new "discoveries" among world tourists. In January 2010, The New York Times ranked the Ulcinj South Coast region of Montenegro, including Velika Plaza, Ada Bojana, and the Hotel Mediteran of Ulcinj, as among the "Top 31 Places to Go in 2010" as part of a worldwide ranking of tourism destinations
The northern region is the centre of Montenegrin mountain tourism. It has ski resorts, and is popular for its untouched nature. The entire area of Durmitor mountain and the Tara river canyon is protected as a national park, and listed with UNESCO world heritage sites.
The Montenegrin road infrastructure is not yet at Western European standards. Despite an extensive road network, no roads are built to full motorway standards. Construction of new motorways is considered a national priority, as they are important for uniform regional economic development and the development of Montenegro as an attractive tourist destination.
Current European routes that pass through Montenegro are E65 and E80.
The backbone of the Montenegrin rail network is the Belgrade - Bar railway. This railway intersects with NikÅ¡iÄ‡ â€“ Tirana (Albania) at Podgorica; however, it is not used for passenger service.
Montenegro has two international airports, Podgorica Airport and Tivat Airport. The two airports served 1.1 million passengers in 2008. Montenegro Airlines is the flag carrier of Montenegro.
The Port of Bar is Montenegro's main seaport. Initially built in 1906, the port was almost completely destroyed during World War II, with reconstruction beginning in 1950. Today, it is equipped to handle over 5 million tons of cargo annually, though the breakup of the former Yugoslavia and the size of the Montenegrin industrial sector has resulted in the port operating at a loss and well below capacity for several years. The reconstruction of the Belgrade-Bar railway and the proposed Belgrade-Bar motorway are expected to bring the port back up to capacity.
The culture of Montenegro has been shaped by a variety of influences throughout history. The influence of Orthodox, Slavonic, Central European, Islamic, and seafaring Adriatic cultures (notably parts of Italy, like the Republic of Venice) have been the most important in recent centuries.
Montenegro has many significant cultural and historical sites, including heritage sites from the pre-Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque periods. The Montenegrin coastal region is especially well known for its religious monuments, including the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor (Cattaro under the Venetians), the basilica of St. Luke (over 800 years), Our Lady of the Rocks (Å krpjela), the Savina Monastery and others. Montenegro's medieval monasteries contain thousands of square metres of frescos on their walls.
The traditional folk dance of the Montenegrins is the Oro, a circle dance that involves dancers standing on each other's shoulders in a circle while one or two dancers are dancing in the middle.
The first literary works written in the region are ten centuries old, and the first Montenegrin book was printed five hundred years ago. The first state-owned printing press was located in Cetinje in 1494, where the first South Slavic book, Oktoih, was printed the same year. Ancient manuscripts, dating from the thirteenth century, are kept in the Montenegrin monasteries.
Montenegro's capital Podgorica and the former royal capital of Cetinje are the two most important centres of culture and the arts in the country.
Montenegrin cuisine is a result of Montenegro's long history. It is a variation of Mediterranean and Oriental. The most influence is from Italy, Turkey, Byzantine Empire/Greece, and as well from Hungary. Montenegrin cuisine also varies geographically; the cuisine in the coastal area differs from the one in the northern highland region. The coastal area is traditionally a representative of Mediterranean cuisine, with seafood being a common dish, while the northern represents more the Oriental.