The bad news about the Montenegro biking route of the EuroVelo 8 is that you won’t pedal a bunch of kilometers in this little gem of a country. The good news, biking there means you will see some amazing highlights along the way.
You will find lots of good Montenegrin food, gracious people, and an interesting culture along the way if you you spend any amount of time in Montenegro. And yes, we think the country is a good place to pause for a day or two to rest, enjoy the culture, and take in the sights.
(Note: this post tracks each segment from south to north as though you were riding from Greece around to Spain.)
The EuroVelo 8 Montenegro Biking Route
Just a few kilometers after the Albania border crossing, you will find opportunities to take a side road off the main route for some wild camping right on Lake Skadar. This will provide cover, a beautiful sunset, and lots of photo opportunities. You need to be packing food and drink because this is a largely unpopulated area.
Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro, has hostels, lots of cafes and pubs in the center of the city. It also serves as home base for the Meanderbug. Drop us a note when you’ll be through town and we can meet up if we’re around at that time. We would like your feedback as you bike the Balkans!
There are a couple ways to go out of Podgorica. We’ve selected the widest road for safety. It provides an amazing view as you pass along Lake Skadar. If you chose to go the route just a bit to the north via Cetinje and Budva, you’ll see a highlight of the country up close–Mount Lovcen. However, the road along this track is more narrow with high traffic speeds. If you are pulling a trailer, definitely use the outlined route. Either way will have lots of beauty and LOTS of ups and downs. It is inevitable when mountains are in the name of the country.
The lake town named Virpazar is a good place for national food and drink and an overnight at a reasonable price. Shortly after Virpazar there will be a turn off to a toll road. No bikes here because of an approx 4 km tunnel and really high speeds. The route after Virpazar goes up and over the mountains. It will be slow going and beautiful. Epically beautiful.
This coastal journey will provide some amazing views looking down on the ocean. Highlights are the quiet, historic town of Petrovac and the well-known, much busier beach-goer locale in Budva. Also, just south of Budva sits one of the most famous places in the country. The tiny Sveti Stefan island, formerly a 15th century fishing village, today hosts only those from a list of the rich and famous. You can hole up there for the night with rooms starting in the 1500 euro price range. And no, breakfast is not included.
This brings you to another fork in the road. We have routed this to the right taking the longer, more scenic route around the famous Bay of Kotor–also often referred to as Boka Bay. The downside of this route is a 1 km tunnel that is heavily traveled by cars and a lot of vacation traffic in July and August. The upside of the route is some amazing Venetian coastal towns including Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage spot. If you choose to hurry along and skip the blasted tunnel, you’ll find a ferry to shuttle you across the bay just after Tivat. It will only set you back a few Euros and take less than a half hour usually.
Old Town Kotor needs its own adjective as beautiful seems trite. This Venetian coastal town, which sits in between the mountains, has a number of well-done hostels. Spending a night in the Old Town is a great option to take in this historic town and get filled up on some of the coastal food and drink offerings. All along the Bay road there lie housing and food options. Other highlights include Perast with its outstanding Baroque architecture and the man-made Our Lady of the Rocks island and church as well as Risan, a primary fortress of the ancient Illirians.
The Herceg Novi area provides more opportunities for getting a room for the night. This is a less traveled, but still super worthwhile visit to a historic Mediterranean coastal town. One important thing to note is that this town is filled with stairs. If you get a room here, make sure it is somewhere you can haul your bike to.
The roads are narrow in a number of places in Montenegro and there are lots of mountains, but it is a beautiful place with amazing hospitality. We trust that you will enjoy your time on the Montenegro biking route of the EuroVelo 8.