Visit Montenegro in May for a More Local Experience
May in Montenegro marks the slow start of the high season. It is one of the most unpredictable months of the year when it comes to the weather. However, May is a perfect time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and get the best value for money experience.
Montenegro May Weather
May weather in Montenegro usually provides temperate weather for early explorers. However, as of late, temperatures tend to be more varied over the course of this month.
Montenegro can be divided into 3 regions – the Northern, Southern and Central regions.
Plan for lows of 10 with a high of 29 degrees in the Central and Southern region. I pulled the data from the last 5 years using TimeAndDate.com.
Even though these two parts of the country have similar temperatures, the flat terrain in the central areas surrounded by mountains subjects them to stronger winds.
Northern Montenegro, with areas that are 1000+ meters above sea level, is colder – the average recorded low is 1 degree and the average high is 28 degrees.
Even though the average temperature is considered mild and pleasant, make sure to pack clothing layers such as t-shirts, hoodies, and jackets to ensure you’ve got the right clothes for any weather condition.
You can do a lot of fun things on a sunny day. However, you should prepare for rain as the humidity is quite high in May, often surpassing 70%. That doesn’t mean the rain has to prevent you from having fun! Below is a list of activities and events to help you get the most out of your trip based on the May Montenegro weather norms.
What to do in Montenegro in May?
If you ask any local, including myself what to do in May you would get the same answer “it depends”. It depends on the weather, yet the advantage of Montenegro being so small is that you can travel to another area in just about 2-3 hours and escape the rain!
Hike in Biogradska Gora National Park – A Hiker’s Paradise
Biogradska Gora is one of the last three virgin forests in Europe. With its glacial lakes, primeval forests and tall mountain peaks, it makes for a great hiking destination. Hiking here can be tailored for a family-friendly, romantic, or adventurous experience.
Hut to hut hiking in Biogradska Gora is a great way to explore the whole park and split the long routes into smaller distances from one hut to another. Mountain huts along the way, also known as katuns, are unique to Montenegro and provide a chance to meet the locals who rent their properties via Meanderbug and eat organic local specialities. This is the best way to explore the nature and culture of Montenegro.
You don’t have to rent a car to visit this national park. Taking a bus to Mojkovac or Berane will get you really close to the park. For the timetables, use Busticket4.me (the routes are shown only a few weeks ahead).
Biogradska Gora in May can be a bit chilly so make sure to bring jackets and raincoats. Also check weather forecasts for forward-looking weather and check with Meanderbug to know the situation for the remaining snow pack just in case an epic winter made its mark on May travels.
Visit Ostrog Monastery
Ostrog is one of the most sacred places in Montenegro. Whether you’re religious or not the monastery carved into rock will leave you speechless. You can read more about Ostrog monastery here.
Traditionally, committed pilgrims would climb up to the monastery barefoot and some still do. Most visitors will be hiking up to the monastery in comfortable sneakers which is a recommended way to do it.
Dress code is strict–you should wear pants and skirts that cover your legs completely, and your arms should also be covered. Women are encouraged to cover their heads.
Experience the deepest canyon in Europe
Does a bird’s-eye view of Tara Canyon of the deepest canyon in Europe sound exciting enough? If so, then you can take the longest zipline across Tara canyon.
Tara river is perfect for water sports as well. Rafting near Djurdjevica Bridge is available near the zipline and doing both is possible in one day! This is ideal for families or couples. For a bigger whitewater adventure, plan your rafting experience near Scepan Polje.
Just being close to the canyon feels surreal, and if you are hiking through Durmitor National Park then you will have access to some spectacular viewpoints from which you can see the canyon. One of the noteworthy viewpoints is called Ćurevac and it’s close to Durmitor hiking trails.
Explore the Medieval Town of Kotor
Kotor is probably the most well-known landmark of Montenegro. This small town gets a massive influx of visitors every year and May is when the season starts.
While there, hike up to the San Giovanni fortress and be rewarded with an iconic view of Boka Bay.
One of the best ways to experience Boka Bay is to book a private boating tour. The standard 3-hour bay of Kotor tour includes Kotor, Perast, and Our Lady of the Rocks and other small islets in the bay. But since it is a private outing, the experience can be modified according to client preferences.
The longer tour is about 6 hours long and it includes the whole Boka bay, all the way to Blue cave and Mamula island, the furthest Montenegrin sea territories.
Where to stay
If you’re on a budget and want to stay as close to Kotor as possible, you won’t find a better location than Old Town Hostel in Kotor.
However, this is not a good location for families or travelers who are looking to stay somewhere quiet. In that case, I would recommend either Lustica Bay (45 mins or driving away, with crystalline beaches) or Perast (15 mins of driving away, with the same medieval charm of Kotor).
- For Lustica Bay, you can either stay at Klinci Village Resort (high-end option) or The Old Mill (budget option).
For Perast, I recommend Vila Perast boutique hotel.
Wine Tasting in Skadar Lake
Skadar Lake is the largest national park in Montenegro and the largest lake in the Balkan peninsula. The soil in the lake area is so fertile that most of the wineries in the country are concentrated here. Some of the best wines come from this region and it’s usually small family-owned wineries that produce it. Most of the wines come from vranac grape species, which is endemic to Montenegro.
Wine tours run as low as 15 euros per person and they include wine tasting, as well as spirit tasting (Montenegrin rakija). You can expect to pay around 15 euros for a really good quality bottle of wine.
My recommendations include Garnet, Radević, Vukićević wines.
If you want to combine wine tasting with some light hiking and sightseeing, I recommend checking out Godinje. This is the only registered historical village in Montenegro. Garnet winery can be found at the end of the road where you can have your wine tasting experience.
I have done it myself with my Norwegian family so I definitely recommend this 2-hour experience.
Where to stay near Skadar Lake
The most popular place for visiting Skadar Lake from the Montenegro side is in the lakeside town of Virpazar. If you like small towns with lots of travelers passing through, then this is the best spot. However, we like a slower, quieter pace, hence our affection for village settings, micro wineries, and farm stays. You can find a number of great options in these places:
- Zabes Village, on the way from Podgorica to Bar where most wineries are located. This quiet spot gives easy access to Virpazar.
- Bridje and Bobija villages, on the way from Podgorica to Lovcen and Kotor. This little-known area means very few travelers around and nearby access to Lovcen National Park.
Canyoning near the Old Town of Bar
Bar is known as a port city and multi-cultural religious center. With more than half a million olive trees and a two-thousand-year-old olive tree, it’s known as the city of Olives.
It’s home to the most authentic old town with more than 3000 years of history.
The Old Town of Bar is not only an archaeological treasure but also near our favorite canyoning spots. It offers two levels of experience: a family-friendly or a more adrenaline-induced adventure.
If you find yourself in Bar with some spare time and a desire to do something crazy, go for canyoning!
Fly fishing in Northern Montenegro
As the snow is melting, the water level in rivers, lakes and small streams of Northern Montenegro is rising significantly in May. This creates a dream scenario for an avid fly fisher. Plan a day or two for the fly fishing experience in small rivers and streams located near Šavnik municipality.
For novices or those that want an easier adventure, try fly fishing in the lakes of Durmitor National Park. This adventure has great mountain backdrops and rainbow trout and is open for any age and skill level.
Where to stay
Whether you are coming with a group of like-minded enthusiasts, or with family or friends who are not into fly fishing, I am suggesting one of the two lodging options below.
- Above the Mountains Katun – For those who want to do fly fishing in Durmitor National Park this is a great option. There are many hiking trails nearby and warm organic dishes will keep you energized for your adventures in the park.
- Vojnik Eco Village – Vojnik works for those who are doing fly fishing in the small streams and rivers. This self-sustaining village is the closest to all the areas of interest and offers serenity and cultural immersion.
Canoeing in Podgorica
If you just have a day in Podgorica and you want to do something fun, a canoeing adventure in Morača river is definitely for you!
Morača river is one of the last free-flowing rivers in Europe and our capital’s blue vein. This nature adventure is a fun adrenaline-inducing way of getting to know Podgorica and it can only be done between April and June!
Events in Montenegro in May
This is the list of annual events that have been celebrated for some time. However, don’t be surprised if you randomly stumble upon a concert or festival during your trip -local mini events are weather dependent and change dates.
Labor Day Celebration – May 1
The International Labor Day on the first of May is quite big in Montenegro. It is the only public holiday from socialist times that is still officially celebrated. This holiday marks a day off from work and school for everyone.
Most will use it as a chance to have a barbecue day out with friends. Sometimes, local tourist boards will organize concerts in the city squares.
If you want to celebrate like a local, I recommend taking a trip to Lovcen National Park and Ivanova Korita springs, our favorite picnic area.
Hike up to the mausoleum on top of the mountain for the most iconic view in the country.
Independence Day – May 22
Montenegro reclaimed independence back in 2006, on the 21st of May. Local tourist boards organize various festivities on this day and everyone gets this day, and the 22nd of May, off from work and school.
Concerts are common in most city squares and they are free to attend. In some city squares you will also be able to taste local dishes.
Ocean Lava Montenegro
The triathlon event that takes place in the picturesque town of Kotor is divided into two races: the half distance and the Olympic distance. Both events offer individual and team categories.
- Half distance race – 1.5 kilometers of swimming, 50 kilometers of biking, and 10 kilometers of running.
- Olympic distance race – 1.9 kilometers of swimming, 90 kilometers of biking, and 21 kilometers of running.
About 600 competitors participate every year, coming from more than 40 countries from around the world. In order to register and find more information, check out Ocean Lava Montenegro.
Brodet Fest in Przno
The small village of Przno near Budva welcomes visitors to Brodet Fest–an annual celebration of local delicacies. This festival usally marks the beginning of the summer travel season in Budva.
You can taste local delicacies, such as the fish broth which is where the name of the festival comes from. Traditionally, other representatives of Montenegrin cuisine can be found there as well, such as priganice, goat cheese in olive oil, several kinds of pie, and more. You can read our post on traditional food of Montenegro to know what to expect and come prepared.
The 3-day rafting event through Montenegro and Serbia usually takes place at the end of the month. The high water level of the Lim river in May raises the adrenaline level of the experience and makes it more challenging which is something participants absolutely love.
the adrenaline level of the experience and makes it more challenging which is something participants absolutely love.
The Lim regatta is about 130km long and it goes through 4 municipalities in Montenegro–Plav, Andrijevica, Berane, and Bijelo Polje. Then it finishes in Prijepolje, Serbia. The route is split into 3 parts of 40-48 kilometers in length.
This small tech conference is big on delivering innovation! It brings together more than 700 attendees every year, typically on the last weekend of May. The slogan “Where Business Meets Digital Innovation” could not be more accurate – every year Spark brings top-notch world-renowned marketers, entrepreneurs, and trailblazers who give inspiring and educational talks.
As someone who has attended the conference for the past 3 years, I can highly recommend attending it. Not only can you learn a lot of new things, but you can also make meaningful connections with business representatives from all around the world!
You can find more information and buy tickets on the official website.
So why visit Montenegro in May?
May marks the beginning of the festive season and the opening of the summer travel season in Montenegro.
It’s also a time when a lot of seasonal flight routes are opening up and as May is a shoulder season month, a lot of the carriers offer discounts and cheap tickets. Combine that with select discounts on accommodations and you have a perfect budget trip set up.
I selected a few itinerary examples to help you plan your trip. These, however, do and should change according to your preferences.
Itinerary example for backpackers:
- Kotor (hostel) > Skadar Lake > Biogradska Gora National Park (Hut to Hut Hiking)
Itinerary example for couples/families:
- Perast (hotel Vila Perast) > Radunovic Skadar Lake House (for serenity) or Prevalis Nature Cottage (for wine lovers) > Djurdjevina Family Farm > Biogradska Gora National Park (Hut to Hut hiking)
You can always reach out to Meanderbug for help in creating a personalized authentic experience.
Meanderbug is a social business that aims to prevent villages from dying out through the good practices of sustainable tourism.
Our network of farm stays and katuns helps travelers experience the real Montenegro while making a difference among the local community.family adventureitineraryMayRomance
We are a couple – 68 and 70 years and have a 14 day stay planned from April 22 to May 2 – 2020.
We will live in Kotor and rent a car. We will very much take the trip Kotor – Pluzine – Pluzine – Žabljak – Žabljak – Tara Bridge. With an overnight stay in Pluzine and an overnight stay at Tara Bridge. I want to ask you about the weather and the roads are okay / safe for us. We are thinking of renting vw Polo, can it handle the trip?
I really enjoyed browsing your website. A beautiful and informative website – Thanks for it 🙂
Kind regards – Mads og Jenny
I have just emailed you some suggestions!
Best regards from Montenegro,
Thank you for such an interesting post. We are a couple 60 years old who want to explore Montenegro on bicycles for about 2 weeks. What would you suggest and is it ok cycling around?
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