Montenegro Travel: Local Expert Jelena Jeca Talks about Travel to Montenegro

  11. How open are local Montenegrin people to foreign tourists? What about the attitude of local tourism workers? The citizens of Montenegro are very good hosts and tourism representatives. Hospitality is generally very good, and foreign travellers feel welcome in Montenegro. 12. What about the currency of Montenegro? Can travellers use credit cards and bank cards, or what forms of payment are accepted? The currency is EURO. All types of credit cards are accepted, and recently a USA card was introduced that is accepted by the Montenegrin Commercial Bank.

The port of Kotor

The port of Kotor

13. Please give us an overview of the culture and traditions of Montenegro.  What about festivals? The culture of present-day Montenegro is as pluralistic and diverse as its history and geographical position would suggest. Montenegro’s culture has drawn on influences mainly from ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Christianity, Islam, the Byzantine Empire, the Bulgarian Empire, the Serbian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, the Republic of Venice, Austria-Hungary, the Kingdom of Italy and, more recently, Yugoslavia. Our traditions include many folk dances (Oro, Sota), Epics songs, cuisine, and architecture. We also have many interesting festivals such as carnivals (Budva, Kotor, Herceg Novi), Maslinijada (Bar), Petrovac night (Petrovac), the Festival of Wine and Bleak in Virpazar, Camelia Days in Kotor with flower exhibitions, the City Theatre in Budva and many others.

Historic church in Perast

Historic church in Perast

14. Our readers are interested in cultural and art-related travel opportunities in Montenegro. Please comment about museums, music, dance and visual arts performances. Art, history, music, museums are the main symbols of Montenegro. Let me mention some of the cultural attractions that are available to visitors: the National Museum of Montenegro, the Cetinje Historic Museum of Montenegro, the Cetinje Museum of Fine Arts of Montenegro, the Cetinje Ethnographic Museum of Montenegro, the Cetinje Njegos Museum (Billiards), the Cetinje Museum of King Nikola, the Monastery of Cetinje, the Museum of Natural History in Cetinje, the Podgorica Centre for Modern Arts, the museums and galleries of Podgorica, the Museum of Marko Miljanov at the Medun Centre for Culture in Niksic, the Homeland Museum Centre for Culture in Danilovgrad,  the Homeland Museum Maritime Museum of Kotor, various museums in Kotor, the Perast Town Museum, the Kotor Lapidarium,  St. Tryphon’s Cathedral in Kotor Our Lady of the Rock – St. Nikola’s Church in Perast. 15.        What about active travel: skiing, golf, bicycling, hiking / trekking, kayaking, rafting, sailing and other water sports etc.? In Montenegro adventure is guaranteed. We have a wide range of outdoor activities: cycling / mountain biking, paragliding, rafting, kayaking, skiing in the mountains, walking / trekking and horse-back riding. Organized sports include soccer, basketball, handball, swimming, water polo, athletics and many more.

Boats in the harbour of Budva

Boats in the harbour of Budva

16. Our audience is interested in the unique culinary traditions of Montenegro. What about the availability of international foods? What are some of the traditional drinks in Montenegro? Let me give you a few examples of Montenegro’s diverse cuisine. Polenta – squash, a dish that is made from wheat, buckwheat, barley or corn flour and served with cheese and sour milk. When cheese is added the dish is called Smocani Polenta and the taste in this case is better, and people in the villages prefer it because it gives them the energy they need for their physical work. Offered by all local restaurants, Polenta potatoes is perhaps the most interesting variation of this dish. Gruel – This dish usually includes white potatoes and sour milk. Cheese curds or cream is mixed with the flour until it releases fat. This is high energy food with a pleasant taste – it literally melts in your mouth.

Local Montenegrin specialties

Local Montenegrin specialties

Popara – pieces of bread mixed with milk, oil and cheese. This kind of interesting and cheap food is deeply rooted in Montenegro’s diet. Cooked potatoes – an easy and favorite meal, which includes cheese and sauerkraut. Broths – soup in Montenegro is prepared mainly with noodles, potatoes or vegetables. Especially interesting is nettle soup. Usually prepared with fresh meat, Montenegro’s soups are highly nutritious and rich in flavour. Raštan – very tasty cabbage dish, cooked with white potatoes and plenty of spices. Japraci – an extremely rich and nutritious dish. Rastan leaves (collard greens), beef, rice, pepper, and even dried meat are added. This is a very tasty and hearty dish. Sarma consists of stuffed peppers, casseroles and is a popular dish in the Balkan region. It is very popular in Montenegro and highly recommended during your stay in this region. Montenegrin lamb in milk is a real specialty. Lamb meat is cooked in milk with the addition of local spices and potatoes. This dish is particularly popular in the northern areas.

Jelena, taking pictures

Jelena, taking pictures

Sausages are usually dried, using a special technique. They are extremely tasty and strong. Prosciutto – This most famous smoked ham is comparable to the quality of the Italian manufacturers. This meat is dried for several months on dry beech logs. It is usually served with brandy, and smoked cheese. Jagnjetinja is succulent lamb that is grilled on spits over large open fires. This is an extremely popular local dish. Podgorica popeci – a veal steak is wrapped with a piece of cheese and prosciutto and then fried in oil, providing a tasty and crunchy exterior. Grilled food – Montenegrins love to barbecue, especially the delicious kebabs and burgers that go well with onions. These are the two most popular dishes among the young and are offered in fast food restaurants. Also, International cuisine is available in every major restaurants, in hotel or on ships.

Views of Ulcinj

Views of Ulcinj

15. What is the best time of year to visit Montenegro? The best time visit to Montenegro is during the summer months: from April to September. Skiing is popular during the winter and the best months for winter sports are November to January. Montenegro offers something for every season. Thank you so much, Jelena, for taking the time to talk with us about your home country, Montenegro. We wish you all the best for opening your own travel business.

Peacock in Ćatovića Mlini

Peacock in Ćatovića Mlini

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