11 Surprising Facts About Montenegro

Welcome to Montenegro, the hidden gem of the Balkans, where breathtaking landscapes, rich history and vibrant culture intertwine to create an extraordinary destination like no other! Read ahead to discover these fascinating and surprising facts!

1. It is home to the oldest olive tree in Europe

Estimated to be over 2,000 years old, the Stara Maslina continues to bear olives to this day! The diameter of  Located near Stari Bar, the old olive tree stands at 10 metres and is a must-see for any visitor keen to learn about the history of Montenegro.

2. One area has the record for highest annual precipitation in Europe

The region known as the “Mrtvica Canyon” or “Mrtvica Gorge” is recognised for its exceptionally high precipitation levels, making it the wettest spot on the continent. Located in the central part of Montenegro, Mrtvica Canyon is a beautiful natural area known for its lush vegetation, crystal-clear river, and impressive cliffs. The high levels of rainfall contribute to the area’s rich biodiversity and the formation of several waterfalls and cascades, creating a breathtaking and serene landscape. Mrtvica Canyon remains relatively less explored and less visited compared to other popular tourist destinations in Montenegro, making it an excellent choice for nature enthusiasts and adventurers seeking a more off-the-beaten-path experience.

3. The Bay of Kotor is the Southernmost fjord in the world

The Bay of Kotor is often compared to the mighty fjords of Norway due to its striking resemblance. While technically not a true fjord, the Bay of Kotor shares many similarities with the classic fjord landscapes found in Scandinavia. The bay features a winding, deep inlet with steep mountainous walls rising dramatically from the water, creating a stunning and picturesque setting. The rugged terrain and fjord-like appearance have earned it the nickname “Europe’s southernmost fjord”. Geologically, the Bay of Kotor is actually a ria, which is a submerged river valley formed by rising sea levels. The bay was carved by the action of glaciers during the last Ice Age and later submerged as the sea levels rose.

4. Brad Pitt’s first movie role was filmed in Kotor

Director Božidar Nikolić picked Brad Pitt out of 400 candidates for the main role in the film ‘The dark side of the Sun’. Brad Pitt was very happy for the pick and was only paid $1,523 for seven weeks of filming in mainly Kotor, Montenegro (then Yugoslavia) in 1988. The movie was released directly to video in 1997.

5. It holds the title of having Europe’s deepest canyon

And the second deepest in the world! Tara Canyon flows through Durmitor National Park in Montenegro. The canyon is 82 kilometres long and at its deepest point, it is 1.300 meters deep. You can explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site area by rafting along a one-mile-long path or go for the largest zip line in Europe, crossing from one river shore to another

6. It’s home to a vibrant flock of Flamingos

These elegant and brightly coloured birds can be found in the wetlands and lagoons of Lake Skadar, which is the largest lake in the Balkans and one of the most important bird habitats in Europe! During the bird migration season, which typically occurs in spring and autumn, large flocks of flamingos can be seen in Lake Skadar and its surrounding wetlands, attracting birdwatchers and nature enthusiasts from around the world. The presence of flamingos adds to the biodiversity and natural beauty of the region, making it a significant destination for ecotourism and birdwatching in Montenegro. Lake Skadar is a designated Ramsar Wetland of International Importance and provides a perfect environment for various bird species, including the striking pink flamingo.

7. They are some of the world’s tallest people

Montenegrins are known for their relatively tall stature compared to the global average. According to various studies and data, Montenegro is often ranked among the countries with taller populations. The average height of Montenegrin men is generally above 180 cm (5 feet 11 inches), and for Montenegrin women, it is above 168 cm (5 feet 6 inches).

8. It boasts over 100 beaches

For such a tiny country it is home to an impressive amount of beaches, 117 to be exact! These beaches vary in size, landscape, and amenities, from bustling resort beaches with vibrant nightlife to secluded coves surrounded by pristine nature. Montenegro’s coastal gems cater to different preferences and interests. Whether you seek relaxation, water sports, or simply a place to enjoy the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro’s beaches have something to offer everyone.

9. Speaking of beaches, it’s home to the longest beach on the Adriatic Sea

Ulcinj is home to the longest beaches on the Adriatic Sea. Velika Plaža, also known as Long Beach, stretches for approximately 13 kilometers (about 8 miles) along the Montenegrin coast, making it the longest beach in the entire Adriatic region. Velika Plaža is a beautiful sandy beach with golden sand and crystal-clear waters, attracting both locals and tourists seeking a relaxing seaside getaway. The beach’s length provides plenty of space for beachgoers to spread out and enjoy the stunning views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding landscape. Its unique length and picturesque setting make Velika Plaža one of the most remarkable and sought-after beach destinations in Montenegro and the entire Adriatic region.

10. Marilyn Monroe’s favourite European getaway was in Montenegro

Sveti Stefan is certainly one of the tourist icons of Montenegro. What is lesser known, though, is the fact that Marilyn Monroe’s favorite getaway destination in Europe used to be Sveti Stefan, an islet on the Budva Riviera. It is located just 15 minutes from Budva, by car. Aman Sveti Stefan, a luxury holiday resort on the island, had more than once enjoyed the privilege of playing host to the iconic Hollywood actress. (Although when Monroe visited it in the 50s, the luxury hotel was not owned by the Aman chain. Other past celebrities of significance who have paid a visit to the resort? Sophia Loren, Princess Margaret, Liz Taylor, and Orson Welles…to name a few!

11. It is one of the newest countries in the world

 The country only gained independence from Serbia in the year 2006, making it one of the newest countries in the world technically! Other than Montenegro, only Kosovo (2008) and South Sudan (2011) are newer.

Discover the charm of Montenegro for yourself on one of our many Montenegro experiences! For any questions or queries don’t hesitate to reach us at info@untravelledpaths.com

Written by Lucy Kaufmann