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2 Weeks for Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece THIS SUMMER! Please help!

Some questions regarding this June in Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, and Greece.

Planning on taking the ferry from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Budva, Montenegro. If we plan to stay three days in Montenegro, where are the best spots or what sort of personalities do the cities in Montenegro have? Podgorica, Budva, Tivat, Kotor?

Getting from Montenegro to Greece, is the simplest way to fly from say Podgorica into Athens? These flights are not cheap! Any other suggestions? I'm open to going anywhere in Greece (but we will only have two nights) but my return flight has to be out of Athens.

Posted by
11132 posts

You're trying to cover a huge amount of logistically-complicated ground in a very short period of time. I urge you to reconsider. You can have a much nicer vacation if you don't rush around so much. Apparently you've already booked flights into Italy and out of Athens. That's more than enough for 2 weeks (or 2 months).

Are you sure there's a ferry from Dubrovnik to Budva? This 2017 TripAdvisor thread suggests that there is not. There is bus service between Dubrovnik and Kotor as well as between Kotor and Budva. Whether there's a single bus running that entire route, I don't know. You can explore bus schedules on the BusCroatia website, but definitely verify the information when you get to Dubrovnik, and understand that the Dubrovnik bus station personnel may not be fully informed about what buses do once they cross the Montenegrin border. In all cases, pay attention to the day of the week. Especially on Sundays and holidays, things may go sideways.

Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro and by far the least interesting place I saw when I traveled through the country in 2015. It is not a place I would go on a short trip unless I had to for reasons of transportation.

Kotor has a walkable wall; Budva does not. Kotor gets occasional visits from monster cruise ships; you don't want to be there on the same day. Their historic areas are otherwise superficially similar, and perhaps similar enough to Dubrovnik that you can skip them on this trip without feeling as if you've missed out. I did not go to Dubrovnik on my Montenegro trip, having been there twice previously.

Tivat I haven't been to.

Two other coastal cities I like, which are not as touristy as Kotor and Budva: Herceg-Novi (between Dubrovnik and Kotor) and Ulcinj (farther south than Budva).

I also enjoyed the interior town of Cetinje, and I've read good things about the national parks. The latter pretty much need a car, I believe.

I haven't been to Greece recently enough to comment beyond pointing out that the country is much more than Athens.

Posted by
8342 posts

I think you may mean the Kamenari-Lepetane ferry which is theoretically a short cut to Kotor but you miss a lot by not driving around the bay to the north. Perast, Ostrvo, and Sveti Juraj for Instance. I enjoyed that more than Kotor as Kotor never lived up to what I saw in Dubrovnik. I loved Budva, Novi Star and to a lesser degree Ulcinj. The mountains to the north were pretty spectacular. Our 3rd trip will be to return to Budva and the mountains.

Athens is your stretch. There are no good flights. Do this; go to Google Flights and put in:
From: Podgorica
To: Europe
Stops: none

the click through the days of the week and see what wonderful places you can reach in an hour or two, non-stop for under $100. The list is pretty good. We always end up in Budapest for about $60.

Posted by
542 posts

I am in Italy now heading to Montenegro in a couple of days and I agree that:

There is no ferry Dubrovnik to Montenegro (????)

This itinerary is really a lot for two weeks.

If you really want to see Montenegro take the Bar to Belgrade train overnight (you will still see the best of the scenery) then fly from Belgrade to Athens. This train will traverse the most scenic parts. For the rest of Montenegro rent a car for a day in Bar (cheap) and drive around.

Posted by
3719 posts

So where did you go, how did you do it and how did it all work out?