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Car rental from Podgorica Airport and flying Air Montenegro?

We are looking at working Montenegro into a Summer 2019 trip. It looks like we could fly from Vienna to Podgorica on Austrian air using Star Alliance points which is a bonus. Then, I am only seeing Europcar as a rental car option at Podgorica. Does anyone have any rental car experience out of that airport or in Montenegro in general?

The other option would be to fly in/out of Dubrovnik. Maybe this would be better access to the interesting areas of Montenegro?

We need to fly from Montenegro to Frankfurt for a family event, and the only direct flight is on Air Montenegro. Has anyone flown them? I have checked their website and Wikipedia info and am not sure how comfortable I am relying on them. Would love to hear from anyone who has personal experience.

Also, if you have any suggestions, I am totally open. We are flexible in terms of how many days we spend there.

Thank you
Michele

Posted by
12868 posts

No experience with Air Montenegro; never heard of them. I think James E. has mentioned flying WizzAir into Podgorica, probably from Budapest.

Just about all areas of Montenegro are interesting except (sorry) Podgorica itself. Perhaps I just missed the good parts, but I am sceptical. To me it looked like a throwback to 1980s Yugoslavia, when Podgorica was called "Titograd", which sort of says it all. Of course, if you have plenty of time, Titograd could be an interesting experience. Places I liked included Ulcinj, Herceg-Novi, Kotor, Budva (similar to Kotor, though) and Cetinje. I've read good things about the national parks but couldn't visit them without a car.

One thing to be careful about is putting yourself in the position of needing to pick up and drop off a rental car in different countries, a painfully expensive proposition. There is bus service between Kotor and Dubrovnik, so that's probably your next best bet if you're not comforrable with flight options into Podgorica.

Posted by
47 posts

It looks like it would be best if we flew Vienna to Dubrovnik and went to Montenegro from there, returning car back to Dubrovnik and picking up a flight from Dubrovnik to Frankfurt. That way, we would be on Star Alliance carriers instead of a carrier nobody has ever heard of! I did not realize how far Podgorica is from the coast. Dubrovnik will be much more convenient (I hope).

Posted by
5193 posts

That way, we would be on Star Alliance carriers instead of a carrier
nobody has ever heard of!

Many countries have national carriers that may not have any international presence at all because they're too small (I flew Malta Air a few years ago and I wasn't familiar with it either). If you've never been to that country before, then it seems like something new or suspect. But that doesn't mean there is something inherently wrong with them, or that the plane is going down in flames.

Posted by
12868 posts

It may well be, but don't forget that the approach from Dubrovnik requires you to cross a bit of Bosnia-Hercegovina. Clear all border-crossings with your car-rental company, and see if you can find some current info on possible delays at the border.

Ignore this incorrect post. The Neum corridor is way north of Dubrovnik. My excuse is that I've only traversed it while sitting on a bus. All the more reason that I should have consulted a map before posting.

Posted by
47 posts

I put the route from Dubrovnik airport into Perast and I did not see that it goes into B/H. That could be an issue with a car rental for sure.

Posted by
8894 posts

Ive been to Montenegro twice now. Great place. The drive from Dubrovnik to Perast (great town for a night) does not go through any other country. Podgorica is about an hour from Budva, so being off the coast isnt a big thing. Budva is a wonderful town and worth the time as are all he coastal towns (Stari Bar and Ulcinj). The bay of Kotor is beautiful, but the town of Kotor was only so-so after Dubrovnik. Inland is beautiful too. Mountains and nature mostly with a few interesting old monasteries. Would go back in a heart beat. Did some good fishing last year.

We traveled comfortably. We hired a guide and an Audi A6 with driver. Cost for a week worked out to about 150 euro a day. Worth it from my perspective.

I will send you a PM

Posted by
12868 posts

I'm sorry. I massively relocated the Neum Corridor. I've updated my earlier post.

Posted by
47 posts

James: Wow! Great Pics.
My husband loves to have a rental car so we can always be mobile. We have 2 teenage girls also so it is usually less expensive for us to drive vs. bus/train/driver. But, mostly we rent cars because he likes the adventure.
So, I think in/out Dubrovnik and in/out Star Alliance partners (it isn't just about being familiar, it is also about earning points-we are doing this trip 100% on frequent flier points for 4 people) is the plan.
Now, we just need to decide how many days to tour around, and what parts to stay in. Perast looks like a lovely place to hang out for a couple nights? We would also like to do some hiking, biking, and maybe rafting or light kayaking.