Montenegro is located in the west-central area of the Balkans at the southern end of the Dinaric Alps.
The most popular coastal destinations are the Venetian era port towns of Kotor and Budva, with medieval stone buildings and plenty of restaurants and hotels to choose from.
Kotor, known also as Cattaro, is a little fairytale place, tucked away in heart of southern Europe. Today, as in the 17th century, Kotor embodies the magical spirit of the Venetian empire, which ruled over Kotor for nearly 400 years.
The administrative capital is Podgorica, from which you can head into the mountains for some hiking or within an hour be at the beach. The cultural centre is the historical capital and older city of Cetinje.
For much of the 20th century it was a part of Yugoslavia, and from 2003 to 2006 it was a component of the federated union of Serbia and Montenegro. It emerged as a sovereign state in a May 2006 referendum after just over 55% of the population opted for independence.
The vote heralded the end of the former Union of Serbia and Montenegro – itself created only three years earlier out of the remnant of the former Yugoslavia.
The country’s name means “Black Mountain,” in reference to Mount Lovćen (5,738 feet [1,749 metres]), its historical centre near the Adriatic Sea and its stronghold in the centuries of struggle with the Turks.