Difference between revisions of "Montenegro"

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Revision as of 18:11, 10 September 2009

Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
Information
Language: Montenegrin, Serbocroatian, Albanian
Capital: Podgorica
Population: 684,736
Currency: Euro (€)
Hitchability:
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(very good) (?)
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<map lat='42.7' lng='19.33' zoom='7' view='0' float='right' />

Montenegro, officially the FYR (Former Yugoslavian Republc) Republic of Montenegro, is a new country located in the southeast of Europe.

According to wikipedia, roads in Montenegro are far below European standards.

Cities

  • Budva, the expensive, over-crowded, tacky favorite coastal destination of Eastern European tourists
  • Herceg-Novi, coastal gateway to Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • Jaz, nice hotel/beach area near Budva
  • Kotor, the still-expensve, but more "alternative" destination of Western European tourists
  • Podgorica, the inland capital
  • Ulcinj, the gateway from the coast to Albania

Border crossings


Currency

Good to know: Montenegro is NOT cheap! The official currency in Montenegro is the Euro, the official currency of the Eurozone. Because Montenegro is on the Euro, you will definitely find EU prices here. Nevertheless Montenegro is not yet a formal member of the so called Eurozone.

Stay Safe

Montenegro is generally a safe country. Unlike many of its Balkan neighbours, it pretty much managed to avoid the conflicts of the 1990s, so there are few landmines or other unpleasant surprises strewn about.

Hitching

People are friendly here but many of the roads are really terrible and/or treacherously mountainous which means it will take a long long time to cross from south to north. If you're heading towards Montenegro, you may want to avoid Kosovo to avoid potential additional complications, so if you're headed east, its best to cross through Serbia and then Macedonia.

Unsurprisingly, there are many mountains (mont-e-negro meaning - black mountains) which can result in 20km taking 5 hours in a truck. But they are spectacular and well worth going through slowly. Try not to get a truck however, because it's a little more dangerous going through the carved tunnels.

Hitching the Montenegro coast:

Toward Croatia: It can be done, but the terrain poses some issues is some areas. Particularly when hitching the coast from Kotor through Herceg-Novi toward Croatia, you'll mostly be on a 2 lane road bounded by steep mountains and with little or no shoulder - so your ability to easily and safely walk roadside will be compromised, as will the ability for drivers to find a place to pull over.

The border crossing from Montenegro to Croatia is on the outskirts of Herceg-Novi. You might find that people are hesitant to drive you over the border. If you find yourself on foot at the crossing, it's approximately 1.2km (moderately uphill) from the border station exiting Montenegro to the border station to enter Croatia. Once on the Croatia side of the crossing, it's easy to catch a ride. Keep in mind, though that it's much easier done in the morning/early afternoon since traffic gets sparse in the evenings.

Toward Albania: When heading this direction, particularly from Croatia through Kotor, instead of a steep mountain right on the side of the road and little or no shoulder, you've got the sea and little or no shoulder.

Hitchhiker experiences

T Hitched around Budva area June 2009 - and even with a tall scary looking male companion with me, it took only minutes before being picked up. We also hitched up coast from Budva to Croatia in September 2009. Had some difficulties around Herceg-Novi. Hitched a taxi returning to the taxi lot at the end of the day, then paid him 5euro to pass the lot and take us all the way to the border crossing. Walked the crossing and was immediately picked up once on the Croatia side.

Jason and Kelsey hitched here in May 2008 without problem and waiting very little time between rides. It helps to be out of big towns when thumbing as people realise that public transport in the middle of nowhere is almost non-existent.

Stan hitched there in December 2008. Came in from Dubrovnik, Croatia. There are very little cars at the border and I had to hike for 3 hours through Herzeg Novi to find a decent spot to hitchhike. It seemed to be a very uncommon thing to do, but the rides I got were such extremely friendly people! One ride bought me a good lunch, another ride invited me to his family's house, treated me on dinner and I could sleep at his place!

Experience learns that it is best to ASK people directly! Also, if you are headed to the capital Podgorica, take the ferry near Kotor, it's faster and you can ask people in their cars. Since I was in a hurry I took the autobus from Podgorica to Pristina, Kosovo (with connection to Skopje), it was 16,50 euro for a 7 hour ride through an epic mountain area.

Quarim hitched there in may 2008, coming from Croatia. It seems to be difficult to find someone who is willing to take you over the border. I guess that driving habits are also sometimes horrible. Two drivers stopped for me and wanted to have money, then i decided to take the Bus to Shkodër, Albania. Since the bus was not departing like it was shown in the schedule, I was on the way with two albanian workes who stopped cars with albanian number plates and than haggled for a price with the driver (10 Euros for 3 persons).

User:Banzai faced mayor problems when trying to hitchhike in Montenegro in January 2007. He tried to hitch from Podgorica to Budva (passing to Cetinhe) together with a friend. There weren't too many cars to begin with, the very few that stopped asked money (more then it would take to go with the bus) and - most striking - had three cases of cars driving on all of a sudden after they stopped and opened the doors. When we were getting our backpacks, they drove on - even with open doors!. We spend an entire day trying to get a ride, no luck. In the end we decided to take the bus to the border town, called Herceg-Novi. We pitched the tent near the outskirts of town, and tried to hitchhike to Croatia next day. Again no luck, and since it was close to the border, we got numerous passport controls by different patrols (about 6 controls in 4 hours). After 5 hours, the police wanted to get rid of us so desperately, that they drove us up to the border, and kicked us out of Montenegro.