In Montenegro we cycle toured through some stunning and beautiful scenery but sadly also some stunningly over developed coast line. We entered from Croatia into Herceg Novi. This seaside resort, with a huge eyesore of a ship yard at one end was not my cup of tea. Saying that, the town was still an interesting place being largely devoid of much overseas tourism, therefore unlike Croatia there were no fat Germans in tight swimwear. always a bonus! Herceg Novi like Montenegro in general had a genuine local atmosphere with small fruit stands and a few bars behind the beach.
We were running low on supplies so in Montenegro we struggled to find a bike shop selling more spare tubes in 700c size. The heatand long miles in Croatia had resulted in a few inner tube valves disconnecting with the tube, not ideal. Oh well at least the beaches were stunning to chill out on!
We met an interesting French couple by the beach in Herceg Novi, who we talked with in French, it turned out they had completed a similar route but were now taking a very pleasant, less direct mountainous route, they had some good tips for us too. This is another reason why all cycle tourers should stop and chat to each other! After Herceg Novi we followed the coast to the huge natural inlet that is obvious on any map of the country. We took the long way completely around the inlet avoiding the ferry short cut. Just at the start of the inlet coast road near Morinj we found a spectacular quiet campsite with laden fig trees and great swimming spots. I picked up a local bottle of wine and we sat eating figs, drinking wine as the sunset on the water!
The picture below shows the best way to carry wine, it was white so we had to ride fast to keep it cool!
The UNESCO world heritage site in and around Kotor was outstanding, it is a spectacular walled city worthy of a detour on any itinerary. From there a large climb took us over to Budva not home to the beer. Then we cycled along the coast detouring quite a long way to the very odd abandoned resort of Valdanos. The resort was built in the 70s at great cost with camping sites and fancy hotels, however the Yugoslav army took over the site in the 80’s and it fell into disrepair. The road in still has a check point but at the same time it is flanked by magnificent ancient contorting olive groves. The beach is a bit too concrete with huge broken up chunks, rusty beach showers and empty over grown swimming pools. The sea is crystal clear and offers amazing diving in the bay. We spent the night elsewhere as it was all a bit too creepy but a worthy detour!
We then cycled on through Bar and Ulcinj before hitting the Albania border. We have enjoyed Montenegro over the last few days. It was a shame not to venture into the mountains where stories of bears and vistas caught our attention and will require a return visit. but now Albania is more than just a bit unknown, however as always it should be fun!