In many ways, Montenegro is the perfect country. Locals welcome you with open arms, the cuisine is deep and delicious, and nature shines through in all its glory.

This tiny, exotic nation in the Balkans squeezes a wealth of ancient walled towns, glorious beaches, and spectacular island monasteries into an area smaller than Istanbul. Along its dazzling 200-mile coastline, lush green ridges and bright red rooftops vie with the shimmering royal blues of the Adriatic, while the mountainous heartland – bejeweled with primeval forests and mirror-like glacial lakes – is blissfully rugged and wild.

Why visit Montenegro

Rounding out the picture are swanky yacht marinas and elegant Venetian inspired cities, where locals chat over frothy Italian espressos and freshly baked pastries at sunny pavement cafés.

Sheltered by towering limestone cliffs and scattered with spellbinding medieval jewels, it’s no surprise most visitors flock to the fjord-like Bay of Kotor. But those who venture inland are rewarded with sleepy untouched villages, breathtaking mountain scenery, and the biggest canyon in Europe – a land of rushing waterfalls, mysterious caves, and majestic forest-clad limestone peaks in the UNESCO-protected Durmitor National Park.

Not convinced yet? These wonderful photos, from the meandering crystal-clear Tara River to postcard-perfect Sveti Stefan, not only prove that this is Europe’s most spectacular country, but they will make you want to visit Montenegro right now.

Ancient city in Montenegro

Beach at the Adriatic

Ladder to the Adriatic Sea

Green mountains

Tara River

Spectacular nature

Turquoise river

Biogradska Gora National Park

Zabljak, Montenegro

Autumn colors in Montenegro

Ancient house

Street in old town

Narrow cobblestone street

Old blue windows

The Church of Our Lady of Remedy

Yachts in Kotor Bay

Aerial view of Kotor Bay

Nature in Montenegro

Red rooftops in Budva

Idyllic street in Budva

Sea fortress Forte Mare

Fort in Petrovac

Savina Monastery

Street in Old Budva

Perast

Old town near Bay of Kotor

St. George church, Perast

Bar Stari Grad

Countryside in Montenegro

Ancient ruins at Bar Stari Grad

Herceg Novi

Traditional kiosk in Montenegro

Sveti Stefan Island

Seaside island resort

Sunset on the Adriatic Sea

Village at night

Images licensed by Ingram Image