Montenegro, meaning “The Black Mountain”, gained independence from Serbia through a referendum in 2006. It is situated in the Balkans, in the southeastern corner of Europe. This former Yugoslavian state is one of the smallest countries bordering the Adriatic, with a coastline of just under three hundred kilometers.
Despite the relative lack of access to the sea, beautiful beaches and ancient, walled coastal towns are some of the main draws of Montenegro. Just inland are enough cliffs, mountains and national parks to satisfy even the most avid nature and walking enthusiasts.
Montenegro had 650,000 citizens as of 2014, with the majority declaring the Serbian language as their native tongue, though languages commonly used throughout Montenegro are often mutually understandable. The official language is Montenegrin.
The capital city, Podgorica, is the economic and cultural center of the country and is a place that many expatriates can call home. English is widely spoken there, especially across the younger generations. Outside of the city, there is less use for English, especially up north, but where there are more tourists along the idyllic coastline English is in wider use.
Expats moving to Montenegro can enjoy a Mediterranean climate with hot, humid summers and relatively cool winters, especially further inland up in the mountains. There is often snowfall inland during the winter and the rainfall in the mountains is generally higher than most other parts of Europe; however, the weather is incredibly variable across this small country because of the wide variety of landscapes. Podgorica can get particularly hot in the summers, but does benefit from the cool breezes coming off the Ribnica and Morača rivers.
Montenegro is not the most accessible country on the Adriatic, with many tourists traveling in by land from the surrounding areas. Direct flights to the main airport in Podgorica are infrequent and are not available from a lot of countries, but there are regular trains and buses coming in from Serbia or Croatia.
If you are planning on driving into the region, be aware of the border crossings and visa requirements. Most European citizens, people from the USA and many countries in Asia and South America are allowed to enter the country as a tourist for up to 90 days — a full list of these countries can be found online.
Make sure you check the entry requirements before leaving for your trip. If you are staying for longer than 90 days you must apply for a residency permit before your 90 days are up.