People often joke that Montenegro has more tourists than native Montenegrins, but that only speaks highly of how appealing this country is to foreigners – and for good reasons. With breathtaking nature at every twist and turn, authentic small towns that echo through history, and fun touristy attractions scattered here and there, its lands can be quite fascinating, despite their size. Here are some interesting facts about Montenegro, which might change your opinion on it – hopefully in a positive direction.
It’s the homeland of one of the few rainforests found on Slavic territory.
Biogradska Gora is well-known for being one of the handful remaining rainforests on our continent. Regarded as a semi-virgin rainforest, it covers an area of 54 square kilometers and serves as the home of a highly varied ecosystem of hundreds of flora and fauna species. The rainfall is extremely concentrated in its region and the forest has been listed on UNESCO’s tentative list with World Heritage Sites ever since 2010.
It has one of the longest beaches in Europe.
Tourists adore Montenegro’s sandy beaches and clear waters – that’s not exactly breaking news. But did you know that Velika Plaža (meaning Long or Great Beach) is among the longest on the entire continent? Spanning over the length of 12 kilometers, the beach strip is adorned with clear, shallow waters with slow currents, almost no wind and no underwater obstacles (such as rocky seabeds or hollows). And that’s exactly why this spot is so popular among those willing to learn how to kitesurf. As for the rest of Montenegro’s beaches – all of them combined make up for the impressive 52 kilometers in length.
It’s featured in Casino Royale.
Daniel Craig and Eva Green’s Casino Royale from 2006 is probably the most popular James Bond movie made up to date. Part of its plotline was based in Montenegro. Oddly enough, the scenes that were supposed to feature the picturesque Montenegrin soil, though, were actually filmed against other countries’ backdrops and in various sound stages in the Czech Republic, UK, Bahamas and Italy instead of locations with real Montenegrin scenery. Oh, well, go figure!
It’s the home of the world’s oldest olive tree.
Believed to be over 2,000 years old, the Stara Maslina tree is definitely a runner-up for the honorary title of the oldest olive tree in the world. The tree can be found near the medieval town of Stari Bar. With a trunk that is almost 10 meters wide and several quirky legends surrounding its history, this interesting landmark has been protected by the law as a natural reserve ever since the distant 1963.
It’s been extremely open-minded from the very beginning.
Countless jokes can be said about how women don’t do well with cars, planes and navigation in general. That, among many other factors and laws, has been the driving force for many countries, which have had their prejudices and even prohibitions for women who want to work in the navy or the air force. Montenegrins, on the other hand, have always been open-minded even when it comes to such norms and have allowed both female and male service ever since the beginning (a.k.a., a couple of months after the declaration of independence in 2006).
It has 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Denouncing Montenegro just because of its small area and population is wrong, because contrary to its size, this country bears a great deal of historical, cultural and natural significance – just ask UNESCO’s acceptance committees. Montenegro has 3 official Cultural Heritage Sites, 1 official Natural Heritage Site and a total of 7 additional listings, which are awaiting in the tentative list. How many countries have accomplished these results?