Montenegro

Montenegro in Autumn – Why It’s the Best Time to Visit

I visited Montenegro in every season and lived there through fall and winter, and today I can honestly say that Montenegro in autumn is the most beautiful.

Okay, I may be biased since fall is my favorite season among all, but coming to Montenegro from September to November indeed has many more advantages than at any other time during the year.

Thanks to its sunny weather, beautiful beaches with a clear sea, gorgeous mountain range, and high level of safety, Montenegro should be among the most popular countries to visit in Europe in autumn. But there’s much more to this country than beaches and mountains.

Its oldest towns with world-famous, protected architecture in autumn get quiet and look untouched. Their historic centers appeal more in autumn when you can enjoy them without swarms of tourists. Similarly, some areas of inland Montenegro, like the regions of Skadar Lake and Durmitor Park, take on a completely different look and start offering a riot of autumnal colors with a completely different experience to off-season visitors.

So if you are deciding on when to plan your Montenegro holidays, consider autumn, the best season of all, and find out below what to expect. But if you have already planned your visit and it falls for September, October, or November then get some tips and ideas for where to go and what to do.


Please note: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you).

Quick Insider Tips for a Montenegro Autumn Trip

Planning your trip to Montenegro last minute? If yes, here are some top tours, hotels, and insider tips to help you create your autumn itinerary:

Top Tours & Experiences in Montenegro in Fall

Top Stays in Montenegro in Fall

11 Advantages of Visiting Montenegro in Autumn

visiting Montenegro in autumn

Visiting Montenegro in fall has a lot of advantages (much more than in any other season) which makes it the best time of the year to visit the country. Especially if you want to combine a sea vacation with mountains and culture. It is solely my opinion and I explain why below:

1) In the first month of autumn, September, the Velvet season begins in Montenegro. The temperature is incredibly comfortable everywhere with only a few extremely hot days in the first week by the coast. This time of year is perfect for visits for couples on honeymoons, families with children, and older travelers. 

2) In autumn in Montenegro, you can finally sleep without AC by the sea and open windows for fresh air (which also has healing properties in some areas thanks to coniferous groves). In the mountains, the temperature stays comfortable until November and you can even sleep without a wood-burning stove until mid-October.

3) Starting from October, prices for both housing and food go down significantly. Around the same time, additional food items pop up on the market (like those imported from Italy, for example) because in summer with a large influx of tourists, many foreign products are not allowed for sale. Preference is given to local produce.

4) In autumn there will be no traffic jams in Montenegro (like at all) and you can enjoy road trips along the coast and getaways to hidden gems without wasting time on the road. Also, the air will be cleaner due to a smaller number of vehicles.

In summer (July and August in particular), cities such as Budva, Tivat, Kotor, Sutomore, and Herceg Novi are full of people and cars. If you plan to drive through them, it is much better to do that before dawn or after sunset, otherwise, a short drive can steal a lot of time! But in the fall, you can relax.

5) All main beaches will finally cease to resemble a “can of sardines”. And in October, beach cafes and beach clubs in Budva will start offering sunbeds for free, or at least for half price.

beaches in Montenegro

6) In the evenings, you won’t have any difficulty finding a table at the restaurant, especially in Kotor, Tivat, and Budva. In summer, in many restaurants, you need to book a table with lots of time in advance. Starting from September, that is not the case anymore.

7) Autumn in Montenegro means that you won’t be melting from the scorching sun and constant +40C degrees. There will be also no stuffiness of the air from early morning until sunset, like every day in summer. Comfortable temperature sets in, especially from the second half of September.

8) Fall in Montenegro (alright September and part of October) is that time when you can sunbathe and swim for hours, even in the afternoon without worrying to burn since the sun is gentle. 

9) You can pick mushrooms and raspberries in the forest of the Durmitor National Park, enjoy fresh (not conventional) figs, grapes, and watermelons by the sea. October is the beginning of a tangerine and pomegranate season. November brings oranges, persimmons, grapefruits, kumquats, lemons, and kiwis. All of them grow in Montenegro thanks to its amazing climate (some even grow on the streets of many cities). 

10) At the end of October, Montenegro is famous for its olives. During this time the first olive oil is produced in Bar and Ulcinj and you can visit private traders who have their own grove and mill. Some of them offer mini-tours and fresh oil for sale.

11) Autumn is also a good time for interesting festivals and celebrations. Like Shirun Day, held in Budva on the first Saturday of October. On this day Montenegrins say goodbye to summer and welcome fall with a treat of grilled mackerel, wine, and beer.

In November, in Bar Old Town a Masliniada festival takes place (dates differ from year to year) dedicated to the harvest of olives, olive oil, and other gifts of nature from this region. There, you can try local sweets, grilled fish, roasted chestnuts, brandy, honey, fruits, and other goodies from local producers. 

Weather in Montenegro in the Fall

The weather in Montenegro in fall is just perfect and suits well different people, including those who don’t like heat and those who can’t tolerate cold. Until around mid-October, you can go on vacation without warm clothes and pack light.

Precipitation is rare, humidity decreases, and there are no sharp drops in temperature. And to give you an idea of what each fall month is like, here is a quick description of Montenegro autumn weather.

Weather in Montenegro in September

Kotor Bay in September
Kotor Bay in September

In my understanding (as someone who lived half of her life in Ukraine), September in Montenegro is still real summer.

The Adriatic Sea slowly starts to cool down as the temperature goes from +27C at the beginning of the month to about +22C+23C at the end. The air also becomes a little cooler in second part of September when the temperature drops from about +32C during the day and +22C at night to about +25C and + 15C respectively.

September brings with it a small amount of precipitation but it is usually more common in the end of the month. For the most part, days are sunny and bright. This is that period of time when you can come with summer clothes (but take sweater and pants for evenings in the mountains) without worrying about the autumn chill.

October is a great month for the beach vacation in Montenegro, walking & hiking, and various cultural day trips around the country.

Weather in Montenegro in October

Montenegro in October
Lovcen in October

Montenegro weather in October is still quite warm. By standards of people from colder climates, the first two weeks can seem even hot. Although sometime in the middle of the month you start getting a feeling that summer is over and autumn comes.

Air temperature during the first two weeks is somewhere between +20C+25C degrees, at night +12+15C. Adriatic sea is already cooling down but swimming is still possible. And to reassure you – the weather and sea temperature in Montenegro allow you to swim in the sea until the end of October!

Sometimes there are heavy rains with thunderstorms and northern winds that change the air temperature and interfere with the currents of the sea so that in the morning it feels icy. But these phenomena are short, the sun with a warm sea return in a day or two and you can swim again.

Early evenings are already too cool and you’ll need to change your shorts for jeans and tanks for sweatshirts. Rains are more common in October, yet they are short and warm.

In the second half of the month, in the mountainous areas it clearly feels like autumn as the weather is much colder. 

Mid-October in Montenegro is the best time to visit Lovcen, Durmitor, Prokletije, and Komovi mountains. They experience a golden season with bright foliage.

Montenegro Weather in November

Montenegro in November
Autumn weather in November

November in Montenegro is quite rainy, sometimes with piercing winds and gray skies. Although many days are still warm, each week brings more coolness to the region. Swimming in Montenegro in November is already too cold since the sea temperature drops to around +17+18C degrees and winds are very common.

To me, November is that month when I vividly feel the presence of autumn and breath of winter. On the coast of Montenegro, it is already chilly yet still sunny while in the mountainous areas it is rather cold and often dump.

In Zabljak and Kolasin it can even snow. Air temperature by the sea is +15+17C during the day and around +10C at night. By the end of the month, it drops to around +10C during the day.

The further north, the colder it gets. November weather in the north of Montenegro reminds more of winter with white fluffy snow and beginning of ski season.

What to Do in Montenegro in Autumn Months

Montenegro autumn with the Velvet season by the sea and bright foliage in the mountains is meant for excursions, active travel, and road trips!

I highly recommend you rent a car (which in autumn will cost 2 times cheaper than in summer) and go for a ride. Find your best car hire with LocalRent, read my tips on driving and finding cheap car rentals in Montenegro, and go explore the country on four wheels!

And here are a few ideas for what to do in Montenegro in autumn besides the beach:

Be Sure to Check the Entire Seacoast

Montenegro seacoast is full of colorful old cities and towns where the past and the present fit so tightly. Don’t miss the following destinations, particularly in the fall as they offer a rich excursion and walking program. But make sure to visit the entire coast as it sees fewer people, has Velvet season, and has its own version of autumn.

Budva and Sveti Stefan – these are very famous tourist destinations on the Montenegrin coast where it is easy to spend from 1 hour to a couple of days on the sights.

The municipality of Budva expands much farther from the Budva old fortress walls and is part of Budva Riviera which is famous for luxury hotels with sea views, beautiful beaches, and waterfront restaurants. Towns that are worth visiting in Budva Riviera together with Budva are Becici, Rafailovici, and of course unique Sveti Stefan.

Sveti Stefan

Herceg Novi – a vibrant city with fortresses and thousands steps. It is always bright and sunny, with lovely courtyards and green parks, ancient fortresses and mansions.

Herceg Novi was built on the hill and has 1000 steps leading to its old town, this is why gorgeous views open up from many spots around the city. Having reached it by car or public transport at the very end of the bay, you will want to pause here at least for half a day.

Fall colors in Montenegro

Tivat with yacht marina and Lustica with its surroundings. Tivat is the youngest city in the Bay of Kotor with almost no historical sights but with a modern yacht town with a beautiful waterfront and submarine museum.

An hour or two is enough for a walk through the city, and then you want to rent a car and see the surrounding peninsula Lustica Bay with its beaches! In September and October, you should also join a boat trip from Tivat, because the bay in that area is like a lake, it never wobbles.

Bar with its mountainous hiking trails. The beach town of Bar is my other pick for fall travel in Montenegro mainly for two reasons – its own interesting old town and set of mountain routes where most of them lead to viewpoints. One of my favorite routes is a trail to the main accessible peak Vrsuta, towering over the town of Sutomore which is a suburb of Bar.

Hike to a Kotor Fortress in the Fall

A famous trail from Kotor to the fortress above the city is beautiful at any time of the year. But conquering it in autumn is easier than in hot summer and more pleasant than in winter with penetrating gusts of wind.

I talk about this hike in my post to the best hiking in Montenegro, give it a read if you haven’t yet.

Cetinje

Don’t Miss Cetinje – the Historical Capital of Montenegro

Few people know that according to the Constitution of Montenegro, Cetinje is the historical capital of the country second after Podgorica. And unlike the actual capital city, Cetinje was not bombed not in the First, not in the Second World Wars. So its historical appearance has remained the same – with bright 1 and 2-story houses, pedestrian streets, pleasant park areas, and cafes.

Cetinje in fall is beautiful and compared to summer, has comfortable temperature for walks around historical steerts. Many trees on the outskirts of the city closer to Lovcen National park start changing colors at the beginning of October but since the temperature stays on the higher side, there is a real Indian summer.  

Add Ostrog Monastery to Your Itinerary as a Must-Visit Place in Montenegro in Fall

Ostrog Monastery in Montenegro is the main shrine of the country which is best to visit during autumn. In summer it gets very hot there and with loads of tourists, visiting the monastery is physically very challenging. Winter weather is usually cold and really windy. In the second part of spring when the weather is nice, pilgrims from the neighboring Balkan countries come here for religious holidays (there are a few of them) and flood the site.

In the fall, this religious complex stays rather quiet and is open until dusk. Throughout the entire autumn season, temperatures are nice. Although try to avoid visiting Ostrog on Saturday, when the crowds come from all over the Balkan region with an overnight stay.

Ostrog monastery

Do Wine Tasting in Montenegro

With a perfect climate for winemaking and many wineries in Montenegro, of course, autumn is going to be the best season for wine tasting! Don’t miss this experience when visiting the country!

There are really a lot of wineries in Montenegro, especially small family ones that offer unique close experiences with the possibility to visit their vineyards.  

The top wineries that I personally can highlight are:

1) Bukwines – between Lake Skadar and Bar in a small village Bukovik. I always love a visit here where you can drink in lovely views along with their fine wine. There is a homely atmosphere, friendly owner, and excellent wines. My family likes in particular Marselan wine. Contact them via Instagram if you want to pre-book a tour. 

2) Radevic Estate Winery – I haven’t been myself, but heard very good reviews about this winery. It produces such wines as Vranac, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, as well as limited author’s brandy. Accept visitors throughout the entire autumn. You can get in touch with them through the website or their Instagram profile.

3) Plantaze Vineyards – the largest winery in Montenegro, its wines are sold in any supermarket, but hearing the story behind each wine and seeing the wine cellar in the tunnel where the Yugoslav Military Air Base used to be would be much more interesting! Here is their Insta profile with more details.

Pay a Visit to Autumn Trebinje and Tvrdosh Monastery in Neighboring Bosnia and Herzegovina

The city of Trebinje is located at the junction of three countries, just a couple of tens of kilometers away from Croatian Dubrovnik and Montenegrin Herceg Novi. Geographically, it is located in Bosnia & Herzegovina, but it is inhabited mainly by Orthodox Serbs which is why there are so many churches and monasteries in this small town.

It is an easy drive (or bus ride) from Herceg Novi which is fantastic to visit in the fall when leaves start changing their colors.

Trebinje was the least damaged in the Yugoslav war and over the last years, all old homes were restored. This is why it looks like that city “from a postcard” full of history and scenic spots for photos.

best foliage in Montenegro
autumn in Tara canyon

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage in Montenegro

For the most beautiful autumn leaves in Montenegro I suggest you follow these routes:

  • Lovcen with the mausoleumNjegusiLipa caveRijeka Crnojevića – scenic fall route by car
  • Zabljak with Durmitor National Park and Mala Crna Gora – mountains, lakes and hiking trails
  • Grlo Sokolovo Gorge and Korita village (part of the way here is off-road, you’ll need 4WD) – southern part of Prokletije mountains 
  • Plav and Gusinje areas – for dramatic views of the Prokletije mountains
  • Mrtvitsa River CanyonKolasinBiogradska Gora National Park – a place of wild beauty with hiking trails
  • Skadar lake – panoramic old road around the lake with a boat trip where you can autumn leave starting fro second part of November

Pin this Montenegro autumn guide!

Autumn colors in Montenegro
 
 

Anya is originally from Ukraine but in heart she is a citizen of the world. She is working online and that’s why has an opportunity to travel slowly and live in different countries around the world. At present time, she is living between Lviv, Ukraine and Istanbul, Turkey. On this blog, her main goal is to inspire others to travel to under-the-radar-places and discover the world while working remotely.

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