It’s official: we are AMPED for our first UKF On The Beach event at Sea Dance Festival this summer.
Between July 15 – 18 we’ll be bringing some serious heat to the golden sands of Budva beach, Montenegro. So far we’ve confirmed four massive heavyweights: The Prodigy, Rudimental, Sigma and Wilkinson. LOADS more are about to be revealed very soon.
Don’t stop at the line-up… Montenegro’s a seriously stunning destination in its own right. Amongst the beautiful beaches and opportunities for some very cheap beer, there’s a whole world to explore. If you’re still undecided about joining us or you want to upgrade the party to a full-on holiday, here are 10 interesting, unique facts about the country that inspired famous English romantic poet Lord Byron to scribe this description…
‘At the birth of the planet the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have been on the Montenegrin coast’
Mighty strong words, Byron. Have another 10 fact for good measure…
It’s old school!
Montenegro is steeped in history… Both the Kotor region and the Durmitor National Park are protected by the UNESCO World Heritage list. While Kotor’s St Tripun cathedral is more than 50 years older than Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral… You’d have to be Tripun not to check it! (Sorry)
History heads should also spend time exploring Budva, one of the oldest urban centers on the Adriatic coast, it clocks over 2, 500 years. Meanwhile, 50 miles south, the equally ancient Ulcinj is one of the most authentic old towns in Montenegro and was believed to inspire famous Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes to write Don Quijote thanks to an experience he had while imprisoned there!
It’s got beautiful birds
Pelicans and flamingos have been visiting Montenegro long before any tourists started flying in…
Pelicans can be found on Skadar Lake. Set four metres below sea level, Skadar is the largest lake in the Balkans and the largest crypto depression in Europe. Rich in biodiversity, it’s not just the the only location you’ll find pelicans in Southern Europe but also home to a large number of endemic plant and animal species… Including 10 million birds!
There are also over 2500 flamingos in Montenegro and the number is rising. The Centre for Protection and Research of Montenegro (CZIP) has made big moves to protect the birds and there are more flamingos visiting the country than ever before.
It goes deep…
At 1300 metres deep, the Grand Canyon of Tara River is actually the deepest canyon in Europe and second largest in the world after the Colorado canyon in the USA. Not just a humbling sight, but also a highly recommended for white knuckle rafting…
Montenegro’s mountains are just as breath-taking. In fact the Lovcen mountain is home to the highest mausoleum in the world. Built on the top of a lake, the Mausoleum of Njegos offers a view that stretches over the whole Boka Bay, open ocean, Cetinje valley and an M shaped road that was built to honour Milena, the Princess of Montenegro.
…And has some seriously old trees
When we said Montenegro was old school, we meant it… the village of Mitrovica has the oldest olive tree in the world. It’s over 2000 years old!
For more elderly tree action, head to the Tara Canyon; home of the oldest black pine rain forests in the world. The average age of the pine trees is 400 years old and the trees are a good 45 metres tall.
It’s got its own Alcatraz
Skadar Lake is home to a tiny rocky island called Grmožur. Known to the locals as the Montenegrin Alcatraz, it’s a fortress that once served as a prison during King Nikola’s rule.
Brad Pitt’s first lead movie role was filmed in Montenegro
More old school business… Brad Pitt’s first proper movie role was in Dark Side Of The Sun. Originally called Tamno je Sunce, it was filmed by Yugoslav director Bozidar Nikolic way back in 1988.
Montenegro’s dramatic, cinematic landscape has also lent itself well to the big screen; Brothers Bloom and November Man which were both partly filmed there.
It’s got some seriously high end resorts…
Got a spare couple of thousand Euro? Why not unwind from Sea Dance at the famous Sveti Stefan Resort. With suites starting at €1000 per night (and going right up to €4,2000 a night) the Sveti Stefan is no stranger to celebs such as Brad and Angelina, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Pamela Anderson and many more.
And some serious tasty cuisine
All good parties need strong sustenance. Which is great because Montenegro prides itself on storming traditional cuisine…
Specialties include Njegški pršut (smoked ham), goat cheese, lamb or kid’s meat cooked in a sač (a traditional charcoal-based ceramic dish), pivski kajmak (a special milk cream from the city of Piva), kačamak (a maize-based porridge), cicvara (a wholesome gruel that’s eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner), or clear fish soup. All of which should be enjoyed with Loza, grape brandy, and/or local wine and beer.
Like all good countries in the Med, fish is a major player in the cuisine premiere league. Expect to get a schooling in fish with the likes of amberjack, surmullet, barbun, zubatac, arabun and many more. One of the most common ways to serve these exotic sounding creatures are in a lešo where the fish is boiled in water, oil, vine vinegar, onion, laurel and spices.
If you’re inviting locals for a meal in your apartment be sure to leave your door wide open before they arrive as a sign of hospitality, offer them the best seat at your table and give them the best food and drink you have in the house. Montenegrins are proud and generous hosts… As you’ll find out when you arrive.
Most importantly, it’s REALLY cheap to fly to!
The cheapest way to fly is via Croatia where Sea Dance transfers will take you on the final part of your journey.
Ryanair flights are as cheap as €17.99 right now! Do your research and pick your times wisely as prices vary greatly from day to day.
History, culture, food and sights you won’t see anywhere else… Sea Dance is just the start of your adventure!