Van Life #3 | Exploring Montenegro & Vegan Surprises

I have started a new blog series called ‘Van Life’ and it will mainly highlight wild camping and vegan tips in each country we visit. I really appreciate finding out information about this kind of thing whilst travelling to put me at ease and save time on finding wild spots and decent food.

After travelling in Croatia for almost 2 weeks, it was time to head south to Montenegro – a new country for both Pete and I! The border crossing was very busy and we had to wait an hour to cross the Montenegro passport control. At the booth the border officer was on his phone whilst asking for the van documents and green card. I tried to explain we needed to buy insurance as I showed him our green card which clearly has Montenegro crossed out but he just winked at me, stamped our passports and so we drove away hoping the police didn’t pull us over whilst we were in the country! As you drive away from border control, there are huge forbidding signs telling you that wild camping is illegal and you must stay in campsites like Croatia. Again, the “risk” is up to you.

We followed the coast road towards Kotor with our jaws literally dropping at the scenery and we pulled over a few times to take lots of photos. What a place! There’s a big car park just outside the old town perfect for leaving the van and exploring on foot. Vegans, you must go to Mamma Mia bakery and thank me later. After scaling the Old Town Walls and a quick swim, we drove to our first wild camp spot with an amazing sunset view over the Bay of Kotor.

The next morning we made our way slowly (via Budva) towards Lovcen National Park which allowed campers to stay in their car park. The temperature was so much cooler up there and it was nice to get some hiking in. We stopped at Paradise Foods twice whilst we were around this area and I cannot recommend it enough! It is a small deli selling all sorts of interesting vegan delights like sausage rolls, pizza slices, energy balls, tofish and the best raspberry cashew cheezecake I have ever eaten.

We planned to stay near Lake Skadar for our third night but instead opted for the coast right on Cape Kricevac. We still wanted to see Lake Skadar, the biggest lake in the Balkans, and travel to Albania from there so we drove to the touristy town of Virpazar, then took the P16 all the way along the side of the lake to Vladimir, from there you can rejoin the main road to the Albanian border. Now, if you truly want a scenic, yet very bumpy single track road then do go this way however I do not recommend it in a van. The road was in a pretty bad state and took probably triple the amount of time than the coast road. Still, the van suspension survived and we crossed into another new country – Albania!

Park4Night spots:
Fortress Gorazda, near Kotor
Lovcen National Park
Cape Kricevac, near Sutomore

Vegan food highlights:
Mamma Mia Bakery, Kotor Old Town
Paradise Food, Budva (so good that we went twice!)

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