I was told that Budva was a must-see destination in Montenegro. Reviews raved of the “sandy beaches” and “buzzy nightlife,” but to be entirely honest, I was left slightly disappointed. I enjoyed strolling through the streets of the historical old town, as well as catching the boat to Sveti Nikola (the Island of Nicholas) to play in the water, but unfortunately that’s where my enjoyment ended. I didn’t hate the place. No, instead I simply felt underwhelmed, as I came to the realisation that Budva was nothing more than a resort town for holiday makers. With that, the historical vibe I had expected of Budva was sadly lost.
For this reason, we decided to escape the town and immerse ourselves in a nearby national park near Lake Skadar. We drove an hour to the small town of Virpazar where we began our walk into Walnut Valley. After a good 20 minutes of “bush bashing” along the wrong track, we were finally on our way through the valley. We hiked across dry grasslands, used rocks to cross rivers and scrambled up rocky hillsides. I enjoyed perching on an old stoned bridge as we ate our lunch and practiced skipping stones. Everything felt right in the world until I heard, “Snake!” Well, there went the one single word I wished not to hear and with it, any ounce of bravery I had in my bones. My heart rate and breathing quickened and I almost brought myself to tears, until I discovered that the little sucker had quickly scurried off in fright.
I found it difficult to enjoy myself after that. Every tree root I stood on… Every sound heard in the distance… I couldn’t help but think, ‘Snake!’ That was until I became completely distracted by the fruit! After passing through a rickety wooden gate, we began to approach old farm houses. There, on the side of the road, was an abundance of fruit trees. Fresh figs, pomegranate, kiwi fruit and grapes! Right there for us to simply reach out, pull from the tree and pop in our mouths. We couldn’t help ourselves! It was the most delicious fig I had ever tasted and the highlight of my day! Well, until we spotted an innocent little tortoise, of course! Then that little fella definitely took the cake!
After a day of hiking, you may find yourselves ravished, in which case I must recommend that you try the seafood! One evening we bought ourselves fresh fish from the local markets and created our own version of ‘Fish and Chips.’ Or, if you’re feeling like a night in the old town, I highly recommend, ‘Konoba Stari Grad.’ We enjoyed live accoustic music, while dining on mussels and seafood pasta. The food was wonderful, the service was perfect and the ambience received full marks! It was a lovely way of enjoying our final evening in Budva.