Top Events

Carnival, February and April

Sea Dance Festival, July

Fašinada, July

Kotor Art, July–August

Boka Night, August

January

The ski season kicks off, heralding peak prices in Kolašin and Žabljak; it's low season everywhere else.

Orthodox Christmas

Held on 7 January, the traditional Orthodox Christmas is marked by church services and unbridled feasting; the night before, oak branches (badnjak) are burned and prayers are offered for good luck and happiness in the coming year.

Orthodox New Year

While most Montenegrins celebrate (with great passion) the New Year's Eve on December 31, many also mark January 13, the last day of the old year in the Julian calendar used by the Orthodox church.

February

The ski season is in full swing in the north. Despite chilly temperatures in the Bay of Kotor (average highs of around 12°C), residents find reasons to celebrate.

Mimosa Festival

Herceg Novi gets a jump on spring with this festival, which has been held, perhaps coincidentally, since the flower-power era of the late 1960s. Expect concerts, sports events, majorettes and lots of yellow blooms.

Carnival

The traditional pre-Lent festivities continue to be held in the once predominantly Catholic towns of Kotor and Tivat. Expect Venetian-style masked balls (for adults and for children), concerts, theatre performances and parades.

March

The ski season continues up north but spring arrives elsewhere, with average highs jumping above 10°C in Podgorica and hitting around 15°C on the coast.

Camellia Day

Not to be outdone by mimosa, the camellia gets its moment in the springtime sun with this festival held in both Kotor and Stoliv in mid-March.

April

You might get a few skiing days at the beginning of the month before the rising temperature melts the snow and speeds up the flow of the Tara River – leading to the start of the rafting season.

Carnival of Budva

Bucking tradition in favour of warmer weather, Budva gets into the Venetian swing of things in late April, with parades, folk music, concerts and DJs.

May

Late spring is a great time to visit Montenegro, with average high temperatures in the 20s everywhere except the mountains. Rafting is at its most thrilling and accommodation prices move into the shoulder-season bracket.

Water Polo Championship

Montenegro's top teams (Herceg Novi, Kotor and Budva) slug it out as the season comes to an end for one of the country's most popular sports. The final is held in either May or June.

Spring Break Festival

The otherwise calm sands of little Kamenovo Beach get all stirred up during this two-day electronic music festival that attracts big-name DJs from across Europe.

June

Summer brings with it warm, dry days and rising accommodation prices on the coast, but not yet peak rates. Tourist-orientated businesses reopen, including beach bars and restaurants.

Theatre City

Budva comes over all thespian for six weeks from mid-June, with performances held in such dramatic spots as the Citadela and in front of the Old Town's walls.

Southern Soul Festival

The silly season kicks off in earnest at Velika Plaža's happening Copacabana Beach, with four full-on days (from late June to early July) of terpsichore and tunes.

July

The official start of 'The Season'. Peak rates kick in, temperatures soar, beach clubs crank into life and tourists flood the beaches. In the mountains, the weather is perfect for hiking.

Kotor Art

Continuing through to August, Kotor's summer arts umbrella shelters several well-established festivals, such as Don Branko's Music Days (classical music) and Perast's International Klapa Festival (traditional Dalmatian unaccompanied singing). International companies head to the Children's Theatre Festival in early July.

Purgatorije

Also known as the International Festival of Mediterranean Theatre, this event runs through to September, attracting touring theatre companies to Tivat's summer stage.

Fašinada

On 22 July Perast men row decorated boats laden with stones to Gospa od Škrpjela in a centuries-old tradition, adding to the artificial island created by their ancestors. The event is now accompanied by the Perast to Tivat yacht regatta.

Sea Dance Festival

This fantastic, frenetic three-day electronic and alternative music festival on the sunny sands of Jaz Beach (near Budva) attracts tens of thousands of merrymakers.

Summer in the Old Capital

Cetinje's summer-long celebration of all things cultural, edible and potable kicks off in the height of the season and runs until September. If you're looking for a reason to stop lazing around the beach, this is it.

August

August is the hottest and driest month, sometimes resulting in wildfires. The party continues on the coast and Lake Skadar is at its very best, but in Podgorica it gets unbearably hot.

River Zeta Festival

Sleepy Danilovgrad wakes up near the end of the month for this three-day festival. River-based competitions include diving, fishing and wooden raft and kayak races. Less obviously related are the beauty contest and organic food festival.

Petrovac Night

Actually held over two nights – the last Friday and Saturday of the month – this beachside celebration offers majorette parades, pop performances and, as if that wasn't enough of an inducement, free fish, wine and beer.

Boka Night

Kotor goes crazy on its night of nights – celebrated since the 19th century (and possibly before) – with a parade of lavishly decorated boats, Old Town parties and seemingly never-ending fireworks.

September

Temperatures drop back to the 20s and 'The Season' comes to an abrupt halt, with prices dropping and some beach businesses disappearing – despite the weather remaining lovely. It's a great time to visit.

September Days

The surprisingly artsy town of Nikšić goes culture-crazy during this autumn festival: art, music, theatre, literature, food and traditional events fill the calendar all month long.

October

On the coast, sea and water temperatures remain in the 20s but rainfall increases. Rafting comes to an end. The autumn leaves put on a show in Biogradska Gora National Park.

Days of Širun

It's actually only one day, but this Budva celebration of seafood (and the wines that go along with it) manages to cram a lot in.

Days of Pljevlja Cheese

If you dig dairy, this one's for you; three solid days of stuffing yourself with Pljevlja's famous salty cheese and other fantastically fattening foods.

November

Wrap up warm and bring a raincoat. November is the wettest month and temperatures drop to the low teens, with average lows falling below freezing level in the mountains.

Culture Days

Art exhibitions, theatre performances and concerts attempt to tempt the good burghers of Tivat out into the late-autumn chill.

Maslinijada

Quiet little Stari Bar gets about as wild as it ever does at this traditional harvest festival honouring all things olive; about 10,000 people crowd into its old, uneven streets. Local wines and folk performances also get a look-in.

December

Rainfall remains high. On the coast, many businesses remain completely closed. Towards the end of the month you might get some days on the ski slopes.

Festival of Wine & Bleak

Blast away the winter blues by heading to Lake Skadar's Virpazar village and consuming the two things the area is known for: locally produced wine and the lake fish called bleak.

December Arts Scene

Podgorica heats up as the chill sets in with a month-long program of art, music, literature, film and theatre events held at venues scattered across the city.