Montenegro, which means black mountains, is a tiny country (only 13,000 square kilometers with roughly 600,000 inhabitants) that was formerly part of Yugoslavia. Achieving independence in 2006, Montenegro also qualifies as one of the world’s “newest” countries. But with close to 300 kilometers on the Adriatic and spectacular mountains rising behind the coastline, it has long been a favorite resort area for the region’s inhabitants. In fact, it offers some of the best skiing in its mountains and beaches on its coast as well as five national parks, so not surprisingly, it is where many in Yugoslavia and other Eastern bloc countries chose to holiday. For centuries, in fact, its dramatic beauty has been hailed by foreign travelers from Italian painters to English poets. While its historic towns were left unscathed by Balkan unrest, a major earthquake in 1979 destroyed almost 60 percent of its historic port Kotor. Now, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the old town has been restored and stands as a smaller, less touristed example of a walled city than Dubrovnik.
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