It’s no secret that diving is my biggest passion. Why would you be surprised that I tried my hand at diving in Montenegro?
It was cold – very cold under the frigid waters of the Adriatic Sea. If you are in love with warm waters and colorful reefs you’d better skip this country. Montenegro is a cold water divers paradise. While it may not be a star among dive tourists, the photogenic nature of this dive location and macro life kept Joey and me more than entertained during our two-week stay.
Fancy trying some tunnel and wall dives? Better yet wanna get up close to an old underwater mine? There are many untold secrets that rest off the coast of Montenegro.
Budva Diving Center located at the tip of the city pier, next to the old town, was the dive club that we learned to call family by the end of our trip. We showed up to the center the day before we wanted to dive and organized everything with the store owner, who gave us a very competitive price for multiple days of diving.
Over the next two weeks, Joey and I let the waters off the coast of Montenegro leave us speechless.
The diving around Budva was surprisingly good; it felt like I was back in Greece diving the caves and crevices of Zakynthos island. We found cave after cave just plump and full of sponge and encrusting critter life. We coasted over beds of lazy seagrasses hiding skittish fish and crabs. We maneuvered through narrow canyons that were so skinny I almost couldn’t fit my beastly camera contraption through the opening.
During our dives, I was free to flit about with my camera as much as I pleased. I got lots of practice photographing some of the marine life.
A few of the critters we saw included scorpionfish, sea stars, sea sponges, combers, damselfish, apogons, wrasse, blennies, sea breams, gobies, anthias, lobsters, eels, octopus, striped jacks and nudibranchs of various shapes and sizes.
We were promised a week of exciting dives, and we sure got them. Day in and day out Joey and I ascended happy divers. On the days that animals wanted nothing to do with us, we didn’t let that dampen our mood; we just spent our dive blowing bubble rings!
The most anticipated site of the week was when we got to dive and see an old abandoned underwater mine. I was pretty pumped. Who would have thought we would have had the chance to see something like this! Even though it is no longer active, I couldn’t help but carefully creep up on this rusty sphere of metal dating back to the 1992 war. Contrary to what I expected there was so much life that had made their home on the disintegrating metal surface.
Not only was our two weeks diving with the Budva Diving shop fun and exciting, but it was also genuinely inspirational.
On one of our last dives with the crew, a local man, who had been recently paralyzed from the waist down, and his wife joined the dive group. With the help of the staff and his wife this man suited up in his custom designed wetsuit and made ready for diving. It was such an empowering experience to watch this scuba diver not let his disability get in the way of his passion. For obvious reasons, he dove fin-less but did have special webbed gloves to allow him to swim around with his hands. It was strange to watch a diver without fins paddling around, but also very humbling to see that even without legs he had no problems keeping up with the group.
Montenegro sure was a rollercoaster of diving emotions. From squealing excitement to life-changing moments, this country and the many dive buddy friendships we have made will never be forgotten.
For those who doubted my mermaid-esque hobby – I’m sure seeing photo’s from our past two weeks underwater, is just tangible proof that life is better underwater. As a cold water diver at heart, I would certainly recommend a pit stop in this country to enjoy some relatively cheap diving and explore a new country.
I can’t think of a more lovely way to dive-on-out of this Balkan country!
Cost: Diving in Montenegro? Make sure you shop around and find a good dive center. Some places have a much higher price per dive. If you find the right dive center, you can expect to pay on average €35.00 to €50.00 (equipment included) per boat dive. Planning on making several dives as we did? Excellent, make sure to talk to the owner as he will often give you a discounted price for multiple dives. We bumped our diving down to €35.00 per dive when we agreed to do eight during our two-week stay.
Seasonality: Peak scuba diving season in Montenegro runs from the beginning of June to the start of September (this is also when the water is the warmest, and the animals are most active).
Restrictions: All dive sites are very easy to reach via boat and can be explored easily by an Open Water diver except for the Oreste a wreck reserved for Advanced Open Water divers only.
Companies: There may be a lot of diving sites to check out off the coast of Montenegro, but there are not very many dive shops to take you there. We were SO HAPPY with our decision to dive with Budva Diving Center. After two weeks of diving with them, we felt like family.
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