The Best Hostel!

Letter 113

This is the first time I’ve chosen to visit a place purely on recommendation of a hostel, and it was one of the best parts of my trip. This hostel was a home from home, offered me so much friendliness and showed me more of beautiful Montenegro than I had ever hoped.

The Grove is nestled in Stari Bar in Montenegro, a place few travellers stop off at but I’m sure The Grove will change that. In this letter I want to tell you about why my 5 days here were an incredibly special part of my trip and explain why this little spot needs to be visited.

Stari Bar

A good friend I made up in Croatia and met again in Kotor practically forced me to go to this hostel and I am forever grateful. The hostel is a renovated Olive Mill which has been done beautifully, providing fantastic common spaces, outdoor space, a massive kitchen, giant walk-in showers (great for late night karaoke) and spacious dorms with DOUBLE beds. It’s truly a travellers heaven. The owners are British and Australian and have made this hostel everything they dreamed of as travellers and as a result it’s perfect. I have 0 pictures of the hostel so please check out the website here if you wish to have a look (I was having too much fun to take photos).

The hostel provides home cooked incredible dinners every night for a small cost (€3) and it’s such a great atmosphere sitting around with new friends enjoying food that isn’t cooked in a cramped hostel kitchen. After dinner we did various activities every night from heading to the local bar for many beers and rakias (the local deadly drink) to going to play ultimate Frisbee at the beach followed by a swim at sunset. We even stayed up through the night playing drinking games on pizza boxes swapping t-shirts and being dared to jump in to the plunge pool fully clothed and one night sat around the campfire listening to music and watching a talented guy playing with fire. How they make it so much fun I’ll never get my head around.

montenegro drinking gamesmontenegro The grove catmontenegro camp firemontenegro lazy days

The other amazing thing about The Grove is the free trips they take you on everyday which allowed me to see so much of the country from this quiet base. We spent a day on Lake Skadar enjoying views across to Albania, walked to ‘dead goat’ beach which required a cliff jump and a swim to reach but was unbelievable when we got there, hiked up to the freezing ‘Mr Cool’ lagoon and embarked on a mystery trip taking us to a couple of beaches down the coast, an amazing fish restaurant and a vantage point around the mountain looking out over Lake Skadar. It was a truly packed few days and I loved every single second.

montenegro beachmontenegro beach sunsetmontenegro countryside horsesmontenegro dead goat beachmontenegro dead goat beach 2montenegro hike blue lagoonmontenegro hike stari barmontenegro lake skadarmontenegro lake skadar 2montenegro view lake skadar

The best part about this hostel? The friends I made and the memories that can’t be captured in a photo. I will 100% be returning to this hostel in such a wonderful part of my favourite country. Please consider if you’re travelling in Montenegro. Or the Balkans. Or Europe in general. You won’t regret staying here and I can be sure that you’ll be extending your stay the second you arrive.

Hope you’ve enjoyed these sunny photos, especially if you’re in a wintery wonderland at home.

All the love,

From Lou

PS. It has indeed been more than a month since my last post by to say I’ve been busy would be an understatement. Imagine 9am-2:30am work days, little sleep, crappy food and a tonne of work to do. That has been my life for the past week and it is finally over. Today I finished all of my design work and can now slightly relax, which means time to blog! I am determined to finish writing about my summer trip – even if it has been about 4 and a half months since I returned. I love looking back at my trip and it genuinely pulls on my heart strings, I wish I could return to travelling so much. It also gives me determination to do my absolute best at university so that I can be done and get back out in the world again!

Thanks for reading!

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