Montenegro HpHa Topa

Expect newly independent Montenegro to come out from its Yugoslav shadow and be seen for the beauty it is. No longer should visitors think they'd fall off the edge of the world if they journey east beyond Dubrovnik.

Croatia's sapphire blue Adriatic Sea does continue. However here it's backed by a craggy, grey mountain range leaving just enough room for a ribbon of coastal towns on a sweep of sandy beaches and small coves running down to the Albanian border.

Historic walled towns like Stari Bar, Budva, Kotor and Herceg Novi are perfect for exploring, and anywhere along the coast you can find private rooms in a laze-away seaside town.

The interior is a setting of dramatic mountains tufted with pine forests, dotted with lakes and scored by giddy-deep canyons. The highest region, the Durmitor National Park, is a favourite for winter skiing and summer hiking in a pristine mountainscape while below in Tara's deep canyon, intrepid rafters challenge its tumbling rapids. So much for a small country - the world's newest nation.

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