Holidays in Montenegro and Air Serbia TIV-BEG-SVO


    Over one year ago, for various reasons, I decided to buy the car of a friend of mine in the city of Bar, in Southern Montenegro. This used to be the biggest harvour of Yugoslavia, and today is the third largest city of Montenegro, a country which is still not yet 10 years old.

    One of the conditions for buying the car was returning each January to renew all the documentation of the car. No-one knew how long it would take. So on Jan 22nd I left early from Moscow to Bar, driving through Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia. They were 3100km (about 2000 miles), which I did in 4 days, spending nights in Daugavpils (LV), Rzeszów (PL) and Belgrade (SRB).

    Bar is a lovely city, where I have many friends. I rented a small place in next to the Adriatic Place. Imagine any resort town in January. Is boring as hell.

    In the following five days, I finished all the paperwork of my car, but didn’t recieve the documentation back: had to wait 10 more days for it. I could drive as much as I wanted inside Montenegro, but wasn’t allow to take my car out of the country.

    I planned waiting there 10 days, but on saturday (6 days after having arrived to Bar), rain made me feel bored and left to the capital city, Podgorica.

    Podgorica is neither a nice nor an interesting city, and having been there a few times, there is nothing much to see in more than 3 hours. The beauty of this country is the rural áreas and the seaside. I met a british guy in my hotel there, and he offered me to share expenses doing a road trip to different points of the small Montenegrin map.

    Starting on monday, we drove almost 1000km, visiting 22 of the 23 Municipalities of the country, just avoiding Bijelo Polje which I had visited before. Here, a few images from this trip. We spent the first night in Šavnik, the second in Andrijevica, the third in Cetinje and the fourth in Herceg Novi.

    01 Montenegrin Road Map

    02 Important Orthodox Monastery, outside Danilovgrad, in the road towards Nikšić

    03 Northern Mountains, close to Plužine

    04 Sometimes you need a bigger 4WD car, or sometimes you are lucky enough to find a tractor willing to help you. Municipality of Šavnik

    05 Durmitor National Park and amazing Tara River, by Žabljak

    06 Turkish coffee in the bridge over the Tara River Canyon, in Pljevlja (Most na Đurđevića Tari). Coffees to remember

    07 Island of Saint Stephan, next to Budva

    08 Church of Saint Elijah (Црква Светог Илије), Zagora, Municipality of Kotor

    On the last day, in Kotor, I got an e-mail asking me to return back to work on monday. As the car documents were not ready, I decided to fly to Moscow for a week and return later for my car.

    Montenegro has three airports: Podgorica (TGD/LYPG), Tivat (TIV/LYTV) and Berane (IVG/LYBR). The last one has no flights.

    TGD has no flight to Moscow, as YM suspended the flight YM600/1 to DME replacing it just for the YM610/1 on the route TIV-DME-TIV.

    Options leaving TGD were JU, AZ, TK or OS.

    TIV has a daily flight to SVO (SU), 6 weekly to DME (S7), 1 weekly (U6) and 5 weekly (YM). Besides, also 6 weekly to BEG by JU and 10 weekly by YM. SU flights are in S95, S7 in 738, U6 in 321 and YM in 195.

    By prices, the best option was JU on the TIV-BEG-SVO route. I bought the flight in no time on and 12 hours later, I was in Kotor bus station taking a bus to Tivat City, and the driver droped me on the E80 route just outisde the airport.

    Other options I also checked were BEG, DBV, SPU, OMO and SJJ, even TIA. TIV was the cheapest and the shortest connection.

    Flight: Air Serbia JU-183

    Route: Tivat – Belgrade “Nikola Tesla” (TIV-BEG)

    Date: 06FEB2016

    Scheduled Time: 1510-1615. Schedule duration: 1h05m

    Real real departure: 1505 (departure LYTV RWY 32).

    Real real arrival: 1549 (landing LYBG RWY 12). Real duration: 0h54m

    Aircraft: ATR 72-202(MSN 180). Constructed for JAT Airways in June 1990, added to Air Serbia in 2013

    Reg: YU-ALN (oldest aircraft on JU fleet, over 25 years old)

    Seat: 03A – Economy (no Business offered)

    LF: 40%

    Check in was fast. The lady told me not to got through departure until YM and S7 flights had already departed (both were leaving at 14:30). So I spent some time on my computer. TIV offers free wifi.

    09 Tivat Airport , Municipality Tivat

    10 Tivat Airport Entrance. Passengers of YM and S7

    11 Check In area. 12 desks: 1 and 2 for JU, 4 and 5 for YM, 7, 8 and 9 for S7 and 10, 11 and 12 for SU.

    12 Ticket agencies, SU and S7

    13 Boarding Pass to Moscow, with the logo of Aerodromi Crne Gore (Montenegrin Airports).

    14 Passport stamp, and security check. No time here.

    15 Empty terminal. Duty Free (Dufry), where I was last year, and bought also the same perfume for myself.

    16 Boring FIDS. No flights scheduled till the following morning.

    17 No jetways as well. Just walk to the airport.

    18 Another ATR72 from Air Serbia (YU-ALP) with crew practicing take off and landings.

    19 and 20 Our aircraft, YU-ALN. ATR72-200 are only accessed by the back door in the left



    21 and 22 Enough room space for me (1.85m). Safety first, and also in flight magazine.

    23 Taxy to RWY32, 180 turn and take off on time, turning left to the ascend on the Adriatic Sea

    24 Herceg Novi and Kotor from the Air

    25 and 26. Captain told us we had reached our cruice altitude of 19.000ft, and we would land in Belgrade 15 minutes ahead Schedule. Snack had a salami sandwich, and mineral water.

    27 and 28 On board magazine. My route marked (by myself)

    29 Advertisement on the BEG-JFK route, after 25 years suspensión. Funny way of spelling New York.

    About an hour later we landed in Belgrade. Hard landing at RWY12. I was the last to leave the aircraft. We boarded a bus to the new terminal 2C.

    30 Stewardess told me there were only 29 passengers in this flight.

    31 A brother, YU-ALU, just arrived from SOF – flight JU123

    Flight: Air Serbia JU-654

    Route: Belgrade “Nikola Tesla” – Moscow Sheremetyevo (BEG-SVO)

    Date: 06FEB2016

    Scheduled time: 1735-22:25. Scheduled duration: 2h50m

    Real departure Time: 1743 (take off LYBG RWY 12).

    Real arrival time: 2216 (local time) (landing UUEE pista 24R). Real duration: 2h33m

    Aircraft: Airbus A320-232(MSN 2587). Built for Jetstar (VH-VQO) in October 2005, added to Air Serbia 25/JUN/2014.

    Reg: YU-APG

    Seat: 12A –Economy

    LF: 70% Economy, 0% Business.

    Belgrade Airport is lovely. Arrivals downstairs, departures upstairs. We arrived downstair from the bus, so passengers just went to migrations. Myself, i was the only connecting (I think), but went upstairs, saw my gate empty, asked to a JU employee where could I smoke and she told me there was no smokers lounge, to leave the airport. So went through customs and migrations in no time, and went outside for a smoke.

    I wanted to visit the Belgrade Aviation Museum, but it was already closed. So I just visited Terminal 1 to see a bit of Aviolet, the new Serbian chárter airline, flying the old B733 from JAT Airways (YU-AND, ANI, ANJ and ANK) – These are the first Boeing 737-300 which arrived to Europe. Also, some Wizz Air activity seen at Terminal 1.

    32 Belgrade Airport “Nikola Tesla”

    33 Terminal 1, and Aviolet check in

    34 FIDS @ Belgrade. More activity than in BEG, but still a rather small airport. Air Serbia and WizzAir have most of the flights!

    35 At 5pm I returned to the airport. Funny information in the doors.

    First there is a boarding pass control, then migrations (just the boarding pass is stamped), and finally your gate, mine was C3. For entering there, there is a security control in the gate. That’s rather unconfortable as there is just one scanner for about 100 passengers. I had to wait a while until going through security. This system I saw in Amsterdam some time ago.

    Enough chairs for 100 people, to wait to board the YU-APG. Air Serbia has only 2 A320, and another 8 A319 and 6 ATR72. 00.

    36 98 passengers in Economy, but non in business. Take off was a bit delayed. Announcements were done in Serbian, Russian and English.

    Captain mentioned we would fly over Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Belarus. Moscow was on a nice evening, with -3`C temperture. Estimated flight time would be just 2h30.

    37 Belgrade at night

    I was seated in 12A. There was an older gentleman seated on 12B. But no-one on 12C. I’ve never seen anyone checking in on the B or E seats. Everyone either chooses window or aisle, no-one wants the middle seats. He seated next to me until he went to the restroom, and then he went to the aisle seat.

    38 Dinner menú. It’s also written in Serbian.

    Although the menú seems great, the reality is worse. JU still uses good cutelry, but it wasn’t really needed for this sort of dinner. What I recieved (no options left) wasn’t even in the menú. There was some sort of ham, cheese, a bit of tomato, and a very old letuce. Also, fruits in anorexic portions. Last year, i flew on the SVO-BEG route also on JU and dinner was amazing. Now it was pretty bad, but at least there was food, and free of charge. As drinks i got appple juice and gin&tonic, which i repeated two times. Again, free of charge.

    39 Snack, dinner, whatever.



    I spent most of the flight watching a movie on my computer. Captain told us we were flying over Minsk, but couldn’t recognize it. We landed at RWY 24R of SVO at 2230 (Moscow Time), 2030 (Serbian Time), and did a very short taxy crossing 24L to Terminal F, in Gate 53.

    40 and 41 Sheremetyevo Terminal F (prior called Sheremetyevo 2)

    SVO always mean lots of walking. Terminal F with its hexagonal shape is the oldest terminal of the airport, and there is just one stair for going downstairs, to pick lugagge and clear customs and migrations. It was pretty fast (as opposition to DME where it always takes hours!). I love SVO in that sense.

    42 to 44 Sheremetyevo Terminal F looks very old. FIDS or advertisemnts look cheap and from the 90s…. It would be still normal to see Tu154 or IL86 here, but not on the current times.

    45 My lugagge with the Montenegrin tag.

    46 Fastest and cheapest way to go to Moscow City is by bus and then the subway. Bus 949 takes just 20 mins to Rechnoy Vokzal and from there Subways are available until 1AM.

    47 This is the last station of Line 2 (Green/Замоскворецкая), called Речной вокзал (or River Station). The trip to my place (I live in the south of Moscow, that’s about 50km from SVO), took just over 1h and costed 125 RUB (about 1,30USD).

    Shortly later, at home, I realized how amazing Montenegro is.

    Hope you enjoyed this report, and sorry for my bad english and the bad potos (all done with my mobile phone)


    Eielef @MOW