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May 20 2014

Shkoder to Podgorica via Hani i Hotit: The Definitive Guide… For Now

Hani i Hotit route

In last week’s post, I wrote about how to get from Podgorica to Shkoder by bus going from the airport via Ulcinj.  I was interested in trying the other route, but that proved to be very tricky, as I thought it might.  Nonetheless, I am pleased to report that I did go back to Podgorica via Hani i Hotit yesterday, so I thought it would be worth sharing this update with you.

Shkoder – Hani i Hotit – Tuzi – Podgorica

Possible options

I can’t speak Albanian, so it proved difficult trying to get some information on this route.  Nonetheless, with some perseverance, this is what I discovered:

  1. There are furgons (minbuses) that make the trip from Shkoder to Hani i Hotit at 8am and possibly other times during the day. You can get them from close to the fruit and veg stores near where the main road divides for Hani i Hotit on the left and Dobrac on the right. That was useful to know, but I had no idea how I would continue my journey from there to Podgorica.  I didn’t want to be left in the middle of nowhere and, if there was a taxi, how much would they charge?  I had no idea.  That was my least favourite option.
  2. An alternative to this is a shared taxi.  From what I understand, people who travel from Shkoder to Tuzi or Podgorica for work or to go shopping seem to double as shared taxis.  I suppose it’s an extra bit of money for them and fills up the car.  For those of us who want to get from one place to the next, it’s a much cheaper journey. Taxi drivers charge €40-50 from Shkoder to Podgorica, but a shared taxi is about €7 per person.  There seems to be two places where you will find these shared taxis.  The first is by a bar in Shkoder called Podgorica.  I was told shared taxis leave there at 6am.  The other is where the furgons going to Hani i Hotit wait, as in option 1.  You will need to confirm where and when the shared taxis leave for Montenegro via Hani i Hotit, but another traveller and I did our best trying to suss it out.

  3. When I told the person at the guesthouse I was working for that I was going to return via Hani i Hotit by furgon or shared taxi, another option arose, which is similar to option 2. He told me he could arrange for a shared taxi to pick me up from the guesthouse to the centre of Podgorica for, wait for it, for… €7.  Excellent!  That would save me a 25-minute walk with all my stuff.  I was very happy, as I’m sure you can imagine, and booked it. So, it’s worth checking with whomever you are staying with in Shkoder because they might be able to arrange something similar.

The journey from Shkoder to Podgorica

I was picked up, along with another person, from the guesthouse at 12 pm in a shared taxi.  We stopped once to pick up a woman and her granddaughter before continuing the journey to the border.  From all the things I had read, I was expecting a bad road.  It wasn’t.  In fact, it was the opposite. It’s a new road, so it was a smooth journey.  We arrived at the border after only a 30 minute drive.  It’s about 34 kms from Shkoder to the border.  The scenery was beautiful with mountains, a few of which were snow-capped, on one side and Lake Skadar on the other.

After 10 minutes at the border, we continued on for the final 20 kms or so to Podgorica.  Again, it was a great road.  We drove through Tuzi, which is far bigger than I realised.  It’s a big town, so I’m sure it must be possible to get a taxi from there, if necessary, to Shkoder or to the airport although I have no idea what they would charge or if there is a shared taxi option. That’s something you would have to check out yourself.  You can certainly a bus to Podgorica.

The journey from Skhoder to Podgorica via Hani i Hotit only took about an hour.  We didn’t have to wait long at the border and weren’t held up in traffic.  That was much quicker, easier, and cheaper journey than going via Ulcinj. So, that is definitely my preferred option, but it depends on whether you can get a shared taxi all the way or if you have to combine it with a bus journey.

When I arrived at the hostel, I spoke to the owner about the journey from Shkoder to Podgorica. He was surprised at how cheap my shared taxi was. He said that the cheapest taxi from Podgorica to Shkoder is €30, regardless of how many people are in the taxi. That’s useful information, if you intend to do that journey via Hani i Hotit.

Podgorica to Podgorica Airport

As I mentioned previously, there are no buses to the airport. However, there is a cheaper way to get to and from the airport without having to pay nigh on €12. The way to do that is to use City Taxi. The owner of the hostel I stayed at in Podgorica ordered a taxi for me and it only cost €6. That’s the cost of the journey and not per person, which is half the price of the airport taxis. Fantastic! The taxi was booked the night before and the next morning the driver was waiting outside for me. He was early – fabulous! Probably the best option is to either ring them when you arrive at the airport, although I can’t be certain they will understand English.  Alternatively, if you’re staying in Podgorica for a night, as I was on my way back, you could ask your host to arrange City Taxi to pick you up.  Having said that, they may use another taxi service that is just as cheap.

Summary

Even though there is this fantastic new road between the two cities, the authorities have yet to give their approval for buses to travel along it, which is why I haven’t given you any options for the bus for the route via Hani i Hotit. That is likely to change in the near future and I will keep you updated on the situation. In the meantime, to summarise, the options are:

  • If you are travelling from Podgorica to Shkoder on your own, it’s cheaper to go via Ulcinj, although it is more hassle and takes longer. If there are two or more, it would be worth finding out from the staff at your hostel, guesthouse, or hotel how much a taxi would cost to take you straight from the airport to Shkoder. That would be much easier and might work out as cheap as getting taxis, buses, or a mixture of the two.

  • You could try getting a bus from Podgorica to Tuzi and see if you can get a taxi, shared or otherwise, from there to Shkoder. As I didn’t do that, I don’t have any further information.

  • If you are travelling from Shkoder to Podgorica on your own, it’s cheaper, quicker, and easier to get a shared taxi. Check with the the staff at your hostel, guesthouse, or hotel to find out if they can arrange for a shared taxi to pick you up. If there are two of more, check how much a taxi would cost. It might work out cheaper and take you directly to the airport in Podgorica, if that is your intended destination.

  • If you are need to get to/from the airport in Podgorica to/from the centre or bus station, it’s cheaper to book City Taxi in advance.

Location

On the map, you can see the route from Skhoder to Podgorica and the location of the airport from Tuzi as well as Podgorica.

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Have your say

I have tried to give you as much information and as many options as I can for that route.  I really hope that clarifies the situation as it stands and gives you more ideas on how to get between the two cities as cheaply, easily, and quickly as possible.

Are you thinking of doing the journey from Shkoder to Podgorica via Hani I Hotit and Tuzi or vice versa? Do you have any questions? Perhaps you have done the route and have further information. If so, please let us know by commenting below.

About the author

Teresa Keane

Teresa has been to almost 60 countries. She started travelling independently at the age of 38 when she gave up her job, rented out her house, put her possessions in storage and spent a year travelling the world. It changed her life. She now creates, publishes, & promotes online travel content and is an experienced freelance trainer & EFL teacher.

6 comments

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  1. Suzi Lee

    Glad you made it, Theresa. So, in the end, after all that tireless research, it all worked out. Glad to hear it and thanks for posting.

    Cheers from Kosovo (I finally made it via the ferry along the beautiful Lake Koman)!

    Suzi

  2. independenttravelhelp.com

    Hi Suzi!

    It’s great to hear from you and to know that you made it to Kosovo. I bet that was a fab journey via Lake Koman!

    You’re welcome and, yes, our efforts were worth it in the end.

    Oh, I’m off to Poland next week to teach for a week (via Helpx), so I could have done with that zloty after all.

    Keep in touch!

    Teresa.

  3. Andrew Brown

    Hi Teresa

    I did the trip from Podgorica Airport to Shkoder via Hani I Hotit last week. On the plane from Stansted I met an Albanian traveller who said that he was going to Shkoder. As he could speak Albanian he found some Albanian boys who also wanted to go to Shkoder. Lots of Podgorica taxi drivers at the airport pester you with offers to the border. However, they found an Albanian car who would take us for €5 each. The driver I’m told was admonished for being a taxi by the border guards. There were loads of people from our flight with bags walking across the border who picked up a minibus on the Albanian side. The border checks were around 15 minutes. It was Wednesday. We arrived in about 75 minutes. The driving was terrible,far too fast but thankfully we all arrived safely.

    Best wishes

    Andrew

  4. Teresa Keane

    Hi Andrew!

    Thanks for the info! It is very close from Podgorica to Shkoder with the new road, so it will be good when they sort out a bus or shared taxi for that route. The sooner, the better. I know what you mean about the driving! Have fun in Albania!

    Teresa.

  5. Alion Alushi

    Do you know what is the situation in 2016? Is the new road built?

  6. Teresa Keane

    Hi Alion.

    No, I don’t. It would be worth checking with wherever you are intending on staying, whether that is in Podgorica or somewhere Albania. They will know. Please let me know when you find out.

    Happy travels!
    Teresa.

  1. Podgorica to Shkoder via Ulcinj: The Definitive Guide... For Now! - Independent Travel Help

    […] Podgorica – Tuzi – Hani i Hotit – Shkoder […]

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