After some back-and-forth I’ve altered the travel route a little and am intending to travel down the coast instead of going back inland. Getting to Skopje from Podgorica would have required to cross back over the Dinaric Alps and would have meant either a gruelling 12h bus ride or a 300 Euro flight. Neither was overly appealing.
Instead I followed a recommendation from a fellow traveller at the hostel in Podgorica and took the bus down to Ulcinj, a Montenegrin town just north of the Albanian border.
The centre of town is extremely touristy and a 15 minute walk through there last night was more exhausting than a 2h mountain hike. The good thing is that the season is winding down and the local “beach bar”, a tucked away place with amazing views, had all but three patrons.
The hostel is situated in a more quiet area, close to a local market. Looks a lot like Southeast Asia.
No need to buy too much though, the hostel garden has an olive tree, figs, pomegranate and peaches.