Hidden among some of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations, sits Montenegro. Formerly known as Yugoslavia, its rugged mountains are the backdrop to its luxurious 100-kilometre-long Adriatic coastline.
Steeped in history, its beaches, restaurants, and medieval sites are as charming as their prices. Even the finest of photographers will struggle to do justice to the
scenic beauty of the ancient terracotta towns, but it’s worth a shot.
So why haven’t you heard about Montenegro before? Well, it might just be the best-kept secret on the planet. For now, anyway. Ahead of the summer season, here are the top three spots to explore
and soak up the sun.
A Quick Guide To Montenegro
Despite its translation to ‘Black Mountain’ in English, Montenegro is bursting with colour and vibrance. Dating back to 168BC, Kotor is arguably one of the most photogenic towns in the
region. Surrounded by medieval walls, the town is guarded by a fort, which can be reached via a path located at the rear of the old town. It’s a well-known tourist hike, so if you can’t find it, a
local will be sure to point you in the right direction. Once at the top, you’re guaranteed breathtaking views of the Fjord-like Kotor Bay. On hot days, you’ll want to take some water and
you can usually buy refreshments at the top, but make sure to take cash.
Losing your sense of direction usually isn’t a good thing. But, getting lost in the old town of Kotor is probably the best way to explore it. Filled with small squares, bars, hand-made jewellers, and
boutiques, there is plenty to browse and stumble upon. Being an old port, fish is always on the menu, and restaurants are plentiful. Highly recommended and reviewed, the Konoba Scala
Santa does not disappoint. Fresh muscles and fish are cooked to perfection, meanwhile, the salads and sides are the perfect cold alternative for lunch during the mid-day heat. Prices and
portions are extremely reasonable, and a meal for two, plus a glass of wine, beer, or soft drink won’t leave you with a big bill.
Sveti Stefan & Przno Beach
Located 10-15km from Budva, Sveti Stefan is one of the most beautiful points along Montenegro’s coast. Initially home to the Pastrovici community during the 15th century, the islet
today is home to one of the most picturesque 5-star hotels in the world. While it has remained closed since 2020, the site itself is something to behold. A striking 100-metre gangplank
connects it to the mainland and is the perfect spot for holiday photos. Just around the corner from Sevti Stefan are several quiet and golden bathing spots. If you’re
someone who prefers a little more privacy and tranquillity, Milocer Beach and Queen’s Beach are both great places to enjoy the sun.
For dinner, Przno Beach is a great option. It can be found just five minutes from Sveti Stefan. The village of Przno itself is built into a rocky headland, where it shelters a small beach and a
selection of quaint restaurants. As far as waterfront restaurants go, it doesn’t get much better than Konoba More. Time it right, and you’ll be sat eating as the sun flickers and dances off the
sea as it begins to set. Again, the food quality is exquisite, but the showstopper is hands-down the Fish Soup.
Not far from Kotor, is the town of Perast. Despite being home to sixteen churches, the town is only 1km wide and has a population of just 250. Nonetheless, it is by far the most idyllic town in Montenegro. Acting as a viewing point, the village overlooks two curious islets, Sveti Dorde (Saint George) and Gospa od Skrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks) both of which levitate in the bay.
Boats happily take visitors from shore to shore, giving them the chance to examine the pristine Islet churches up close and admire Perast from afar. Ideal for a day trip, Perast will live long in
Budva Old Town
Known to some as the “Montenegrian Miami” this town has recently become a popular destination for tourists, especially beach-lovers. A blend of new and old, the Budva Riviera is home to a variety of bars, hotels, and restaurants. While it struggles to compete with the scenic beauty of Kotor, the Old Town located at the top of the beach is particularly pretty. Inside the walls are a number of vantage points from which the coastline can be truly appreciated. For a small price, visitors can pay to enter the Citadel Fortress and enjoy 360-degree views out over the Adriatic. A Roman-era ruin can also be found behind the fortress, as can a small stretch of beach named the Plaza Ricardova Glava, which is perfect for a post-dinner walk or drink.
The Budva region is one of the larger towns in Montenegro, so when it comes to eating out there are a whole host of options. With tables stretched out along a dock, restaurant Olimp is a
good option. Facing Montenegro’s largest island, Sveti Nikola (Saint Nicholas), the Olimp has great food to back up its views. Words By James Lloyd.