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Set in the middle of the Mediterranean, in some of the most sought after cruising grounds, is the small relatively undiscovered gem called Montenegro. The unadulterated splendour of this country is like no other, lying between superyacht charter famous destinations like Italy and Greece. Its dramatic mountains slip into the deep azure waters of the Adriatic, along 295 kilometres of coastline, and despite its natural beauty and central location, Montenegro has only recently experienced an upsurge in the popularity it enjoyed in the 1950s and 60s, thanks to the new facilities offered by Porto Montenegro marina, for example.
Montenegro’s coastal rocky belt enjoys a welcoming Mediterranean climate, with long dry summers and short mild winters. Thanks to gift from the nature, the country is perfect for cruising anytime between May and October when there is plenty of sunshine and average water temperatures reach over 20˚. Well-known for its natural beauty, historic charm and cultural treasures, which include the UNESCO World Heritage towns of Perast and Kotor. Montenegro’s 14,000sq km of coastline is only the start of its natural wonders: from Bar to Kotor, the options are plethora.
Tivat is located in the central part of the bay of Kotor, south of the Vrmac Hill. Home to Porto Montenegro’s marina village, Tivat also boasts numerous pretty nearby coves and the greatest number of sunny days of any town on the Bay. Once the site of the Illyrian Queen Teuta’s summer residence, and later the seaside location of choice during Roman, Medieval and Venetian eras, Tivat’s deep-water harbour was transformed into an Austrian naval base at the end of the 19th century.
From Porto Montenegro, the most developped and modern marina in this part of the East Mediterranean region, you can reach all major cities and center of interests, but we strongly recommend you to hike along Vrmac Ridge from the Trojica fortress to Gornja Lastva to give you a fresh start!
Several defensive towers, including the Tower of the Holy Cross, overlook Perast’s sixteen palaces and nineteen churches as well as the world’s most ideally situated basketball court. With finite façades, this exquisite little town is popular with higher-end real estate buyers, won over by its untouched charms. Perast is now a largely pedestrianized area and it has even “gone green” with bicycles and Segways for hire.
Visiting Perast cannot be completed without a tour at the church and museum located on Our Lady of the Rocks, the most impressive panorama of all the Bay.
Located in the southeastern part of the Bay of Kotor beneath Mount Lovcen and is the cultural, educational and sporting centre of this area. After the stormy period from 1797 to 1814 when this area was alternately under the Russians, French, Austrians and Monténégrins influences, Kotor became the constituent of the Austro-Hungary Monarchy and remained under the rule of Austro-Hungary until 1918 when this region became a part of Yugoslavia until its disintegration.
Equally lovely, day or night, the imposing stone walls of this medieval fortress town stretch high into the mountain itself and, in the evening, are lit to brilliant effect. A tunnel connects Kotor to Tivat, the drive is just fifteen minutes, but arriving by boat on a sunny day is a memorable experience worth waiting for! On site, climb the city walls to San Giovanni fortress for a breathtaking view of the Bay, and get some refreshing after dinner drinks at the intimate Hotel Astoria Bar.
Lovely small town at the tip of Lustica peninsula, untouched Rose is a sweet spot to wile away an afternoon. With its old fishing village vibe, Rose is favoured by notable Montenegrins who keep holiday homes in its old waterfront buildings and in the hills above town. Ordering fresh fish, bowls of mussels, or grilled octopus with a bottle of local Krstac at one of Rose’s seaside cafés is one of life’s simple pleasures.
One of Montenegro’s oldest settlements, the local swimming platform is located at Forte Rose, an ancient Austro-Hungarian citadel that’s now equipped with an al fresco summertime bar and a restaurant.
Montenegro’s busiest tourist destination and one of the Adriatic’s oldest settlements, Budva’s old town is a Venetian wonder of cobblestone streets anchored by the 15th century citadel. Very seasonal, and a tourist Mecca in the region. Budva was founded in 500 BC by Cadmus the Phoenician, an exiled hero from Thebes, Greece. Although, today, most of the town’s constructions reflect its more recent Venetian and Austrian past.
Budva awakes in the summer months as seemingly every spare corner is converted into an outdoor bar or shop selling beach toys. With a well-deserved reputation for nightlife, Budva is now established as one of the Adriatic’s leading party destinations: The Stones, Madonna and Lenny Kravitz have all played on Jaz Beach in the past!
Sveti Stefan is most commonly associated with the iconic island connected to the mainland by a narrow corridor. Today, this is the ultra luxurious Aman Sveti Stefan resort and, while parts of the site are still open to the public, access is restricted to the island in order to protect the privacy of resort guests.
The residential area around the resort has recently received a huge boost in desirability, as it is just far enough away from Budva not to be disturbed by its summertime day and night buzz, yet just close enough to feel connected to the pulse of the city too. On site, indulge in a spa treatment at the Aman’s spa centre or lounge on two of the prettiest beach coves on the coast: one that is privately maintained by the Aman yet open to paying guests, and another that is a lot less pristine but charming nonethless.
Bar is a busy, modern port town with a handful of fabulous beaches, Home to one of the world’s largest fortified archaeological sites, Bar is also worlwide rpeuted for being the hub of Montenegro’s olive industry, surrounded by vast, centuries old groves and claims the world’s most ancient, 2000 year old olive tree!
Bar’s Old Town, unlike most of the country’s ancient villages, is very well preserved. Its old ruins include Turkish baths, Roman aqueducts, churches, a citadel and King Nikola’s castle. While Bar may not be a huge tourist draw, it does make an interesting stop-off point en route or returning from Ulcinj’s splendid beaches, before cruising back to Tivat and Porto Montenegro.