Montenegro is one of Europe’s best kept secrets, a charming Mediterranean destination waiting to be discovered.Words Nikki Beach Hotels & Resorts
Boasting beautiful beaches, dramatic fjords, ecological diversity, old world heritage sites, adrenaline-inducing activities and watersports, gourmet dining and an exciting nightlife scene, Montenegro appeals to adventure seekers with a love for life.
There is much to be explored, much to be savored. Enchanting coastal towns adorned by the sea, olive groves and evergreen cypresses are only eclipsed by the fascinating history of the region. Take a walk along the narrow cobblestone streets of the Old Town of Budva and Kotor and you will delve into their two millennia old story.
Montenegro is a treasure chest of natural wonders. With five national parks, two UNESCO World heritage sites, one of three remaining rainforests in Europe, as well as Europe’s deepest canyon, Montenegro proves once and for all that good things do indeed come in small packages. Fascinating groves of Boka Bay and its breathtaking islets beckon. Immerse yourself in the powerful majesty of Europe’s most southern fjord.
ABOVE: This idyllic country provides the perfect backdrop for Beach Club days and longer resort stays.
Take a short drive from Kotor to the national park, Lovćen, up the stunning serpentine road, and get to know the nucleus of the Montenegrin state–Njeguši and Cetinje. Climb the 461 steps up Mountain Lovćen to the world’s highest mausoleum where two granite giantesses guard the tomb of Montenegro’s greatest hero. And the view from the top…well, that’s something that cannot be put into words. Nearby, enticing Lake Skadar is waiting for nature lovers to discover its diverse flora and fauna, as well as picturesque villages hidden in green-covered coves.
A three-hour ride will take you to National Park Durmitor, the UNESCO World Heritage site, that will simply stun you with its canyons, gleaming glacial lakes, dense dark forests and nearly 50 peaks that surpass 2,000 meters. Cutting through the Durmitor’s peaks, the Tara River forms Europe’s deepest canyon here. Known as the “Jewel of Europe” and “Tear of Europe,” Tara represents a true natural wonder, and a true paradise for those who thrive on an adrenaline rush.
Biogradska Gora, Canyon Nevidio, Prokletije, Ada Bojana, the list of places to visit goes on. All of this–and much, much more–is wrapped up into an area two-thirds of the size of Wales.
In terms of fun, Budva and Tivat have been transformed from sleepy towns into a cumulative world-class luxury destination frequented by jet-setters, the yachting community and celebrities including David and Victoria Beckham, Colombian pop singer Maluma, supermodel Adriana Lima, actress Jessica Alba and tennis star Maria Sharapova. For a glimpse of old school glamour, take in the Sveti Stefan Hotel in Budva (now an Aman Resort), where Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, Kirk Douglas, Marilyn Monroe and Doris Day used to romp in the ‘60s.
You’ll find the world’s largest superyachts at Porto Montenegro, a high-end marina in the UNESCO protected Bay of Kotor. Complementing its impressive 450-berth marina is an international retail and dining scene, with gourmet restaurants, elegant bars and bistros and over 80 boutiques, salons and galleries.
When To Visit
With over 240 days of sunshine, Montenegro is lovely to visit throughout the year. Summers are prime time, with a hot and dry climate. Climbing one of the country’s mountain peaks brings down temperatures significantly, allowing for fresh breezes and forever views.
Montenegro plays host to numerous cultural, gastronomic and music festivals and events. The biggest happening is the Sea Dance Festival, which brings the top names in music to Montenegro for a three-day beachside concert outside Budva each August, attended by over 40,000 revelers. Past performers have included The Prodigy, David Guetta, Skrillex, Fatboy Slim, Sven Väth, Nina Kraviz, Alice Merton, Richie Hawtin, Jamiroquai, Underworld, Rudimental, Róisín Murphy, Hurts, Lost Frequencies, John Newman, Sean Paul, Robin Schulz, Nile Rodgers, as well as regional stars. In 2020, DJ Martin Garrix will headline the seventh annual Sea Dance Festival, from August 28-30.
For a taste of glamour, each July, the International Fashion Festival attracts top designers to Porto Montenegro spanning brands like Versace, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani. Throughout the summer, local festivals celebrate regional cuisine, wine and crafts. A really unique occasion is the “Boćanje Olympics” in Tivat, which is a sport similar to bocce and bowling and is the oldest local pastime. They’ve been holding this competition in Tivat since 1952.
Recently, Montenegro has become one of the most popular destinations for gambling. Currently, five casinos are operating in Montenegro, four of them in Budva: Merit Casino Royal Splendid; Merit Casino Avala; Maestral Resorts and Casino, Falkensteiner Casino Queen, and one in Podgorica (Merit Casino Montenegro Hilton). Gamblers can try their luck at Roulette, Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat and Punto Banco.
ABOVE: Beautiful vistas that make up so much of Montenegro are in abundance.
What To Expect
Montenegro is known for its delicious food, highlighted by region. The coastal cuisine features fish, seafood and olive oil, flavored with bay leaves, parsley, lemon and garlic. Mouthwatering fish soup, with grilled squid, fish and octopus, is a must-try, along with squid-ink-colored black risotto. The “Old Montenegro” flavor inhabits the central part of the country, which is dominated by the taste of smoked ham, Njeguški cheese and Skadar Lake dishes, such as eel and smoked carp. Here, you can find King Nikola’s pancakes, made from corn flour, filled with walnuts and local honey, and sprinkled with sauce made from dried plums cooked in wine.
Speaking of wine, Montenegro has a prolific winemaking tradition dating back two thousand years. Oenophiles will savor the regional grape, Vrnac, which produces a full bodied red wine. Take a tour of Ćemovsko Polje, one of the largest and most beautiful vineyards in Europe spanning 11.5 million grapevines! There are also many family-run wineries around Skadar Lake that organize wine tastings. If you’re brave, sip a glass of rakija, a traditional aperitif with a strong burnt flavor.
Montenegro Hotel & Beach Club
Bogisici 85320 Tivat Montenegro