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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Top Montenegro Beaches You Must Visit

When planning beach vacations, people often consider destinations like Mexico, Spain, Greece, or Indonesia for their sunny getaways. However, have you heard about Montenegro? Nestled as a hidden gem along the Adriatic Sea, it boasts five breathtakingly beautiful beaches that are simply must-visit.

Montenegro (known locally as Crna Gora) may not enjoy the same fame as Croatia, and many people struggle to pinpoint it on a map. Yet, this obscurity has preserved Montenegro’s beaches as tranquil, clean, and remarkably accessible for all budgets. I’m not exaggerating!

For less than 15 EUR, you can enjoy a full day at the beach in Montenegro! If this piques your interest, let me guide you through the top five beaches this extraordinary ex-Yugoslavian country has to offer.

1. Luštica Bay, situated on the Luštica Peninsula from which it derives its name, serves as the gateway to Boka Kotorska, also known as the Bay of Kotor. Historically a rural community isolated from major tourist hubs like Podgorica or Herceg Novi, Luštica’s relative seclusion has sparked a modest but steadily growing tourism industry in the area.

The Luštica Bay Beach

Today, Luštica is increasingly appealing to travelers seeking peace and tranquility. During the summer, the bay attracts visitors from Serbia, Western Europe, and Russia, prompting locals to offer a variety of entertainment and locally sourced products. The area boasts numerous activities, including kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding tours, while its restaurants are renowned for serving exclusively local produce. Luštica produces its own olive oil, cheese, prosciutto, wine, and rakija—products that visitors are encouraged to sample before leaving this picturesque destination.

2. Perast: Situated at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor, Perast is a charming town with an equally delightful beach. It’s a destination worth scheduling into your visit! Perast offers a unique attraction in the form of a small, legendary artificial island named Gospa od Škrpjel (Our Lady of the Rocks), visible from the shore. You can paddleboard all the way to this island, which carries a fascinating legend. According to local lore, over centuries, sailors returning from successful voyages placed rocks in the bay, gradually forming the islet.

This tradition continues today with an annual event called Fašinada, held during sunset on July 22nd, where locals gather to throw rocks into the sea, enlarging the island’s surface. Besides the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, Gospa od Škrpjel features a museum, a small gift shop, and a navigation light—all adding to its allure and making the visit truly worthwhile.

Entrance to Perast

3. Tivat: Nestled in the Boka region, Tivat is synonymous with luxury, anchored by the prestigious yacht marina Porto Montenegro. A relatively new town on the Montenegrin coast, Tivat has become a premier destination for travelers seeking comfort and indulgence.

One of its highlights is Plavi Horizonti, a pristine sandy beach facing the renowned islands of Ostrvo Sveti Marko (St. Mark’s Island) and Ostrvo Miholjska Prevlaka (Island of Flowers). Sveti Marko Island, once a thriving destination adorned with 500 French Polynesian-style houses engulfed in lush greenery, remains an intriguing yet abandoned relic from its pre-Yugoslav Wars era.

Sunset at Porto Montenegro

Adjacent, the Island of Flowers boasts the serene Monastery of St. Archangel Michael and houses a small community living in charming bungalow-style homes. Accessible via a narrow isthmus, it offers an effortless excursion from the mainland.

Beyond its opulent facade, Tivat offers affordable activities for all, including the Bocce Olympiad, the Tivat Summer Fest music festival (held from June 4-6), and the Tivat Botanic Garden, showcasing a diverse array of exotic trees and plants gifted to Bokan sailors returning from distant voyages.

Porto Montenegro’s Bay

4. Budva: For those seeking a perfect blend of beach and nightlife, the Budva Riviera is an ideal destination.

Budva boasts some of the most captivating beaches along the Adriatic Sea, with Mogren Beach arguably standing out as the most attractive. Accessible only via a narrow 250-meter path along the cliffs, Mogren offers relaxation and scenic beauty to all its visitors.

The Budva Dancer
Budva’s sand beach

Most of the beaches along the Budva Riviera are located outside the city center. Jaz Beach, known for hosting concerts and festivals, also doubles as a campground. Bečići Beach, situated southeast of the city, features a long stretch of sandy coastline, while Pizana Beach is conveniently located near the Old Town.

Budva’s nightlife began to thrive in the 1980s with hotel-based dance clubs, evolving into popular discothèques and open-air clubs along the sea promenade in the 1990s. Today, Budva’s Old Town and promenade are home to numerous bars, pubs, and restaurants, with Top Hill and Trocadero currently dominating the club scene.

Not to be missed is the Budva Carnival, a vibrant three-day festival held in late April or early May each year. This lively event brings together people from across Montenegro for relaxation and festive celebrations.

Experience it for yourself!

Dinner with candle light @Budva

5. Kotor: Saving the best for last, Kotor is not only my favorite city in Montenegro but also in the entire world!

Its Old Town stands as one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, with UNESCO-protected ancient walls stretching 4.5 km above the city. The Cathedral of St. Tryphon graces the town square, adding to its historical charm. Accommodation in Kotor is affordable, with many hostels offering a range of services beyond just lodging. For example, the Old Town Hostel provides various tours and beach activities, ensuring endless entertainment possibilities—from boat rides to party buses visiting Montenegro’s famous beaches.

The abandoned Autro-Hungarian Fortress
View of the Old Town
Kotor from the Fortress

A must-do activity is hiking up to Fort St. Giovanni for breathtaking views of the municipality, city, and bay. Across Boka Bay lie two popular tourist islets: Sveti Đorđe and Gospa od.

Kotor’s Beach

For animal lovers, Kotor boasts a large population of cats. The city features several cat stores, a cat museum, and a “Cats’ Square” known as Trgodmačaka. Cats freely roam the city streets, cared for with water and food provided throughout. They have become a beloved symbol of Kotor, inspiring initiatives like Kotor Kitties—a charity dedicated to caring for stray cats.

Cats of Kotor

Bonus! Pržno

Now, I’ve covered all the well-known tourist beaches in Montenegro, but let me introduce you to a personal favorite. Pržno is a pristine beach where you can camp, barbecue, have a beach party—anything without any interruptions.

While Pržno does have a touristy area, the untouched virgin beach lies on the opposite side, known only to locals but accessible if you know where to look. It’s a serene spot where locals often unwind after work, making it perfect for enjoying a sunset with a bonfire and drinks with friends or loved ones.

But the fun doesn’t stop there—there’s also a small cliff about 10 meters high that adventurous souls can climb and jump from into the sea!

BBQ in a virgin beach

What are you waiting for?

Montenegro is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With its revitalized tourism sector, Montenegrins now offer a wide array of services and tours. Whether you’re capturing photos of the famous Budva Dancer, enjoying a pub crawl at Kotor’s Letrika Bar, or indulging in a spa day in Tivat, Montenegro offers something for everyone: vibrant nightlife, rich gastronomy, cultural experiences, beautiful beaches, relaxing spas, and thrilling adventures. These are just glimpses of what this land has in store.

Montenegro is known for its hospitality, ensuring an unforgettable experience that will beckon you back time and again. Wherever your travels take you this year, be sure to reserve a couple of weeks in this piece of paradise. Visit Crna Gora once, and you’ll want to return a million times! Guaranteed!

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