Top 5 Montenegrin resorts: the pros and cons of each of them
Montenegro is a Balkan hospitality, untouched nature, the cleanest sea and total relaxation. A Montenegrin saying goes, “A man is born tired and lives to rest. Here everything really disposes to relaxation, and now we will tell you where to go in Montenegro, to get the highest quality rest.
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Montenegro’s most sought-after resort, which affects both the number of attractions and, of course, the price level.
The advantages are:
- A large number of restaurants, cafes, bars, clubs – you will not get bored here;
- Local travel agencies offer tours to any part of the country, as well as in neighboring Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina. If excursion tours are not for you, you can go on a trip alone – the bus service between Budva and other cities in Montenegro is well developed;
- a wide range of accommodation at any price category.
- if you’re looking for a quiet vacation, you might want to look at other resorts. In Budva is noisy and fun – just what you need for party people;
- prices are higher than in other cities.
Beaches of Budva
There are 5 public beaches within the city – Slavyansky, Richard’s Head, Mogren-1 and Mogren-2 (free), Dukley beach club (paid).
The main beach of the town (and the busiest in the season) is Slavyansky. Those who like calm rest here will hardly like it – loud music, crowded and dirty in some places. But around a lot of cafes and restaurants, there are playgrounds and water rides. The clearest water is around the beaches of Mogren (they are next to each other, separated by a rock), you can walk here in 15-20 minutes from the city center. These beaches, by the way, are the best for a holiday with children – the entrance to the water is gentle and the area is small, which allows you to keep a child in sight. On all beaches you can rent sun loungers (from €10 to €25 per day).
Attractions in and around Budva
- Old Town. It is very compact, a walk through the territory will take about half an hour. For €1.5 you can climb the fortress wall, which offers the best view of Budva. Inside are the citadel with an observation deck and museum (admission €2.5), 4 temples and traditional houses with brightly colored roofs.
- Podostrog Monastery. Former residence of the rulers of Montenegro. Two churches built in the XII and XVIII centuries are preserved. Entrance is free.
- The island of St. Nicholas (locals call it “Hawaii” after the restaurant located there). You can buy a ticket for a boat trip to the resort with a visit to the island (€5) or come by boat (€3 round trip). This place is ideal for beach holidays in cozy bays and snorkeling. There is a restaurant on the island, but prices there are quite high, so it’s better to take water and food with you and have a picnic. The entrance to the island is free, rent of two sun beds and an umbrella for the whole day will cost €10-15.
How to get to Budva
The trip from Tivat airport to Budva is a case where you can choose one thing: either cheap or fast and comfortable. If you choose the first option, you will need to walk to the nearest bus stop and take a bus (about €2). If you want to save time – book a transfer (from €20 for a passenger car). There are cab drivers at the airport, but their services may cost twice as much (make sure the driver turns on the meter).
This green little town on the Bay of Kotor is called the “botanical garden of Montenegro.” Once upon a time sailors brought plants to the resort from different parts of the world, and most of them successfully took root in the new place. Walking the streets of the resort, you’ll see giant cacti, palm trees, exotic fruits and flowers time and time again.
Pros of the resort:
- The beautiful Old Town;
- green area;
- accommodation is cheaper than in other resort towns (eg, Budva).
Cons of the resort:
- a lot of stairs, which can be inconvenient for the elderly or vacationers with small children (in case you take a stroller).
- the beaches are mostly concrete;
- a long way to the main attractions of the country.
Beaches of Herceg Novi
Concrete beaches prevail within the city limits, but in the neighborhoods there are many cozy places you can reach by boat for €2-5. The best of them is considered to be Žanica – a beach that used to belong to Joseph Brod Tito, the president of Yugoslavia.
Pros: the water is so clear that it is home to sea urchins, known detectors of sea cleanliness (in the center of the beach the probability of meeting them is minimal), from here the boats go to the island-fortress of Mamula, where you can also sunbathe and swim.
Minuses: pavement pebble (you can rent a deck chair here), the water temperature is lower than along the coast of other resorts.
Sightseeing in and around Herceg Novi
- The Old City. Here is the “visiting card” of the resort – the clock tower Sahat Kula, built by the Turks in 1667, inside which there is an icon of the “Black Madonna”. We also recommend to visit the orthodox temple of Archangel Michael and to drink water from the nearby Turkish fountain Karacha, to see the fortresses of Forte Mare (XIV century) and Kanli Kula (XV century).
- Regional Museum. It is located in a building built in the 17th century in the Baroque style. In addition to an interesting botanical collection (over 100 species of flowers and other plants) here are archaeological finds (amphorae, tools, household items) and a collection of icons made by Kotor masters.
- Mount Orjen. On its summit (1895 m) snow lies until the end of May, so if you want to combine seemingly incompatible types of recreation, you have a unique opportunity to swim in the warm Adriatic Sea and a couple of hours of skiing or snowboarding. On a clear day, you can see the whole of Montenegro, part of neighboring Herzegovina, Croatian Dubrovnik and several southern Dalmatian islands from here. You can climb to the mountain Orjen or Subra by jeep.
How to get to Herceg Novi
To get to the resort quickly and comfortably, book a transfer in advance (about €45 for a passenger car). If you take a cab at the airport, insist that the driver turns on the meter, as during the season tourists are often cheated. Well, if you do not want to spend money, take a bus. The trip will cost you €2, but you will need more time: you will have to walk to the bus stop and wait for a hitchhike.
The resort is located on the border with Albania. It is famous for its sandy beaches (which is rare for Montenegro), places for kitesurfing and the official nudist beach on the island of Ada Bojana.
Pros of the resort:
- It’s usually warmer here than in other regions of Montenegro;
- at the bottom of the sand, so the water also warms up faster;
- fewer holidaymakers than in popular resort towns;
- prices for food, souvenirs, sunbeds are lower than in Budva.
Cons of the resort:
- Due to the fact that the bottom is sandy, the water here is quite muddy.
The most popular beach is Velika plaza, which is 12 kilometers long and is located 5 kilometers from the Old Town. The nudist beach is 17 kilometers long. If you don’t want to sunbathe on small city beaches, where it’s crowded during the season, you can rent a car or take a cab (from €10 per one way).
- Citadel. While imprisoned here, Cervantes invented the image of Dulcinea, the girl Don Quixote was in love with.
- Skadar Lake. Its surroundings are home to many rare birds, which ornithologists and amateurs from different countries come to watch. A boat trip on the lake costs about €7.
- Cetinje. The ancient capital of Montenegro. The most interesting sights are the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin on Cipur, the Cetinje Monastery, the Palace of King Nikola I, the Royal Theater “Zetski Dom” (the oldest in the country), the Blue Palace, which now houses the residence of the President of Montenegro.
How to get to Ulcinj
A transfer from Tivat airport will cost from €60 for a passenger car. The budget option is to walk to the nearest bus stop and take a bus going in the right direction. The problem is that there is only one bus and it runs in the morning. The ticket costs about €10. You can come to Budva, and there change to a bus to Ulcinj.
The resort of Sveti Stefan
An ideal place for families with children and those who do not like partying and crowds of tourists around, this is the best resort in Montenegro for a family vacation.
The advantages are:
- It’s quiet, clean and sparsely populated.
- It is convenient to get to Budva. If you want to have fun, you can get there in 15-20 minutes by bus (€2) or cab (€10).
- The resort is located on a mountainside, so you’ll have to walk a lot of steps. You can go around by road, but in this case the way to the beach will lengthen by about a kilometer, so keep that in mind if you don’t like to walk a lot;
- the beach is covered with coarse pebbles;
- Prices for accommodation are a little higher than in nearby Budva.
Beaches of Sveti Stefan
The coastline of the resort is divided into two parts by an isthmus leading to the private island of Sveti Stefan. On the right hand side there is a closed beach for the guests of Aman Hotel Sveti Stefan, on the left hand there is a municipal beach with free access for all comers.
Sightseeing in and around Sveti Stefan
- Sveti Stefan Island. One of the most recognizable sights in Montenegro, where there is the former residence of the king – Villa Milocer (now part of the hotel complex). To get to the territory can only guests of the five-star hotel Aman Sveti Stefan or guests of a very expensive restaurant, booked in advance. The rest of us have to admire the views and take pictures from the public beach.
- Durmitor National Park. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. On its territory there are Durmitor mountain massif, Tara River Canyon (the deepest canyon in Europe and the second largest in the world), Sušica and Draga rivers, Djurdjević Tara bridge (the highest arch highway bridge in Europe), as well as the popular ski resort Zabljak. It is most convenient to get here by car, as public transport is rare. If possible, stay here for a few days to see all the most interesting things.
- Bar. Start your walk with the Old Town, where modern cottages neighbor the ruins of the Cathedral of St. George, the churches of St. Catherine and St. Veneranda. Other highlights include the Palace of King Nikola, which now houses a history museum, the Church of Sant Nicholas, which was for many years the residence of the Catholic Archbishop and Mount Valuica, from the top of which the Italian Guglielmo Marconi transmitted the first radio signal from Bari to Bari.
How to get to the resort in Sveti Stefan
The most convenient way is to pre-book an airport transfer (from €30 for a passenger car) or take a cab. You can also use public transport – after leaving the airport go to the nearest bus stop and wait for a bus to Budva. In Budva, you will need to change buses to the resort of Sveti Stefan. In total it will take you an hour and a half to get there and the cost of the trip is about €5.
In different periods of its history it was under the rule of the Roman Empire, the Venetian Republic, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italy … This mixture of cultures has formed a unique city, where you should definitely visit, since you’re in Montenegro.
Pros of the resort:
- The beautiful Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site;
- Most of the restaurants and cafes are located in old buildings;
- even in the season in the city is very clean, despite the abundance of tourists.
Cons of the resort:
- The town is a port city, with cruise boats and yachts at the pier, so the water here is quite dirty;
Attractions of Kotor and the surrounding area
- Fortress of St. John, built by the Venetians. You should be warned that climbing the fortress is like exercising. You will have to climb 1,400 stairs. But the view from the top is well worth the effort. From November to March admission is free, the rest of the time it’s €3.
- Old town. A labyrinth of narrow streets, along which the houses of XII-XIV centuries are lined up. On one of the squares stands the St. Trifon’s Cathedral, one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. Behind the turns there are real treasures: the Church of St. Luke (XIII century), the Church of St. Anna (XII century), the Church of St. Mary (XIII century), the Church of Our Lady of Healing (XV century), the Napoleon theater (XIX century).
- Perast. According to official data, only 300 people live here, the city has long been turned into a kind of open-air museum. In a relatively small area there are 17 palaces and 16 churches (you can enter only 3 of them). In the neighborhood there are numerous oyster farms, so to try the gifts of the sea here is cheaper than in the same Budva.
How to get to Kotor
From Budva to Kotor, there are buses. The journey takes about half an hour and the ticket costs €3-€3.5 one way. It is a little quicker by car, about 20 minutes.
Where to vacation in Montenegro?
If you are planning a family vacation with children or parents and want to find a quiet and secluded place, choose Sveti Stefan or Herceg Novi. Those who can’t imagine a vacation without nightlife, will love Budva. If you want to combine a beach holiday with a tour of the natural beauties of Montenegro, come to Ulcinj. And the ancient town of Kotor awaits those who want to interrupt swimming and sunbathing for a day, and immerse themselves in the history of the country.
Currency: Euros. Dollars can be exchanged, but the rate is usually unprofitable. Cards are accepted in most restaurants, stores and bars in resort towns.
Visa Citizens of Ukraine do not need a visa and may stay in the country for up to 90 days.
Beach season lasts from late April to late October, during this period, the sea water temperature ranges from +18 to +25 ° C, the air temperature ranges from +20 to +25 ° C.
International airports there are two: one in the capital city Podgorica and one in Tivat. The second is convenient for those who are going to the coast (it’s only 20 kilometers from Budva and 10 kilometers from Kotor).
Which resort in Montenegro to choose
We understand, where it is better to go to rest in Montenegro! Find out where the best beach and ski resorts are. What are the beaches at the resorts and what to do on vacation.
This is an inexpensive resort. It is suitable for those who are accustomed to active recreation, because here begins all the excursions in Montenegro. The resort is favorably located – close to the airport, where 90% of the tourists arrive. And this means that there is no need to spend time and money on an extra trip.
The city is clean and green, there are two large parks and a marina. There are not many beaches in the city itself, but they are all clean and well maintained, albeit small in size. There are free sections. Coverage – fine pebbles and pebbles with sand, here and there is a concrete platform. There is a nice sandy beach, 3 km from the city, which is a rarity in Montenegro. Finally, the most popular beach is located on Flower Island, about 5 km from Tivat. The island is large, green and perfect for the elderly and small children. Find out what reviews about Tivat are left by tourists.
Renting a car is the best way to travel! Localrent.com has autos from 10 euros per day.
View of Tivat. Photo: al-grishin / pixabay.com.
Most tourists believe that the best place to vacation in Montenegro is Budva. It is the most famous resort and the main center of nightlife in the country with a lot of cafes and entertainment – from casinos to fitness clubs and sports fields. However, Budva is not only for the youth: there is a zoo, a water park with amusement rides, a beautiful historic center. In Budva, mostly come by ticket – there are many good resort hotels. See how much all-inclusive tours in Montenegro cost.
Ancient Budva, whose history began around the 5th century BC, can boast preserved ancient fortresses, monasteries, churches: the fortress walls and gates, Citadel and Mogren fortresses, the Church of St. Ivan, St. Anton, the Virgin Mary and the Holy Trinity. The town is also good for its narrow cobbled streets, tiled roofs and beautiful houses. You can reach the resort from Tivat by bus. Find out what to see in Budva.
In Budva, all beaches are fine pebbles and the sea is protected from cold currents. The most noisy and crowded beach is Slavyansky. There are many entertainments, children’s playgrounds and attractions. A 20 minute walk from it there is a quiet beach Mogren with a flat bottom and shallow depth – it’s better to relax there with children. Richard’s Head beach is also popular. Find out what reviews about Budva are left by tourists.
Fans of snorkeling should go to the island of St. Nicholas. The entrance to the island is free, but you have to pay to rent a deck chair and an umbrella from the sun. A few kilometers from Budva is a small resort village Becici with a two-kilometer pebble beach.
Rest in Budva is interesting for all categories of tourists, but prices in the city are high, so budget tourists are better to rest at another resort in Montenegro – Herceg Novi.
View of old Budva. Photo: marcofieber / flickr.com / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 license.
Montenegro’s famous health resort, which has received the unspoken status of the greenest city in the country. Some time ago the exotic plants from all over the world were brought to Herceg Novi, so the palms and cactuses are not a surprise here. The city is quiet and peaceful, with beautiful narrow streets, through which it is pleasant to walk at any time of day.
Despite the patriarchality and quietness, it is not recommended for elderly people and parents with baby carriages: the city is located on the hills, all the crossings with a complex descents and ascents, lots of stairs. But with older children will be fine: the Bay of Kotor is warm, the water is always quiet, there are many places to walk and a beautiful old town. The only disadvantage is that all beaches in the city are concrete, and some tourists take a boat to the nearest beach.
View of Herceg Novi from the side of the fortress. Photo: BélaBéla / commons.wikimedia.org / License CC-BY-SA-3.0.
Sveti Stefan is an elite resort in Montenegro, a famous island-hotel connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus. The resort is beautiful: inside you will find cozy narrow streets, buried in flowers and greenery, and cute fishermen’s houses. And although only Aman Resorts guests can access the island, anyone can admire the architecture of the city-hotel and the amazing natural isthmus of the island and sunbathe on the pink sand beach. The beach on the left side is free, on the right side belongs to the hotel.
Settle in the village on the mainland with a view of Sveti Stefan and relax on the beach. The village itself is located on the mountain, and you have to go down to the beach on steps, which is quite inconvenient for people of age and vacationers with small children. Learn more about Sveti Stefan.
The island of Sveti Stefan. Photo: nakedst / flickr.com / License CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.
This is the most atypical city in Montenegro. It was once part of the Ottoman Empire and was a famous center of the slave trade on the Adriatic. The resort borders with Albania, and it is not too convenient to get to it from Tivat or Budva by public transportation. Because of this there are not many holidaymakers in Ulcinj, despite the attractive prices and the oriental flavor that dominates here.
The main advantage of Ulcinj are its sandy beaches. On the territory of the longest of them – the Great Beach – there are several kitesurfing clubs, and on the territory of the Small Beach there is a diving center. At the end of the Great Beach, almost 25 km from Ulcinj, is the island Ada Bojana. According to tourist reviews, it is one of the best places to stay in Montenegro. A natural reserve with sandy beaches, some of which are set aside for nudists.
Ulcinj. Photo: akk_rus / flickr.com / CC BY 2.0 license.
This spa village with its medieval architecture is above all notable for the fact that the Karageorgevich royal family used to live here – a beautiful palace, a park and a botanical garden with rare plants have been preserved. Above Milocer, on a hill, there is also the 17th century monastery Praskvica.
The region is beautiful, the beaches are great, the water is clean. If you are a guest of hotel Milocer, you can have a rest on the beach of King for free. Strangers are not allowed there. There is also a beach of the Queen – in low season, you can relax there for free, but in the summer the entrance fee – the price reaches 120 euros!
The former royal palace of Karageorgevich. Nowadays, the Hotel Milocer is located there. Photo: wikimedia.ru / Pear Blossom.
This is the most famous ski resort in Montenegro, located in the national park in the Durmitor Mountains. The landscape and climate is similar to the Swiss Alps, and the prices are 1.5-2 times lower.
One can go skiing from December to the end of March, the best developed resorts are Stutz, Savin Kuk and Javorovaca. The year-round ski slope is in Debeli Namet. Cycling, rafting, mountain climbing, and jeep rallying are popular in Zabljak in the summer.
Check out other destinations as well:
Zabljak. Photo: unsplash.com / @dejan_kide.