St. Nicholas Island in Budva

Beach Hawaii on the island of St. Nicholas

Hawaii Beach on the island of St. Nicholas

Hawaii Beach on the island of St. Nicholas beckons holidaymakers on the coast of Budva. When the city beaches are crowded, the small island seems like a real escape.

The island of St. Nicholas, 1.5 km from Montenegro’s Budva, got its name after the church of the same name. According to chronicles, it was built in the 16th century and is still surrounded by legends of the Crusaders buried there.

Since the middle of the XX century part of the island was given as a reserve. In the 60s, they began to collect here unusual for the local flora and fauna specimens. So deer, mouflons, hares and a whole army of the most diverse birds living in the shade of evergreens settled on the island. The protected area of the island is surrounded by a net and, unfortunately, is closed to visitors.

But recently residents of Budva and tourists resting in the town have come here more and more for the local beaches. There are many of them on St. Nikola Island. Some are available for all comers, the rest are private. The most popular is the open beach around the restaurant “Hawaii”. Boaters often call the beach Hawaii, and sometimes the island itself.

Hawaii Beach on the island of St. Nicholas

Recreation conditions and infrastructure

The length of the beach strip of the island is about 800 meters. Coverage – very coarse pebbles, stones, rocks, in some small areas – pebbles and sand. The beach is open: you can take your own beach gear or rent whatever you need. If you do not rent a deck chair, it makes sense to take something “more serious” towel – matting, air mattress, plaid, otherwise lie on the beach will not work.

The same refers to beach footwear: you cannot do without it not only on the beach, but also to enter the sea. In the water near the shore there are large stones and even sea urchins, so be careful and choose swimming shoes with a thick sole.

Despite this obvious inconvenience, however, many prefer Hawaii to other beaches around Budva.

Most of the season here is much less crowded, unlike other beaches nearby, and the water is extremely clean and clear, which can not boast the central beaches of the city.

The coast is cut by many small bays, where you can relax from the city and tourist bustle in union with nature, admiring the sky-blue color of the sea.

Hawaii Beach on the island of St. Nicholas

The season here, as on most Montenegrin beaches, is relatively short – you can swim comfortably from mid-June to mid-September.

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From the customary infrastructure on the beach there is at least everything you need: showers, changing rooms, toilets. A standard set of beach equipment (2 sun beds and an umbrella) will cost from 10 to 15 euros per day, depending on the chosen location. For emergencies on the island there is a lifeguard service and a medical center.

Unlike most Budvan beaches, where any beach cafe will give you the password to the local wi-fi, on the beach and on the whole island there is no internet at all.

If you get hungry, the restaurant offers excellent fish, caught and brought in every day by local fishermen. In addition to the restaurant, there are two bars and an ice cream stand on the island. There are no stores on the island, and the price tag of the restaurant is considerably higher than in Budva, so if you plan to stay on the island all day, it makes sense to take something to eat with you.

Special entertainment on the island is not provided, here everything is focused more on silence and calm than on active rest: there are no playgrounds and water attractions. For lovers of throwing the ball there are several sports fields, including volleyball. The water area near the island is loved by paragliders, fans of water skiing and other extreme activities. The tip of the island hides two small caves in the rock, where organized groups of divers come. However, from the island, all these adventures can only be observed. But all holidaymakers on the beaches of St. Nicholas in one voice say that the pictures from the island are great, take a good technique, do not regret it!

Budva and St. Nikola Island from bird’s-eye view (video)

How to get to the beach of St. Nikola Island

From Budva’s pier, you can get to St. Nicholas Island and all the beaches there by boat. These small comfortable boats with awnings during the season ply between the city and the island all day long, carrying small groups of people. The whole trip takes no more than 15 minutes, but this little cruise leaves you feeling like a nice little trip. The boats depart on a schedule at about half-hour intervals starting at 8 o’clock and ending at 6 p.m. Tickets are sold before departure in both directions at once (the whole trip costs 3 euros).

In addition to the boats, you can choose to go on a yacht or sightseeing boat. Then the trip to the island of St. Nicholas will be part of a general sea tour of the islands, which will take you to another popular island in the area – the island of St. Stephen. Tickets can also be purchased locally before departure.

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If you want to go to the island during “off-hours” and get to the wilder parts of the island beach, there are many private boats ashore whose captains offer private rides on any route you are interested in. The price of such a trip will depend entirely on your talent for negotiating.

St. Nicholas Island – Montenegro in detail.

A great solution for the final part of the walk along the coast of Budva Montenegro can be a trip to the island of St. Nicholas – Sveti Nikola. This island the locals have nicknamed “Hawaii”, most likely because its beaches are as good as those of the islands in the Pacific Ocean, or because there is a bar on the beach with the same name. If you haven’t set foot on the Hawaiian Islands yet, remember that this Adriatic lonely beauty near Budva is much closer and might be a good place to start.

Basic information about Sveti Nikola Island

Sveti Nikola Island is the biggest and most authentic uninhabited island on the Adriatic coast and is only a kilometer away from Budva by sea. It is said that when the sea level drops, an isthmus opens up and you can reach the island on foot.

Stand with the beach

Owing to the island, the waves rarely come to the Budva bay – it securely covers the city. The length of the island is about two kilometers, and the exact maximum height above sea level is 121 meters.

Boat in the sea near the rock

Beach with large rocks

The old town of Kotor

Nowadays, there is not a soul on the island, except for its guests, tourists and service personnel. However, there used to be people living here, as the church of St. Nicholas, after which the place is named, clearly testifies. The church is closed to visitors, as well as most of the island.

Church of St. Nicholas

Coastal rocks

The island itself is densely forested and the vegetation is mostly evergreens. Local fishermen say that the heart of the island is home to many birds and small animals.

How to get to St. Nicholas Island in Montenegro

The total length of the three beaches of this green island is close to eight hundred meters, and the area itself abounds with caves, bays – in a word, the places ideal for isolation.

The island can be reached exclusively by sea, so it is worth considering only water transport. But here already has a choice of three available methods.

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1. Landing boat

The first option, the most common and the most economical is to take the common shuttle bus . The cost of this trip is 4 euros (round trip) and the boat is at your service from 8 am to 6 pm. Boats leave every half hour. Travel time is no more than 5 minutes. You can return back with any of the following flights.

2. “Boat Panorama” – boat trip

The second option will suit you better if you want to have a leisurely tour of the surroundings in addition to a beach holiday. It is possible to buy a trip for 5 euros on the tourist boat.

The trip takes you from Budva to St. Stefan, St. Nicholas (Hawaii) to Budva. That is, it includes a walk along the Budvan Riviera, followed by a stopover on the island of Sveti Nikola.

Boat tickets


The boat leaves from Slavic beach, or more precisely from the pier located there, next to Caffe Gral. Then the boat sails to the island of St. Stefan, circling around it from all accessible sides, and heads towards the island of Sveti Nikola. There will be plenty of time to swim and take pictures in the beautiful coastal setting.

Save your ticket, remember the name of your boat and also remember where you were disembarked, as these three ingredients are a guarantee that you will be able to successfully return back to Budva.

Boat “Boat Panorama” departs from Slavic Beach every hour, starting at 9:00 and ending at 16:00. Please note that the departure back to Budva takes place only three times a day: around 12:00, 14:00 and 17:00.

3 Individual boat rentals

The third variant is the most expensive and the most comfortable one, which provides complete freedom of action. It implies an individual boat rental . With this choice you have the opportunity not only to explore the island from all sides (which is quite a quick action), but also to organize yourself a long excursion along the coast, followed by a visit to the island. The cost of an individual boat rental starts at 20 euros per hour.

Of all the available solutions, the option with a tourist boat for 5 euros seems the most interesting. At least the difference in price between the route and tourist trip of one euro is fully compensated by the variety of the second of them. In addition, you can get acquainted with the island of St. Stephen, the trip to which with a cab will cost more than the cost of purchased ticket.

What is on St. Nicholas Island: Infrastructure

The infrastructure of the island is not as small as it may seem. There are sun loungers, costing 10 euros per set of two sun loungers and an umbrella. There is a pier, a shower room, as many as two regular cabins for changing and a lifeguard tower. In addition, there are three beaches, steep and not so rocks, greenery, sun and clear sea.

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Sun loungers on the beach

Of course, there is a small cafe called “Restaurant Hawaii” which is open only in season. The prices in the cafe are a bit high, which is understandable, because there is nowhere else to buy something here.

Restaurant Hawaii on St. Nicholas Island

Hawaii Restaurant offers good seafood dishes. They are prepared here no worse than in the star establishments on the mainland. Waiters serve quickly and behave politely. Wi-Fi in the cafe is absent. There is also a toilet. It is free for visitors of the institution, for others the entrance costs 50 cents.

Wine and fruit on the table

Although it is forbidden to bring your own food and drinks to the island of St. Nicholas in Montenegro, you can bring your own fruit, sandwiches and drinks. No one is particularly careful and does not check.

In addition to the cafe on the beach there is a bar with the romantic name “Captain Morgan” . Normal bar with considerable prices where you can buy soft drinks and a variety of alcoholic beverages.

Captain Morgan Bar in St. Nicholas

View from the Captain Morgan Bar

Cafe on a map of St. Nicholas Island

There are a lot of people on the island, but they successfully diverge and all the time you are there it seems that you are isolated. The feeling of solitude does not leave even during the day, but it is best to be on the island before lunch – and there are fewer people, and the sun is scorching still not much. It makes a difference here, because to find shaded vegetation and other cool places so simply will not work.

Beaches on St. Nicholas Island

The beaches of the island are shallow and coarse-pebble. Therefore, it is not superfluous if you take care of special shoes suitable for such conditions. Otherwise, the ordinary entry into the water can be a very problematic event. Also on the island there are a lot of sea urchins, because the water here is crystal clear and not at all “icy”, as some tourists expect.

Simple aqua-shoes or otherwise coral slippers can be bought in Budva stores for 8-9 euros, at the beach they will be more expensive.

Some even believe that this is the best beach in Budva, and the famous Mogrena can not be compared with it in terms of water purity and landscape diversity. And it is true, the beauty of sea and nature is pleasing to the eye, there is an excellent view of Old Budva and the Budva coast in general.

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Hawaii Beach

Beach at the cliff

Acceptable entrance to the water is immediately to the right of the pier, if you look in the direction of the sea. Another option is on the left of the pier, but you have to walk to the end of the beach. Immediately to the left of the pier at the bottom are large slippery rocks. But the water is clear everywhere, you can see the bottom at any depth. The water is green and blue depending on where you swim.

The beach at St. Nicholas

Views from the shore

On the rocks everywhere, not only nestled, but also blooming little cacti. And even on the island terrific air – a mixture of salt breeze and aromas of pine forests. Many people don’t come here for solitude or to enjoy nature, but for a photo session, thanks to the surrounding scenery disposes to this.

CactusWater near the shore

Tips for visiting the island

It is recommended to arrive on the island by 9 -10 am, not later than 11 am and spend there the first half of the day. Closer to 14.00 it gets quite hot and stuffy. Keep in mind that there will be almost nowhere to hide, and the modest rocks will cast only a few shadows.

Saint Nikola Island views -1

View of Saint Nikola Island - 2

The umbrella that is over the sun beds, too, do not particularly hope, it is unlikely he will save from the heat. Of course it is quite possible to spend on the beaches of St. Nicholas and the whole day, but provided that you are adapted to the heat and a staunch fan of hot beach holidays.

View of Saint Nikola Island - 3

View of Budva

There are plenty of places to swim and to admire nature on the island. If you have the skills, you can climb the low hills, visit the grottoes, or relax in the crystal clear water.

The cliffs of St. Nikola Island

The Rocky Terrain

Sun loungers

Maybe this island will be a discovery for you. It is absolutely not a partying and worthy of a quiet holiday destination, about which so far little has been said. By the way, and this is how the culprit of the story itself looks from the side of Budva.

View of the island from Budva

P.S. Advice from the Travel Guide. Leave a visit to St. Nikola Island for the last days of your trip to Montenegro. And before that be sure to swim to the city of Kotor. All the details in the article “Sights of Kotor – what should a tourist see?”.

And a short, beautiful, three-minute video of our “hero” from a bird’s eye view.

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