Stefanie Tabacow at YachtLife gives us her insight on the best experiences Montenegro can offer to any traveller.
The first summer of the new decade is almost upon us, which, for many travellers, typically means preparing for their Mediterranean beach vacations. Just mentioning Ibiza, Mykonos or the French Riviera conjures thoughts of glamour, luxury and celebrities rubbing shoulders at the many summertime restaurants and beach clubs. But this shall be an atypical summer; as the world recovers from the new coronavirus pandemic and many travellers reorganise their summer plans, opting for a more private and intimate vacation amongst family and friends.
A private yacht charter is the perfect alternative to the commonly favoured over-crowded, large hotels. Fortunately, the Mediterranean offers such alternatives, as it possesses hidden paradises that are best explored by water aboard your own private yacht.
One such destination is Montenegro: a pristine location with rugged mountains, medieval villages, and a strip of golden sand bathed by the Adriatic Sea. A destination that easily rivals many of the Mediterranean glamorous resorts with its unique natural beauty, distinctive culture and old charm; with the newly created Port of Montenegro, the area is becoming one of the hottest up-and-coming charter destinations favoured by those that have already explored the Western Med and are looking for something off the beaten path.
Yachting in Montenegro will take you sailing around the charming Bay of Kotor, dotted with medieval coastal churches and fortified towns, to Budva, a glamorous crystalline playground for megayachts with a lively nightlife.
The following is a sample seven-day itinerary bringing you and your guests to some of the most charming sites in Montenegro that you’ll be sure to enjoy.
Day 1: Kotor
Embark on your yacht at Porto Montenegro Yacht Club and begin cruising through the stunning Bay of Kotor with its blue waters surrounded by lush, Adriatic green vegetation towards the quaint medieval coastal town of Kotor. Tender ashore to explore this Old Town gem; a city steeped in tradition and history with incredible scenic views built between the 12th and 14th centuries and currently a UNESCO World Heritage site. Once ashore, savour the local fresh seafood and taste the Vranac Montenegrian wine. As night falls, cruise to Stari Mlini to dine at Kotor’s remarkably charming old medieval flour mill restaurant with panoramic views of the bay.
Day 2: Perast (Lady of the Rocks) and Verige
After breakfast onboard, drop anchor at Perast, an elegant old town with a rich history, ancient architecture and a pair of picturesque island churches. Tender to the man-made island of Our Lady of the Rocks, and admire the monastery laying on Sveti Djordje. After having lunch in one of Perast’s many romantic waterfront restaurants, cruise to Verige for a relaxing post-lunch swim where the fresh water from the mountains run into the warm bay. By night, cruise to Konoba Catovica Mlini, one of the most beautiful restaurants in Montenegro, to savour some of the freshest local seafood with a stunning waterfront view.
Day 3: Tivat Bay (Nikki Beach Montenegro), Herceg Novi
Begin your day cruising the stunning Tivat Bay, past its beautiful islands, and step ashore to spend the morning relaxing at Nikki Beach Montenegro. In the afternoon, set sail to Herceg Novi, Montenegro’s fortified city and tie up to explore its charming old town and the Savinia Monastery. As the day ends, sail past Mamula, and over to Zanjic to dine at the Fisherman’s village restaurant, Ribarsko Selo, for the best seafood in Montenegro.
Day 4: Blaue Grotte, Almara Beach
As you sail towards Almara Beach, stop to explore Montenegro’s Blaue Grotte, famous for the shimmering blue reflected throughout the cave. The Blue Cave is one of Montenegro’s must-see attractions and for the full experience, tender into the cave for a 10-15 minute snorkel. As you arrive at Almara Beach, one of the few sandy beaches in the area, step ashore to spend the rest of the day lounging at the Beach Club with its DJ playing and enjoy an evening dinner onshore as you take in the breathtaking sunset.
Day 5: Bigova, Budva
Wake up to breakfast aboard while you take a leisurely cruise to Budva. On your way, drop anchor in Bigova, a small fishing village in a beautiful cove with a family-owned restaurant offering speciality seafood dishes. Once in Budva, step ashore to explore its charming Old Town sitting over crystalline waters. Dine at one of Dukley Gardens amazing beachfront restaurants and end your day at Top Hill, one of the most beautiful nightclubs in the Balkans.
Day 6: Queen’s beach, Sveti Stefan
Wake up in Budva, Montenegro’s playground for megayachts, and cruise to Sveti Stefan, Montenegro’s most famous landmarks. Tender ashore for lunch at Olive Restaurant, and later spend the rest of the day on Queen’s Beach with its pink sands, turquoise sea and pine and olive tree backdrop. By night, dine at the world-famous Nobu restaurant before heading back to your yacht for a well-deserved night’s rest.
Day 7: Porto Montenegro Yacht Club
Spend the morning lounging in one of Sveti Stefan’s amazing beaches and later cruise back to Porto Montenegro to spend the rest of the evening lounging in its impressive infinity pool. As night falls, make your way to dine at De Gustibus, an exquisite seafood rooftop restaurant overlooking the bay. End your trip at Platinum, another one of Montenegro’s exclusive nightclubs.
This one-week charter brings you to some of the most iconic Montenegro waterfront medieval towns on a journey covering just over 250 nautical miles. It’s truly an experience not to be missed and will make for lifelong memories for you and your guests. Enjoy this historic part of the world as it was meant to be seen – by the water.
Porto Montenegro Yacht Club (Tivat) is an exclusive marina and yachting paradise in the Mediterranean, and home to the world-known infinity pool, luxury shops and high end events.
Nikki Beach Montenegro (Tivat) is the newest beach club and boutique hotel, located on the Bay of Tivat. Opening this summer (2020), the seaside property features breathtaking views, Mediterranean charm and glamour.
Almara Beach Club (Tivat) an exclusive restaurant run by the Italian chef Francesco Ruggiero, an exotic cocktail bar, where you will be offered most exclusive wines and champagnes. For those who prefer to enjoy beautiful nature in privacy, there are exclusive baldachins, luxurious beds and beach chairs.
Sveti Stefan (Budva) is a small islet and five-star hotel resort known as Aman Sveti Stefan; a fortified village dating back to the 15th century.
Stari Mlini Restaurant (Kotor) offers top culinary quality, promising a fresh selection of local delights. Everything on the menu comes from fresh local produce, wild Adriatic seafood and 300-year-old culinary methods.
Konoba Catovica Mlini (Morinj) is a rustic former mill masquerading as a humble konoba (simple family-run establishment), but they doth protest too much: this is one of Montenegro’s best restaurants.
Ribarsko Selo (Boka Bay) offers to its guests a unique local experience. All the culinary specialities are made from fresh seafood ingredients and organically grown vegetables.
Nobu (Sveti Stefan) is set within the paradise of pink sand beaches, breathtaking mountains and striking views of the Adriatic Sea, and Nobu Montenegro features their world famed cuisine.
De Gustibus (Tivat) offers a truly unique, authentic, and memorable experience. One of the most pleasant summer concepts in Porto Montenegro, an upscale fresh seafood restaurant located above the iconic 64 metre infinity pool at the Yacht Club.
Top Hill (Budva) is the 2012 Best Global Night Club as voted by the Monaco International Clubbing Show. One of the largest open air clubs in Europe, located 600 metres high on top of Toplis Hill with unbelievable views of the horizon of the Adriatic sea, Top Hill is the premier nightclub in Budva.
Platinum (Tivat) A notorious club, established in the summer of 2015, in Porto Montenegro. Platinum defines the sophisticated life of nightclubs in Montenegro. A must for VIPs vacationing on their yachts.