Amongst the myriad sights of Europe, Montenegro can often take a backseat to the more tourist-heavy Greece or Croatia, a sleepy little country nestled between the Adriatic coast and its bigger, broader Southeastern siblings. Don’t be deterred: Montenegro’s quiet corner of the world is an unspoiled haven where mountain crashes into sea, coastlines are adorned with picturesque villages, and locals are famed for their sunny dispositions.
Set sail from the medieval landing of Kotor, Europe’s most exquisite harbour town. Or more correctly: a fortress city built over the span of three-hundred-years by Venetians, where cobbled streets are famously narrow and one is faced with the unbelievable reality of locals going about their daily lives in a veritable UNESCO-heritage site. At the mouth of the bay, Herceg Novi greets all visitors to Montenegro’s shores with its red-capped homes and pristine waters, now hosting a buzzing café culture. Further inland, the coastal Perast is an eighteenth-century time capsule. Virtually unchanged, this tiny town boasts one main street and sixteen churches, burrowed at the base of a stunning snow-capped valley.
Traipsing down the adjacent Adriatic Sea, it’s impossible not to miss the gem of the Lustica Peninsula, the illuminated grotto of their very own Blue Cave. The fizzing centre of Montenegrin tourism can be found a skip down the coast, within the walled metropolis of Budva. Once ancient citadel and now home to an electric nightlife, expect the all-hours lights and noise of yachts, bars and nightclubs, all wrapped up in an idyllic beachside peninsula. Southside, the pink-sand shores of striking Sveti Stefan now double as an island-wide resort with its pick of gourmet joints, a 5-star getaway inaccessible to the everyday traveller.