Montenegro, a stunning little gem full of natural beauty with a tiny population and a vast landscape boasting gorgeous mountain ranges, beautiful beaches, clear lakes and quaint old towns. It is steeped in rich history and truly is a country everyone needs to visit.
Now let's be honest, how many of you know anything about Montenegro? Or for that matter, where it sits geographically on the world map? Hmmm..
We will tell you, Montenegro is a tiny Balkan nation situated in the South of the Adriatic sea wedged between its Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian neighbours. To enter the country we flew in to Dubrovnik in Croatia and took a taxi an hour to the boarders where we then crossed in to Montenegro.
Although tiny, the country is bursting with a rich culture invoking picturesque landscapes that an Instagrammer would only dream of! The cuisine in itself is enough to make anyone want to return!
So although we were merely there for a flying visit, we managed to squeeze in a good amount of activities which I would highly recommend if you decide to visit. So here are our top tips for a few days in Montenegro:
Where to stay:
Regent Porto Montenegro -
This has been voted the best 5* luxury hotel of the country and I’m not surprised why. We stayed here for two nights and were each spoilt with a deluxe room with a sea view, overlooking the hotels stunning waterfront location and its backdrop of beautiful mountain ranges.
Porto Montenegro is the leading marina village and luxury yacht homeport in the Mediterranean, thriving with superyachts, restaurants, bars and boutiques. It is well worth an afternoon roaming around the port, to do a spot of shopping or just to grab a bite to eat in one of their many delicious restaurants and soak up the beautiful surrounding views.
The hotel has two outdoor pools and an indoor spa and wellness area which looks stunning! Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time try it out but it would be the perfect place to unwind for a couple of hours. The interior and decor of the hotel is nautical themed and reminiscent of a private cabin on a luxury liner. Very easy on the eye indeed!
What to do:
Visit to the Savina winery :
Along the Southern coasts are some of Montenegro’s most beautiful vineyards. After hopping off our two and a half hour plane journey, we drove straight to the Savina winery located at the entrance of the Bay of Kotor. (Nothing like a glass of local wine to wake you up!) The views from the winery were breathtaking and we spent a few hours discovering the vineyards and learning about the distilling processes whilst sampling all the delicious local wines and Mediterranean-style tapas of olives and cured meats. A perfectly delicious spring time activity if you’re there!
Guided tour of Kotor old town :
A UNESCO world heritage site, this old city is riveted with tradition and culture, it was built between the 12th and 14th centuries. Kotor is filled with Medieval architecture and historic monuments, churches and museums. If you’re looking for a cultural day out- this is your best bet! The cute cobbled streets and brightly coloured buildings ooze such character and personality. We had a brilliant tour guide as well who led us through the city’s narrow streets and busy squares, explaining everything with such interest and enthusiasm….Not going to lie, he was pretty easy on the eye too...that could have helped the education process!
Boat trip to Perast & Our Lady Of The Rocks:
If you are in Kotor then you must take a short boat trip to the small and beautiful town of Perast across the bay. With sixteen palaces and nineteen churches and ZERO development, this is an absolutely beautiful undiscovered little gem. Have lunch on the edge of the Adriatic sea at the Conte restaurant and hop back on a boat to visit the stunning church and museum located on ‘Our Lady Of The Rocks’.
Lunch, Leisure and Retail Therapy at Porto Montenegro:
If you’re looking for a leisurely afternoon why not head to Porto Montenegro and stroll along the stunning marina in the sun surrounded by a jetty of super yachts.
If you’re a slight shopaholic (like us) you can splash out in shops from Dior to Valentino, MaxMara and Heidi Klein. The retail complex offers tax free shopping for visitors from outside Montenegro...Score...And if you get tired of shopping you can choose to have a nice lunch in one of the marinas many restaurants, cafes or bars, serving a variety of food from light bites, fresh seafood, pastas and pizzas. I wouldn’t say no to a glass of local wine either.
Relax and Unwind at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club:
Ok, so this really is a breathtaking location and the perfect chill spot! We spent the afternoon relaxing on the poolside daybeds sipping on cocktails along the iconic infinity edge swimming pool. Head there for an afternoon sunbathing session and a leisurely swim in the pool with its beautiful backdrop of mountains. Or if you're slightly peckish you can enjoy some food at the bar and restaurant or later in the evening at the mezzanine fine dining restaurant followed by a boogie at their nightclub.
Tip - Ask for the coconut or pineapple cocktails. They are mouth-wateringly delicious!
Where to Eat:
Conte Restaurant - Perast
This was such a beautiful setting for lunch. Sitting right on the side of the Adriatic sea with the sun beaming over us and tucking in to the most fabulously fresh sea food platter. I tried my first Oyster here which was actually way less scary than I had always made out it to be….even though I’m not sure I’d rush at the chance of having another one but I was spoilt for choice with everything else on the platter.
Everything freshly caught from king prawns to grilled and fried squid, mussels, clams, seafood paella. You name it, it was on there and all of it accompanied with baskets of fresh bread and olive paste and of course the local wine which just completes the entire meal. Thank you please!
One Restaurant - Porto Montenegro:
Located in the village of Porto Montenegro, this delicious Mediterranean restaurant is situated right on the marina with a spacious terrace ideal for romantic dinners/ outdoor brunching or sunset drinks.
We spent our last night for dinner here and were recommended a dish of fresh sea bass wrapped in paper with freshly grilled vegetables and wow, was it tasty! One of the best fish dishes I had eaten in a while. We were also spoilt for choice with the wine list boasting of the widest rose selection in the country. It’s easy to have a few too many…I mean, it would be rude not to.
I’m an absolute sucker for all things sweet- deserts are my weak point so I was determined to try a few options on the menu.
Tip: Go for the strawberry cheesecake, it is to die for! The chocolate mousse, mind you, swoops in at a very high second!
Overall, a delicious dining experience.
Murano Restaurant - Regent Hotel:
We dined here on our first night, located in the hotel with views overlooking the glittering super yacht marina and Boka bay outside. The food is centered around fresh seafood prepared with locally sourced and organic herbs, all offering a distinctive take on the regional Adriatic cuisine.
This meal set the standards high for the rest of the trip with its delicious risotto and barbecued fish kebab for starters and deliciously fresh grilled monkfish for mains. All beautifully presented and accompanied with some of the regions most delicious rose wine. This is a definite hot spot dining choice!
Gourmet Corner -
So I think you already got the gist, I’m a sucker for a great desert! I was in for an absolute treat when we discovered the ‘Gourmet corner’, a quintessential patisserie, gourmet delicatessen and bakery just on the corner of the hotel offering the most beautiful and delicious cakes, pastries, teas and coffees. If you’re having that midday sugar craving (that I tend to suffer from) come here and order a slice of carrot cake.….You’ll thank me later.