The 12 Most Beautiful Places to Stay in Montenegro

| nattyflo / Unsplash
Sarah Pavlovic

Deciding where to stay in Montenegro is difficult when you’re so spoilt for choice in this Balkan country. Will it be five-star seaside luxury or an atmospheric old town such as Kotor? Maybe a holiday spent wandering mountain trails around Durmitor National Park and picking wildflowers? In a land that’s both stunning and diverse, here are the most beautiful places to stay in Montenegro.

1. Sveti Stefan

Architectural Landmark

Aerial shot of Sveti Stefan, Montenegro, from the mainland
Kennethsonntag / Unsplash
Hands down one of the most beautiful places in Europe, Sveti Stefan is a stunning place to stay in Montenegro. A former royal summer residence, Sveti Stefan is gifted with pink pebble beaches, a 15th-century stone and terracotta islet, a forest park of old olive trees, an old palace and sunset views to die for. The top place to stay here is five-star Aman Sveti Stefan, but there are also lots of budget-friendly hotels with killer views in this natural paradise.

2. Perast

Architectural Landmark

evgeny-matveev-OLIWED92XNs-unsplash
Evgeny Matveev / Unsplash
Perast’s palace-lined shore shows the glory of an era where sailors from the Bay of Kotor were some of the richest in the Adriatic. This picturesque township has been protected from modern construction, and all the buildings in the town adhere to the traditional stone architecture of the bay.

Perast is ideally positioned opposite the Verige Strait, so visitors have an ever-changing view of boats passing. The two island churches just offshore complete the perfect postcard picture. Visitors love staying here for the beautiful views – and because it’s a car-free town, they can stroll along the seaside to their favourite restaurant for a candlelit dinner by the sea.

3. Skadar Lake National Park

Architectural Landmark

Skadar Lake | © monticello/Shutterstock
© monticello/Shutterstock
Although the Montenegrin coast gets most of the attention, Skadar Lake is one of the most beautiful places to stay in Montenegro. The lush greenery, quaint townships and solitude make this a haven for nature-lovers. An important wetland, the lake is always teeming with wildlife, especially migratory birds. The Dalmatian Pelicans are a must-see here and tours on cuns (traditional fishing boats) take people out to see the birds.

This area is also known for its excellent boutique wineries and wine tastings start from just €10. It’s also the ideal place to try local rakija (brandy), honey, ham, cheese and carp from the lake.

4. Herceg Novi

Architectural Landmark

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Dragan Bespaljko / Unsplash
Herceg Novi overlooks the entrance of the Bay of Kotor, with Montenegro on one side and Croatia on the other. Each side of the bay is adorned with Austro-Hungarian fortresses and Mamula, a fortressed island, sits in between. Herceg Novi has the best beaches in the bay – plus warm, clear water to boot. A 7km-long seaside promenade called Setaliste Pet Danica connects dozens of tiny pebble beaches and the central marina just below the old town.

In the old town, violins in the music school serenade passersby, while Belavista Square is the place to catch up with friends over a coffee.

5. Kotor, Montenegro

Natural Feature

City of Kotor, Montenegro at Dusk
bato8 / Unsplash
Kotor’s Venetian old town is tucked into towering mountains and fronted by the glittering waters in the Bay of Kotor. Its winding alleyways reveal boutique hotels, traditional eateries, museums and historic churches. It’s one of the most beautiful and atmospheric places to stay in Montenegro. In front of the old town, a promenade passes the palaces of Dobrota and a marina full of yachts. Behind the town, San Giovanni Fortress is a challenging hike – but the views are worth every step.

6. Budva Old Town

Architectural Landmark

Aerial view of the old town Budva, Monetnegro
gratilo / Unsplash
Like Kotor, Budva’s old town is hard to beat for beauty and atmosphere. The walled town overlooks Sveti Nikola island and is flanked by a marina full of glittering yachts. Budva is known for its fantastic beaches – right in front of the old town, Ricardova Glava beach is the perfect place to cool off and enjoy the Montenegrin sunshine.

7. Durmitor National Park

Natural Feature

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mumenthalers / Unsplash
One of the hidden gems of Montenegro, Durmitor National Park is a hiker’s paradise. Montenegro’s second-highest peak, Bobotov Kuk, is a popular hike throughout the summer months. For those wanting more relaxing activities, a scenic stroll around the Black Lake followed by a picnic is the ideal way to enjoy the park’s stunning scenery. Bears and wolves roam Durmitor’s rugged mountains and the local villages offer a snapshot of traditional Montenegrin lifestyle.

Petrovac

Petrovac, on the Budva Riviera, is a small town on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. The long stretch of beach and warm waters are the ideal playground for holidaying families in summer, while the boardwalk is dotted with traditional stone houses, restaurants and boutiques.

Castel Lastva, the 16th-century fortress at the northern end of the town, juts out into the bay and two islands float just offshore. Not only is this idyllic Mediterranean township a beautiful place to stay, it’s close to key attractions like Budva and Skadar Lake.

Porto Montenegro

Wake up to the view of bajillion-Euro superyachts bobbing on bright blue waters. Porto Montenegro’s palm tree-lined streets and pastel buildings epitomise the Mediterranean lifestyle. Wander down to a waterside cafe for brunch, get a massage and then spend the afternoon soaking up the sun at the Lido pool. At night, Porto Montenegro’s village restaurants come alive and there are two clubs open until late.

The TYHA platinum-rated marina is also just steps from Tivat town, where visitors can take boat tours – and find great restaurants, nightlife and swim spots. The five-star Regent Porto Montenegro has luxuriotus rooms right on the Adriatic.

Ulcinj

Much like Novi Pazar in neighbouring Serbia, Ulcinj is the place to go if you’re looking for a little bit of Ottoman culture in Montenegro. Minarets dot the landscape whilst the appearance of flamingos gives the whole place a unique flavour. The old town also offers something different to the rest of Montenegro architecturally, showcasing the varied beauty of this remarkable country. Recommended by John William Bills

Stari Bar

Modern-day Bar might not match its seaside neighbours in the beauty stakes, but the old town is another sensational sight in Montenegro’s arsenal. Located at the foot of Mount Rumija, Stari Bar was abandoned at the end of the 1970s after a massive earthquake, but people have returned in the years since. It is easy to see why they were so eager to get back here with an arresting collection of stone buildings and medieval architecture on show. Recommended by John William Bills

Lustica Peninsula

For those seeking a true getaway, there’s no better place than the Lustica Peninsula, with its crystal-clear sea and miles of olive groves and wild bush. With nothing more than a book and an ever-changing sea view, your batteries are guaranteed to be recharged on a relaxing stay here.

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