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‘Am I in paradise or on the moon?’ pondered George Bernard Shaw when he first visited Montenegro, and you may find yourself asking the same question while drinking in its many scenic vistas. This tiny country’s twin flames are its stunning Adriatic coastline and rugged mountains.

One of only two European countries to have dual capitals, Montenegro’s two seats of power offer a startling contrast. Modern Podgorica has a vibrant coffee culture to rival many bigger cities, while the sedate original capital of Cetinje offers a regal architectural splendour that’s unmatched.

‘Rest first, work later’ is a popular Montenegrin motto in a country that treasures relaxation so much it even holds its own annual laziness championship. There’s no shortage of spots to inspire some pure R and R, from the southern beaches near Ulcinj to the sparkling Bay of Kotor. Those who can summon the energy to explore and book their flights to Dubrovnik will discover charming monasteries, underground cave systems, white sand beaches and an array of tempting hiking routes when you take a leisurely drive down the coast of Montenegro.

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Montenegro holidays

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Our recommended holidays in Montenegro

The Regent Porto Montenegro is situated right in the middle of the luxe Porto Village complex, which offers scores of restaurants, bars, shops and a leading yacht club with full facilities. With stunning views of Tivat Bay, the Regent is a terracotta-roofed building fashioned in the Venetian style of the many palazzi which dot the bay.

In pretty Perast we recommend the Heritage Grand Perast. This hotel is a true luxury hideaway on the shores of the Adriatic with cinematic views of the Bay of Kotor. Housed in the town’s largest former Venetian palace, it sits within easy striking distance of countless restaurants and churches, plus the Peskovita Plaža Beach which is just 1150 feet away.

The Chedi Lustica Bay is a Mr & Mrs Smith boutique property that exudes elegance. Set in the lavish Lustica Bay that’s home to a giant, multi-million Euro marina, this hotel features vast windows that frame the waters from every angle, a bar built into the cliffs, several hip restaurants and there’s a pro-designed golf course on the way.

All-inclusive holidays in Montenegro


Montenegro holiday FAQs

Make the most of your Montenegro holiday

Go rafting in a deep canyon, visit historic monasteries and mausoleums or ride one of the planet’s most scenic train routes. Your Montenegro holiday can be as action packed as you want.

What are the best things to do in Montenegro?

1. Explore the Tara Canyon in Durmitor National Park. This prime hiking area sits on a plateau 1,500 metres above sea level, flanked by tall mountains, glacial lakes and deep canyons. The most spectacular of which is the Tara Canyon. The Tara River carves out a 1,300-metre-deep canyon, popular with white water rafters. You can also admire it from the peak of Mount Ćurevac, though this view is partially obscured by the mighty walls of the canyon. Look out for the impressive Đurđevića Bridge which was Europe’s largest concrete arched bridge at the time of construction in 1940.

2. Visit the Moraca Monastery. This 13th Century monastery near the banks of the Moraca River is one of the most important orthodox buildings in the country. Its two churches are plastered in frescos painted by masters such as Kozma and Djordje Mitrofanović who also crafted the beautiful icons inside the church. Look out for the striking picture of Christ sitting in judgement in the larger Church of the Dormition, which depicts double-headed people eating sea monsters and angels spearing little demons square in the face.

3. Make a pilgrimage to Lovcen National Park’s Njegos Mausoleum. This monumental mausoleum sits at the summit of the black mountain that gives Montenegro its name. It was built in the 1970s in tribute to prince bishop, poet, philosopher and leader Petar II Petrović Njegoš and is an impressive sight to behold. Climb the 461 covered steps, past the two granite giants guarding the tomb and under a golden mosaic canopy, where you’ll be greeted by a vast statue of Njegos, cradled by an eagle, that’s been carved from a single slab of granite.

4. Ride the Podgorica – Bar railway. The final hour of the celebrated 12-hour narrow gauge Belgrade to Bar route, frequently cited as one of the world’s most beautiful train journeys, is its most scenic stretch, crossing the narrow bridge that seems to float over marshy Lake Skadar. Afterwards, make time to visit Stari Bar – Bar’s abandoned old town and the remains of its picturesque aqueduct.

5. Take in the sublime view of Sveti Stefan island. This stunning private resort island is best viewed from high up in the hills at the Church of Saint Sava in Tivat. From here you can spy the entire Budva Riviera, the endless sea and islands that make it such a popular wedding destination. While you’re there why not visit the nearby Praskvica Monastery, a charming complex complete with gardens and resident goats?

Which holiday type in Montenegro is right for me?

For the best white-sand beaches head to the southernmost coast near Ulcinj. Swim in warm waters under the shadow of Ulcinj Fortress, a majestic castle built over the sea. This is the best place to enjoy beach holidays in Montenegro.

If you’re looking for a good all-inclusive option that’s ideal for families in the Bay or Kotor, look no further than the Iberostar Herceg Novi. Set on its own secluded private beach, just a few miles from the scenic town of Herceg Novi. The hotel offers a rooftop terrace bar and a gorgeous outdoor pool where you can relax while your kids are busy having fun at the Star Camp kids’ club.

Another reliable option for families seeking the all-inclusive experience is the Iberostar Bellevue in ever-popular Budva. There’s a fantastic kids’ club, a dedicated kids pool and interconnecting family rooms to allow you to spread out and relax. The hotel is set within large, well-manicured gardens directly on the shores of Becici Beach, surrounded by the dramatic Balkan Mountains.

Set mere metres from the sea, along a 2000-foot-long sandy beach, the Monte Casa Spa&Wellness de Luxe is a cosy and thoroughly relaxing hub that’s ideally located to explore the wider area, from Budva to Bar. Enjoy some indulgent ‘me time’ in the extensive spa and wellness centre or while away an evening in one of Petrovac’s many outdoor bars.

For a real island escape try the Aman Sveti Stefan for size, a jewel in the crown of Mr & Mrs Smith’s Adriatic portfolio. This private retreat has converted an entire 15th Century fishing village complete with its own shoreside 19th Century royal villa. Picture yourself here as you live like a local nobleman of old staying in a red-tiled cottage or an oceanfront suite with every luxury at your convenience, including unique spa cottages, three pools, restaurants and immaculate beachside service.

The One&Only Portonovi on beautiful Boka Bay offers a private sandy beach and jetty with bars and pools, extravagant marble interiors, huge ensuites and an expansive Chenot Espace spa. Sophisticated dining options cover local, Italian and pan-Asian cuisine.

What are the best places to visit in Montenegro?

The beautifully winding Bay of Kotor (also known locally as Boka) spans some 17 miles with a shoreline extending to 67 miles. The UNESCO World Heritage site encompasses a clutch of well-preserved medieval towns such as Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Prcanj, Perast and Herceg Novi, stitched together by a series of picturesque serpentine roads. Wedged between dramatic cliffs and sparkling straits it’s easily one of the most photogenic stretches of coastline in all of Europe. Discover fascinating island monasteries, captivating citadels, adrenaline-pumping water sports and extraordinary eateries with sublime waterfront views.

Herceg Novi is a coastal town at the western edge of the Bay of Kotor at the foot of Mount Orjen. It’s known as both ‘the town of 100,001 steps’ and ‘the city of the sun’ due to its numerous steps and sunny days. Rich with an abundance of greenery, the scent of mimosa trees fills the air and the town is bursting with tropical plants. The pretty Old Town is dotted with historical buildings that date back to the 15th Century such as the Fortress Spanjola, the Kanil Kula Fortress (now used as an amphitheatre) and the Fortress Forte Mare. Wander the town’s narrow alleyways, mingle with locals at the farmer’s market and laze about on its fine beaches which are deemed some of the best in Boka Bay.

Petrovac is a small town surrounded by olive groves and pine forests in s scenic bay, providing a range of family-friendly shingle beaches. 800 metres from the town lies Luccia Beach, considered by many to be one of the country’s best beaches. It's flanked by tall pine trees clinging to the rocky cliffs and is best known for its red shingle. From here you can walk to Buljarice Beach which at two and a half miles is one of the longest in the region. It’s surrounded by wetlands that provide a habitat for a variety of migrant birds. Other attractions here include Roman mosaics, the pier and Castello Fortress which has a beautiful terrace to admire sunsets from, a 14th Century monastery and the tiny islands of Katic and Sveti Nedelja, which are thought to protect sailors.

Tivat is the youngest town on the Boka Bay that’s home to a glitzy marina and promenade, plus a magnificent beach and scores of upscale shops, restaurants and apartment buildings. The resort tends to attract the jet set but despite its recent gentrification, there’s still plenty of history to take in. There’s the cultural hub, Summer House Buca, the sacred monuments of Ostrvo Cvijeca and the fascinating abandoned island of Sveti Marko to enjoy.

Glamorous party hotspot Budva is the country’s most visited town for good reason. The cobbled streets and Venetian walls of UNESCO-protected Stari Grad (or Old Town) are every bit as charming as Kotor’s, while the Jaz beach and Riviera are just as popular with Belgrade scenesters as they are with the international crowd.

Perast is an old Venetian port wedged between a cove and a cliff, prized as one of the country’s most scenic spots. Explore a few of the 18 Baroque palaces and churches with crumbling bell towers. Sit in a seaside café and sample an indulgent slice of Persat almond cake. Then take a boat out to visit the Our Lady of the Rocks Island to discover an ingenious chapel on this artificial islet, fashioned by two fisherman from shipwrecks and stones, on the site of a vision of the Virgin Mary.

The UNESCO-listed walled town of Kotor easily rivals Split or Dubrovnik. Here Venetian palaces rub shoulders with Byzantine towers and Roman medieval churches. Wander along the cobbled, narrow streets of orange-roofed houses packed with stray cats and make the climb up to St John’s Fort for prime views of the turquoise Bay of Kotor.


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