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Where to stay in Montenegro - an area guide

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Montenegro has five main regions which offer a range of different sights and attractions, from fresh mountain air to the beautiful blue Adriatic waters. The country is small enough that you could easily drive across it all in a day, but equally you could spend a whole month there and still have more to explore. In every town and village in the country you can enjoy the atmosphere on long summer evenings when the streets fill with people heading out for a slow social stroll. 

Richard Rowels

My Destination local expert on

Montenegro

Bay of Kotor

 

Hailed as one of Europe’s most beautiful bays, The Bay of Kotor is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites - Perast and Kotor. Kotor is a bit like a mini Dubrovnik and has city walls that climb implausibly up the mountainside with some incredible buildings hidden among its alleys and neat squares. It also has one of the country's biggest clubs, Maximus.

 

Bay of Kotor hotels

 

For a boutique hotel with character the four star Palazzo Radomiri offers up an intimate setting amid an 18th century palazzo. There are only ten rooms but each of them come with a sea view. The Guesthouse Tianis provides good value apartments with views of the old town.

 

Budva Riviera

 

Montenegro tourism is sold on Budva thanks to its charismatic Stari Grad (Old Town), numerous beaches and vibrant nightlife. At over 30km long, the Riviera has been called ‘The Riviera of Sandy Beaches’ and is dotted with lovely hamlets and historic monuments while the Lovcen Mountains make a perfect backdrop.

 

Budva hotels

 

The four star Queen of Montenegro is slightly out of Budva, set on a hill overlooking Becici Beach, but is worth the distance with its fantastic views and private beach. Hotel Astoria, which is in the historic part of the town, also has its own private beach and rooms in a medieval building.

 

Sveti Stefan

 

Five kilometers south of Budva is the impossibly picturesque Sveti Stefan, a tiny island connected to the shore by a causeway. This former fishermen's town, which is full of terracotta-roofed homes, was nationalised in the 1950s and the whole thing is now the luxurious Aman resort and is off limits to anyone not staying there.

 

Sveti Stefan hotels

 

Aman Sveti Stefan has 50 rooms, cottages and suites on the island, each unique and stylishly decorated with a selection of dining options in its piazza. The resort includes the Villa Miločer, which is on the mainland so make sure you don't get a suite here if you want to actually stay on the island. There are six spa cottages dotted around the island, as well as a state-of-the-art gym and a swimming pool.

 

Central Montenegro

 

Not many people can be tempted away from Montenegro's idyllic coastline, but inland you'll find the state capital Podgorica, the historical capital Cetinje and the industrial centre Nikšić. It's also home to Skadar Lake National Park, which has the largest lake on the Balkans.

 

Central Montenegro hotels

 

There are a number of good accommodation options in Podgorica from the welcoming Philia Hotel to upmarket apartments at the Hotel Kosta. Hotel Bambis is a very reasonably priced four star hotel in a secluded area close to the center while the more expensive Hotel Podgorica is another four star option overlooking Moraca River.

 

South coast

 

The south coast is home to the coastal towns of Bar and Ulcinj. If you want a feel of Albania without actually crossing the border, Ulcinj is the place to go with its rich history and picturesque surroundings. You can get a real feel of the East from the aromas wafting from the Zelena market stalls while the call to prayer sounds above the citadel. Bar is the traffic hub of Montenegro and rich in architectural and cultural beauty. It’s also known for its summer festival and olive oil which is sold throughout the country.

 

South coast hotels

 

The Apartments Filip, one mile from the center of Bar, are a good budget option and rooms come with lots of modern amenities. Or, the three star Villa Antivari is actually half a mile from Bar in Susanj, a green belt area. In Ulcinj there are some good mid-budget options, such as Hotel Dolcino and Hotel Mediteran Ulcinj, which looks out over the Adriatic Sea and is within walking distance of the beach.

 

Northern mountains

 

The dramatic Durmitor National Park, in the Dinaric Alps, is definitely worth a visit if you have time. The park, famous for its untouched wildlife and nature, consists of the Mount Durmitor plateau and the valley formed by the 1,300m deep gorge of the River Tara. If you're heading to Montenegro in winter and like winter sports, Žabljak, is the place to go.

 

Northern mountains hotels

 

About four kilometers from Žabljak is the trendy four star Hotel Polar Star in Borje. The hotel is child friendly with a playground and playroom and there is a wellness center for adults. Boskovica Brvnare is a good option for those looking to explore the area since the wooden cottages are both near Crno Lake and the ski resort.