We arrived near the seaside in the afternoon on a really hot day. Ana and I were sitting on the grass, in the shade, while Tim was looking for a place to stay. But everything was booked, so we had to search in several towns until we found something.
We ended up staying in Buljarica Beach, one of the few places still not yet suffocated by tourists.
We shared a very small room in Buljarica Beach, with a narrow double bed and a single bed. Around the bed, we had only the room necessary for one person to pass. And the hotel was kind of kitschy.
However, the family running it was very nice. They actually lived in Romania at one point but established in Buljarica Beach because it was more profitable to them.
Travel to Montenegro’s seaside and Get engaged
The owner’s wife was very funny. I could hear her always complaining about her son, who lived in Berlin and was about our age could not find a proper woman. She wanted a hard-working one “like those from Romania“. The lady also wanted to put either Ana or me in touch with him, to become friends over Skype and hopefully get married soon! We never did get in touch with the guy, but I’m sure his mother found him a bride quite quickly, given all the financial advantages she kept listing.
Despite the matchmaking part, it was a quiet place to stay, with an excellent breakfast.
Advantages of Buljarica Beach
We were within walking distance from the lovely, and (surprisingly!) not so crowded beach. The views were stunning, as you can see in this YouTube video I found:
As you probably noticed, the beach is quite rocky, so I strongly advise you to wear some special rubbery shoes. If you don’t pack your own from home, you’ll be able to buy them from one of the stands close to the beach.
Underwater, it’s as rocky as on dry land. And there are also sea urchins, plus some fish and some vegetation. You can try a bit of snorkelling, just for fun!
In the afternoon, when it’s a bit less sunny, you go from Buljarica Beach to Petrovac by foot. On the northern side of the beach, there is a path that crosses the rock, through a wooded area.
You’ll first come across Lucice. You’ll quickly notice this is a nicer beach, with a water slide, but it’s also super-crowded. Personally, I found the number of people and the noise a bit annoying.
In Petrovac, you’ll find nice places to eat or to grab a drink. The accommodation options are more upscale, and colleagues who have stayed longer when they chose to travel to Montenegro’s seaside have said that it’s quite affordable.
After a late lunch, the way back to Buljarica Beach may seem long, but don’t worry, you’ll find lots of places to take a rest and admire the surrounding area from up high.
You can always return to Petrovac’s harbour for the daily boat rides to Budva.
Boat ride to Budva and back
In case you want to return to Petrovac early in the morning, you’ll be able to get on the boat ride to Budva, one of the most amazing and well-known cities to travel to on Montenegro’s seaside.
As with the Komani Lake ferry ride, remember to look for some shade. Wear sunscreen and a cap, hat or scarf on your head, and stay hydrated. This is a long boat ride and you’ll be getting lots of sun. Also, take your bathing suit under your clothes, as there will be several stops for swimming.
Please mind that this rather small boat to Budva travels fast and you might get a bit seasick, like my friend Ana did. If you know you are a bit sensitive to this, I advise you to take some pills with you or to swallow one in advance just in case.
Still, you will be amazed by the wonderful views from the sea of the rocky mountainside, and you’ll be enjoying some interesting stops along the way.
During the Budva boat ride, at one point you will go round a large rock, with lovely old buildings crowded at the top. This is Sveti Stefan. You will not be able to get off from the boat, so you’ll have to admire it from a distance.
This small fortified village was initially built to protect around twelve families from the Turk attacks, in the 15th century. Its population grew to around 400 inhabitants during the next three centuries, becoming a true village. However, during the communist period, the Yugoslav government acquired it and turned it into a five-star hotel resort, and the former inhabitants were relocated to the mainland.
In the ’60s and the ’70s, the place was a favourite of celebrities, such as Princess Margaret, Orson Welles, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor, among many others.
Its decline came with the breaking of Yugoslavia. But, luckily, the government wanted to revive the old fortified village and, through an international bid, the contract was given to Aman Resorts for a period of 30 years. The resort was then refurbished and reopened in 2009, under the name of Aman Sveti Stefan Resort.
The investment has proven successful, as Aman Sveti Stefan resort won the Gallivanter’s Guide award for Hotel of the Year in 2010, and has regained some of his attractiveness to celebrities, as well, as Novak Djokovic chose it for his wedding.
Budva Stari Grad (The Old Town of Budva)
We were left in Budva’s agglomerated harbour, full of small boats and people swimming dangerously close to them. From there, we stopped to drink some freshly squeezed juice, hoping Ana would feel better afterwards. The sellers are really friendly and they actually know what fruit combinations to suggest for seasickness, so the recovery is fast.
We walked towards the wall taking us to the Stari Grad, or the Old Town. I was amazed by how everything reminded me of Italy’s fortified towns from the Tuscany area. Similar stones, narrow, lovely and colourful streets, even the same warm yellowish light. In case you don’t know, I am in love with Italy, and hope to one day live somewhere under the Tuscan sun. So, I really, really adored Budva!
While in Budva, don’t skip on visiting the Citadel. Besides wonderful views of the city and its surroundings, you’ll get to visit a small museum and a library. It’s a must-see if you travel to Montenegro’s seaside!
The admission price is €2.50, and the ticket is shaped like a postcard, with nice images of the site, and explanations regarding the various parts of the building.
Sveti Nikola Island
After picking you up from Budva and before returning to Petrovac, the boat will make a stop at Sveti Nikola. Over here, you can spend some time on the beach or go for a swim, enjoying the waves. You can also do some snorkelling if you brought your water goggles with you.
Be careful where you sit, as some of the pine trees on this small island have hornet nests! Despite this small peril, the place is enchanting:
Sveta Nedelja Island
On the way back, there will be some final lingering next to Sveta Nedelja Island, where you will be able to admire a small stone church, but from a distance. When we went, we could also admire a girl who was sunbathing topless at the base of the island.
What part of the Budva Boat trip would you enjoy best?
Admiring Sveti Stefan and Sveta Nedelja islands from the boat?
Exploring the enchanting streets of Budva and visiting its citadel?
Or perhaps the swim on Sveti Nikola island?
What else sounds appealing to you if you travel to Montenegro’s seaside?
Quick guide to Montenegro’s Seaside – Part 1 of 2
Go ahead to Part 2 and discover Kotor Bay.
What to see when you travel to Montenegro’s seaside
Open from 09.00 to 00.00 (May – October) or from 09.00 to 17.00 (November-April)
Tickets cost €2.50 and look like a postcard with information about the Citadel.
Address: Budva, Montenegro
Other useful articles
- The Guardian’s article can come in handy when you travel to Montenegro’s seaside
- Lonely Planet’s guide on Montenegro, a slice of Adriatic heaven