Travel to Montenegro’s seaside and discover its hidden gems

From Albania, we continued to travel to Montenegro’s seaside.

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.

buljarica beach montenegro

Buljarica Beach

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 to 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.

The advantages of Buljarica Beach

We were within walking distance from the lovely, and (surprisingly!) not so crowded beach.

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 snorkeling, just for fun!

petrovac, on montenegro's seaside


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 beach. You’ll quickly notice this isa 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 harbor for the daily boat rides to Budva.

boat ride to budva on montenegro's seaside

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.

Sveti Stefan on Montenegro's seaside

Sveti Stefan

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 favorite of celebrities, such as Princess Margaret, Orson Welles, Sophia Loren, and Elizabeth Taylor, among many others.

Sveti Stefan’s 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. It has also regained some of his attractiveness to celebrities, as well, as Novak Djokovic chose Sveti Stefan for his wedding.

travel montenegro seaside to see budva old town

Budva Stari Grad (Budva’s Old Town)

We were left in Budva’s agglomerated harbor, 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 afterward. 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 colorful 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!

 Budva’s Citadel

While in Budva, don’t skip on visiting the Citadel. Besides the 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.

Budva’s Citadel
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 | See on map

sveti nikola island at sunset

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 snorkeling if you brought your water goggles with you. Just look how beautiful Sveti Nikola is:

While on the beach, do be careful where you sit, as some of the pine trees on this small island have hornet nests!

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 ride would you enjoy the most?

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?

Leave your thoughts in a comment!

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24 Thoughts to “Travel to Montenegro’s seaside and discover its hidden gems”

  1. This looks like such a beautiful and peaceful area. The photos are beautiful and I would love to go there some day. Thanks for sharing your trip.

    1. I hope you get to go to Montenegro one day, too. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
      And thank you for reading 🙂

  2. What a gorgeous place! Wow! It is so incredibly gorgeous, and filled with history. You left me excited to learn more about it.

    1. Well, come back on Tuesday evening, when I’ll post about the rest of our stay in Montenegro 😉

  3. Never thought of Montenegro. Looks like my ideal location as it’s not crowded and is scenic and idyllic. Plus, seems affordable too. Ticking all my points.

    1. Oh, but it is crowded in the summer! Budva and Kotor were terribly busy during the day. But there are some places to run away and hide from that. I’ll talk about one of them in my next article 🙂

  4. Gosh, Europe really is full of little gems just like this one! How funny that your host was trying to match you with her son! Im sure she would have found someone for him by now being so persitant haha! Did you go snorkelling? Id love to know more about what’s down there! Beautiful place none the less!

    1. I did go snorkelling, but I think if I had a diving permit it would have been a lot more interesting. There were several diving centres in the area, with interesting nearby destinations.

  5. Montenegro looks so beautiful. definitely one for the bucket list I think! I wish Id taken the opportunity to visit when I was in croatia!

    1. I hope you’ll have other occasions to visit Montenegro and the rest of the Balkan peninsula. And if you’re ever in Romania, look me up for some local travel tips.

  6. Oh my! Such a beautiful place! I have so many places on my list of where I want to visit…Italy, Greece, and now here ?

  7. CherishingFLo

    Montenegro is clearly very underrated because this is downright gorgeous! And yet it doesn’t look overrun my tourists! The history looks like it would be interesting! Trying to be matched by a persistent mother would seem to make the child LESS appealing to me lol. Sounds like an amusing experience. Great post!

  8. Montenegro was already super high on my list of places I want to go on our next trip and your article bumped it up a few places. Thank you for giving such great details and the photos are wonderful.

  9. I have had Montenegro on my ‘must go’ list for years as I love Croatia and the environment seems similar. This has helped seal the deal for going next year – thank you!!!

  10. Chelsya Ernina

    This is definitely on my bucket list now!

  11. Simply Rasha

    The views look amazing, I love the photo of Sveti Stefan! Never really thought of Montenegro as a possible destination, going to have to look more into it now!

  12. Montenegro has long been a dream destination of mine and its not too far from me! The landscape, the sea and exploring towns and villages like this really do appeal to me. You sure have given me some ideas here.

  13. juliemsa

    Oh, Montenegro is on my bucket list! Lovely photos and it seems like a place i definitely should check out whenever i make it to the are:)

  14. I always wanted to visit Montenegro and your post tempts me more to book the tickets. The blue waters and quaint towns with red roofs are calling me. Sveti Stefan is really a stunning place and good to know that it was famous among celebrities too.

  15. Great places to visit in Montenegro. This is a country that i never visited but i really want to. It seems very authentic.

  16. Our road trip across the Balkans is in my top favorite travels so far. I love the region.

  17. The former Yugoslavian countries are pretty high on my list. I think they are still very underrated – except Croatia – yet they have so much fascinating history and beautiful cities and great beaches and….much more to offer. Very inspiring post.

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