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Coast of Montenegro Travel Guide: Best Things to Do and Places to Stay

Sveti Stefan BeachSveti Stefan on the Budva Riviera

The coast of Montenegro is the most popular destination for travelers coming to Montenegro on vacation and with good reason. 

Montenegro’s 294 km (183 mi) long coastline offers some of the best beaches in Europe, quaint seaside towns, warm seas, and the perfect Mediterranean climate.

Since moving here in 2008, I've explored every corner of the Montenegro coast. While Kotor and Budva are the most well-known destinations, there are many other places along the coast that might suit you better.

In this article, you’ll find out about the best coastal towns in Montenegro. I’ll also give you tips on the best things to see and do, where to stay, and more!

Best Destinations on the Coast of Montenegro


Kotor Fortress walls from Skurda RiverKotor Old Town

Kotor is the most well-known and popular destination on the coast of Montenegro. While I think there are better places to stay, depending on what you’re looking for on your trip, you should definitely visit Kotor during your trip.

Kotor’s historic Old Town is over 2,000 years old and the whole area is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Inside the old town, you’ll find historic churches and palaces, cute squares with outdoor cafes, museums, and lots of cats!

You can choose from a wide range of tours that depart from Kotor. Among the best are boat tours and day tours like this full-day Montenegro tour.

You can also take on more outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking San Giovanni Fortress, or even just hitting the beach.

Best Things to Do in Kotor

>> Discover more things to do in Kotor


Tivat and Porto MontenegroTivat waterfront

This relatively new town is a great central location to base yourself during your stay. Tivat is just 5km from the coast’s only airport, 15 minutes from Kotor, and 30 minutes from Budva.

Tivat’s compact town is ideal for getting around on foot and the attractive waterfront promenade called Pine is a popular gathering place for coffee in the sun.

Tivat’s main attraction is the world’s only platinum-rated super yacht marina, Porto Montenegro. This is a great destination for upmarket boutiques, excellent restaurants, and to stay in the five-star Regent Porto Montenegro.

For outdoor activities, you can go stand-up paddleboarding, easily get to excellent beaches, and take boat trips.

Best Things to Do in Tivat

>> Discover more things to do in Tivat


Perast, Bay of Kotor, MontenegroPerast

Perast is one of the most beautiful towns on the Montenegro coast. It was once a wealthy town full of shipping magnates and its shore is lined with Baroque palaces. 

Thanks to its protected status, the town’s stone architecture remains unchanged and looks as it did hundreds of years ago, making it a unique and romantic place to stay. You can even stay in a former palace here when you stay in the gorgeous waterfront Heritage Grand Perast hotel.

To complete Perast’s idyllic atmosphere, two islands float just offshore - Our Lady of the Rocks and Saint George.

You can take a boat tour from Kotor to Our Lady of the Rocks (Saint George is closed to visitors) to explore the church and museum. I especially like this sunset tour.

You can also get a boat to take you to Our Lady of the Rocks from Perast for around €5 per person.

Best Things to Do in Perast

  • Our Lady of the Rocks
  • Perast Museum
  • Seaside restaurants (we love Conte for its excellent seafood and service)

>> Discover more things to do in Perast

Herceg Novi

Herceg Novi clocktowerHerceg Novi Old Town

Herceg Novi is a more off-the-beaten-track destination in the Bay of Kotor compared to Kotor, Perast, and Tivat.

However, because of that you’ll find a more authentic local atmosphere here. Herceg Novi’s old town is a hub of local activity and has several attractions like Forte Mare and Kanli Kula fortresses. 

The 7km long seaside promenade is a major attraction and you’ll find restaurants and nightlife here throughout summer.

Herceg Novi’s position near the entrance of the Bay of Kotor means the sea water here is the clearest in the bay and Herceg Novi has some excellent beaches.

Although Herceg Novi is not as touristy as elsewhere in the Bay of Kotor, you will still find excellent accommodation here.

Europe’s only 5-star One&Only is in nearby Portonovi, a luxury marina that is also worth visiting for its upscale restaurants, beautiful village, and regular events.

Godo ice cream, Portonovi

Local's Tip:Head to Godo in Portonovi for the best ice cream in Herceg Novi!

At the mid-range level, Palmon Bay Hotel and Spa has excellent accommodation on the seafront in Igalo.

You'll also find budget options like Sea Line Apartments which are also on the seafront.

Best Things to Do in Herceg Novi

>> Discover more things to do in Herceg Novi

Bay of Kotor

Beach in Morinj, Bay of KotorBay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor, also known simply as Boka to locals, is one of the world’s most beautiful bays. The butterfly-shaped bay is lined with quaint villages and offers clear, calm waters. 

Aside from its idyllic Mediterranean charm, the bay offers plenty to see and do. You can take boat trips, go kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, relax on cute beaches, explore historic towns, visit Roman ruins, and spend evenings trying local seafood in romantic seaside restaurants.

Outside of the main towns of Kotor, Perast, Tivat, and Herceg Novi, you’ll find small hamlets offering boutique accommodation and a quaint local feel. These are a great alternative to staying in Kotor itself, which can get very congested in the summer months.

I like Prčanj and Stoliv (although not in winter when they suffer from a lack of sun), where you’ll find the excellent Hyatt Regency Kotor Bay Resort

Dobrota, just outside of Kotor also has excellent seaside accommodation like HUMA Kotor Bay Hotel and Villas

I also love the hamlet of Morinj, where you’ll find great self-catering apartments like Lavender Bay Apartments, the wonderful restaurant Ćatovića Mlini, and great beaches.

Best Things to Do in the Bay of Kotor

>> Discover more things to do in the Bay of Kotor


Budva Church St Maria di Punta

Budva is one of the best beach towns in Montenegro. This vibrant and modern town is known for its world-class beaches, clear Montenegro seas, and summer resort atmosphere.

If you’re looking for a beachside vacation, this is the place for you!

Budva has many attractions, like the old town on the Adriatic Sea, Aquapark Budva, and beaches. Did I mention beaches?

Although Budva Old Town is older than Kotor, it’s not as historic because it was mainly a military outpost, but it’s very pretty and you can still find Roman ruins and an interesting town museum. A great place to stay here is Avala Resort and Villas which is right next to Budva Old Town.

The down side of staying in Budva in summer is that the city gets congested and parking can be an issue, so I recommend staying within walking distance of a beach and town center or booking accommodation with dedicated parking.

You’ll find dozens of accommodation options in every price range here.

At the upper end, Dukley Hotel and Resort has impeccable accommodation with private beaches and seaside dining.

Hotel Butua Residence has very well-priced accommodation in a premium location by the old town.

And you’ll find budget options further from beach like Guest House Plima 2, which is both cheap and close to the beach and town center.

Local’s Tip: Check out one of my favorites, Merkur Restaurant near Budva bus station, for excellent local-style meals at local prices!

Best Things to Do in Budva

>> Discover more things to do in Budva


Bečići BeachBečići Beach

Bečići is known for its long sandy beach, making it an ideal destination for families near Budva. While it is close to Budva, it lies just outside the town so it has a more relaxed vibe in peak season.

You’ll find beachfront accommodation like Splendid Conference and Spa Resort and Apartments TQ Splendid here, so you can spend long days on the beach without spending time in traffic.

There is also plenty to do on Bečići Beach. You’ll find jet skiing, parasailing, peddle boats, stand-up paddle boards, and more.

Best Things to Do in Bečići

>> Discover more things to do in Bečići

Sveti Stefan

Sveti StefanSveti Stefan

Sveti Stefan is my favorite place on the Budva Riviera and I highly recommend a visit during your stay on the Montenegro coast.

Once a humble fishing village, this picturesque islet has transformed into a luxurious resort, renowned for its distinctive pink pebble beaches and historical charm. 

As a favorite getaway for the rich and famous since the Karađorđević royal family decided to make it their summer residence, it exudes an air of exclusivity and glamour.

This was only enhanced when the entire islet of Sveti Stefan and the former palace and beaches were turned into an exclusive Aman Resort.

With Aman Sveti Stefan currently closed all of the formerly private beaches are now public, making this a great place to stay. As well as top-notch beachfront hotels like Hotel California, you’ll find mid-range accommodation like Hotel Adrović and budget options like Apartmani Dačo.

If you’re just visiting make sure to swim on one of the area’s stunning beaches and take a walk through Miločer Forest Park to the pretty hamlet of Pržno.

Best Things to Do in Sveti Stefan

  • Sveti Stefan Beach
  • Queen’s Beach
  • Miločer Forest Park

>> Discover more things to do in Sveti Stefan


Kastel Lastva, PetrovacPetrovac

Further along the Budva Riviera, Petrovac is a quaint seaside town that balances a relaxed vibe with family-friendly amenities. 

Known for its long, sandy beach that stretches along the coast, Petrovac offers a more laid-back experience compared to Montenegro's bustling tourist spots like Kotor and Budva. 

This town is ideal for families, with safe swimming areas and plenty of casual dining options along the promenade. 

Petrovac doesn’t have many attractions, making it a good destination if you are looking for a beach vacation but not much else. However, there are many stunning beaches along this stretch of coastline, like Drobnji Pijeskak, that you can explore if you hire a car (which I recommend if you stay here).

Petrovac is also just 25 minutes from Budva and Lake Skadar National Park, one of Europe’s most important wildlife reserves and Montenegro’s top wine-producing region.

Petrovac has accommodation in all price ranges. Hotel AMI Budva Petrovac has 5-star rooms and a private beach, while Hotel Castellastva is a great mid-range, family-friendly place to stay. In the budget range, Vila Vukotić has lovely self-contained studios with free parking only 300m from the beach.

Luštica Peninsula

Lustica BeachLuštica Peninsula

If you’re looking for a rustic getaway, you’ll want to check out Luštica Peninsula. This area is known for its rugged beaches and small rural villages, where a traditional lifestyle still prevails.

The charm of Luštica lies in its wild landscapes, its olive groves, hidden coves, and simple charm, making it ideal if you’re looking for a getaway away from tourist hotspots. 

Luštica has some standout beaches like Žanjice Beach and Mirište Beach where you can spend the days sunning, swimming, and snorkeling.

Mirište’s shallow bay with clear water is one of our favorite spots for diving and snorkeling. We always find starfish, pretty sea urchin shells, and octopuses. 

Miriste, MontenegroMirište Bay

If this sounds like you, I recommend staying somewhere like Klinci Village Resort, where you’ll find a combination of rustic living (complete with goats!) and resort accommodation complete with outdoor pool and onsite restaurant.

Alternatively, you can hire an entire seafront villa like Villa Sonja Apartments.

Luštica Peninsula has a more polished side too. The upscale Luštica Bay marina and village development offers high end accommodation and dining at The Chedi Luštica Bay.

And Almara Beach Club is a trendy beach club destination that is popular with yacht owners in the area.

Best Things to Do on Luštica Peninsula

>> Discover more things to do on Luštica Peninsula


Bar Old Town street

Known for its less touristy vibe compared to the Budva Riviera and Bay of Kotor, Bar offers you the experience of an authentic coastal Montenegro town.

Bar’s top attractions include the ancient ruins of Stari Bar (Old Bar) and one of the world's oldest olive trees, believed to be over 2,000 years old. 

Bar also has many popular beaches like the city beach and Sutomore Beach, but with large pebbles and sometimes loud music, these beaches aren’t as nice as those on the Budva Riviera. 

Bar offers a unique experience with its train service to Belgrade, which, despite its basic facilities, offers stunning scenery and is ranked among the world's top train journeys. 

If you appreciate authentic off-the-beaten-path destinations, Bar’s blend of historical sites and cultural mix might make it the perfect place for you.

You’ll find plenty of good accommodation options here, from the fantastic Stara Čaršija Hotel and Spa to ideally located Hotel Princess on the Bar waterfront.

If you prefer to stay out of the city, I recommend taking a look at the area of Dobra Voda. The quieter beachside destination has some lovely boutique accommodation like Sunset Hotel and Beach and Apartmani Stikovic.

Best Things to Do in Bar

>> Discover more things to do in Bar


Coast of MontenegroSmall Beach, Ulcinj

The southern-most coastal town in Montenegro in Montenegro is Ulcinj. This coastal town is famed for its Long Beach, which stretches over 12 km (about 7.5 miles) and is popular with kite surfers and more intrepid travelers who aren’t so interested in seeing the tourist hot spots.

Long Beach has large stretches where you can just place your towel for free. It also has groomed beaches where you can hire sun loungers and find restaurants.

If you prefer calm and clear waters, head to the rocky beaches close to the town center or Valdanos Cove. 

Ulcinj’s other attractions include its old town, Small Beach that lies next to the old town, Lake Sas, and the Ulcinj salt pans which is one of only two places in Europe with wild flamingo colonies.

Best Things to Do in Ulcinj

>> Discover more things to do in Ulcinj

Practical Travel Tips for the Montenegrin Coast

Here are some practical tips for visiting the Montenegrin coast:

Best Times to Visit: Aim for late spring (May to June) or early autumn (September to October) to enjoy good weather and fewer crowds compared to the busy summer months. July and August are busy but offer guaranteed beach weather!

Transportation Options: I recommend renting a car for your stay in Montenegro because it gives you flexibility with accommodation and activities. Alternatively, every town has cheap bus transport and taxis.

Accommodation Choices:

Luxury: Opt for luxury resorts in Budva or Porto Montenegro in Tivat for high-end facilities and services.

Budget: Consider budget-friendly hotels or guesthouses in less touristy towns like Petrovac or Bar.

Currency & Costs: Euro is the currency. Kotor Bay and the Budva Riviera are pricier than Bar and Ulcinj, especially in peak season (July and August), but Montenegro is still cheap compared to other destinations in Europe like France and Croatia.

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