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The Spark.Me business and digital innovation conference is a good enough reason to visit Montenegro all by itself – I’ve written about the reasons why I want to go to the Spark.Me conference already. But Montenegro isn’t just another grey city to just fly in and out of when the conference ends.
No, Montenegro is a lush, sparkling, blue and green
destination that’s in full spring bloom. May is the perfect time to visit
That’s why you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t leave a few extra days for sightseeing while you’re here for Spark.Me.
I’ve put together the perfect itinerary for your stay in Montenegro while you attend the Spark.Me conference.
This five day itinerary makes sure you get the most out of the conference, while still making sure you see the best Montenegro has to offer.
Spark.Me takes place in Budva in May. The best airport to fly into is Tivat airport, which is just 30 minutes from Budva. There are plenty of good flights to Tivat from all over Europe in May. You’ll even find budget airlines like Easyjet flying from London and Manchester direct to Tivat for next to nothing (see my guide to finding cheap flights to Tivat here). And thanks to the gorgeous weather, you don’t need more than carry-on luggage, saving you even more on your flights. A private transfer to Budva starts at just €22.
If flying into Tivat isn’t an option, your next best option is Podgorica airport in the capital. You can get a shuttle from Podgorica airport for the 1 ½ hour trip to Budva for as little as €21. Your third best option is Dubrovnik airport just over the border in Croatia. It’s around 2 ½ hours from Cilipi airport to Budva and it’s my least favourite because you’ll have a border crossing, which can add time to your trip – time that should be spent soaking up the sun! A transfer from Cilipi airport to Budva starts from €87.
Spark.Me is held in Hotel Mediteran in Becici, an idyllic beachside hamlet just outside of Budva. Naturally this is the perfect place to stay, but there are also other great choices like Hotel Anita just across the road.
If you like to work hard and play hard and want to be in the centre of the action, Budva town is just five minutes from Becici and has dozens of choices. The old town is lively without being crowded and it’s the perfect place to get dinner then soak up the atmosphere with a couple of drinks in a local bar. My top picks near Budva old town are:
You’ll want to arrive in Budva a day before the conference starts. Take this day to get settled, then head into Budva for a leisurely stroll. I recommend:
Image: Deposit photos
Spark.Me registration starts at 8am and the conference starts at 10am. If you’re staying in the hotel, you can get to registration early and then head off for breakfast. After the conference there’s a cocktail reception, which is the perfect time to mingle with other attendees and make new contacts – don’t forget your business cards!
two of the conference kicks off at 10am and ends around 6.30pm. Your brain will
definitely be full and sparking after two days of inspirational speakers and meeting
like-minded people. Keep this positive momentum by treating yourself to a
really nice dinner in Sveti Stefan, 15 minutes from Budva. For a really special
experience, make a reservation at Aman Sveti Stefan or take in the views of the
island from Olive or Adrovic restaurants.
Although you’ll have had three days of inspiration and getting a taste of Montenegro’s beautiful coast, you don’t want to go home without getting the full picture of what Montenegro has to offer. And there’s only one way to do that – on the Great Montenegro Tour.
The Great Montenegro Tour packs a whole lot of Montenegro into just one day and will show you how stunning and diverse Montenegro really is. The tour starts out from Kotor at 8.30am. My advice is to get to Kotor an hour early to see the town – and get a much-needed coffee! Book a transfer for 7am to get there by 7.30.
From Kotor you’ll head up the serpentine road to
Njegusi village for breakfast (which starts with shots of rakija – grape brandy that’s 52% alcohol!) and get these views on the way up...
Then you'll scale the 461 steps to the mausoleum on Mount Lovcen to take this picture...
Then it’s on to Cetinje, the old royal capital, for a historical walking tour. After that you drive to Skadar Lake for a delicious lunch of lake fish and local wine, a boat ride on the lake – bring your swimsuit! – and then back down to Budva for a walking tour.
Image: Deposit photos
You can leave the tour in Budva or go back to the start point in Kotor. Click here for more details about the Great Montenegro Tour.
there you have it, the perfect itinerary for Spark.Me attendees. You’ll leave
Montenegro with new ideas, new inspiration, new friends, a new appreciation for
rakija shots for breakfast and a plan
to come and do it all again next year!