Montenegro might easily have been called ‘Turquoise Seas’, rather than ‘Black Mountains’, and still have a name that is a master of understatement.
Escaping relatively unscathed from the Balkan civil war in the 1990s, and after an amicable separation from Serbia in 2006, the newly independent nation of Montenegro had a blank canvas upon which to shape a future where tourism is clearly important.
Mindful of mistakes made elsewhere, conscious of the need to protect its inheritance and blessed with a population that has hospitality in the blood, Montenegro sees high-end tourism and the superyacht industry as a niche to make its own.
However luxurious the venues, the real draw of course is Montenegro itself: the coastline is short but spectacular. Many superyacht charters combine a trip to Montenegro with one to Croatia and possibly Venice.
Must-see destinations include BokaKotorska (Bay of Kotor), frequently referred to as Europe’s only fjord. Its steeply rising mountains watch over the ancient towns beneath them, notably Kotor, and circle a bay set to become a world-class superyacht playground.
The Budva Riviera lies at the heart of Montenegro’s beach tourism. Long stretches of beach have led to the development of a number of resorts. Budva itself, along with Risan, is one of the coast’s oldest settlements, although the old town had to be painstakingly rebuilt after a major earthquake in 1979.
Nearby, the tiny rocky islet of Sveti Stefan, crowned by an equally tiny 15th century church, is probably Montenegro’s most iconic destination and now the home of an exclusive resort.
Enjoy fine dining away from your yacht at some of Montenegro’s finest restaurants.
Close to the border with Albania, the immense sandy beach, VelikaPlaža, stretches for over 12 km and around Ulcinj, the ancient olive groves of Valdanos, Lake Saško and the saltpans are now sanctuaries for a diverse range of birds and other wildlife.
The Stari Mlin Restaurant in the Bay of Kotor is a fabulous setting with views across the bay. Towering mountains sweep down to calm blue waters.
The Bay of Kotor is a stunning protected bay ringed by mountains; and the town of Perast is absolutely charming.