Welcome To Montenegro
Words: Nancy Larman
Arriving at Montenegro by plane or boat, the first thing any visitor will notice is the vast expanse of beach. There are 117 of them spread along the Montenegrin coast – a fact that is all the more pertinent given that summer here lasts from May until October. That’s 180 days of swimming and 240 days of sunshine every year.
Natural wonders abound here, perhaps most dazzlingly at the incredible canyon of River Tara; at 1300m, it’s the deepest in Europe, and the second deepest in the world, with the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River alone trumping it for scale.
Every coastal town of Montenegro has its own fascinating story. Herceg Novi is known as the botanic garden of the Med, and its many carnivals are, perhaps, directly proportionate to the large number of artists the town attracts. Kotor is one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site, while Budva boasts a plethora of summer theatres and festivals, as well as the country’s most beautiful beaches and nightlife. For aspirant writers, Boka Kotorska is the place to head; one of the most beautiful bays on the Mediterranean, it fascinated many poets and writers, spanning Lord Byron, George Bernard Shaw, Marguerite Yourcenar and Ivo Andric.
To unearth the oldest olive tree in Europe, which has been bearing fruit for some two thousand years, keep your eyes peeled for the grove in which is stands just as you enter Bar, the biggest Montenegrin port. Today, passengers and merchant ships from many countries dock here, and it is the terminus for trains going to Belgrade and further on into Europe. But for those setting their sights more locally, the popular tourist resort of Sutomore offers long sandy beaches and numerous hotels and restaurants.
For neophyte and keen divers alike, there is a whole underwater world to discover along the Montenegrin coast. The Adriatic waters yield great treasures to explore, from sunken ships to secluded caves; here there is always the promise of hidden pirate booty to discover – along with stunning coral cliffs and an abundance of sealife.
In the early mornings, you can see the whole panorama of Montenegro from the beautiful vantage point of Mount Lovcen, one of its four national parks. The long summers are an ideal time to take a trekking tour from Mount Rumija, over the massif of Lovcen to Orjen mountain, and follow a marked route connecting old Austro-Hungarian fortresses. In the wintertime meanwhile, there are good trails for skiing and snowboarding on Durmitor Mountains, which can be reached by ski lifts, while mountain and forest trails are accessible on sleighs drawn by horses or dogs.
The country is home to two wonderful resorts, opening shortly, both of which come highly recommended with the Abbotts Travel seal of approval.
Perast has always been a place of exquisite beauty, boasting one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture on the Adriatic coast, complete with its Venetian flourishes. And opening its doors on 15 June, Iberostar Perast, the newest addition to the Heritage Collection, is set to raise the beauty bar still higher.
Palace Smejka is the largest historical Palace to adorn the shores of Montenegro. Built in 1764 by Count Smejka, one of the richest noble families of Kotor, it occupies undoubtedly the best seafront central location in Perast Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site of natural beauty and wonder.
The Palace has been carefully converted into a luxury hotel, offering clients a chance to step back in time and experience this undiscovered spot.
Offering 65 rooms and suites, including one of 330sqm, a relaxing spa with hammam, indoor pool, treatment rooms, sauna and an exquisite à la carte restaurant in the hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens, clients can enjoy this authentic, ancient setting.
Chill out on the beach or take advantage of the hotel’s private boat transfer to a nearby beach club.
An exclusive ‘Spa Taster Experience’ is available for Abbotts Travel clients who make a booking at Iberostar Perast.
To book a stay at one of these incredible resorts and enjoy all that Montenegro has to offer, get in touch.
The Chedi Lustica Bay
Situated on the waterfront, with superb views over the Lustica Bay marina and the Adriatic lies boutique five-star luxury in the form of The Chedi. Right in the heart of Lustica Bay, a new destination of Orascom Development AG, The Chedi is set to open its doors in July 2018.
Sustainably designed and totally state-of-the-art, the town will be home to two marinas, an 18-hole golf course, a commercial area, a town centre and seven hotels – the first of which is The Chedi. In close proximity to no fewer than three international airports, the hotel is within easy reach of most European cities. With a private beach, direct access to the promenade and marina as well as the spa, guests will be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy a beautiful break in what is certain to become a sought-after European resort.
134 George Lane
South Woodford E18 1BA
020 8989 9445