Budva & Sveti Stefan

Budva is an amazing town with everything you need from Casinos to hotels to good night life and not to forget beaches and sun. The moment you see the town from the top of mountains you get an amazing feeling. We drove from Podgorica Airport to Budva which took roughly 1 hour but the drive was scenic and the plenty of stop to make to feel the raw energy of this beautiful country.

We got an apartment through Airbnb which was near Jadranski Put which is the main street that goes through Budva. It was close to the beach and Stari Grad, the old town.

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View from balcony

Ricardo Glava and Stari Grad

The old town of Budva or Stari Grad is a labyrinth of small stone streets, small and well put together houses, restaurants, cafes and loads of tour operators, churches and tourists. The only locals you will find here are the ones who work in the shops or restaurants…

The churches are small and beautiful and the simplistic look makes them very elegant, something that the massive cathedrals lack mostly…

We headed to Ricardo Glava with our beach towels excited to splash some water and get some sun (honestly London can make you crazy like that even at the end of November where you feel like you haven’t had sun in 7 years). The beach was small and the water was not very clear but the sun and drinks totally made up for other things.

We headed on foot to Porto restaurant which was highly recommended by our host through the cobbled streets of Stari Grad and after a massive seafood platter and seafood risotto dinner we decided to head home for some rest.

The walk home was lazy and nice and we spotted a shisha place to sit with blankets and chill with some green tea, shisha, detox juice and a few games of cards. What an amazing end to the day…

Mogren Beach

Mogren beach lies right next to Ricardo Glava beach and a small path leads you to this beautiful sandy beach which itself is divided into Mogren 1 and Mogren 2. Now unlike almost all beaches in Montenegro this is relatively sandy beach and you will find a lot of people here; clear water, sand and proximity to city centre being the reasons so plan carefully…

Oh.. oh.. oh before I forget don’t forget to say hello to the ballet dancer statue on the way to Mogren. There’s a few stories about her; one around her death by drowning, another about how she appeared to sailors and saved their lives and one more about her being really beautiful and artist being in love with her. Whatever the real reason she is famous and deserves a good selfie or a photo 😉

It’s a beautiful beach though and we spent almost a full day there after a heavy full breakfast and a massage at the Mogren Hotel by amazing Diana. (My legs still thank you Diana)…

On the top

The way to Kotor bay is loaded with amazing views especially this restaurant we stopped at for breakfast. The views are really amazing with amazing blue water, perfect green mountains and beaches all over the place. It’s also the better side because just after a few minutes you’re on top whereas if you’re coming from East side it’s either flat or too high for you to actually have a clear idea about the place.

On the way back in the evening, we loved the view from same spot which was for the whole city and especially Sveti Stefan which glows like a gem in a very distinguished manner, breathtaking!!!

Przno & Sveti Stefan 

On the day we went to Sveti Stefan our host recommended parking the car in Przno and walking from przno beach to Sveti Stefan and oh lord, was she right!

We parked the car at Przno and went downstairs to the beach to begin a 2km walking trails through forest and beach and sun, natural beauty just thrown at you at every turn and the best part was when we first had a glimpse of Sveti Stefan.. it just appeared after a turn between the trees like a calendar picture, absolutely amazing.

The slightly sad part is that most beaches here are exclusive including the first beach after you reach there which costs €80 for an umbrella and 2 sun beds or you could get the same thing a few meters away on the south side of beach for €20, you choose.. (that’s how they keep the beach exclusive to hotel guests).

Unfortunately you can only go inside Sveti Stefan if you have a room reservation which was around €900 a night in November when I randomly checked… it is a stunning sight though and the south side beach is quite stunning with clear water and who doesn’t like good pictures with exclusive resorts in the background 😉

Lucice Beach

The last beach we covered after Sveti Stefan was Lucice to watch the sunset on the recommendation of Tourism office. (This was the only useful piece of info we got throughout our stay from tourism offices, they were generally unaware of most things even in the immediate vicinity)…

I took a timelapse of the sunset which I am very proud of because the sunset was absolutely beautiful and we just sat in trance watching the sun going down with such utter serenity, I felt like I didn’t want anything else in my life at that point, I’ll never forget it…

Nightlife and food

Nightlife in Budva is centred around the Slovenian beach where you will find plenty of beach clubs and bars. Since we went at the end of season the places weren’t exceptionally busy and we were generously given free drinks to balanace foreigners with locals. We spent a night in Ambiatique club on the beach and absolutely loved the vibe and music which was very upbeat, unfortunately the music turned more and more Serbian as the night went along and we left around 1.. it was a fun night though..

I couldn’t find any dedicated gay bars or clubs in Budva and there weren’t many guys around on Grindr either but I was fine with that because most of the guys there were blissfully ignorant of the modern day physique complexes and 6pack abs pressure and fairly average looking…

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Astoria and our last night..

For our final night we decided to bid farewell to Montenegro in style and go for dinner at the beach to Astoria at the corner of Stari Grad. The food was great and especially the fresh grilled fish and seafood risotto still make me lick my lips, the fat child inside me slept very happy that night… the food was roughly €20 each (insane right?)

To finish it off we decided to go for a couple of card games and shisha at Babaluu. The manager was nice enough to send us some complimentary detox juices when we weren’t allowed to play cards (and he was good looking for a change..).

We loved every minute of Budva and highly recommend it for a great end of season visit so pack your bags and book your flights today…

Montenegro

Montenegro is an amazing little Balkan country sandwiched between Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Kosovo and Serbia. The name stems from the dark, rugged mountaneous terrain but don’t be fooled by that for it is absolutely stunning with amazing views, beaches, great weather and good food.

My friends and I looked into it once I met someone from Montenegro in London at a party and after seeing a few pictures I fell in love with the place. We decided to go a little after the crazy season to avoid crowded beaches and crying kids on the plane (we all know how it feels like don’t we?)

Since it is a small country it is easier to drive around everywhere and we chose to keep Budva as our base.

The Racism Factor

People will look at your if you’re darker, that’s for sure and Montenegro has a lot to catch up on when it comes to globalization but we didn’t face any negative behavior at all and people are generally neutral if not friendly.

The Gay Factor

There’s no particular gay bars or clubs and most of the guys you will find will be through Grindr or apps but most of them won’t be happy showing their faces because they are ‘Discreet’ but in public I didn’t face any homophobia.

Value for Money

Montenegro is extremely cheap and you can easily save tons of money while eating good food and living quite comfortably.

Itinerary

On 26th October we landed in Podgorica which is the capital of Montenegro and drove down to Budva, taking it slow for the day due to early morning flight. Next day we spent the day around Sveti Stefan and Petrovac exploring beaches and watching the sunset.
On the third day we drove to Kotor bay, climbed the city walls of kotor followed by a great early dinner at Perast and on our last day we spent the day on Mogren beach with a massage and some great food.
On the last day we headed to Cejivne waterfall near Podgorica before catching our flight back to London.

Accommodation

I would suggest finding a place around Jadranski Put in Budva because it is close to everything. We stayed with Marina through Airbnb which was amazing. We decided to stay in Budva instead of Kotor because it is in the center and it is easy to travel everywhere in either direction.

Food

Fresh seafood is quite readily available everywhere and an amazing thing we liked about Montenegro was lack of fast food chains (Yes that means no KFC, Burger King or that wretched McDonald’s). I would highly recommend trying the mixed seafood platter and seafood risotto at any place. Otherwise there is quite a lot of pork despite lamb being a specialty but since I don’t eat it, I stuck to seafood which I was more than happy with.

Phone & Internet

Montenegro has good coverage and internet is quite fast and widely available including free wifi. I looked it up beforehand and bought a Telenor SIM card from the airport with Data only plan with 6GB internet which cost €10 for 15 days so basically dead cheap.

Cash & Cards

Most of the places will be cash only other than restaurants and super markets so always keep some cash on you in case you need it.

Tips

  • Montenegro is quite a cheap place and you can comfortably stay and eat there without spending a lot of money. After a good massage, some good meals and tickets for everything we didn’t exceed €250 for 5 days which is amazing.
  • You need a car to explore this place because public transport is not developed at all.
  • I would suggest visiting off season because the beaches arent’t very big and overcrowding will make it less fun.
  • budva has great nightlife which was another reason we decided to keep it as our base.
  • Most of the beaches in Croatia and Montenegro are pebble beaches and you need pebble beach shoes which are quite easily available.
  • People are generally quite friendly but I felt a little uneasy at times because of staring and a couple of times guys making weird gestures at my lady friends. (Not sure it was because I was brown or gay but bleh!)