Why You Should Make Montenegro Your Next Summer Holiday Destination

Budva beach, montenegro

I know it’s almost Christmas – which I’m very excited about – and you probably can’t remember what the sun feels like on your face (well, those of us in the northern hemisphere, anyway), but I’m going to go ahead and bring up the whole summer holiday thing. Not just any kind of summer holiday.

Beach holidays.

There, I said it. A lot of people hate them, but sometimes they’re necessary. Sure, their not exactly going to provide the adventure of a lifetime but if, like me, you needed a little rest and relaxation then they can be the perfect cure.

Budva beach, montenegro

It’s all about choosing the right place, though.

You hear all these stories about teens heading out to hot places to drink, drink and, well, drink a bit more. You know the culprits – Malia, Magaluf and the likes. Sounds like my idea of hell and probably yours, too.

I’ll let you in on a secret. I may have found the perfect place for a relaxing beach holiday that doesn’t play host to rowdy teens and all-night booze binges.

Montenegro. In specific, Budva.

Now, when I first started telling people that I was going to Budva, I got the whole ‘Oh, isn’t that the party hotspot of Montenegro?’ And it might well be in the height of summer, but if you get there in the lull of September I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Here’s why.

The beaches are beautiful (and empty)

James bond island, hotel, Budva, montenegro

Budva doesn’t compromise on beauty. The beaches are set against a backdrop of mountains, with small islands dotted along the horizon (including an entire island that is a hotel where a snippet of Casino Royale was filmed). What’s more, you basically have the uninterrupted views to yourself and you can always, ALWAYS find a spot to lay down your towel.

It’s not just the beaches that are beautiful, though. Everywhere is. Lots of pretty mountains, cute villages, and sea views.

There is still a lot of culture

Cetinje, montenegro, things to do montenegro

If, like me, you want to complement a beach holiday with a bit of culture, then Budva is ideal. In around an hours bus ride, you can get to Kotor Old Town, with its winding alleyways and abundance of churches, Kotor Bay, Montenegro’s postcard snapshot, and Cetinje, the old capital that now acts as a museum for the country, hosting numerous museums and galleries. But even if you don’t want to leave Budva, there’s the snaking, cobbled streets of the Old Town with local restaurants, quirky shops, and cool bars tucked away down a labyrinth of side streets.

It’s wallet-friendly

Looking for a cheap break that doesn’t compromise on quality? Good. You can easily get a meal in Budva for €5 and a beer for €2. The accommodation is very reasonable, too. I managed to find an apartment that slept six for €500 a week.

what to eat in Budva montenegro

It’s nomalicious

My beach holidays tend to involve a lot of eating. In fact, it’s safe to say my days revolve around food, so I want to go somewhere that has a great cuisine. In Budva, I wasn’t disappointed. There’s lots of fish and hearty stews, and lots of beef and pork, as well as the standard schnitzel affair.

If these haven’t swayed you, then this will:

Bacon and eggs is called Bekendeks. How good is that? 

Ferry ride Montenegro, Budva Kotor Bay

How to get there

Flights to Podgorica (the capital) from the UK are pretty pricey. Instead, I booked a flights to and from Dubrovnik, Croatia, which are relatively cheap (I bought mine for £180 return) and then got an hour and a half transfer to Budva including a short ferry ride with spectacular views – a great introduction to the country. Transfers from Dubrovnik airport to your accommodation in Budva are around €20 per person each way.

Have you been to Budva or anywhere else in Montenegro? What did you think? If you have any questions or want to know more, please leave a comment below! 


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Lizzie Davey

Lizzie is a freelance travel and lifestyle writer who's written for big-name brands like National Geographic Traveller, Cheapflights, LateRooms and more. After quitting her job in August 2014, she had one month to get her business in order and off the ground. Somehow, she did it (magic, maybe?!), and now she runs Wanderful World, a place for creative freelancers to congregate and learn how to grow their kick-ass businesses and travel more. Join along for the ride!

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13 Discussion to this post

  1. Ingrid D. says:

    Totally agree with you! We spent one day of our big summer trip in Montenegro, at the Bay of Kotor. Loved it! We would love to come back and discover the smaller, calmer places.

  2. Chris says:

    I’ve only spent a day in Montenegro, but it really was beautiful along the coast (looking forward to more time there one day).

    With time spent in Kotor and Budva, I can only echo your thoughts on how beautiful it was, although it was still fairly busy.

    Apparently the views from the mountains above Kotor are simply amazing!

  3. I agree that Montenegro is definitely worth a visit, but we have differing opinions on Budva. I thought it was the least beautiful of the places I visited along the coast. Kotor is gorgeous but so crowded during the day. My picks were Perast. Herceg Novi, Bar and Ulcinj. I think the beaches at Ulcinj are the best – there’s sand there for a start! And Bar is lovely without all the people that dip into the country from Croatia for the day. But my favourite part of Montenegro was the mountains in Durmitor and Biogradska.
    FYI – Flights to Tivat are often cheaper than into Podgorica.

    • Lizzie Davey says:

      Hey Megan, thanks for commenting 🙂 I should probably rename this post “Why You Should Make Budva Your Next Summer Holiday Destination”! Budva may not be the most beautiful of Montenegro’s beachside resorts but it has a certain charm, as well as easy transport links, lots of things to do, and it’s relatively cheap (covering most things people are looking for with a summer holiday). I found flights to Tivat were cheaper than to Podgorica, but not as cheap as flights to nearby Dubrovnik.

  4. I have driven through from Albania to Croatia but didn’t take the time to stop- now I regret that!

  5. i only went to kotor for a few days, but wow was it so amazing! i’m very keen to return and see more of the country

  6. I agree! Montenegro is beautiful and the beaches are relatively empty compared to other beach destinations. We road tripped through Montenegro and spent some time in Kotor and a few days at Sveti Stefan, near Budva.

  7. […] me, Cetinje formed one of the many highlights of my trip to Montenegro. It complemented my trip to Kotor and provided a much needed contrast to lazy days spent on the […]

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