The small European country of Montenegro is making waves as its burgeoning status as an ultra-luxury destination has been on the rise for some time. For a country which gained independence less than 15 years ago, the area has seen considerable investment in recent years and Montenegro has become established in its own right with luxury travellers, keen to sample its spectacular natural landscapes and welcoming hospitality. Montenegro borders Croatia and is located on the Adriatic sea opposite Italy, offering a comparable host of delights which has made it a sought-after destination in the east Mediterranean.
One of the most exciting places to visit in Montenegro is the city of Kotor, which is named in its entirety as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was ruled over by the Venetian Empire for 400 years and its architecture retains a great deal of the spirit of that time. Kotor was also named as the best city to visit in the world in 2016 by Lonely Planet. The Old Town area is a picture-perfect romantic setting, with winding cobbled streets and a sense of historic charm to be explored. Kotor has a Mediterranean climate, with average temperatures of about 81°F in summer and 44°F in the winter season.
There are a variety of other historical landmarks to explore around the city, including the San Giovanni Fortress. There are 1355 steps to the top of the fortress, from which visitors can see the ruins of an old castle, and views over the streets of the city and the incredible Bay of Kotor. The challenging climb is worth the sights and considered a real bucket list marker within Montenegro. Many like to include this as a part of a wider hike along the Ladder of Kotor, a steep path which used to lead to Cetinje, the former Montenegrin capital city.
The Bay of Kotor is a central hub of activity for the city, offering unrivalled vistas of the Adriatic Sea from every standpoint. It is also the starting point for many regular day trips via boat to Our Lady of the Rocks, a Catholic cathedral dating back to the 1400s. The boat trip to the Perast hamlet area is a great opportunity to look at the area’s unique coastline and landscape. There are multiple other islands to visit, each offering its own exciting elements to explore.
Another area of the bay which has become a real focal point is Porto Montenegro. Recognised as the luxury capital of Montenegro, Porto Montenegro is an acclaimed superyacht marina and village offering a wide range of amenities, including a hotel, shopping, entertainment and events. Porto Montenegro also has 450 berths able to accommodate the largest mega yachts in the world, up to 800 feet.
Porto Montenegro also offers an exceptional array of luxury restaurants and amenities so that visitors can enjoy the area’s very best cuisine. High-end restaurants include De Gustibus, Roberto’s Mare, Murano Restaurant and Sumosan. Another wonderful space in which to spend time is the Ponto Montenegro Yacht Club, which boasts an outdoor pool terrace and restaurant, rooftop bar and restaurant, Members Lounge, sandy beach and nightclub. The 64 metre infinity pool is one of the most sought-after venues in the area, with day beds, loungers, cabanas with showers and changing rooms. The pool features spectacular views of the marina, mountains and Boka Bay.
With events such as the International Fashion Festival and Polo in the Port, Porto Montenegro has a wide variety of activities for everyone to get involved with year-round. The Regent Spa provides a 5* relaxation offering with two treatment rooms, including an experience shower, Finnish sauna, steam room, Turkish bath, indoor and outdoor pools, a gym and a nail salon. The bay is renowned for its superyachts but is also home to a variety of watersports, with sailing proving very popular in the region and the area hosting international regattas.
The shopping at Porto Montenegro offers a full range of designer ateliers through to car showrooms and artisan grocery providers. The Fashion Gallery is a multi-brand store which allows customers to browse through labels such as Dolce & Gabbana, Dior, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Gucci, Off-White and Tom Ford, among many others.
Montenegro has seen a strong growth in overseas visitors since it became an independent country in 2006, and has recently opened its citizenship by investment programme, which allows overseas purchasers to apply for a Montenegrin passport if they purchase a property with a minimum value of €450,000, with a €100,000 donation to a Montenegrin government development fund, intended to support infrastructure across the country. This offers very competitive value to other countries’ schemes. From the US, visitors can connect to Montenegro from any major European capital. Nearby airports include Tivat (7km), Dubrovnik (46km) and Podgorica (90km).
There are a number of managed residences available for those who would like to visit Porto Montenegro on a more regular basis. The Elena Residences offer the ultimate in waterfront living from their location between the bay and the mountains, and the Regent Residences allow owners exclusive access to the amenities of the 5* Regent Porto Montenegro. Further developments are being constructed in response to a strong demand from overseas buyers. With a deep cultural heritage and fascinating landscape, Montenegro might just be the perfect place for adventurous tourists to add to their lists for future travel.