In western Montenegro, the Budva Riviera is the 22-mile stretch of coast that’s centered around the glorious island city of Budva. Between idyllic beaches with pink-hued sands, green-fringed cliffs, isolated fishing settlements and preserved old-world towns, this popular coastline boasts some of the most charming natural landscapes and cultural heritages in the entire Adriatic. This scenic beauty is complemented by striking multimillion-dollar yachts and lavish hotel resorts, whereas the electrifying nightlife and buzzing atmosphere found in Budva itself has earned the town its nickname of the Montenegrin Miami.
Where to Stay
Having played host to the likes of Madonna, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Mick Jagger, the 5-star Splendid Hotel & Spa Resort was one of Montenegro’s first VIP residences. Located in the idyllic town of Bečići that lies just 1.2 miles from Budva, the resort is set right at the seafront and boasts its own private strip of shoreline with sumptuous parasols for relaxation.
Life at the Splendid Hotel, however, revolves around the gigantic outdoor pool area that includes an expansive bar, tons of seating and lush greenery. The other headline of the hotel property is the award-winning spa that features heated indoor pools, private saunas, hot tubs and steam baths with Swarovski crystals at your disposal.
The 322 luxurious suites are defined by elegant interior decoration, state-of-the-art amenities and comfortable bathrooms. Most of the rooms are equipped with their very own private balcony that overlooks the Adriatic Sea and Bečići Bay. Once the sun goes down, head to the spacious Casino Royale to test your luck, whereas the resort boasts a grand total of four bars and three restaurants with different cuisines.
Be sure to check out our Luxury Hotel Guide to the Budva Riviera before planning your trip.
Where to Dine
Situated in the postcard-ready town of Sveti Stefan just 6 miles east of Budva, the superb Aman Sveti Stefan hotel is located on its own tiny island that’s connected to the mainland by a narrow sand split. Besides the sumptuous accommodations and private beach, one of the highlights of this hotel resort is the fantastic Arya at the Aman Sveti Stefan restaurant.
Translating to ‘cultivated’, Arya is the property’s tribute to the earthy, heart-warming dishes of Italy and its traditional cuisine. The beautiful space features two stone terraces that offer breathtaking views across the tranquil bay with varied landscapes and charming villages in the distance.
From the fresh sea bass, octopus and rock oysters caught directly from the Adriatic to the pasture-fed beef from the northern area of Montenegro, Aman Sveti Stefan’s chefs regularly travel to markets and producers across Montenegro in search of the best ingredients and can share the story behind each item on the menu.
Check out our Restaurant Guide to the Budva Riviera for the top fine dining recommendations.
What to Do
When it comes to the Budva Riviera, the beaches are definitely one of the main attractions. Easily accessible through a narrow coastal path that leads you past the bronze sculpture of a ballet dancer, the cobbled shores of Mogren I and II are best for swimming across this stretch of coastline.
For a more secluded beach destination, head north to Trsteno, which boasts some of the finest sand on the Budva Riviera. Once a nudist beach, the pebbled shores of Jaz now stands as a protected natural heritage site for those looking for a tranquil place to swim. It’s certainly worth exploring the wonderful town of Budva itself.
The ancient town’s main promenade runs along Slovenska beach and this is where you’ll find most of the throbbing nightclubs and designer shopping that’s especially buzzing during the warmer months. When you want to experience the cultural treasures of Budva that go beyond the fancy beach resorts, head into pedestrian-only Old Town and experience the beautiful medieval architecture, narrow alleyways, seaside restaurants, charming cafes and bay full of bobbing yachts.
Elsewhere, head to the small lush island of Sveti Nikola for a secluded experience away from the hustle and bustle Budva. While there’s not much activity and life on the island, the isolated coves make for a wonderful adventure from the comfort of your boat.
What to Wear
Between the winding streets, seaside restaurants, lively beaches and stylish resorts, you’ll want to be fashionably prepared during any trip to Budva. This Loewe Palm Leaf Basket Tote is ideal for those balmy beach afternoons. It’s spacious enough to hold all your day-to-day essentials, while the contrasting leather details make for an elegant touch. You will also need a stylish pair of flats to elevate your vacation look – and we’re looking at these Studio Amelia Leather Sandals. They’re crafted in a beautiful nude color that will effortlessly weave with the rest of your wardrobe.
For the men, we’re looking toward these Gucci Black Aviator-Style Acetate Sunglasses. The classic shape exudes cool confidence and spices it up with a light-yellow lens for a refreshingly retro look. Keep the look going with this TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph. The stainless steel case and sporty look capture the bold and daring spirit of Formula 1 in a limited edition timepiece that celebrates the Red Bull Racing Team.