29 June 2019 - Marie Claire magazine recently published an article explaining why Montenegro is the perfect travel destination for all tourists worldwide. “If you’ve never thought of holidaying in Montenegro, here’s why you should” provided information not only on the offer of the gorgeous five-star Hotel Regent, but also on the best tips on how to spend the most fantastic holiday and enjoy the Adriatic charm in Montenegro.
Think glorious blue seas, cobbled streets and orange rooves that stretch for miles, similar to its neighbour Croatia only much quieter. Montenegro has been tipped as one of the continent’s most up-and coming travel destinations, and with good reason.
Here’s why you should head to the country’s UNESCO-protected Boka Bay area on the Adriatic coast for your next European adventure.
Just 10 minutes by car from Tivat Airport and about to celebrate its fifth birthday, Regent Porto Montenegro is the five-star jewel in the region’s crown. We’re talking the most comfortable beds, daylight flooded-rooms and cosy interiors that’ll put you at ease from the moment you settle into your room.
The views are extraordinary – set right on the beautiful Monaco-esque harbour you’ll be able to gaze out at miles of sea and mountains, a world away from the greyness of day-to-day life in the UK.
Porto Montenegro itself is home to a number of restaurants, bars, designer shops, pool club and nightlife, so you’re spoilt for choice in terms of things to do in the village-like area, but keep reading for all that the hotel has to offer.
Feeling extra flush? The Suite Life package includes private airport transfers, breakfast, cocktails in the cosy Library Bar or pool club, and a 50€ voucher redeemable in the hotel’s beautiful spa. From £831pp per night, you’ll also get tickets to events in Porto Montenegro and a private Naval Heritage Museum tour. Dreamy.
Murano is the hotel’s luxury eating spot, serving carefully crafted dishes and taking advantage of all of the local seafood and wine (great for fish lovers). There’s also the option to have a private Chef’s Table dining experience for 4-6, for a more intimate eating session. In the mornings, breakfast is also served at Murano; if to your taste, the truffle scrambled eggs are a must-have at least once during your stay.
For a more casual eating option, head to the Gourmet Corner, a lovely breakfast and lunch spot with the feel of an Italian deli. On Thursdays between May and mid-September, chefs will be hosting Al Fresco dining sessions here and cooking up a range of delicious pasta and risotto dishes. And after dinner, the cosy Library bar is perfect for an evening tipple.
When you need a moment of peace and quiet, pop up to the hotel’s spa floor for some time out. You’re well equipped with a sauna, steam room, experience shower, Turkish bath and swimming pool, plus plenty of space to sit and relax.
Aromatherapy Associates products and treatments are also both on offer to help you achieve maximum relaxation. Try the Regent Spa Signature Treatment, a head-to-toe combination of massage and lymphatic drainage complete with an aromatherapy oil best suited to your needs. If you’re feeling fancy, there’s even the option to have your treatment on a private yacht…
If you are looking for things to do in Montenegro, you should definitely go for wine tasting! Not far from Podgorica airport is the Plantaže vineyard and Sipcanik wine cellar, housed in a former secret hangar. Head for a wine tasting session, paired of course with delicious fruits and cheeses, or simply to pick up a few bottles to take home. Did we mention it’s much cheaper than you’ll find in the supermarket?
Made up of narrow streets and squares, the old town of Kotor also has plenty of history and interesting architecture on offer. Explore the city on your own or book in for a walking tour to see the area through the eyes of a local. For a few euros you can also climb the steps of the city walls for the postcard-perfect bird’s eye view.
If you’re interested in the local cuisine, there’s also an abundance of local restaurants and coffee spots to choose from, with Perast’s must-see Our Lady of the Rocks a short drive away. We recommend sitting in the town’s Square of the Arms for a people watching session paired with delicious coffee.
Read more tips about spending your holiday in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
20 June 2019 - The Baroque building of the Bujović palace opened its doors to the young artist, architect Luka Pajović, who presented himself to the Perast audience with the first solo exhibition: In The Image of La Serenissima: Reflections on the architectural history of Perast (1687-1797).
Apart from the key artifacts from the archives of the Perast town, drawings of the previously unmapped Perast churches and bell towers, the exhibition is based on an eponymous research project, conducted between October 2018 and June 2019 under the auspices of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
The director of the Museums of Kotor, Dušan Medin, presented the biography of architect Pajović and talked about the importance of this project, which pointed to the significance of Perast and its historical and cultural importance in Bay of Kotor and the former Venice Republic.
Professor Ilija Lalošević also spoke about the historical importance and strategic position of Perast, and recalled the importance of Serenissima for the development of the town. The catalog and exhibition are documented in the last 100 years of the rule of Serenissima in Perast.
"Luka's architect's language can particularly talk to the visitors, while the ideal interpolation and reconstruction was done well, which means that the author responded to a high-level task," said professor Lalošević on the occasion of the opening of the exhibition, as reported Radio Jadran.
Author Luka Pajović spoke about his impressions of Perast and the knowledge of the moment of construction that is characteristic of this Baroque city. He thanked everyone who provided him with assistance in this project after eight months of research and preparation.
"I would like to thank the RIBA for their inestimable financial and moral support, and for their decision to assist my work on this endlessly inspiring subject with one of their annual research awards. Thanks are also due to the Municipality of Podgorica and “Sveti Petar Cetinjski” Foundation, who provided additional financial aid to the project at its key stages," pointed out Pajović, adding that he owes debt to don Srećko Majić and Mrs Danka Lalošević, without whose generosity and patience throughout the process of surveying the churches of Perast this exhibition certainly would not take the form it does.
The exhibition will be opened until mid-July and the Museums of the City of Perast warmly recommended for audience of all age and professions.
Luka Pajović was born in Podgorica in 1995, where he received his elementary schooling and completed the first two years of secondary school, before continuing his studies at St. Peter’s School in York (UK). He completed his undergraduate studies of Architecture at the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture as a full scholar of Trinity College, having come top of his class two years in a row. Following his B. Arch. I studies, he spent a year working for the award-winning, London-based Tim Ronalds Architects, before returning to Montenegro to undertake a year-long independent research project, currently underway.
Read more news about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
19 June 2019 - The Tourism Council concluded that the tourist indicators in the first quarter of this year significantly exceeded the data from the record 2018, which, alongside the fact that the activities on the preparation of this year's peak season are implemented or being implemented in accordance with the plan, indicates that 2019 will be a very successful tourist year, reported the Government of Montenegro.
In the first three months of 2019, 166,628 tourists visited Montenegro, which is 38.15% more than in the same period of 2018, while 645,630 tourist nights were registered, 22.4% more than in the same period of the previous year. Tourist traffic data recorded by local tourism organisations show an increase of an average of 15.33% in the first 23 weeks of this year (from January to 14 June inclusive) compared to the same period of 2018.
"These data are even more important if you are aware that in the last year, in which Montenegrin tourism broke all records, the number of tourists increased by 10.24 percent compared to 2017, and the number of overnight stays by 8.17%," stated in the Report on the implementation of the activities envisaged by the Plan for the preparation of the 2019 summer tourist season, which the Council discussed.
The increase in the number of tourists and the number of nights is followed by the growth of revenues - in 2018, by 8.59% more than in 2017, and in the first quarter of this year, revenues increased by 7.9% compared to the record year 2018 when Montenegro exceeded one billion EUR in tourism revenues for the first.
Significant increase in the number of tourists in collective accommodation was recorded from the market of Germany (the number of arrivals for the first four months was five times higher than in the same period last year); doubled tourist traffic was recorded from the markets of Austria, the United Kingdom (32.25%), France (an increase of 11.23%) and Poland (an increase of 10.24%).
The Council noted that such good tourist trends are primarily the result of improving the quality of accommodation capacities and the development of new tourist facilities and offers. About 70 four-star and five-star hotels were opened during the mandate of this Government, while about 30 projects related to product development were supported in last year alone. Air transport accessibility has been improved and a number of activities have been implemented to promote the tourist offer by the National Tourism Organisation and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
Council President Duško Marković emphasised that the impressive growth of tourism as a leading economy, by its scope and financial effects, has again positioned Montenegro as a top tourist destination.
Despite the significant improvements that are evident from year to year, the Council pointed to constraints that exist when it comes to occasional traffic jams, the permeability of borders, execution of construction works during the season, improvement of utility services. It was noted that the constraints need to be addressed through additional coordination of the state authorities responsible for these issues and institutions at the local level. Furthermore, the Council stressed the need for additional engagement when it comes to employing foreigners and defining systemic solutions related to the education and training of lacking staff in the tourism sector. In order to effectively monitor the development of the tourist season and undertake measures to overcome the challenges, especially during the upcoming peak tourist season, the Council established a Coordinating Body for the season monitoring headed by Minister of Sustainable Development and Tourism Pavle Radulović.
Read more news about travel in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
13 June 2019 - Bad weather conditions in the pre-season did not affect the number of tourists visiting Bar. Director of Tourist Organization, Mr Emil Kukalj, says that although the number of visitors at one moment was lower than last year, after the weather conditions improved, there was even an increase in the number of tourists.
“We should work on developing a tourist product that will not be affected by weather conditions. By that I mean, development of cultural tourism and tourism based on concrete events," says Mr Kukalj.
Bar, as one of the most attractive tourist destinations, was presented in the neighboring countries and Western Europe. Feedback from the trade fairs visitors is positive. Visitors expressed the greatest interest in Bar during summer. However, a town under Rumija has the potential to change that.
“We tend to point out that this is a town on two coasts and National Park Skadar lake is one the pearls of the offer. We are trying to present Bar as destination suitable throughout the entire year,” says Mr Kukalj and believes that it’s achievable.
With the construction of several high-category hotels, Bar is slowly but surely becoming a destination that can respond to the demands of high-end visitors who are used to luxury. Director of TO stresses that appropriate infrastructure is a must.
“We are very happy to see that the municipality and the state invest in the development of infrastructure, roads, public utility infrastructure… The effect of the campaign “Our Bar- clean town” is very important too. The residents and tourists have to be aware that waste disposal at places designated for such purposes increases the quality of the offer and life of our citizens”, says Mr Kukalj.
Employees in the tourism sector are satisfied with the benefits that Bar has had from cruising in the last couple of years.
“Our partners, Port of Adria, Alegra Montenegro Agency, small local souvenir manufacturers welcoming the tourists from every cruiser play a major role,” points out Mr Kukalj.
This summer residents of Bar and visitors can expect a very diverse range of amenities and programs.
“Under the auspices of “Ljeto pod zvijezdama” we are going to organize shows of musicians from the region and local bands and performers. There will be concerts every Friday at the King Nikola promenade,” says Mr Kukalj.
Something new this summer – the City games – is an event that is going to take place on 28 June.
After the season, TO Bar is going to organize Grapes Festival in Virpazar.
Tourist-information desks are open in Virpazar, Čanj, Sutomore, Šušanj, Stari Bar, Topolica and soon in Utjeha and Ostros.
TO Bar has been working very hard on the promotion of the potentials of hinterland.
“Last month we organized the action “Pohod u planine” (Visit the mountains). It was a 50-kilometer long tour from the sea to the lake shore. It is just one segment of the offer, since Bar has 100 km of very interesting footpaths. They need to be maintained, tourist signalization should be installed… We expect support from the media, agencies, and local and state-level institutions,” says the Director of TO Bar.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
Local experts in spatial planning, sustainable development, and protection of the cultural heritage of Kotor believe that the Draft Spatial Plan of Kotor represents only the continuity of inadequate planning documents for this area and leads to further devastation of space.
Within the public hearing on the Draft of the Spatial Plan of the Municipality of Kotor and the accompanying Draft of the Report on Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment, the local expert group submitted their remarks to these documents to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. Experts are supported by part of the participants on the round table on this topic, Center for Sustainable Spatial Development Expeditio from Kotor organized on 5 June.
"Considering the current situation in Kotor, risking to lose the World Heritage status due to over-urbanization, the general importance of adopting a Spatial Urban Plan for the development of municipalities, and the problematic procedure and the quality of the document itself, local experts claim that the Draft Spatial Plan is only a continuation of inadequate planning arrangements for this area," Expeditio said on their official FB page.
"Even though the plan suggests, with the pressures of the outside, before all UNESCO, that it will partly limit the construction of facilities, we consider it still doesn't help the city to start from the deadlocks that it found by the lack of responsibility of local and state institutions."
Apart of the local experts, comments have been signed by some of the participants of the round table under the project "Active Citizens for Better Montenegro - The Rule of Law and Sustainable Development of Montenegro." At the roundtable, representatives of the profession, competent institutions, as well as all political parties operating in Kotor, were invited.
Experts recall that the neglect of expert opinion in the field of spatial planning in the last 15 years has caused Kotor today threatening to review status on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
In their view, the Draft Spatial Plan does not represent the sustainable development strategy with the idea but allows for further alteration of the ambiance, thus destabilizing the values for which the Natural and Cultural Historic Area of Kotor is enrolled on the World Heritage List.
The presented document experts commented in the remarks as unworthy of the profession, without the minimum of professional standards.
"Methodologically, the document is at an inappropriately low level, full of contradictions, copied pieces from different materials, which, in a large extent, represent the content of the document itself, which is unacceptable. Such a plan will be impossible to implement," states the letter addressed to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, which has signed 13 of the most subordinated space planning and protection experts from Boka Bay.
They point out that a significant role for this plan plays the legislative framework - the Space Planning and Construction Facility Act of 2018, which instead of introducing the order and upgrading the space planning system has led to complete chaos. The established, previously confirmed planning practices were abolished, creating a prerequisite for accelerating the devastation of space, ignoring the already dramatic condition in Montenegro.
One of the critical remarks of experts from Kotor is that the Draft Spatial Plan does not entirely rely on the Cultural Heritage Protection Study for the area of the Kotor Municipality, which was done precisely for this document. This Study is only formally cited, but its core guidelines and the way of treating the Invertebrate Areas are not taken into account, which is incomprehensible, because, for a municipality where more than one third of the territory is on the Heritage List, it must have been the primary starting point for making the plan, experts conclude.
The only solution to the current situation is that the planning is brought back to experienced teams of planning experts, with the involvement of experts in the area of protection of the World Heritage, who would, without resorting to politics and personal interests make a document that would represent a breakthrough from the previous harmful planning practices.
"Of course, the prerequisite is a complete change of the space planning system (because its improvement is unfortunately impossible), including the legislative framework. The priority should be given to preserving the extraordinary universal value of the Kotor Area, as clearly indicated by the UNESCO / ICOMOS Reactive Monitoring Mission Report of November 2018, "states the remarks, experts from Boka Bay submitted yesterday to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism of Montenegro.
11 June 2019 - The first results of the analysis of seawater quality for 100 public swimming areas, conducted by the Institute of Biology for the needs of Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro from May 23rd to May 26th, showed that on 89% of the beaches the quality of seawater was K1 class, while on 11% of the swimming areas the water was K2 class.
These results confirm that the seawater at Montenegrin beaches is of excellent quality, i.e., that the beaches have good sanitary conditions and that the water is safe for swimming and recreation.
Out of 16 swimming areas in Ulcinj Municipality, 13 had water with excellent quality, while 3 beaches had water with class K2, or satisfactory quality.
In Bar, the quality of seawater was K1 class on all 12 swimming areas, while in the municipality of Budva the analysis was done in 27 locations, one of which was recorded quality K2, while in other locations the sea water had K1 class quality.
The quality of seawater K1 was determined at 6 swimming areas in Tivat, while 3 of Tivat’s beaches had the quality class K2.
In Kotor, out of a total of 15 bathing areas, the quality K1 was determined at 12 locations, while for the remaining 3 the quality of the water was K2 class.
When it comes to water quality on the Herceg Novi coast, the analyses showed the sea water quality K1 class at a total of 20 swimming areas, while one beach had water with quality rating class K2.
The results of testing the sanitary quality of seawater, as well as the data on sea temperature, air temperature and salinity for each individual bathing site, can be found on the special application on the website www.morskodobro.com.
Since 1996, the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro has been implementing annual programs for monitoring the sanitary quality of seawater at public beaches during the summer season in accordance with the provisions of the Water Act. Since 2010, this Program has been implemented by the Decree on classification and categorization of waters, as well as following other national and international regulations in the field of environmental protection.
In order to monitor the sanitary safety of seawater in public swimming areas and its overall quality, and in accordance with national and international regulations, the following parameters are examined: basic microbiological parameters - escherichia coli, intestinal enterococci, as well as additional chemical parameters: air temperature, water temperature (when taking a sample), salinity, pH value, the colour saturation with oxygen (% O2), ammonia (mg / l), floating waste materials (descriptive) and colour and transparency (descriptive).
Read more about Montenegro's coast at TMN's dedicated page.
10 June 2019 - The Director of the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro, Predrag Jelušić, presented a total of 29 Blue Flags to various swimming areas (beaches) and one to Marina Bar, which is the only marina in Montenegro that has this prestigious ecological feature, reports National Tourism Organization of Montenegro.
The iconic Blue Flag is one of the world’s most recognised voluntary eco-labels awarded to beaches, marinas, and sustainable boating tourism operators. In order to qualify for the Blue Flag, a series of stringent environmental, educational, safety, and accessibility criteria must be met and maintained.
The Blue Flag program has been implemented in Montenegro since 2003 when NGO "EKOM" became an associate member of the Foundation for Environmental Education and thus acquired the right to be the National Operator for Montenegro. PE for Coastal Zone Management immediately recognized the importance of the Blue Flag and from the very beginning became the general sponsor and supporter of the Program, which is one of the most important activities related to the responsible management of the coast and beaches.
The Blue Flag is awarded for the current season based on the results from the previous season, which are assessed by the National Commission consisting of the representatives of the relevant Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone Management, the Red Cross of Montenegro, the Port Management, and the environmental NGOs. At the beginning of each year, they review the statements and reports of beach tenants and analyse the fulfilment of 32 criteria in the area of safety and services on beaches, quality of seawater and environmental activities, regardless of the number of years spent in the Program.
Based on the proposal of the National Commission, each year the international jury awards certain swimming areas (beaches) with the Blue Flag. The jury gathers and makes the decisions in Copenhagen each year at the end of May. Members of the international jury are representatives of renowned institutions such as the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), the International Rescue Organization (IRC), the UN Environment Program, The International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) and others.
Blue Flag Awarding is based on meeting the criteria in four basic areas: ecological education and information, water quality, ecological management and safety and service. For beaches, from 2017, it is necessary to comply with 33 criteria, out of which 28 are imperative and 5 are recommended. Some of the necessary criteria are: ecological and educational activities, highlighted map of the beach with marked different contents, compliance with requirements and standards regarding frequency of sampling of sea water, fulfilling requirements and standards in terms of microbiological, physical and chemical parameters of sea water, sanitary facilities with controlled drainage, emergency response plans etc.
Read more about exploring Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
06 June 2019 - Montenegro is undoubtedly a hidden gem in Eastern Europe. This tiny Balkan country is nestled between Croatia’s Dalmatian coast and Albania and is a perfect place for families who enjoy exploring lesser-known destinations. The rugged coastlines, quaint villages and epic mountains are sure to capture your heart. Lindsey Bybee visited this beautiful country with her kids and is sharing 5 of her favorite family-friendly Montenegro experiences.
As explained by Bybee, parents who visit Montenegro will love the beautiful beaches, kid-friendly hiking opportunities, affordability, old-world architecture and great seafood! Their children will also be entertained by boat rides and can enjoy warm seawater, wandering through car-free streets and chatting with friendly locals.
Bybee also emphasized that, according to her preference, the best time to visit Montenegro with kids is during the spring or fall season, because this is a great way to avoid the summer beach crowds. Lindsey created a small guide where she carefully described her adventure in Montenegro with her family through five experiences that left the biggest impression on her.
Budva is Montenegro’s most popular destination for travelers, and for a good reason. This medieval city is not only filled with history but is also home to some of the country’s most beautiful beaches. Make sure to check out the picturesque walkway along the rocky coast, where you can get a great view of the walled city itself. It’s a great people-watching spot as well. During the summer, your little ones will love watching some of the local kids and teenagers diving off of the nearby rocks into the water below. The walk also leads to the more secluded Mogren Beach, which is one of Budva’s best spots to relax in the sand.
Surrounded by dark mountains, Kotor is one of Montenegro’s most stunning cities. The cobblestone streets, medieval architecture and UNESCO World Heritage Site status make Kotor a must-see for travelers. If your little ones love animals, they’re in for a treat too! Kotor is known for its resident cats that can be found all over the city. Children will love seeing their furry friends around every corner. There are even shops where the proceeds from souvenir purchases will go to feed and care for the local cats.
When creating your Montenegro itinerary, plan to spend a day near the magical little island of Sveti Stefan. The island itself is home to a luxury resort and is only accessible to hotel guests (though, you can make a restaurant reservation on the island to get there as well), but the views of the island from a distance are stunning too. The nearby beaches are pristine, and not crowded at all. Kids will enjoy sitting in the water and searching through the pebbles for pretty rocks and shells.
When in Montenegro, eat as the Montenegrins do! The whole family will love trying some of the local eats. Cevapcici, which is basically small grilled sausages, is a Balkan favorite and will be popular with the little ones. They usually come with french fries, which are always a crowd-pleaser too! If you happen to find yourself in Sveti Stefan, take your family for a meal at the restaurant Olive Tree. It’s right next to a playground and is on the water. The pleasant ambiance, great views, friendly staff, and yummy food will make it a great dining experience for kids and parents alike.
Want to check out some beautiful views and get in a little exercise? A hike up the city walls is a can’t-miss when visiting Kotor. While not too strenuous, it is worth wearing a good pair of walking shoes, as there are many steps and a lot of loose rocks along the way. The views from the top make it worth the effort!
Read more about travelling through Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
01 June 2019 - Starting this summer, Montenegrin beaches will receive a guide in the form of an offline android application. The Enjoy Montenegro Coast: Offline Guide is intended primarily for tourists and visitors of the Montenegrin coast, to make it easier to choose the desired beach, but also to locals who want to get to know the Montenegrin coast as reported by the Public Enterprise for the Coastal Zone of Montenegro.
"The application contains a user-friendly offline map with information about the selected beach, marina or protected area on the coast," said representatives of the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone of Montenegro
When choosing a beach, the application will calculate precise mileage from the current location of the user, and then draw the shortest route to the destination.
In the drop-down menu, the user can single out the beaches or marinas with prestigious ecological recognition of the Blue Flag, and there are 30 of those in Montenegro. At all times, the user can check the quality of seawater at around 100 different bathing places along the Montenegrin Coast.
The application was created by the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone of Montenegro, which manages Montenegrin beaches and coastal infrastructure (marinas, ports, pier, berths).
Enjoy Montenegro Coast: Offline Guide android application can be downloaded for free on Google Play Store. Once downloaded, the application functions in the offline mode, that is, no internet connection is required for its use, as explained by the Public Enterprise for Coastal Zone of Montenegro.