A long week-end in the Sun in October: try Montenegro

This was the second long week-end in 2017 spent on a girls trip. The first girls trip of 2017 was in June in Malaga and I loved having the opportunity to visit the Picasso Museum, eat great food and generally have adult conversations with my friends. I hope to share my impressions of Malaga in a future post.

After my return from Malaga, I had a quick look at potential low cost flights from either Brussels or Paris towards another sunny destination that many of my friends recommended: Montenegro. I found Transavia taking off from Paris Orly. I was aiming for an escape in the end September, to avoid the crowds. If you are thinking about going in the same period, keep in mind they only fly directly till Ocotber to Tivat ( part of the Summer schedule). I found a flight for less than 200 Euro and convinced two friends to join in.

We landed in Tivat, on the Adriatic coast. Tivat is a small resort town, with quite a few accomodation possibilities for all budgets. It seems to be popular with the yahting community and has a huge marina filled with expensive looking yahts. But do not let this discourage you. End September it was pretty calm and low key, with great beach access from the promenade.

We spent the day or arrival lazzying at the beach and walking up and down the promenade. Sufficient to fill an afternoon and get us ready for starting the exploration of Kotor the next day.

View from the hotel

image

Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site about 11 km from Tivat. You can use public transportation to get to Kotor. We took something called the the BLUE LINE after having previously checked with the hotel that it still runs and where is the station. You will find very little signalling in the actual bus stop or on the bus for that matter so better carry a map to point to where you want to go to the driver in case of doubt. English is very little spoken outside hotels. If you can manage some Russian, that will take you a bit further.

Kotor (Котор) is a medieval maze of cobble stone streets bordered by museums, churches and Venetian architecture. A tourist info point at the entrance will give you a map with everything signalled. If you decide to visit the Citadel, high above the city, a 45 min climb awaits. The view makes it worthwhile.

Once you get back down, go for some simple but delicous food in a small place just outside the Kotor fortification. It is a BBQ place called Tanjga. It does not look like much from the outside but portions are huge and meat is fresh. Go around the house and sit in their garden out back.

We spent the rest of the day visiting the Kotor Cathedral and then made our way back to Tivat for dinner.

Our second full day was spent in Budva. This time we were less lucky in finding local transporation. We finally arrived in the autostation only to find that the bus to Budva had left already and the next one will depart in 2 hours. We decided to go for a taxi that costed about 20 Euro.

The old city is compact and easy to navigate. Spend some time in the Citadella Fortress as the views from the ramparts are great. There are several city beaches easily accessible once you leave the Citadell and head towards the marina, lined with many fish restaurants. We did not eat here as heavily geared towards tourists. We went a bit inland and had great fish of the day at a small local eatery called L&M. It is about 10 -15 min walk from the seaside promenade. We were super happy with our food and the portions were huge.

After lunch we took a boat out to Sveti Stefan. This is a small pictoresque island off the Budva coast. It hosts a 5 star resort and you will not be able to visit unless you have a reservation in the hotel or restaurant. We circled it with a boat and listened a few stories of the rich and famous from our captain. Apparently, tennis champion Novak Djokovic married Jelena Ristić at Sveti Stefan.

imageBack on land, we headed for the bus station. After asking a few peple and armed with a map, we were victorious in identifying the appropriate bus and for something like 5 Euro, we were back in Tivat in about 30 min.

The next day was our departure day. in the morning we took a final walk on the promenade, snapped some photos and shopped for souvenirs. Before heading back to the airport, we had lunch at the Big Ben, next to the water. The food was good but the local wine was really excellent. Not cheap though. If you are looking for a treat in Tivat, you would not regrete the choice. It was probably the best meal of our short trip.

Happy travells in 2018 and leave me a word if you know other sunny October destinations around Europe. I am mentally planning my next trip!

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