When most people head to Montenegro, they usually end up in Budva. It has become the place to visit in the country because of its incredible nightlife and beautiful beaches.
I recommend staying in Budva for three days before venturing out to see other places in Montenegro. Here are my suggestions for 5 myst visit day trips from Budva!
A five-minute’s drive south from Budva will bring you to the picturesque town of Sveti Stefan for your day trip. Recognized as being a strategic trading port for the ancient Venetian Republic in the 15th century, this small town at the foot of the Lovcen mountain range has since been rebuilt, re-conceptualized and re-vamped into one of the most upscale vacation spots in the Mediterranean.
The red roofs, stone facades, and bronze detailing lend themselves to Sveti Stefan’s charm and old world feel. Famous bombshells who frequented Sveti Stefan include Marylin Monroe, Sophia Loren, and Claudia Schiffer.
Sveti Stefan is located approximately 20 kilometers (about 12 miles) south of Kotor Old Town, making it a convenient day trip destination from Budva day trips. Kotor, on the other hand, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its rich historical and cultural significance.
Nowadays it is still an exclusive resort town with pristine pebble beaches lining the path from the mainland to the village. Want to splurge? No problem at all.
The Aman is a world-class resort that owns 2 kilometers of pink sand coastline in and around Sveti Stephan, and can offer you a variety of unforgettable experiences on the island. The Aman also has three restaurants throughout the island- Queen’s Chair, Olive Restaurant, and Beach Café.
Perhaps the most frequented island in Montenegro by eco tourists and Montenegrins alike, stunning triangle-shaped Ada Bojana is located in the Ulcinj region of the country and boasts a plethora of sun and sport for its visitors. Only the Bojana River separates this southern coast Monetegrin island from the country of Alabania. Named by The New York Times as one of the top places to go in 2010, Ada Bojana offers sprawling sandy beaches, super fresh seafood, and premier kite and windsurfing locations. Visitors can get to Ada Bojana by taking the E-65/ E-80 south from Budva, then the E-851 for about 20 minutes past the Ulcinj exit.
The beaches of Ada Bojana are a haven for nudists, so do not be surprised if you encounter beachgoers sans swimsuits. If you would rather not partake, or if you are feeling prudish, there are plenty of spots on the beach that you can enjoy with your bottoms on. Ada Bojana boasts breathtaking sunsets and an unmatched sense of serenity that many consider priceless.
For a different kind of day trips away from sun and sand, head to Bar- Montenegro’s main seaport. Bar is a modern city, which was rebuilt entirely after the Second World War. Although there are about 20 beaches in the area, Bar also offers numerous other ways to spend the day, including sightseeing and shopping around its historical center. The old town of bar (Stari Bar) is filled with cobblestone streets, archaeological sites, and ruins that represent the city’s rich heritage. A well-preserved 16th century aqueduct frames a section of the old towns. The city’s inhabitants date back the Neolithic Era, but past rulers include the Byzantine Empire, Venetian Republic, and the Ottoman Empire.
On foot, visitors can check out Bar’s 6th century churches, Turkish bathhouses, 19th century King Nikola’s Palace and Haj Nehaj fortress, the 17th century Omerbasoca Mosque, and the 2,000-year-old olive trees. Nearby Lake Skadar, the largest lake on the Balkan Peninsula, is easily accessed by car from the city of Bar. The lake and its surroundings are designated national parks. There are also numerous monasteries and churches to visit around the Lake Skadar area. One of the most popular keepsakes from Bar is a bottle of olive oil, which is renown for its exquisite taste and quality. Bar is a rare glimpse into Montenegro’s rich history and tapestry of cultures. To get there take the E-65 south from Budva along the coast.
Between the months of May and September hundreds of travelers flocks to Ulcinj- a popular tourist destination and principal city of Montenegro’s southern Ulcinj region. With mountains, beaches, sea, lakes, rivers, lowlands, and ancient historical sights in and around the city, Ulcinj is a one-stop-shop for fun in the sun. Stroll the tiny fortress-like old town on foot to check out the sights and exterior city walls that date back to medieval times. The views from atop the fortress are awe inspiring and breathtaking.
The old town also features a museum that provides a detailed description of the city’s history during the past 2,000 years. Visitors can also head out to Large Beach (Velik Plaza), Ladies Beach, or the more central Small Beach (Mala Plaza) to pass the day by the shore. Ladies Beach is said to help women become more fertile, but whatever your intentions are for coming you will be sure to love exotic and charming Ulcinj. The city’s population is mostly Albanian, and its influential oriental heritage is felt throughout.
After a morning swim head to the Korzo by Small Beach. It is a promenade lined with coffee shops, restaurants and bars. If you are certified, Ulcinj is a great place to Scuba dive. From Large Beach, divers can swim amongst shipwrecks and ancient cities that have since drowned. Visitors can get to Ulcinj by taking the E-65/ E-80 south from Budva, then the E-851.
Virpazar is a small sleepy Montenegrin town with a population of approximately 1,400. It is located at the northern tip of Lake Skadar, which is the largest lake in the area. If you are looking for excitement and high-energy fun Virpazar may not be the ideal stop off for your trip. But if you are into enjoying tranquility and simplicity do not second-guess yourself and head on over to Virpazar, where you can fish, bird watch, and enjoy the simpler joys in life.
Walking across the stone bridge and taking in the view is the most exciting thing to do in Virpazar proper, but Lake Skadar, a national park area, is a great place to take a boat ride and enjoy the view of Grmozur Island, which dramatically juts out from the water and forms an exquisite backdrop to the glassy lake. Virpazar can easily be explored in an afternoon. An avid birdwatcher’s dream, Lake Skadar boasts over 200 migratory bird species, including some of Europe’s last Pelicans.
What are your recommendations for the best day trips from Budva? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a question or comment below.