The coast of Montenegro stretches 183 miles (294 km) from Albania to Croatia. It might perhaps be the crown jewel of the entire Meditteranean with beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and small towns that warm your heart and bring a smile to your face. And not to mention the scenic drive; driving along the coast of Montenegro is magnificent with the Adriatic Sea to one side and towering mountains to your other. As you weave around sharp turns and pass through tunnels in the mountains, you’ll be transfixed by the beauty of Montenegro with each seaside town pulling at your heartstrings.
Below you’ll find a list of things that you must see and do when you visit the coast of Montenegro. Some of these things are obvious (visit Kotor), but others are a bit more under the radar even if it means stopping for a few hours in a town to eat lunch or going out of your way for some of the most scenic viewpoints of the coastline.
The Best Things to See and Do Along the Coast of Montenegro
Before reading further, this list is sorted as if you were traveling from south to north. However, you can still do these things if you’re traveling from north to south – just start from the end of the list and work your way towards the top!
1. Eat Seafood at Konoba Tramontana in Petrovac
The salmon entree that I had at Konoba Tramontana in Petrovac was one of the best seafood meals I had in Montenegro. (I found it because I was sitting at a different restaurant and told the waiter that I wanted really really good seafood; he pointed to Konoba Tramontana and told me to go there instead).
I don’t know if it was the cool breeze off of the ocean, the crisp Aperol spritz that I was sipping on, or the impeccable furnishings of an outdoor patio but this place had me hooked. I slowly enjoyed my salmon as I sat and watched beach-goers dive into the waves, boats transport passengers along the coast, and kids stop for ice cream along the promenade.
Friendly note: I drove to Petrovac and ended up having my car towed. If you’re driving, make sure you park in the parking lots that are located right before you arrive in town. Even if it looks like people are parked on the street – don’t do it. These are tow-away zones. (This goes for every town along the coast).
2. Visit Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan is most notably famous for its island inlet that boasts an exclusive five-star resort. And not only is the area beautiful but there are also some great public beaches to hang out at. If you’re looking for a quiet and beautiful beach area (with no views of the island), Queen’s Beach is for you. If you’re looking for a beach where you can still spot the island then head to Milocer Beach. If you’re facing Milocer Beach, to the far right there’s a cave that brings you to a small cemented area that is good for laying out and jumping in the water. The third public beach is Sveti Stefan Plaza 2 Beach, however, because this is closest to the island it’s also going to be the most crowded.
3. Visit Lovćen National Park for Views of the Coast
Although Lovćen isn’t on the coast, it has great views of the coast and therefore I think it’s worth the visit. From Sveti Stefan, it’s about an hour’s drive north to Lovćen. I recommend making it to the very top of the Mausoleum of Petar Il Petrovic-Njegos where you can walk out and see incredible views over Montenegro (this costs 7 Euro). From there you’ll take the road towards “Kotor” where you’ll be served amazing views of the coast. Plus there will be places that you can pull over and get out for photos!
If you’re coming from Kotor then the views will be on your way up instead of on the way down.
4. Spend time in Porto Admiring the Yachts
Porto, Montenegro is located in the municipality of Tivat. It’s the first municipality in the Bay of Kotor if you’re coming from the south.
Although yachts are scattered all along the coast of Montenegro, the port at Porto seemed to have larger-than-life super-yachts occupying the promenade. I recommend stopping to admire and also grab a bite to eat at One! I also really enjoyed eating at Panorama Restaurant at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club – the food was divine, but a bit more expensive than the food at One.
5. Spend the Night in Kotor
Oftentimes referred to as the “jewel of Montenegro”, Kotor is quite small and can easily be seen in a couple of hours. However, I urge you to slow down and spend more time here than just a few hours. The streets are often packed with tourists during the day, with crowds thinning out at night, and almost non-existent in the early morning hours. And these are the times that Kotor shines. So book a place to stay, slow down, and get up early in the morning to have the streets of Kotor all to yourself.
For more information on Kotor, check out A Guide to Visiting Kotor, Montenegro
6. Hike Up the Kotor Old Town City Walls to the Castle of San Giovanni
One of the most rewarding things that I did when I visited Montenegro was hiking the Old City Walls in Kotor to the Castle of San Giovanni. Once you reach the top you’ll have the most impressive views of the town and the Bay of Kotor below. I highly recommend going early in the morning or at sunset (basically when the sun isn’t out in full force) as the hike is a bit grueling and there are no places to stop for water along the way.
There are two ways to get to the Castle. The first way is the traditional way, where you’ll have to pay 8 Euro to enter. Or you can go a different route that doesn’t cost money. If you choose the “free” way, you’ll exit out of the old town walls near the “drinking fountain” (or Bastion Restaurant). You’ll cross a bridge and head to your right. Either way is about the same distance and once you reach the top you can go down as normal because nobody will ask to see your ticket upon descent.
7. Stop for Fresh Oysters and Mussels Along the Coast
One of my favorite hidden gems I found along the coast of Montenegro was this incredible seafood place that only serves drinks, oysters, mussels, and bread, sitting down on the beach, hidden away from the busy road above.
Now, I don’t know the name of this hidden gem (I think it might be in Russian?), but I can tell you how to easily find it. Located between Kotor and Perast you’ll find an oyster bar named “Oyster Farm”. While the atmosphere at Oyster Farm is good, the food isn’t as good and is much higher priced than this little seafood place sitting just down the road. These restaurants are so close to one another you can see each one from the other restaurant. If you’re driving from south to north instead of turning off at Oyster Farm, turn off at the very next stop on your left. It should be about 30-seconds after passing Oyster Farm.
8. Buy Pomegranate Wine
Pomegranates grow wildly throughout Montenegro and someone had the bright idea to turn the seeds into wine! And trust me, it – is – good. Instead of being sweet, like some wines I’ve previously tasted made from fruit other than grapes, this pomegranate wine is nice and refreshing. It’s what I would refer to at home as a “porch pounder”. As long as you keep your eyes open you can find pomegranate wine in many areas along the coast. I purchased mine in Perast!
9. Lounge at Pirate Bar in Perast
Perhaps my favorite beach bar in all of Montenegro, Pirate Bar is where it’s at. It’s a fun restaurant/bar that is beautifully decorated and sits right on the water. You can sit in one of their lounge chairs for 15 Euro, or sit on the free beach on the other side of the bar. They also have other options for chairs that are cheaper (10 Euro) but don’t come with an umbrella.
10. Get Out On the Water
There’s no reason to visit the coast if you don’t plan to get into the water (at least once!). All along the coast, there are tons of areas to jump right in and enjoy. However, I highly recommend doing all of your water activities in Perast where you can rent a kayak, paddleboard, or take a boat out.
The reason I recommend spending time in the water in Perast is that it’s right near Our Lady of the Rocks and the whole scenery is just stunning.
Logistics of Traveling Throughout Montenegro
Transportation in Montenegro
There are many options to choose from when it comes to transportation in Montenegro. You can get around by renting a car, hiring a taxi, by bus, and at times by ferry. I chose to rent a car from Green Motion, picking it up in Podgorica and returning it in Kotor. It was nice to have a car to get around, however, if you’re visiting during the summer months traffic is a nightmare and parking is even worse. If you still rent a car at this time make sure that wherever you’re staying offers free, on-site parking.
For information on bus travel, check out this website. And if you choose to get around by taxi, know that by law taxi drivers are supposed to charge around 0.80 Euro/km. Make sure to discuss the price ahead of time as there aren’t meters in most taxis.
If you’re flying into Montenegro there are two airports to choose from. The first is in the capital – Podgorica. And the second on the coast in Tivat. Montenegro is small so if it’s easier and cheaper to fly into Podgorica, it’s pretty easy to get to the coast in a decent amount of time.
What Time of the Year Should You Visit Montenegro?
If you’re focusing on seeing Montenegro’s coastline, I highly suggest visiting in the summer months. July and August are the busiest months, so if you can, I’d avoid visiting at these times. May and September see fewer crowds and it’s usually still warm enough to get in the water.
Where to Stay Along the Coast
Below you’ll find a rundown of where I stayed when I drove the coast of Montenegro. Make sure to read whether or not I would recommend each place and why!
I first overnighted in Sveti Stefan at Hotel California. I don’t think that you need to overnight in Sveti Stefan as there isn’t much to see and do around town. Plus, as Hotel California is a five-star hotel, I didn’t think it lived up to the hype. My favorite part about it was that there were free beach chairs on a private beach, but I wouldn’t stay again.
My second stay was further north up the coast in Lepetani, Tivat. Lepetani is a small town with a ferry that runs 24-hours a day (perfect if you want to visit Herceg Novi) and areas where you can easily access the water. It’s an ideal destination if you’re looking for a quiet getaway… but to access good bars and restaurants you’ll need to have a ride or being willing to walk 45+ minutes. I stayed in this Airbnb and highly recommend it. (If you’re looking for a spot that is a little bit more “happening”, perhaps search around Porto, Tivat).
I enjoyed my stay in Kotor and highly recommend spending at least a night in town. There are bars and restaurants throughout the old town and even more local spots outside of the fortified walls. I stayed in this Airbnb and highly recommend it.
While I can say with certainty that coming back to discover more hidden gems along the coast of Montenegro is high up on my “to do” list, my first trip to the country was a great introduction to the beauty of Montenegro. I hope that you’re inspired to add this one-of-a-kind country to your bucket list.
Turn this into a road trip! Read The Best 4 Day Montenegro Road Trip for ideas on how to incorporate these stops into a mini trip