Budva and Sveti Stefani

Sveti Stefani, Montenegro

Budva is your true touristy hot spot. It is quickly becoming a Montenegrin riviera packed with Russian tourists and plentiful bars right on the Adriatic sea. We were there in 2014 and 2015 and it seemed, that in a year, the number of tourists and bars no less than doubled. Close proximity to Dubrovnik, makes it a great day-trip destination and most people zoom past Budva all-together to check out the tiny island of Sveti Stefan. I’m not judging. It requires a bit of cultural acclimatization to hang out with the Russians on a tightly packed beach. But if you are looking for a bargain, and challenge yourself to spend every day at a new beach, you might want to give Budva a chance.

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Old town of Budva, Montenegro
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Beach outside of city walls. Castles and beaches, you can’t have a better combination than that.
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Old town of Budva, Montenegro
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In spanish these are called “garitas” and it seems like most of the forts around the world have them. World is so big and so small at the same time.
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I need an apartment right there in that cute house.

Budva offers numerous beautiful beaches. Richardova Glava sits right outside the walls of the old city and offers my favorite combination of old architecture and beach from one point of view.  The romantic tranquility is interrupted by blaring music from the numerous beach bars, but overall it’s pretty nice. Jazz Beach is 10-15 min walk around the cliff. You can also hire a taxi boat to take you to the island of Sveti Nicola or to any other beaches squeezed in between the azure sea and steep rocks.

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Exploring surrounding islands.

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In case you get thirsty while boating and island hopping, a bar is just a hop and a skip away.

If you come here for a day or two, hire a small boat from the main peer and zoom around little islands scattered in front of Budva. Your focal point will be Sveti Stefani – a private island that can be admired from the water or the hill above. The whole island is a resort for rich and famous with more than $1000 per night rooms. Little piece of pop trivia – this is where Novak Djokovic, Serbian super star tennis player got married.

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Sveti Stefani, Montenegro
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If you can’t afford to stay there, swim around and pretend you are part of this.
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$1000 a night rooms. They look very nice from the outside.

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Island hopping as a family affair.

Because of its popularity, best time to enjoy this town and surrounding areas is off-season – May or September – perfect weather without the crowds.

Important Info

Transportation

You can rent a car at the Dubrovnik airport and follow signs to Hercog Novi. 10 min past Herzog Novi then take the ferry and then it’s another 45 min.
Take a bus from Dubrovnik airport.
Hire a private driver. See my notes for Bay of Kotor.

Accommodations

There is no shortage of all-inclusive hotels but my recommended option would be to rent an apartment via Airbnb and there is plenty to select from.

Food

There are million bars along the main walking drag serving Mediterranean and Balkan cuisine. Because of the number of places available, prices are competitive. The lunch specials that include soup, salad and a main dish are also popular and you can find one for around 8€.

Excursion

Water taxis. To get you to Sveti Nicola is 6€ per person. A two hour scenic ride to Sveti Stefan and around the other beaches will set you off 20€ per person.

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Ultimate Guide to Budva and Sveti Stefani

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