Up close and personal: Porto Montenegro

Porto Montenegro
Porto Montenegro

Up close and personal: Porto Montenegro

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Set within the calmness of Boka Bay along the sun-drenched Montenegrin coastline is Porto Montenegro. At first glance, it appears to be a destination for well-heeled yacht dwellers. However, its rich and complicated past lends itself to the grandeur it has become today. Originally known (and sometimes still referred to) as Tivat, this enchanting area still showcases the influences of the various inhabitants over the centuries, including Serbians, Venetians, Yugoslavs, Romans and Greeks. This upscale neighborhood is a great spot to window shop and explore, from superyachts moored in the harbor to exquisite fashion houses.

 A little history and what to do

Porto Montenegro has a long history of cultural refinement and high society. Archaeological digs around the region have unearthed artifacts belonging to the upper-class Greek and Roman civilizations. Because of its location on the water, this part of the city was also known for its sailing and trade community. Today, Porto Montenegro has kept the luxe sophistication of the past and relishes its high-brow status as the Monte Carlo of the Balkans.

Walking along the port itself gives an air of elegance without breaking your budget. Elbow rub amongst the elite at the Porto Montenegro Yacht Club, which boasts a stunning, crystal-clear infinity pool overlooking the bay. Once you’ve taken a few hours to unwind, head to the waterfront and check out some of the local museums. Many offer a fascinating look into the history of Tivat and Montenegro as they are located in the former homes of aristocrats, religious clergy and royalty dating back centuries. Take a stroll through the tall evergreens of Spomenik Spasiću i Mašeri Memorial Park and adjacent Veliki Gradski Park. Or head out on the water and take a glimpse of the golden colors of sunset from a boat cruise or rented boat.

Good eats

For exquisite and expertly prepared dishes, make a booking at the Murano at the Regent Hotel. Freshly caught fish of the day, seafood risotto, handcrafted pasta and decadent desserts can be found on their menu. Looking for something a little less expensive yet still trendy and delicious? Head over to ONE Restaurant and Bar. Open from breakfast through late-night, the cafe offers a tasty and colorful twist on seafood dishes and Mediterranean fare. If you’re feeling like a Balkan take on American favorites, head just up the road to Big Ben. Thick, juicy burgers and generous helpings of crispy chips (fries) will satisfy even the hungriest of appetites.

Although it may be a windy road from Kotor or Podgorica to this hidden gem, spending a day basking in the luxury of Porto Montenegro is worth the trip.

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