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Destination: Montenegro

Published on 01 august 2016 at 0h00

Situated between Croatia (to the north) and Albania (to the south), Montenegro is a destination which is still little-known, in the Adriatic Sea. A little gem that a few rare charter companies offer you the opportunity to discover…

LOGBOOK

Venetian sailors in the Middle Ages named this region ‘Monte Negro’, the black mountain, after catching sight of the dark pine covered slopes of Mount Lovcen from the decks of their boats. With 295 km of coastline, particularly conducive to discovery and mellow cruising, Montenegro is also a mountainous country. You can thus alternately swim in the clear waters of the gulfs and go for exceptional walks: more than half the country is at an altitude of over 1,000m, whilst the highest point reaches 2,500 meters. During your cruise, you will appreciate the sublime beaches (over 70km, stretched along the coasts of Montenegro) as well as – and perhaps even especially – the incredibly well-protected old villages bordering the little creeks which are invisible from the sea. A new discovery each time that you will not forget. In the 1980s, Montenegro became a fashionable tourist destination, but the conflicts in the region at the beginning of the 90s, notably in Yugoslavia, got the better of the holidaymakers’ attraction to this countryside, which was however still relatively undamaged. The country is slowly but surely being rediscovered, and the richness the region offers is attracting more and more cruisers (and walkers) looking for new destinations which are safe and easily accessible. The environment is an important preoccupation for this little country (700,000 inhabitants), the first to include its protection in its constitution, from 1992 onwards. Montenegro’s history is complicated, as it always is in this part of the world: for several centuries, this dukedom was more or less independent of the regional powers. In 1918, Montenegro joined the kingdom of Yugoslavia, and was then occupied by Italy, before the communist regime created the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, one of those which then made up the Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia, which after the wall came down, became the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, in 1992. In 2003, the break-up of this last version of Yugoslavia gave birth to an interim state of Serbia-and-Montenegro. Finally, on 3rd June 2006, Montenegro’s parliament officially declared its independence.

Montenegro cruising

Kotor fjord is the biggest in the whole of southern Europe, and penetrates 28 km inland…

PRACTICAL MONTENEGRO

Formalities: Montenegro only requires a visa if you are going to stay for more than 30 to 90 days, depending on your country of origin. On the other hand, to charter a boat, you must present a sailing qualification and a VHF license. Getting there: Tivat airport is situated less than 15 minutes from the base by car. Podgorica international airport is 1h 30m from Kotor by car. Finally, you can land at Dubrovnic in Croatia, but you will lose a little time crossing the border. Reckon on between 2h and 2h 30m to reach Kotor by car. Weather: The climate is of course Mediterranean, and you can sail all the year round in Montenegro, though the best season is from May through October. In summer, the average temperature is 30°C, whilst the water is already at 21°C in June, rising to 25°C in August. Montenegro benefits from more than 250 days of sunshine per year, and a moderate breeze blows from either the north-west or the south-east. The best for discovering this beautiful region by sea. Currency: Montenegro’s currency is the Euro. Local charter companies: Dream Yacht Charter - Montenegro Charter - Montenegro Yacht Charter - Oceans Evasion - Yacht-Montenegro

Montenegro cruising

Between the sea and the mountains, Montenegro offers some unique panoramas!

TYPICAL ITINERARY

Montenegro offers stunningly beautiful natural scenery, and above all, whole areas where human beings have not changed anything. The high spot of your visit will without a doubt be Kotor Bay and its huge fjord, the biggest in the whole of southern Europe, which penetrates more than 28 km inland. Dream Yacht Charter has just opened a base in Montenegro, at Kotor. We asked them to draw up an itinerary for us, to help you discover the wonders of the region.

Montenegro cruising

In each little creek, you will find a new treasure. Exceptional!

Day 1

Kotor

Embarkation at the Kotor base, in the marina opposite the old town. After a walk in the old town, you should be sufficiently warmed-up to climb up to the San Giovanni castle, from where you can enjoy a fantastic view of the fjord and the old town. There is a lot to see in this old town, and a lot to learn about the history of Europe, as Kotor played an important part in the heart of numerous empires and has retained a rich and varied heritage. Its superb outer wall, the narrow lanes, the little squares and its Mediterranean atmosphere make Kotor an unforgettable stopover in the Adriatic Sea. The Kotor region is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.

Montenegro cruising

Montenegro has always been a crossroads of several cultures. We find these influences in the architecture and the unique atmosphere in the villages.

Day 2

Kotor-Perast-Tivat – 9.5 milles

It’s time to head for Perast, situated to the north-west of Kotor. There are two small islands close to Perast: Sveti Đorđe and Gospaod Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks), each with a characteristic chapel. Gospaod Škrpjela is open to visitors and is particularly interesting, as it is the only artificial island in the Adriatic – it was erected on a rock (Škrpjel) after two Venetian sailors from Perasty found a portrait of the Virgin Mary there in 1452. Sail to Tivat, where you will spend the night.

Day 3

Tivat

Tivat offers many centers of interest, although it is the most recent town in the Boka region. The Boka Renaissance House in the center of the town, Ostrvo Cvijeca (the island of flowers) and its sacred monuments, the old village of Gornja Lastva, at an altitude of 300m, and St. Nicola Island are all sites which you absolutely must visit. Tivat has become one of the main centers for nautical tourism in the southern Adriatic. Have a walk round the Porto Montenegro marina: you will find numerous restaurants offering all kinds of specialties, from traditional local dishes to Italian and Mediterranean gastronomy, via Japanese cuisine. The marina village is bristling with places to have a drink, eat, shop and relax.

Montenegro cruising

Don’t miss extending your cruise with a visit inland…

Day 4

Tivat-Rose – 7 milles

Stopover in Rose, at the entrance to Kotor bay (Boka Kotorska), one of the oldest villages in the bay. Sail along the uninhabited island of Mamula, also called Lastavica (Rose-Lastavica: 2.5 miles). 80% of the island’s area is occupied by a fort, built in 1853. Spend the night in the safe anchorage in Žanjice bay (Lastavica-Žanjice is less than one mile) at the entrance to Boka Kotorska. It is a delightful place to spend the afternoon, to swim and relax. Ribarsko Selo village also deserves a visit: every day the local fishermen come here to sell freshly-caught fish and seafood. To relax even more, enjoy a massage, and if you prefer a little action, discover the beaches of Mirištede Žanjicen, renowned for their beauty, in a kayak.

Day 5

Rose-Bigovo – 10 milles

On the way to the beautiful little fishermen’s village of Bigovo, stop for a swim in Oblatno bay. This bay offers a good, well-protected overnight anchorage, but has few facilities ashore. However you will find two fish restaurants, supplied every day, and two shops.

Day 6

Bigovo-Budva – 11 milles

Head south along the coast towards Budva, Montenegro’s tourist center, with its numerous beaches and historic monuments. During the summer, Budva turns into a real theater, welcoming local artistes and shows from all over the world. In the old town, you will find lots of restaurants, shops, cafes and art galleries. The bay next to the old town is well-sheltered. Sail further south as far as Petrovac to eat there (Budva-Petrovac: 6.5 miles). This small village close to the island of Sveti Stefan is well-known for its superb beaches and historic monuments, notably some mosaics dating from the 3rd century. Divers will take advantage of the beautiful sites on the islands of Katic and Sveta Nedjelja. Return to Budva for the night.

Day 7

Budva-Herceg Novi – 20 milles

Head for Herceg Novi, situated 4 nautical miles north of the entrance to Kotor bay. Visit the Blue Cave, which has two entrances – the smaller to the south and the larger (3m high by 15 wide) to the south-west. Here small boats allow the visitors to discover the incredible light and water effects which happen in the cave. The town of Herceg Novi, built in the 14th century, has a rich past. It has been under Venetian, French, Austrian and Russian rule. At the town’s highest point, the well-restored citadel is a nice place to walk to. Return to the base opposite the old town of Kotor (Herceg Novi – Kotor: 15 miles). Night in the marina.

Day 8

Disembark at 9am

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