Good to see you back as our journey on A day trip to Montenegro continues and next on is Budva, another lovely town on the Adriatic Sea. Part of the Budva Riviera, a thirty-five km long strip around town, it is known for the sandy beaches and a happening nightlife.
The weather was nice, little cold, lots of blue all around and the cotton clouds probably giving us the message to take it cool and enjoy. Budva is just half an hour drive from Kotor and we were there in no time passing through tunnels large and small and the beautiful Adriatic and it’s blue providing us a great visual treat.
The bus parking station was just a short walk away from the Old Town beach and seeing the food joints made us feel hungrier. The choice of restaurants were many. There was one right on the beach for casual dining and quite a few facing the sea including few fine dining restaurants. We chose the one on the beach.
With its strategic location along the Adriatic, you know you are in seafood heaven when you’re in Budva. Mussels, calamari, octopus, shrimp, salmon, tuna, swordfish are only few of the many varieties to choose from. Montenegro also has a number of rivers with clear water for fresh water fishing, in addition to the streams and lakes. The rivers there are pure incredible beauty and are considered as Salmonic heaven on earth with their Brown trout, Grayling, Danube Salmon, Marbled trout and Lake trout.
The aroma of freshly cooked seafood made our wait seemed a little longer than it actually was. Our dishes had finally arrived.
The Porto Chicken is a meal in itself with two tender juicy chicken breasts grilled to perfection with a slightly crisp exterior and covered with a creamy delectable mushroom sauce. It is served with local seafood, grilled shrimp, black olives, cherry tomatoes and a vegetable risotto. My wife being a small eater and with me not believing in wasting food, you can imagine what happened next. Yet it was a bit too much and the gentleman serving us came to our rescue by agreeing to pack half of the salmon for us. And then we took a casual stroll towards Old Town.
Tourism is the main driver of the economy of Budva and is by far the most popular destination in Montenegro. Although Budva is notable for its long history and its well preserved Old Town, it is not primarily known as a destination for sightseeing or cultural tourism. Unlike Kotor or Dubrovnik, Budva has an image of a crowded beach resort, with a lively and vibrant atmosphere and a very active nightlife. Come let’s check into Old Town.
As we sat down and enjoyed the music of this solo performer in a music arena where bigger shows are held, it was a feeling of complete relaxation. And the Venetian walls of the citadel reminded me of the history of this cute Old Town I had read about, before our visit.
Extensive archaeological evidence places Budva among the oldest urban settlements of the Adriatic coast. Substantial documentary evidence provides historical references dating back to the fifth century BC. In 1941, with the beginning of World War II, Budva was annexed by the Kingdom of Italy. Budva was finally liberated from their rule on in 1944 and incorporated in the Socialist Republic of Montenegro, which was a part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. A catastrophic earthquake struck Budva in April 1979. Much of old town was devastated, but today there is little evidence of the catastrophe with almost all the buildings being restored to their original form. Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, with Budva as its primary tourist destination. It was time to move out of Old Town.
As we walked back, we were happy being in Budva for a short but sweet trip. But when you plan your holiday, try and pack in a few days at least as there is much more to do in this happening town.
The Budva Riviera has some of the most attractive beaches of south Adriatic, and the most pleasant climate in Montenegro. Mogren beach is arguably the best known and most attractive of the Budva city beaches, nested beneath the cliffs of the Spas hill, between cape Mogren and a hotel. The beach is separated from the city by the slopes of Spas hill that plunge to the sea, and is only accessible by a 250 meter long narrow path along the cliffs. Other city beaches include the small Ricardova glava and Pizana beaches, next to the Old Town as well as the one mile long Slav beach, that makes up the most of the city’s coast. Sveti Nikola Island is located opposite of Old Town just a kilometer across the Budva bay. It is a mostly undeveloped island with some beautiful beaches. Well connected to the mainland with water bus, it is a popular excursion site for tourists visiting Budva.
However, majority of the beaches of Budva Riviera are outside the city itself. Jaz Beach is a long and spacious beach west of Budva, which also serves as a popular concert and festival venue, as well as a campground. Further to the south, numerous small beaches and towns, make up the more high end and exclusive part of Budva Riviera. This is especially true for the famous Sveti Stefan town, but also for other smaller Pastrovici settlements in the area, that once were unassuming fishing villages.
Budva is well known regionally as the capital of nightlife of the eastern Adriatic. The first discotheques in Budva started to emerge during the 1980’s, as hotel-attached dance clubs. However, the clubbing scene mushroomed in the 1990’s, with numerous open-air clubs opening along the Budva sea promenade. This trend continues with Old Town and its promenade hosting a large number of bars, pubs and restaurants and two big clubs, Top Hill and Trocadero, dominating the clubbing scene. Gambling tourism is also popular in Budva, as many hotels have attached casinos. The 2006 James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ is partly set in the eponymous casino in the fictional Montenegrin Hotel Splendide, thus giving a boost to Budva’s profile as a gambling destination. We had reached back to our bus and were ready to move on our journey back to Dubrovnik.
After a short ride we reached Kamenari dock port where our bus moved into a large vessel for a short five minute ferry ride on the Bay of Kotor to Lepetane, which is very close to the Montenegro border with Dubrovnik. Come enjoy the scenic beauty as we ride.
Budva. Rich history, a cool and calm Old Town, pristine sandy beaches, exciting night life and a foodie’s paradise.
Plan a vacation to Budva, the lovely beach town in this beautiful country, Montenegro. And go back with happy memories for a lifetime.