Everyone’s talking about Montenegro.
In Montenegro, there’s a small window of time when you can ski in two very different places on the same day: down snowy slopes and on the glittering sea. Around April, the mountain resorts of Savin Kuk and Kolašin are still likely to have runs open, while the Adriatic will have warmed up enough for the brave to dip their toes in.
In 24 hours in this tiny Baltic nation, once part of the former Yugoslavia, you can explore Cetinje, the old royal capital and seat of ancient Montenegrin dynasties that’s now an elegant city of pastel painted homes, lively galleries and museums, and also hike the woods of Durmitor National Park, with its pine forests, glacial lakes, wolves and bears. End the day at the luxe Pool Club at One&Only Portonovi beside the turquoise waters of UNESCO-protected Boka Bay.
It’s this combination of wild natural beauty, accessibility and “that feeling of going somewhere off the beaten path and exploring something unseen” that makes Montenegro such a draw, says Danilo Kalezic from Porto Montenegro Marina.
Set against a dramatic Dinaric Alps backdrop, the marina is subject to strong winds from the Adriatic Sea, attracting the superyachts and regattas that have earned Montenegro its reputation as “the new Riviera”. Just ask the crowds of designer-dressed spectators watching on from the Saint-Tropez-style cafés and bars along the waterfront.
Guests at the Portonovi resort can get out on the water on exclusive luxury speedboat charters that tour the 17thcentury seafarers’ town of Perast and the extraordinary Our Lady of the Rocks island, created by sailors gradually building up rocks in the middle of the harbour since the 15th century.
“I always say we are the best of all worlds,” says the resort’s Milo Radonjić of the country’s cultural mix. “We were ruled by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Venetian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Until you come here for yourself it’s hard to imagine how such a small piece of land was affected by such diverse cultures. It’s somewhere that’s completely unique.”
Image credit: Djordje Zivaljevic (Top banner), Rupert Peace (Montenegro pool)