Montenegro may be the smallest country in the Balkans, but it certainly punches above its weight when it comes to beaches. Increasingly, tourists visiting the region are swapping the often-crowded beaches of Croatia for the unspoiled natural beauty offered by Montenegro’s small but perfectly formed stretch of Adriatic coastline.
The beaches of Montenegro have some of the cleanest and clearest waters in Europe, and some of them even boast beautiful pink pebbles or sand alongside turquoise blue water – a unique sight only found in Montenegro. From quiet secluded coves to long sandy bays, here is a selection of five of Montenegro’s best beaches.
The old fishing town of Petrovac is widely known for its historic churches, harbor, and monasteries, but it also boasts not one but two beautiful golden sand beaches. Numerous cafes, bars, and restaurants are set directly on the beach, making Petrovac a popular choice for tourists and locals alike.
For those looking for more seclusion, the surrounding area offers a number of hidden treasures.
“Heading south towards Petrovac, travelers will find numerous small, secluded beaches and coves, most of them approachable only by water. One of the top beaches of this area is the Drobni Pijesak Beach, a 250m long stretch surrounded by rolling hills and sparkling waters,” said Reigo Eljas, UK & Ireland Country Director at Last Minute.
Plavi Horizonti beach is often referred to as the best beach in the north of Montenegro, and its clean water and pristine sand have earned it a coveted blue flag. Popular amongst families, Plavi Horizonti is one of the best snorkeling spots in Montenegro, with the clarity of the sea making it easy to see a wide variety of fish and marine life.
Out of the water, Plavi Horizonti continues to appeal to the senses with its beautiful setting amongst trees and dramatic rocky outcrops. This quiet and peaceful Montenegrin beach is a must-visit for nature lovers visiting the country.
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Originally a residential village dating back hundreds of years, the tiny island of Sveti Stefan – one of the most-famous Balkan attractions out there – is now home to one of the most luxurious and picturesque hotels in the world, Aman Sveti Stefan. However, you don’t have to stay in the hotel to enjoy the coast, as there is a public beach situated at the far end of the causeway.
“From the crystal clear water to the soft sandy shoreline, Sveti Stefan is one of the jewels of Montenegro’s coast,” says Aman Sveti Stefan owner. “The public beach offers a perfect vantage point overlooking Sveti Stefan’s red-roofed buildings and winding cobbled streets.”
One of the most beautiful destinations in the country, the hotel has been revived with a multi-million euro refurbishment. Owner Petros Stathis is passionate about Montenegro as a destination and the project to rejuvenate the island and the hotel. “This is more than business,” continues Stathis. “It is about investing in the heritage of a country and preserving it for the generations to come.”
Party lovers take note – Jaz Beach is one of the liveliest (and longest) stretches of beach in Montenegro. It might not be as built up as Budva and Bečići, but on a hot summer’s day, Jaz Beach is a hub of activity and music. Its popularity doesn’t detract from its natural beauty, however, and its blue waters and pebbly shore look particularly spectacular when viewed from high up on the Tivat road.
Jaz has also hosted the annual Sea Dance Festival, a live music event that attracts a vast number of visitors from across the world every summer, and has been named one of Europe’s top 10 summer festivals by Forbes magazine.
Murići is the only beach on this list that doesn’t border the Adriatic coast, as it is connected to the freshwater Lake Skadar. In 2011, the stunning Lake Skadar was named a UNESCO world heritage site, in part because of its rich history which dates back to the 13th century when it was part of the ancient Slav kingdom of Zeta.
Today, Lake Skadar remains a tranquil and serene escape from the regular Montenegrin tourist trails, and the secluded Murići beach provides the perfect setting for a lazy afternoon of sunbathing and swimming in the lake’s cool and refreshing waters.
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Located three kilometers from bustling Budva, peaceful Bečići feels a world away. This beach has small, pink-hued pebbles and shallow, crystal blue waters that are perfect for paddling.
Bečići’s cove is long and almost 100m wide at some points and is surrounded by a dramatic mountainous backdrop. Activity lovers flock to this beach every summer to kayak, sail, and surf, while those with a sweet tooth enjoy the famous ice cream parlors along the promenade. Sunbed rentals, cabins for changing clothes and showers make Bečići a comfortable and hassle-free option for a day enjoying the beautiful Montenegrin coast.
Just a short walk from Budva old town lies Mogren beach, which is actually two beaches connected by a small tunnel. These beaches were named after a Spanish sailor called Mohrin, who landed there after being shipwrecked off the coast. To display his gratitude he built a church on Mogren beach, the remains of which can be seen to this day.
Mogren beach has met the high environmental standards necessary to receive a blue flag, and its golden sand and turquoise waters are kept spotlessly clean. The pedestrian walkway that leads to Mogren beach from Budva offers stunning views of the old town and the rugged coastline.
Lucice is a hugely popular beach amongst tourists and locals alike, but despite the high volume of visitors it remains pristinely kept and has a secluded, peaceful charm.
The beach is situated on a bay surrounded by lush Mediterranean pine forest and olive groves, and its fine sand and shallow waters for swimming make it the perfect beach for the whole family to enjoy. Nearby Petrovac town – a classic in every Montenegro road trip itinerary – offers plenty of options for dining and accommodation, for those looking to stay in the area.