Budva is the second popular destination in Montenegro. Its lovely beaches, beautiful rocky shores and caves, as well as the cute old city attract the crowds. Personally, for me Budva is the cutest town in Montenegro and it is a contender to most popular Kotor.
It is said that the city dates back 2500 years. The 1979 earthquakes effected the town significantly, but it was subsequently rebuilt.
The most popular beaches include Jazz beach and the Mogren beach. The 2 Mogren beaches are connected by the tunnel, it’s very interesting to explore these rocky shores. There is also Greco beach, but that one is definitely not the nicest. If you are looking for cleaner and nicer beaches, try exploring somewhat farther ones, like the one in Sutomore.
Besides, if you are a budget traveler, Staying in Budva can be rather expensive. So try to find accommodation in the nearby areas. We opted for Sutomore, which is about an hour’s drive from Budva and very close to Petrovac. Sutomore has a nice clean beach (definitely cleaner than the Budva ones) and also far quieter, which makes it perfect for those people, who don’t visit beaches to party. For parties, Budva beaches, particularly Jazz beach are the best.
Budva has a lovely promenade, which stretches all the way to Sveti Stefan.
Explore the old town of Budva
Budva is said to be first built by a Phoenician king or by Greeks.
The citadel or fortress is not to be missed. It provides lovely views over the old city (head to the stories to see what I mean 😊). Originally, here was a 12th century church at this location. The fortress itself was built for defense in the 15th century and was renovated fairly recently – in 1936 by the Austrians. It houses a very interesting museum and a library. The library was totally cute. When we visited, there were a couple of photoshoots going on there 😊
Several churches are particularly interesting for their beauty and history – Catholic St. John’s is the oldest among them dating back to the 7th century; Santa Maria Punta dating to 9th century was used by Franciscan and then Benedictine order and now hosts events; Orthodox Holly Trinity was built in the beginning of the 19th century.
Also, just wander around this cute city, which although crowded by tourists, is very charming. You will find many narrow cobbled streets with cute souvenir shops and cafes. You can even find more secluded spots, where you will be alone, away from the hustle and bustle.
Visit the Dancing girl statue and the rocky shores of Budva
If you walk towards the West of the old town, you can find gorgeous places with lovely views of the city. First, follow the path to the Dancer statue. This is a cute little statue of a dancing girl. So many people take her pose totake photos😊 The statue has a sad legend behind it. A ballerina, who was in love with a sailor would go to the shore to wait for her love. But he never returned and she died of the broken heart (the legend doesn’t specify, if she killed herself or died). There are also a few other legends – the young couple’s boat crashed, and only woman made it out of the sea. After that the story is the same, she died. Another story says that the statue was dedicated to the local wealthy girl, who died in the sea. There is one more similar story, that the statue is of a famous gymnast. Either way, the statue is cute, and it became a romantic symbol of the city. Locals say that touching the statue can bring you luck. So you can try 😊 But be careful while climbing, as the rocks are slippery.
Then go farther to find beautiful rocks. I absolutely adored this area for photos. Farther on, you will find Mogren I and Mogren II beaches, which are far less crowded than the beaches immediately next to the old town and very cool.
Take a boat to Sveti Stefan and Petrovac
There are a number of options for the boat tours from Budva or Petrovac. Just show up at the shore and ask.
While taking a boat trip from Petrovac to Budva, we encountered very unpleasant obnoxious tourists. During the boat trips, I always love sitting at the edge of the boat, which allows me to get the best view. We got on the boat early and took our seats. Later a huge group came, squeezed on the bench next to us and started to push us, basically kicking. It was hard to make them understand to stop pushing. They also were talking so loudly, it was crazy.
But the boat trip was amazing. I always enjoy any boats, even when I encounter weird people 😀 To be honest, we were not as impressed with Sveti Stefan, not the least because the island connected to the mainland with the bridge is now a 5-star resort and can be visited only with restaurant reservation, which I think is simply unacceptable. I believe historical places should not be turned into huge resorts and should be accessible for anyone. There are pink sand beaches on each side of the passage to the island. But those also belong to the resort. We saw Sveti Stefan from the sea, while passing it by boat, as well as from the roadside, but didn’t attempt to go close to it. It has a stunning shape though and can be lovely for photos.
We saw the tiny islands of Sveta Nedelja and Katic, which are are very close to Petrovac and you can circle them by the boat. The small church located on the rocks on Sevta Nedelja is very cute. As so many other places in Montenegro, this church was also significantly damaged during the 1979 earthquake and rebuilt afterwards.
Petrovac first appeared in the 4th century, when Roman villas were built here. It was called Castel Lastva (after the small castle you will find here) till the beginning of 20th century, when it got its current name. At this time it was also really small with less than 300 inhabitants.
Currently, it is a nice seaside town with a small castle, the promenade and the beautiful rock formations, like the ones you can see in Budva. The small town has olive and pine forests around. There are several popular beaches here, such as the city beach itself, Lucica beach.
Definitely, visit the XVI century castle built by the Venetians, you will find lovely views to the rocky shores and the sea. Originally it served to protect the area from the pirates.