A priceless discovery
Where do we start? We have so much to say about our first experience in Montenegro. There is so much to tell about Boka Bay, where the the Adriatic's ultra-premium resort lifestyle destination Portonovi is being born and so much to share about local life. It has been absolute bliss. The local gastronomy, the history, architecture and wild beauty of this pretty little nation. The contrast between sea and mountain life, as well as the warm, welcoming native people surprised us on a daily basis.
Why did we wait so long to step in such a jewel? “Best trip I’ve done in a while”; “outstanding discovery”; “fell in love”; “nothing will disappoint you there”; this was some of the feedback we heard from friends who had visited the region. We discovered they were speaking the truth.
Our first pleasant surprise was that Portonovi and Herceg Novi are quickly accessible from Dubrovnik airport. A thirty minute car ride and you have already crossed the border between Croatia and Montenegro to arrive right where the action is.
We spent our first day boating across Boka Kotorska or Boka Bay. Boka Bay is magnificent and offers a plethora of adventures: dolphins, vestiges from The Cold War, stop overs at authentic islands, all of this while basking in the sun thanks to the Indian summer. After admiring St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks islets, we stopped for a coffee at Perast, mooring the boat right at the terrace of the restaurant; we took our coffee by the sea, contemplating St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks islets; awesome.
Later on, we had the chance to experience Stari Mlini (Dobrota), known for being one of the best restaurants in the Bay! Fresh fish and sea food with local style preparation, fine wines and cheeses, are some of the many culinary surprises Montenegro offered us during our first day. The Montenegrin Salt custed Seabass was an experience in it self.
The next day we walked around the fortified city of Kotor. The medieval old town has several Romanesque churches to visit, including Kotor Cathedral. Additionally, Kotor pier is the only one in the bay where cruise boats are able to moor. Impressive, and a must see while visiting Boka Bay.
In the afternoon, we climbed the fort to enjoy the view. A good 45 minute walk is necessary, but it is well worth the effort. Have a look at the breathtaking pictures we took while there! Obviously, we keep eating local delicacies, still being surprised by their variety and charm.
There is another way to see breathtaking views of the bay: the road to Lovćen National Park and Njeguši Village. This is what we did the next day; the scenery is even more spectacular from up there.
Njeguši Village’s popularity comes from its traditional smoked ham and local cheese, as we had at Nevjesta Jadrana restaurant for lunch, but also for being the birthplace of the Petrović dynasty, who ruled Montenegro from 1696 to 1918.
After visiting the Petrovic House, we rode to Lovcen National Park until we reached the top of the mountain, where the Royal Milestone is located. From here there is a unique and outstanding 360 degree view over Boka Bay, Lake Skadar, the Adriatic and the dramatic Montenegrin country side.
We then stopped over the old capital Cetinje, and appreciated the sunset view over the well known city of Budva on our way back. We had dinner at Ćatovića Mlini, and the food was, once again, remarkable.
We spent our last day around Herceg Novi and Portonovi. Strolling around the old city, its market, small streets, and view on the Boka Bay entrance, brunching at the well-known Papagaj restaurant. We were spoiled enough to get to know some of the local community, namely the owners of Savina vineyards and olive yards. We were treated to a private visit and tasted amazing local produce.
Later in the night, we had dinner at Gradska Kafana, the best Herceg Novi restaurant, and we never get bored of the fresh fish we had all along!
As you can see, Boka Bay is amazing: it has something for every taste. From the mountain to the sea, from culinary experiences to sight-seeing, it is truly a premium luxury destination, at the heart of which the Portonovi resort and its rich lifestyle experience will come to life in 2017.
We will definitely return as soon as we are able to. We felt in love with the place, the country and the people. We highly recommend you to have a look at Portonovi website to discover more about Portonovi, Boka Bay and Montenegro.
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