The Adriatic coast, in the heart of the Mediterranean, is a perfect hub for summer sailing – whether it be for a few days or a whole summer season. Situated mid-way between Corfu and Venice, Montenegro is in turn ideally placed for exploratory cruises of the area. To the north lies Croatia with its countless islets, to the south is the largely undiscovered Albanian coast and only a day’s sail away across the Adriatic is the Puglian coast in Italy.
Below are our recommendations for cruising Montenegro and the Adriatic coast.
Around Montenegro (3-day itinerary)
Head out of the Bay of Kotor for a lunchtime stop in Bigova Bay. Drop anchor and take a trip by tender to walk along the charming waterfront before setting your sights on Budva for the evening. Take in the scenery onboard while enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, then head into the winding streets of the Old Town where you will find a plethora of restaurants, cafés, hotels and lounges to enjoy.
Head to the Aman Sveti Stefan for a refreshing swim, a wander around their extensive grounds and perhaps a few hours relaxing on one of the resort’s private beaches before indulging in an aperitif on the terrace at the Villa Milocer, previously one of President Tito’s summer homes. On the way back to port, stop off in Kotor for a light dinner in one of the many seafood restaurants such as Galion, or make your way to Dobrota for a meal at the legendary Pantagana literally steps away from the water.
Rise early for a drive inland to the former royal capital of Cetinje, Lovcen National Park and some of the most breathtaking scenery to be found in all of Montenegro. On returning to the Bay, the pristine UNESCO protected hamlet of Perast is the perfect backdrop for lunch. Conte is a favorite spot along the waterfront for excellent antipasti, fresh seafood and regional wines. After lunch, take a walk along the pedestrian friendly waterfront and take in the view of the iconic Our Lady of the Rocks, a chapel built on a man-made island of rocks in the middle of the Bay.
Montenegro to Venice (7-day itinerary)
Depart from Porto Montenegro in Tivat and make your way north along the coastline to Cavtat on the southern tip of Croatia, taking in the stunning views and hidden bays along the way.
Opt for a morning departure from the sleepy Cavtat bay and head to Dubrovnik for the obligatory round of sightseeing. Having explored the Old Town and its infamous walls climb back on board for lunch while enjoying the scenery en route to the island of Mljet. Once there stop for a swim in the Odysseus Cave and explore the National Park’s magnificent lagoons.
Sail to the small yet picturesque island of Korcula and then continue to the increasingly popular party island of Hvar in the late afternoon. After exploring the Old Town, drop anchor for the night and set out to explore the buzzing nightlife based around Carpe Diem.
Spend a relaxing morning in Hvar and then hop across the narrow straight to the Bol nature reserve. Anchor in Trogir on the mainland and be sure to find time to explore its medieval town.
Head past Sibenik to reach the hidden spot of Skradin in the morning, just by the Krka National Park. Back out on open water, cruise past the Kornati islands and motor overnight to Brijuni near Pula on the southern tip of the Istrian peninsula.
Travel from Brijuni to Rovinj to clear customs. Enjoy lunch while there at one of the best restaurants in Croatia – Monte Mulino
Depart in the evening from Rovinj to arrive in Venice by 10h30am and then set foot on land to explore the city known as ‘La Serenissima’ for the rest of the day, sampling some of the traditional cichetti (small tapas style dishes).