I touched down at Tivat Airport Montenegro for a much-anticipated inspection trip on the evening of Wednesday 3rd May. To this small airport was efficient would be an understatement; the duration from disembarking the plane to getting in my taxi was just over 10 minutes long! I hopped in my transfer and took the 25-minute journey to Budva, my base for the next few days.
After checking into my accommodation, Hotel Garni MB, the hotel manager naturally informed me where the best bars, restaurants and sights were located. I headed for the beach and enjoyed a scrumptious evening meal at a beachfront restaurant just after the sunset. I spent the remainder of the first evening exploring the quaint sea front filled with small market stalls selling fresh fish, beach front restaurants occupied by local singers, and bars.
The next day was action packed to say the least. First, I headed to Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital city, in my hire car stopping along the way to capture the beautiful coastline scenery, where I managed to take some great photo’s to bring back to the office. I arrived at my first location for the day, Hotel Verde, boasting a swimming pool, spa, indoor sports hall with over 1,000 spectator seats, 3 clay tennis courts, and 2 football pitches. What a great facility this was, used regularly by Montenegrin professional sports teams for training camps and match preparation. It was then time to head to the nearby 3G football pitch, where Grey College will play against Podgorica University in their upcoming football tour fixture. Again, the standard of the facility was highlighted by the team that was training on it – OFK Mladost Lješkopolje – a professional football team from the Montenegrin Premier League!
I then headed to Hotel Centre Ville, a hotel complex on the outskirts of Podgorica boasting a shopping centre, an array of restaurants, and various rooms for relaxing and socialising. This complex was designed and constructed by a hotel chain based in the UAE, Sri Lanka and Australia, with this being their first venture into the European market. They prioritised Montenegro due to the coastline and accessibility and have also purchased land around 20km south east of Budva where they are looking to build their own resort.
The city centre of Podgorica was next on my do list, sampling a local restaurant, and seeing what the city centre had to offer, before heading back to Budva. Expect a relaxed, enchanted atmosphere with the locals welcoming you with open arms- not your stereotypical capital city.
After a quick breather at the hotel I then headed north to Kotor, a lakeside village just 5km away from Tivat airport. Very popular with cruise liners (one was just departing as I arrived), this little village offers wonderful scenery and an array of history. You can take a breather in the sunshine and take in the views, or head up the mountains following the castle walls to the peak where Kotor Castle sits if you prefer something a little more strenuous.
For my final full day, I spent the morning viewing five hotels around Budva, each having their own characteristics which would appeal to different kinds of groups looking for a trip to Montenegro. Among this selection were three 4* hotels, one 3* hotel and a seafront complex offering a variety of accommodation with over 1,000 rooms, most with sea-views as standard. In the afternoon, it was time to explore all the shops lining the promenade which is parallel to the beach front, a great spot for some free time in-between fixtures and training.
With the sun setting and day coming to a close, the city came alive with locals and tourists filling the many bars and restaurants. Unfortunately, I had to call it an early night before the party really started ahead of my at 6am shuttle to the airport the next morning, but I have since returned with fantastic memories of Montenegro and I’m almost certain it won’t be long until I’m back.
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Want to speak with Liam in more detail about Montenegro? You can reach him on 03333 222211 or submit a quick enquiry form here and a member of the team will get back to you.