I had gone nearly three years of not being on a proper beach holiday holiday (I’m not counting the day at the beach in Malmö!); so when my parents asked if I wanted to go on a summer holiday with them, I agreed. Especially when they were up for visiting Montenegro, as I suggested!
Most of the holidays I do are city breaks, as I can get quite bored sitting around all day doing nothing. Montenegro sounded like a great option: whilst we had the option to lounge round a beach or pool, the country was small enough to travel around and see lots of different sights.
I was really excited as I’d never been to the Balkans before either. The day before we were due to fly out, I finished my job in Leeds, so raced back home to Nottingham to pack.
We flew out to Dubrovnik, and then took a two hour coach transfer to Bećići Budva, just south of the Old Town – I’d heard there were lots of things to do in Budva.
First experience of the Balkans
The hotel we stayed in wasn’t particularly big (so there were no fighting over sunbeds by the pool!), and our room was really nice. A walk out the back of the hotel took us to the main street of Bećići, which had a smattering of restaurants – of which we tried most of them during our week there!
Set back from the path was the beach, so everything was really close by. In fact, the path connected all the major resorts in the area: head south and you ended up opposite Sveti Stefan (the private island only a lucky few can enter – that was a shame, as it was on my list of things to do in Budva), and north was the Old Town.
During the days we split our time between the pool and the beach (the sand was pebbly, but the water was warm, and it was nice to be able to relax by the sea – something I hadn’t done in so long!
Budva Old Town
When it got to the evenings, we usually walked to Budva Old Town. It was so pretty, with plenty of shops, restaurants and bars to visit – definitely one of the top things to do in Budva. You could look out over the city walls for beautiful views of the resort, and by the entrance of the town was a ballerina statue in the rocks. It reminded me of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, where tourists clamoured out into the water to get a picture with her.
On the way back to the hotel, we would walk down a different road, which was adjacent to the beach trail. It was pretty tacky, and how I imagine places like Magaluf and Faliraki might be (not that I’ve ever been to those places – or ever would!).
However, most of the tourists were Russians and Italians, and I felt like it wasn’t quite as tacky as British holiday resorts. There was a makeshift fairground that we visited, and my mum and I went on this one ride – except the safety bar didn’t shut, and it was creaking so loudly as it went round. At one point I thought: “What am I doing? I’m on an upside down ride in an ex-Communist country – there’s a slight chance that I’m not going to make it out alive!”
The good news is that I did make it out alive and in fact, went on the ride again later on in the week!
There was one major downside to my trip in Montenegro which is still really clear in my mind. We’d decided to go back to one particular beachside café as they served nice cakes. For the second time, I ordered a Ferrero Rocher cake. I took a bite, and felt a sharp stabbing pain, and couldn’t shut my mouth. Cue me starting to get panicky. My parents were convinced it was just a piece of cake, but eventually when they realised I wasn’t making this up, I pulled out a metal rod which had lodged itself in my gum.
It was pretty disgusting, and all the restaurant did was give us a plate of free fruit – so much for health and safety! It was fair to say we didn’t go back there again.
Exploring Montenegro further
During our week in Bećići, we took the opportunity to explore Podgorica, Kotor and Cetinje, all of which were interesting to see. Metal rod aside, I really enjoyed my time in Montenegro, and I thought there were plenty of things to do in Budva, and Montenegro in general. I’m sure I’ll go back in a few years time… I just hope it will remain as undiscovered as the first time I went!