Montenegro sits right on the Adriatic Sea and stakes its claim to a long stretch of seriously more than 100 dreamy beaches, giving you more than enough to choose from. Think pink pebbly beaches against some of the most turquoise and clearest blue waters that you'll find around Europe. You can’t miss them.
ILP volunteers who call Montenegro home for the semester live right on the coast and are close enough to spend every Saturday seeing a different beach ... but even then you still wouldn’t see them all!
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As amazing as that sounds, we actually don’t recommend spending ALL your time at the beach because Montenegro has some other seriously amazing adventures hidden deeper inland. Use this guide to help you pick and choose the top beaches you want to see along the coast (a huge perk of living on the European coast) before heading inland for hiking and rafting in national parks.
All of the beaches feature the classic turquoise blue, crystal clear water that Montenegro is so famously known for, so you really can’t go wrong. Here are a few of our picks though — ordered from north to south.
Top Coastal Areas in Montenegro:
- The Bay of Kotor
- The Budva Coast
- The Petrovac Coast
- The Southern Coastline Along Ulcinj
The Bay of Kotor
This northern corner of the coastline is a favorite and a can't miss for tourists who come from all over the world. It hugs the southern tips of both Croatia and Bosnia and the best part for ILP volunteers living in Budva is that it’ll take you less than an hour to come hang out at these famous spots.
Beach days in Herceg Novi mean hanging out on the Adriatic sea under pomegranate and kiwi trees. Nicknamed “the city of the sun”, Herceg Novi is a popular resort city with hotels lining the beach, but there’s much more to see than just the pretty coastline.
Kayak across the Bay of Kotor to explore a rusted shipwreck before sitting on the pebble beach of Rose, a quiet fishing village that couldn't be more picturesque. After an afternoon of kayaking, stroll through the narrow alleys of Herceg Novi’s Old Town: you’ll run into balconies draped with bougainvillea and stoney courtyards leading you to a viewpoint of the orange domed Savina Monastery. This blogger has the prettiest pictures that has us dreaming about our next trip.
The Blue Cave
Okay ... this isn’t technically a beach, but you can’t miss out so we had to mention it. This little stretch along the coast is full of caves, coves, and hidden fresh water beaches that you can find if you stay and explore a bit. The Blue Cave is the most well known and so admired because of the way the light hits and illuminates the entire cave in a blue cast (hence the name). The cave is large enough for boats to enter, so it’s common for tours to bring snorkelers in (especially during the summer). Most jump on tour boats from Herceg Novi, but it’s also possible to kayak here as well.
Plavi Horizonti/Blue Horizons
Many argue that this is the best beach in Montenegro, so it's a good one to keep on your radar. It's a semi-circular beach nestled in a small bay south of the Blue Cave near Tivat, surrounded by olive and pine trees. It's most loved for how sandy the beach is compared to other pebbly beaches in the area, as well as the crystal blue waters, perfect for swimming. Rumor has it that resorts may start moving in and limit public access to the beach, so it's best to enjoy it as much as you can until then.
The Budva Coast
If you Google “the best beaches in Montenegro”, Budva pops up first … which is pretty convenient for the ILP volunteers who get to spend their semester abroad actually living here! Seriously, Budva is the hot spot for beach goers. During the summer you’ll find the beaches lined with umbrellas, making for some dreamy photos. Plan on paying about $10-15 to rent out 2 beach chairs and an umbrella for the day. As heads up, most of the beaches in this area are pebble beaches, not sandy ones but that just makes for clearer than clear water. You don’t have to travel far from Budva to find all that you’re looking for.
This spot is one of the largest beaches in the country and if you’re anything like us, you’ll love being able to spread out and avoid the crowds here. Even during the summer when the tourists flock to Budva and Becici, you’ll find it a bit less crowded here simply because of its size. Jaz is well known for water sports, so if you’re hoping to rent a paddle board or a kayak and do more than just sunbathe, we recommend heading here.
It’s a short distance from Budva Old Town — you can catch a bus for about 1 euro, but it's much more convenient to grab a taxi and splitting the cost with your group for the 10 minute ride. Entrance is free, but you might want to bring some euros if you plan to rent things like a bed and umbrella.
We have a feeling our ILP volunteers will be relaxing and swimming in this cove quite a bit. This beach is not only one of the favorites in the Budva area, but in all of the country. The water is incredibly clear here and the beach is set right up against beautifully lush green cliff backdrops. It’s pretty small (less than ¼ of a mile) and is technically two twin beaches that are connected by a small cave-like tunnel (can you spot the tunnel in the photo below?).
The best part is that this beach is easily walkable from Old Town Budva— just walking a few minutes on the pedestrian pathway gets you here. Although it’s so close to busy Budva, these beaches fortunately remain relatively calm and quiet… especially if you walk the extra bit through the tunnel to the second beach.
This main beach sitting right off of the town is going to feel the most “resort-y” and is well frequented by vacationers, especially during the summer. A large hotel complex and the main shopping streets sit nearby. It’s a beautiful area that caters to tourists so you'll find lots of restaurants, shops, umbrellas to rent, etc. along with a few crowds. You’ll want to check it out, but if you're here during the summer make sure you venture out to other nearby beaches we’ve mentioned where you’ll be able to relax and enjoy the coast a bit more.
Sveti Nikola Island
Standing along the coast you’ll catch a view of this little island in the horizon and yes … you can actually come explore it! Less than 1 mile from the shore of Old Town Budva is Montenegro's biggest island, Sveti Nikola. This island is uninhabited during the winter, but come during the summer to get away from the crowds at Budva, crawl over large boulders scattered across the beach, check out the cute white church, and snap pics of the coves.
We’ve heard rave reviews of how clean and beautifully clear the water is. Catch one of the daily boats from Budva for 3 euro and come hang out in this spot well loved by locals. We recommend bringing some cash to rent a sunbed as the beaches are completely filled with stones and pebbles!
This mile stretch of sand is just down the coast from the town of Budva (about a 10 minute drive) and fun fact: back in 1935 it was dubbed “the most beautiful beach in Europe”. Now it’s known as a family resort area and although it is pretty spacious, you’ll likely run into crowds here during the summer months. It’s also known for pebbles that are perfectly rounded and smooth, coming in a range of colors from white to green to red. You’ll see people walking the beaches year round hunting for the perfect pastel pebble to take home as a souvenir.
You’ll want to come here even if it’s just to fill your Instagram feed full of photos prompting all your friends to ask “where is that at!?” Sveti Stefan is where you can get an in person view of one of the most iconic landscapes in Montenegro, but it’s a bit exclusive so let’s fill you in on what you need to know.
Just about a 15 minute drive south of Budva, you’ll find an islet on the coast full of orange roofed luxury resorts set against the turquoise blue sea. The islet is now owned by Aman Resorts and you do need a reservation to actually come onto the island (it’s not open to the public). Some of the rooms cost 800 euro+ per night, so you know it’s incredible!
There are two beaches in front of the islet: the side to the north (so if you’re looking at the islet, it’s on the right) is again owned by the resort and costs a hefty fee of about 80 euro if you want to rent a beach chair here. Instead, head to the southern beach which is free to the public — you can still rent a chair here and enjoy the view but it’ll cost closer to 15 euro.
The Petrovac Coast
Another popular destination is the town of Petrovac, sitting along the coast between Budva and Bar. A bus runs from Budva to Petrovac for the small fee of 2 euro.
Oh just another beautiful sandy beach! It’s quite small and does get a bit crowded during the summer, but if you’re here during the spring and fall you’ll have more luck enjoying the view without the crowds. You can actually visit two islands by boat by jumping off from Lucice.
If you’re looking for the elusive hidden gem of a beach that isn’t completely full of tourists (even during the summer), come here! The appeal of this beach is how remote it is … oh and don’t forget beautiful. Buljarica is a half-moon cover of gorgeously clear water and small pebbled shores.
Southern Coastline Along Ulcinj
As you head further south along Montenegro's coast towards Albania (which is full of more beautiful beaches by the way), the beaches start getting wider and more sandy which we love as opposed to the more pebble covered beaches to the north.
The main beach is situated right up against this medieval town, so if you’re in the area it’s not hard to find your way to the water’s edge. The beach is covered with pretty dark colored sand, umbrellas, and plenty of restaurant options around.
Long Beach//Velika Plaza
Conveniently Long Beach is quite literally the longest stretch of beach that you’ll find in the country, just over 7 miles long. It’s famous for kite surfing, so during the summer you’ll likely spot some!
One small piece of the stretch is Copacabana. It’s a favorite for both locals and tourists alike and is about a 0.5 mile stretch packed full of beach chairs for rent. During the summer it gets quite crowded, but the views are worth it. The most popular places are usually popular for a reason, right?
More Tips For Seeing Montenegro's Coast
Timing is everything
The peak season during July and August is quite popular, which means you’ll be hard pressed to find a beach that isn’t crowded. Montenegro is the once hidden gem that is quickly being discovered and the tourists are on their way! If you’re here during the summer semester as an ILP volunteer, we recommend hitting the beaches as much as you can during May and June. During July and August you might prefer heading inland to see other top spots the country has to offer which are just as beautiful, but less crowded.
Even September and October remain swimmable as far as weather goes, but the crowds are fortunately gone by then. From Nov-April, most of the tour companies shut down which means you’ll get all the views without the crowds! It’s a bit too cold to swim during the winter months, but bring your sweatshirt and enjoy the coast line with your ILP group, all to yourselves. Picnic on a beautiful, deserted beach? Yes, please.
Many public beaches offer beach chairs to rent They usually start around 10 euro (and can increase depending on which month you're there), so we recommend bringing some cash in case you want to grab one. They can be nice to keep you shaded from the sun and up off the pebbly beach if you're up north.
If you don’t rent an umbrella, bring some sun protection. The coves are for the most part are completely exposed to the sun. You’ll want some sunscreen, hats … you know the drill.
Come see Montenegro yourself
Spend your semester abroad in Europe with International Language Programs and you'll have the chance to come explore this beautiful country. Join one of our programs throughout Eastern Europe, or join the group of volunteers who live right in Budva, Montenegro for four months!