Why Montenegro Is a Mediterranean Haven for Stars

Decades after the wars that ravaged the former Yugoslavia, the Balkan country of Montenegro is now a top tourist destination, which some have called the “Monte Carlo of the Adriatic.” It’s there you’ll find luxe getaway resorts like the Regent Porto Montenegro in Tivat, Nikki Beach Hotel & Beach Club in Radovići, the One&Only Portonovi, and the Aman Sveti Stefan (currently closed over a beach access dispute), as well as homes for sale or rent. The country increasingly draws Americans and Europeans in the summer months because of its proximity to Croatia, Greece, and Italy.

Offering some of the world’s best scenic escapes, the country is no stranger to Hollywood stars. Icons like Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren vacationed there in the 1970s. Modern-day stars including Maluma, Madonna, the Beckhams, and Naomi Campbell have all journeyed there more recently, while back in 2010, then-couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie visited the country in 2010. Pitt — who took Jolie to see such bayside towns as Perast and Kotor, where he filmed the 1988 film The Dark Side of the Sun — at one point had to get out of his car to ask paparazzi to respect his holiday. Among the sights near Perast is a picturesque small man-made island that’s home to a Catholic church, Our Lady of the Rocks.

In the southwest part of the country also lies the beautiful resort area of Portonovi, located in fjord-like setting. With a feel that’s part Lake Como, part Monte Carlo, Portonovi, part of the town of Herceg Novi, is flanked by mountains and the area is filled with luxury boutiques, high-end restaurants (some of them Michelin starred), the luxury One & Only Portonovi resort, and eye-catching real estate. Mega-yachts can often be seen anchored in the adjacent Bay of Kotor. Portonovi can be reached via Podgorica and Tivat airports in Montenegro, with two-hour and 45-minute car rides, respectively, and Dubrovnik airport in Croatia, a 40-minute drive.

Not unlike such famed and sun-kissed destinations as Cannes and the Italian Riviera, the area offers quaint villages, coastal churches and local shopping. But what sets it apart is that it remains quaint and authentic in what it offers. Residents also have an inviting directness about them.

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