'At the birth of our planet,' claimed Lord Byron, 'the most beautiful encounter between land and sea must have happened at the Montenegrin littoral.' Astonishing that it's taken the rest of us Brits so long to cotton on, but this tiny slice of beautiful Adriatic coastline is all set for a serious resurgence for luxury holidays.
No wonder the Serbs were so miffed when the Montenegrins chose to go it alone a couple of years ago. Overnight Serbia lost its complete coastline, and what a coastline it is - 200 miles of beaches (117 in total, if you like a good stat), coves, fjords, dramatic cliff faces and picture perfect medieval towns such as the UNESCO World Heritage site of Kotor.
Sveti Stefan is a small island connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus, it has been developed into the home of a luxurious hotel by award-winning Asian chain Aman (their first real venture into Europe). The former fishing village with heavily fortified walls was originally designed to ward off passing pirates and has remained exactly the same since its construction over 500 years ago. We think this is one of the most significant hotel openings in Europe of the last few years.
For the time being the Aman project remains very much the icing on this Adriatic cake, but other great hotels such as Tito's former beachfront pad, the Villa Miločer, are now open for business.
One of the main attractions of a luxury holiday in Montenegro is that the country offers some of the finest beaches in the Adriatic. Montenegro's shoreline has everything from secret rocky coves only accessible by boat, to large stretches of wide sandy beach. Bound by the clean, crystal clear waters of the Adriatic and with a backdrop of mountains, fields, olive groves and heavily scented pinewoods, this is one of the most appealing corners of the Mediterranean and is perfect for a beach holiday with a difference.
There are less eye-wateringly expensive boutique hotels on offer, and even private apartments to rent. Several members of the Original Travel have visited Montenegro in the last few years, and know the best beaches, bars, walks and restaurants to recommend.