Sveti Stefan, Montenegro

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Incredible picturesque, Sveti Stefan is a unique place along the Budva Riviera. It stands on a rocky island crammed full of terracotta-roofed houses. A narrow isthmus connects it with the mainland. From the 15th century Sveti Stefan housed a simply fishing community. In the 1950s someone had the idea to nationalize the tiny village. The residents were evicted and Sveti Stefan was transformed into a luxury town-hotel. Among its guests were Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Kirk Douglas. It fell into decline during the breakup of the former Yugoslav federation. In 2010, Sveti Stefan Hotel reopened its doors once again as a member of the Aman Resorts. As beautiful and unique as Stevi Stefan is, there’s one major drawback: You can’t actually go into the village unless you stay there as a hotel guest. Luckily visitors and guest alike can enjoy the two pebble beaches on either side of the isthmus.

Prčanj, Montenegro

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Just 5 km (3 miles) away from Kotor, you’ll come across the charming town of Prčanj. Accessible only via a one-way road, Prčanj is far off the beaten track, making it a treasure worth exploring. Many other notable figures throughout history have thought the same, including dozens of successful ship captains of the past who opted to retire there. Famously, Austrian Emperor Franz Josef visited Prčanj, where he was greeted and welcomed by the wealthy naval captains who called the town home.

In Prčanj, you can tour numerous religious structures, including the Orthodox St. Peter’s Church and the whopping Birth of Our Lady church that appears to be a bit outsized for such a small town. Construction of this massive church started in 1789 but was not completed until 1908. If you’re fascinated by the small town’s naval history, you can also take a look at the impressive collection at the Nautical Museum.

Keep in mind that while Prčanj doesn’t have a lot in the way of major tourism attractions, that is all part of its appeal. Visiting Prčanj means having the chance to stroll through one-way streets with locals, pick up inexpensive souvenirs at the local post office and dine or drink with residents at the handful of tiny restaurants in the area.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

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One of the most popular day trips from Dubrovnik, the bay of Kotor, known to locals as Boka, is a long sleepy inlet off the Adriatic sea in southwestern Montenegro. Often mistaken as a southern fjord, this is actually an extinct river from the old Orjen plateau. Today, it has four separate gulfs and a number of ancient towns, as well as a few newer settlements. The water is spectacular for those who just want a water tour. If you go on land, of special note are Herceg Novi, a twelfth century town at the opening, the fortified city of Kotor and the picturesque city of Perast with its two small islets. There is no bad place to stop, however. With castles and gardens, monasteries, ancient buildings and much more, every moment in this bay is timeless, picturesque and breathtaking.