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Breathtaking beauty

With adventure on and offshore, Sarah Gallivan finds out why honeymooning in Montenegro, 'the pearl of the Mediterranean', is a must…

As I travelled the short ferry journey across the Adriatic, sun shining and the breeze in my face, the scenic backdrop of Boka Bay emerged and I was truly taken aback by its beauty.

I arrived at the Regent Porto Montenegro, my five-star base for the next few days overlooking the superyacht marina, to be greeted by stunning interiors inspired by the Venetian Renaissance but combined with the tradition of local architecture. The hotel offers a choice of 51 contemporary double rooms and 35 sophisticated residences, all designed to create the feeling of being on board your very own luxury ship. Throw in the fine dining restaurants, on-site spa, private beach and nearby designer boutiques and I think you'll agree this sounds like heaven!

Over the coming days I was going to sample what Montenegro has to offer and I couldn't wait. This jewel of a nation boasts culture and historic towns through to romantic fine dining, relaxing spa treatments and adrenaline-fuelled aquatic adventures. Whether you're a thrill-seeking couple looking for something different for your special retreat or in need of pure indulgence – this hotspot has it all...


I'd never been sailing before and I won't lie I was quite nervous but it was an amazing experience. I tried my hand on board one of Porto Montenegro Yacht Club's fleet of Blu26, an eight-metre sport boat. With no motor, knowing that we were gliding through the Adriatic by just the power of the wind, while taking in the beauty of Boka Bay, was amazing. Couples can even opt for a sunset sailing trip to really ramp up the romance. Whether you're experienced or a novice sailor like myself, this is a 'must-do' and the hotel now offers a 'stay and sail' package so it's all sorted for you, taking the stress out of your honeymoon planning.

This destination lends itself to a variety of sports and activities, so the adrenaline junkies will love the option of tailor-made excursions. Activities are endless and range from canyoning and hiking through to kite surfing, quad biking, cycling in the mountains and taking a jeep safari through the wilderness.

Above shore…
Why not take in the sights of Montenegro from the air? Once you arrive you can arrange a one-off experience tailored just for you with Discover Montenegro located in the marina. What better time to enjoy your first helicopter ride than on your honeymoon? Soar above the dramatic landscape, through mountain ranges or follow the coastline taking in the contrasting landscapes.


The relaxation...
After the fun-filled sailing session, I was welcomed back at the hotel with a signature massage in the Regent Spa. Complete with sauna, steam room, traditional Turkish bath and outdoor pool with views over the marina, this was just what I needed to bring my body into a sense of calm again. Couples should squeeze a day of sunbathing at the hotel's secluded Dobrec beach into their itinerary. Accessed by boat, the clear waters of the bay are complemented by the rustic backdrop of a charming fisherman's cove and being a private beach, you'll be able to enjoy some valuable 'alone time'. The yacht club's Lido Mar is another option for taking in the rays, and being a guest at Regent Porto Montenegro you have full access to this members-only facility. It features open-air cabanas, an infinity pool and both single and double loungers. During my stay I had the pleasure of sampling the Mediterranean-inspired menu in the hotel's grand Dining Room, and experienced fine dining in its Italian Garden. Bordered by calming water pools overlooking the marina, this area creates the sense of being on a private island on the seafront – the ideal spot for an intimate meal for two. Finish the night off in style by watching the sun go down on the terrace of the sophisticated Library Bar, or relax here during the afternoon with a cocktail or two


The history...
I had a James Bond moment and was taken to the ancient city of Kotor via speed boat – I'd highly recommend this as a form of transport to get around here! Kotor is on UNESCO's list of world heritage sights due to its history and it's well worth a visit. You can hike along the surrounding walls that are crafted into the natural steep slopes or wander the narrow streets and squares enjoying the cafés and boutiques. Be sure to take in the treasures of the numerous cathedrals and churches, which add to the rich history. Take a boat from the hotel to the island of 'Our Lady of the Rock'. According to a legend, fishermen found a religious icon from a shipwreck here and vowed to build a church on the spot to protect sailors and fishermen. What's more, you can even get married there! Sailing really is at the heart and soul of Porto Montenegro and the Naval History Museum, just a short walk from the hotel, is a really interesting visit for those wanting to know more about the region's roots. I also had a tour around the Yugoslav submarine 'Hero' dating from 1969 – a fascinating insight to take in with your new hubby.


Don't forget to pack...

  • Waterproofs for sailing
  • Flat shoes to explore in comfort
  • Sun cream and sunglasses
  • A good book for the all-important post-wedding 'me time'
Don't go home without… Buying a piece of stunning authentic jewellery from Kotor. Years ago silver merchants used to pass through Kotor and to this day, the one-off designs can be seen in many boutique windows.

A must try… Lozova Rakija (pronounced 'Raki') – a local spirit. This is sure to make your eyes water so be warned, one is more than enough for us tourists. The locals say that drinking a shot of this every morning with a spoonful of honey and olive oil will give you a long and healthy life – I took their word for it!

A must do... Visit the hotel's Dobrec beach by boat and sample the restaurant's locally caught seafood specialities to add to the experience.

Book this

Rooms at Regent Porto Montenegro start at ¤200 per room, per night. Easyjet fly from London and Manchester to Tivat Airport which is a 10-minute drive from the hotel. Alternatively, fly to Dubrovnik with British Airways and enjoy a 1hr 30 minute journey to Montenegro...

Useful contacts

Regent Porto Montenegro www.regenthotels.com/EN/

Discover Montenegro

Porto Montenegro Yacht Club www.portomontenegro.com