Budva – Irresistible mix of history, luxury and nightlife
20 August 2019
written by Marina Pejaković
After spending some time in the Bay of Kotor, and visiting all the precious little towns hidden in the bay, it is time to focus on another very important centre on the Montenegrin coastline, Budva.
As all great stories about a certain place start with a legend, the legend about Budva brings two Greek characters, Cadmus and Harmonia into focus. The legend says that back in the 5th century BC, Cadmus, the founder of the city Thebes in Ancient Greece, after being exiled from his city, arrived with his wife, goddess Harmonia, right here at the Montenegrin coast. They arrived in a carriage driven by oxen, which determined the name of the city Bouthoe (in Greek bous means oxen).
Rich history that dates back to two and a half millennia ago makes Budva one of the oldest known urban centres in this area. There are many monuments and findings that can testify the magnificent mixture of different cultures, which contributed to the beauty of this town. Ancient civilizations such as Illyrians, Ancients Greeks and Romans, then Byzantines and Venetians and many more left their trades in Budva. The history of Perast, as well as the history of the entire bay, is thousands of years long. However, Perast gained its popularity during the period from the 15th to the 18th century. This period defined Perast as it is today. Since its position was desirable to anyone who would have wanted to take control over the bay, local people from Perast had to defend their position and certainly, gain something from it.
The Old Town of Budva is surrounded by walls. Before entering the Old Town you can admire the Ancient Necropolis, which was accidentally discovered in 1937, while preparing the area for the building of hotel Avala. The findings from the tombs are well preserved and exposed in the interesting Archaeological Museum in the Old Town of Budva.
Although small, its narrow streets and small squares urge you to get lost inside the walls and just roam around. Vendors with their little shops will call you to stop and take a look inside to see what they can offer. In the variety of pubs, you will not know where to stop to grab a beer, because every one of them will look so tempting. Then you will find your way to the Citadel, and there you will be amazed with the fascinating view and the sound of waves hitting the shore. Almost as you can travel through time and imagine what it would feel to be Cadmus or Harmonia, the founders of this little town.
After spending the time in this romantic, kind of dreamy part of the city of Budva, you will see that this city offers splendid beaches. You can relax on the vivacious beaches right next to the Old Town of Budva, while sipping cocktails and listening to some popular music on the beach bars, or you can rent-a-car and drive to some of the remote beaches, where you can simply enjoy the calmness of the sea.
The island of St. Stefan is just 15 minutes away, so you can get away from all the noise and peek into the most luxurious part of Montenegrin coastline. The interesting story about this island dates back to 15th century, when brave men from Paštrovići, after seizing the Turkish vessels moored near the beach Jaz, decided to use everything they gathered and create a little town on the island. The position of the island was perfect, because this way they were safe from attacks of different enemies. The fortress was built, and inside the walls, 12 families were living. They were famous for the public Paštrovački court that took place every week and was known for being fair and giving justice to the people.
Although it was a safe place, many families decided to move out the island, so the government decided to use its beauty and transform it into a hotel. The magnificence of the architecture left everyone speechless, so it is not surprising that St. Stefan received FIJET’s Golden Apple Award (La Pomme d’Or) in 1972. This little island-hotel has been famous for hosting different celebrities, who want to enjoy their privacy, among which were Sylvester Stallone, Sophia Loren, Carlo Ponti and Claudia Schiffer. Even Beckham family decided to go for a cosy vacation in Montenegro, because they knew that St. Stefan can offer them peace while enjoying the beauty without reporters lurking around.
So do not be surprised if you happen to be here when some famous rock star or sport celebrity books the whole island, and you cannot reach it. However, the view from the photo stop above the island is as breath-taking as the very island.
Finally, while you are getting back to Budva, you will see that the party in the town has just begun. The bright lights of the city in the night will make you go change your clothes quickly, because you do not want to miss the night life that lasts until early morning hours. Various bars will offer something for everyone, and you know what they say, what happens in Budva, stays in Budva… 🙂
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