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Montenegro is not a country which springs to the top of the list when we think of LGBT-friendly destinations. In fact it scores 22nd (out of 49) on the ILGA European Rainbow rankings. Whilst this does indicate the country has a lot of progress to make on the front of LGBT laws, Montenegro is not necessarily closed to the LGBT tourism market. In fact it has started to identify LGBT-friendly accommodation and activities (i.e. where the owners want to make sure LGBT guests receive the same level of service). Moreover Montenegro posses remarkable natural beauty, beaches, and now a new luxury hotel, Ananti resort, from which to enjoy the country. We at Vada have therefore rounded up our three top reasons to visit Montenegro this year.
Montenegro boasts incredible natural beauty, with waterside towns surrounded by mountains, making the country an Instagrammer’s dream. Hiking around the country is one of the best ways to see some of these incredible views. One of the most popular hiking trails is the Seven Bay Trail that links the town of Budva with the famous Sveti Stefan island. This 7km trail features several spectacular Budva Riviera beaches and great views of the sea. Since these beaches all have their own beach bars, hikers will find plenty of refreshment opportunities en route.
Another fairly easy 7.2km trail without links the village of Brajici (about 2500 feet above Budva) with Viskovici and the Monastery of Stanjevici (elevation about 2700 feet). Brajici features the Kosmac fortress built in the 19th century, and the village has several restaurants with good local cuisine. The hike passes across the sides of Mount Lovcen and provides magnificent views of the sea and the coastal villages.
Fit travellers who want to hike in the mountains and enjoy views of Budva, tiny villages and beaches from on high might want to tackle the 6.6km trail that climbs over 3000 feet up from the village of Lastva Grbaljska on the western side of Budva to the village of Majstori. Along the route, hikers will pass by a monastery, churches, small villages, and even a fish pond. They will also have great views of Jaz Beach.
Given Montenegro’s geography, the majority of beaches are well oriented for sunset views. Two of the most popular, and accessible for gay men, are Jaz beach and Ada Bojana beach. Jaz beach, a landscaped pebbly beach approximately 600m long. There is a cafe, and plenty of water sport activities. Gay men typically congregate towards the eastern end (though it’s not a nudist beach). Ada Bojana beach is the longest beach, and mostly nudist. It is situated at the southern end of Montenegro on the border with Albania. At several kilometres long, there are many activities available from camping to kite surfing.
3. Ānanti resort
The newest resort on the Montenegro coastline and joining the luxury accommodation market, Ānanti, opens later this summer. Ānanti is expected to be a hidden oasis of tranquility about 30 minutes’ drive from Tivat and Podgorica airports. Surrounded by breath-taking coastlines and UNESCO protected sites, the new property, with its own private beach, is set to become a destination in itself for discerning, international travellers. Ānanti is also the first hotel in Montenegro to become a member of The Leading Hotels of the World group.
The property includes eight private villas (3-4 bedrooms) and fourteen sea-facing suites. The independent villas feature a private pool and outdoor area with large terraces and an unobstructed sea view. Ānanti also includes a state of the art spa set over three floors to meet the needs of spa and wellbeing lovers and a main swimming pool situated on the top terrace where the sea provides a perfect backdrop.
Ānanti Montenegro features a signature Asian fusion restaurant. The ethos of the menu is to take local Mediterranean ingredients and flavour them with Asian notes. Live cooking as well as a tepaniaki counters will be also part of the restaurant experience.