Luxury Charter Along Montenegro’s Historic Coast
Captain Dan and Chef Lisa invite you aboard BELLACHA for a 7-day coastal adventure in Montenegro. They want to share with you the Adriatic shoreline between Croatia and Albania, which they know intimately. Montenegro is a place of stunning landscapes, historic towns, quiet anchorages and first-class marinas. It is ancient and sophisticated, unspoiled and fascinating. If it’s not on your bucket list it should be.
Montenegro has had a remarkable evolution due to its strategic location. The easily defended Bay of Kotor is simply known as Boka (the bay). Here the Adriatic Sea cut into the mountains to form a natural wonder of coves and fjords. The coastline is a diverse tapestry of bustling, medieval cities, scenic bays, and peaceful fishing villages.
Christian, Muslim, Illyrian, Byzantine, Turkish, and Slav civilizations bequeathed an amazing repository of culture and history. Spanish, Venetian, Ottoman, French and Austro-Hungarian royals and aristocrats financed lavish works of art and architecture. In the background, the mountains can be so densely forested they look black to the outside observer, hence the name Montenegro.
Day 1: Porto Montenegro – Kotor
Fly into either Dubrovnik or Tivat airports, both are close. Transfer to Porto Montenegro M Marina, a very chic place to begin your chater. We think it feels a lot like being in Monte Carlo. This five-star facility has upscale cafes, bars, restaurants, shops and great night life. BELLACHA is docked here. Spend your first night relaxing at Boka’s epicenter enjoying the excellent marina facilities.
Today we head out to Herceg Novi, on the edge of the Bay of Kotor. En route we anchor off the monastery at the Island of St Mark. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site territory. It’s a perfect spot for a delicious lunch al fresco with panoramic views. You will definitely want to take photographs!
After lunch it’s a 15-mile sail west to Herceg Novi, a busy medieval town founded in the 14thcentury. You may want to explore Old Town’s architectural treasures; elegant buildings, churches and fortresses. Or, if you prefer peace, quiet and relaxation, we will anchor in beautiful Zanjice Bay. Dinner can be onboard, or ashore at the romantic Ribarsko Selo restaurant.
Day 3: Herceg Novi – Budva, 21 miles
We head south to Budva, our first sail out of Boka. The Blue Grotto is a popular natural attraction about six nautical miles south of Herceg Novi. The cave soars 30-feet from sea level to the top of the ceiling. The depth varies from 10 to 13-feet. We can explore this wonderful cave by dinghy, or you can swim in with your mask and snorkel.
Budva is at the heart of a 22-mile stretch known as the “Budva Riviera”. It is one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. The Riviera includes 17 beaches, waterside cafes, bars and local nightlife.
The town was founded by the Greeks in the fourth century BC, and then fortified during the Middle Ages. Poke around Old Town, a maze of cobbled streets, churches and squares with shops, galleries and cafes. Most of these historic buildings have been painstakingly reconstructed following the devastating earthquake of 1979.
Day 4: Budva – Bar, 20 miles
We sail south along the coast to Bar. The old seaport town is worth wandering through. Visit the remains of a Roman aqueduct, a medieval gun powder house, a Turkish hammam and King Nikola’s Palace, dating from 1885. The Old Olive Tree is a symbol of the city of Bar. At 2,000 years old, it is possibly the oldest tree in Continental Europe and one of the oldest of its species in the world.We also recommend a day trip to visit Lake Skadar National Park.This beautiful park is renowned for island monasteries, timeless villages, bird habitats, clear waters, steep mountains and sacred monuments.
We head north to the beautiful fishing village of Bigova in Trašta Bay. We can drop anchor off Pećin cove to enjoy one of the favorite spots on this part of the coast, Queen’s Beach, which is only accessible by sea. The beach has fine reddish sand and an imposing cliff on the western side.
Bigova is popular for seaside holidays with clear, calm water, perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing and water sports. There are also rocky and sandy sections of the beach famous for therapeutic mud. This picturesque anchorage has many cafes and restaurants along the quay. We recommend Grispolis, a popular seafood restaurant.
Day 6: Bigova – Perast 18 miles
We set our course northeast to Perast, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This picturesque town, once rich, powerful, and the envy of empires, is gradually being resurrected with a nod to its former opulence. The tiny town lies opposite the two islets of St George and Our Lady of the Rock. St. George houses a Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard for the nobility from Perast. Our Lady of the Rock sits on a man-made island built by sailors to honor a miraculous icon discovered on the spot.
We can anchor at Perast, or a little further up the coast at Risan, the oldest settlement in the Boka, famous for its museum of Roman mosaics.
Day 7: Perast – Kotor 10 miles
On our last day we explore Kotor, the heart of Boka Bay. This UNESCO World Heritage site is an authentic, medieval walled town. A labyrinth of winding cobbled streets leads through a series of splendid paved piazzas. Here, the historic cathedral, landmark churches and palaces and a maritime museum rub shoulders with trendy cafés and chic boutiques. Kotor has everything, lovely streets to explore and fine places to dine and drink. It is the perfect ending to an unforgettable charter aboard BELLACHA.
This 70-foot, custom-designed sailing yacht was built at RPD shipyard in Italy, “for the sporting gentleman who wants to entertain”. Only one gentleman ownerd her before us. He enjoyed racing her, especially in the Trieste Barcolana Regatta, and kept her in top form. We purchased and updated her with a complete refit. We named her BELLACHA, after the 2200-meter mountain peak behind our house. The mountains and the sea are close to our hearts, and this way we have a little of both.
Our guests will love BELLACHA’s massive aft deck space. Port and starboard have sunbathing mattresses under two hard Biminis, forward and aft. The other bonus is the wide swim platform with easy access to the water via the drop-down ladder. Slip right off the yacht and into the sea to go swimming, snorkeling and play on the water toys.
A charter on BELLACHA is an amazing vacation. We will drop anchor in pristine coves accessible only by sea. You will explore picture-perfect medieval towns with delightful, modern amenities. Let us expand your horizons in ways you never imagined. We look forward to welcoming you on board BELLACHA and sharing the best of Montenegro!