This year, the family wanted to go on a beach holiday to Montenegro. The only problem is we had to do it on a strict budget, so it’s Montenegro on a “shoestring”. We decided to do something that we have never tried before, pick a place to go to and when we arrive there, find some accommodation to stay. So off we go to Perast in Montenegro.
The 12 hour drive was uneventful. My tip to you is drive through the night especially in the hot summer months; it’s more pleasant for everyone concerned, definitely recommended if you have children. As we got close to Kotor Bay we were treated to some outstanding scenery. The bay is circled by towering, forest-clad mountains which nearly meet the sea. There are some lay-bys to stop in if you wish to take some photographs and to marvel at the natural beauty around you. If you arrive into Tivat airport through a package deal, you will also be treated to the same views as you are transferred to your accommodation. Somewhere nestling on the banks of the Adriatic Sea is the small town of Perast, our home for the next week.
The drive around the bay was nothing short of spectacular. On arrival, we encountered our first minor setback. Perast now has a newly established pedestrian zone. So no cars allowed. We parked up and paid the 1 euro daily parking fee and went in search for a bed for the week. People who had visited Perast before told us to try the local taverns as this is where locals advertise.
We’re in luck; just around the corner is a private apartment for rent for 15 euros a day. The owner insists that we check out every room before we strike the deal. Sold! The apartment has one double bedroom, a living room with a double sofa bed, TV, a bathroom with a shower, a small kitchenette with all cooking utensils and crockery provided, there’s also a small terrace to eat al fresco if we choose. It’s a bargain in my mind. Once unpacked, everyone is keen to explore the town and all it holds.
The town has a wonderful Mediterranean feel to it, with its quaint narrow streets, oldie world cafés and restaurants which line the promenade. There are also two small stores selling local produce if you want to self-cater. The quayside is where you will find the sun-worshippers and those enjoying a swim in the warm, clear blue water. There is also a small pebble beach which is organised with showers, a café-bar, and an ice cream stall. It’s maybe not ideal if you were looking for a long, sandy beach but I soon realised that the location far outweighed this minor annoyance.
Two places are worth a special mention. Firstly, the restaurant called “Konoba Skolji”; it specialises in locally caught fish dishes, whilst enjoying the authentic local music with our meal and in its waterfront location. Highly recommended! Secondly, the Pirate Bar open 24 hours a day, just west of the town. You’ll find it on Pencic beach. It’s a great place to unwind in an informal setting whilst taking in those unbelievable views.
No visit to Perast would be complete without taking a boat trip (leaves regularly from the quay) to the islands of St George and Our Lady of the Rocks. They both have a chapel. Legend has it that Our Lady of the Rocks was built after some sailor’s found a picture of the Virgin Mary on a rock in the middle of the bay. It’s the only man-made island in the whole of the Adriatic region. A must see!
I am not sorry we came and spent our summer in Perast. There’s plenty to do for all ages to make sure you have a great summer holiday. Yes, it’s low-key and not too lively but I got used to that as the week went on. The main reason to come here is the breath-taking scenery; it is out of this world, unforgettable. This place has character, charm, and a relaxed Mediterranean atmosphere which may draw you back year after year. I would choose Perast again, for the price, the accommodation was cheap and mixing some self-catering with eating out will keep you well within a tight budget. However, prices for accommodation do vary and we certainly got one of the cheapest deals. Hope that you’re lucky too.