A Guide to Montenegro’s Coastal Gem, Tivat
Tivat is not Montenegro’s largest city, not even one of its major cities. But it is certain that it is one of the most important cities of the country and you should definitely see it. You will understand the reasons for this when you read this article.
Tivat’s Historical Origin
Tivat, a charming town in Montenegro, is believed to have derived its name from Teuta, an Illyrian ruler who held sway over a portion of the region. In 229 B.C., Teuta faced a Roman invasion and was compelled to relocate from Lake Skadar to Risan in Kotor Bay, where she constructed a summer residence.
Exploring Tivat: A Walkable Town
Situated around its center and waterfront, Tivat is a small town that can be easily navigated on foot. The convenience of walking means that a rental car is mostly unnecessary unless you plan to venture beyond the town’s confines. Street parking is free throughout Tivat, but if parking space is elusive, a spacious paid parking lot is available near the waterfront and Porto Montenegro, providing easy access to various destinations on foot.
Strolling Along Tivat Promenade
One of Tivat’s highlights is its lengthy promenade, stretching from the town marina to the Lepetane ferry terminal. This scenic route begins along the waterfront, passing through Porto Montenegro and the promenade, ultimately merging with the main Adriatic highway. As you follow this path, you’ll traverse Seljanovo and Donja Lastva, with the latter boasting picturesque old stone buildings and the Sveti Roko church. The journey is punctuated by opportunities to pause for refreshments or snacks. Notably, Hotel Carrubba offers a delightful waterfront terrace for drinks and meals.
Tivat’s Beaches: A Seaside Experience
While Tivat’s center lacks beaches, the coastline toward Donja Lastva and the Lustica Peninsula hosts these sandy respites. It’s important to note that many beaches in Montenegro are not entirely public. Though they provide amenities like loungers, umbrellas, and eateries, a portion of the beach must remain free for public use. Consequently, visitors can enjoy these free areas without paying for loungers.
Vibrant Nightlife in Tivat
Tivat offers a lively year-round nightlife scene, perfect for party enthusiasts. Given the town’s small size, moving between various nightlife venues is easily achievable on foot. Popular spots like Madame Coco, My Club, The Clubhouse, and Platinum in Porto Montenegro are within convenient walking distance.
The Opulence of Porto Montenegro
A must-see attraction in the Bay of Kotor is Porto Montenegro, a marina teeming with luxury yachts. A leisurely stroll along the docks offers glimpses of some of the world’s most exquisite vessels. The marina’s charm is particularly enchanting at night, making an evening waterfront walk essential for visitors. For indulgence, Smash Wine Station is the go-to place for quality Montenegrin wine, while Moritz Eis serves exceptional seasonal desserts. Sports enthusiasts can catch games at The Clubhouse while sipping a beer. Porto Montenegro also boasts a range of dining options, from upscale restaurants like De Gustibus and Mitsu to casual eateries like Byblos, Al Posto Giusto, One, and Regent Hotel’s Dining Room.
Preserving Maritime History
The Maritime Heritage Museum, situated slightly outside the main town within Porto Montenegro, is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. This museum stands on the grounds of the former Arsenal, once a significant naval base established by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1889. With over 300 exhibits, the museum encapsulates the maritime history of the region. A restored Yugoslav submarine, the P-821 Hero, is also on display, offering a glimpse into its 46,659 nautical mile journey spanning 726 days at sea.
Getting There: Air Travel Convenience
Tivat houses the sole coastal airport in Montenegro, making it an ideal entry point for those planning to explore Budva or the Bay of Kotor. For those interested in the mountainous north or destinations like Bar and Ulcinj in the south, Podgorica Airport is a more suitable choice. Tivat Airport offers direct connections to various European destinations from May to October, with Belgrade and Moscow being the primary winter links. Montenegro Airlines operates direct flights from London-Gatwick on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, allowing visitors to conveniently explore this picturesque town at their leisure. ■