Many gorgeous places line the glorious coast of the Adriatic Sea. Few, however, can compare to Sveti Stefan in Montenegro. A small fortified island home to beautiful 15th-century houses, this is one of Montenegro’s tourist hotspots.The islet of Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) lies just a few kilometres along Montenegro’s Adriatic coast from Budva. With such a stunning backdrop the beaches here wouldn’t have to be up to that much to still get the thumbs up. However, with crystal clear turquoise waters, pink sand and backdrop of pine forest and mountains make Sveti Stefan a magical beach to spend a day on the beach.
Here’s the bad news.The islet of Sveti Stefan and the better beaches nearby are all privately owned and part of the very upmarket Aman Sveti Stefan resort. That doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy these beaches along with the rich and famous, but it does mean this will cost you at least ?30 for the pleasure. Head towards the Villa Milo?er beach and the prices become eye-watering.
But do not despair. Whilst you will pay handsomely for the beach to the right of the causeway leading across to the island, things are cheaper on the beach to the left – and they get cheaper still as you head further away. In fact walk far enough and it’s free! On the downside this part of the beach is somewhat more pebbly (but still pink) and not quite so pristine, but the view is still pretty good.
The Adriatic’s Most Extraordinary Accommodation
Aman Sveti Stefan is one of the Adriatic’s most outstanding luxury resorts. It encompasses the entire fortified island and historic buildings, offering accommodation in 50 luxurious rooms, suites, and cottages. You can stay in a landmark island village—a truly unique experience.
Sveti Stefan is exceptionally picturesque. With its terracotta-roofed houses dating from as far back as the 15th century, its rocky shores, and its lush Mediterranean vegetation, this is arguably the star attraction on the coast of Montenegro.
The island of Sveti Stefan is, however, only accessible to the resort’s guests. If you don’t have a good chunk of cash to spend—rooms cost several hundreds of dollars per night—you can still get a closer look during dinner at the restaurant. Expect to pay a lot there, too, though.
Luckily, non-millionaires can enjoy the area’s beauty as well. The township on the coast, facing the island, bears the same name and is accessible to the general public. A narrow causeway connects the island to the mainland.
The main advantage is that, from the township, you have an astonishing view of the island. The main disadvantage is that parking can be hard to find, especially in summer.
General information about Sveti Stefan
Sveti Stefan is a tiny little island of only 1.64 hectares, actually it is a peninsula connected to the mainland by a causeway. It is located about 10 kilometers from Budva and, thanks to its imposing setting, has become a landmark for Montenegro. Holidaymakers also love the resort of the same name, which attracts with unique ambience! Just opposite the island are really great beaches and also a vacation settlement with beautiful apartments and hotels was built here on the slopes of the resort.
The history of Sveti Stefan goes back to the 15th century. In the past it was a small, fortified fishing village, which partly served as a shelter in times of war. About 400 inhabitants are said to have lived in this historic old town of the small island at that time. It has its name from the church of St. Stefan, which, like several other small churches, is still here today.
The Hotel Sveti Stefan
It was not until the middle of the 20th century, 1950-1960, that the small old town was completely renovated as part of a hotel project, preserving its original character with pretty stone cottages, romantic alleys and typical red roofs and shutters. Celebrities and politicians from all over the world, like Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor have been guests here. Since 2007, the entire island of Sveti Stefan, together with Villa Milocer on the mainland, has become a complex of the Aman Sveti Stefan Luxury Resort, a high end top-class 5-star hotel.
The beaches of Sveti Stefan
Real highlights, accessible to all vacationers, are the wonderful beaches of Sveti Stefan. Often described as pink sandy beaches, they are, however, rather very fine pebble beaches that really glow a delicate pink when the sun shines. The entrance to the left side cove is also open to non-hotel guests and is even free of charge. The bay on the right side is only accessible to hotel guests, or you can rent two sunbeds with an umbrella for about 120 euros per day.Beautiful and a real highlight is a walk along the picturesque waterfront. From the walkway you can enjoy a fantastic viewpoint of Sveti Stefan, which with its stone houses and red roofs forms a particularly spectacular contrast to the turquoise sea. Also worth seeing is Milocer Beach, the so-called Queens Beach, a private beach in a spectacular setting, just a 5-minute walk from the village.