Spendthrift Serenity in Sveti Stefan
When people talk about Montenegro’s beaches, they usually refer to Budva. If Montenegro’s beaches were Archie Comic Books, Budva would be Veronica: popular, sexy, and flashy. In Budva, women in tiny bikinis walk past the walled old town and pass hyperdeveloped streets to reach a busy beach. At night, they party until dawn. Budva is fun, but we drove past the high-rise buildings and never looked back. We wanted the Betty of beaches: serene, sweet, and a bit neglected on a Saturday night. Sveti Stefan fit the bill perfectly.
Sveti Stefan is on the southern end of the Bay of Kotor. The area is named after the islet just off the shoreline. In the 1970s, this island was the site of a resort that catered to the likes of Liz Taylor and Sofia Loren. After a period of disrepair, the island resort reopened under the name Aman Sveti Stefan, with an even more exclusive guest list. We were told that each person who enters the resort must commit to spending 25 Euro. After seeing the walled city of Kotor (for free!) we decided that the view from our balcony was probably the best one anyway. It certainly was cheaper.
Twenty minutes after we arrived, we found ourselves at the beach. Despite high season there was plenty of space. Two padded lounge chairs with an umbrella were available for 15 Euro a day. This was the kind of splurge we could handle. Muz announced, “We shouldn’t go anywhere. I’m getting my 7.5 Euros worth out of this chair.” Slažem se, dear. After just a few hours, we decided one day wasn’t enough. We cancelled the next day’s reservation and planned another day of playing lizard.
We continued our low-budget royalty lifestyle by buying fresh corn and raspberries from vendors parading the beach. Their cries of “Strudlice, maline, kukurus…” against ocean waves was one of the most relaxing sounds I’ve known. We made dinner plans at a local pizza restaurant and snacked on fruit sold out of cars by the beach. For dessert, we walked to a convenience store for my drug of choice, Magnum Ice Cream bars. I’m sure the folks in Budva were more energized. I’ll bet the people at Sveti Stefan Aman were having something more exotic. And I guarantee they weren’t having more fun. That poor Archie…he really didn’t know what he was missing.