• Herceg Novi
Our Lady on the Rocks is a beautiful domed church built on an island in Kotor Bay. It is said to have been built by centuries of sailors tossing a stone in the water in the same spot after returning from a sailing trip, to thank God for getting them home safely.
Tivat was once a small village near a naval base. The naval base has now been transformed into the Porto Montenegro marina, one of the biggest and most luxurious yacht marinas in the world, complete with luxury hotels, fine dining restaurants, and lots of berths for superyachts.
Stari Bar is an old town that was completely abandoned in the 17th Century and has been virtually untouched for the last 300 years. Walking around here is like taking a step back to a much simpler time when people lived without cars, electricity or internet.
The private yacht experience
Chartering a private catamaran or yacht for a week is an exclusive and unforgettable experience. With a skipper to show you the ropes and make sure everything runs smoothly, and a hostess to sort out breakfast and lunch each day, this holiday is a relaxing but memorable experience. You’ll hop from island to island visiting secluded beaches and bays, and seeing places that can only be reached by boat. There’s a very laid-back and informal approach to time – as long as you make it to your next destination by sunset, you can take your time. Enjoy some time to explore your overnight stop in a bit more depth before departing or stop off in a hidden spot on the way to your next destination. The skipper will sail the boat and you can get involved with the process as much or as little as you like; this is a fantastic way of learning a new skill whether it’s steering the boat, tweaking the sails or navigating from bay to bay. Or just relax on deck, watch the world go by and enjoy the ever-changing landscapes.
Is this for you?
Sailing holidays are incredibly versatile and suit multigenerational families or groups of friends of all ages. All you need is a sense of adventure, a desire to explore new destinations and a love of the sea. Private yacht and catamaran holidays are great if you like to be active and learn a new skill, do nothing more than relaxing in the sunshine or find hidden coves and bays that other people you know are unlikely to have visited. While we have set itineraries, no two sailing holidays will ever by the same.
What to expect
All charters run from Saturday to Saturday. After arriving and completing the paperwork, you’ll spend the night aboard the boat to find your sea legs before setting sail on Sunday morning. As it’s your own private boat, you can set off whenever suits you. A typical day will include four to six hours sailing so there will be plenty of time to explore your overnight destination in a little more depth, or leave a little earlier and have more time to anchor off secluded beaches or bays as you sail by. When the boat is underway, you can sit and relax with a book, soak up the sun on deck or get involved with the sailing.
Breakfast and lunch are served on board and will be prepared by your hostess using the food that is bought by you. At dinner, the boat will be in a marina or anchored a short tendering distance offshore and you can choose between dining at a local taverna or restaurant or making your own meal in the onboard kitchen (known as a galley).
Skipper and hostess
The skipper and hostess will be on board throughout your charter. They are responsible for safety and steering between marinas, and keeping things clean and tidy, doing the shopping, and preparing breakfast and a light lunch each day.
Our recommended itinerary is a one-week sailing itinerary from Kotor:
Saturday: On arrival at the airport, you'll be taken by private transfer to the yacht marina in Kotor. With the VIP check-in service you should be on the boat before 2pm, which will give you plenty of time to get used to life on board a boat, meet your skipper and hostess, listen to a safety briefing, and, of course, relax and enjoy the sunshine.
Sunday: You’ll start the week surrounded by mountains as you sail through the incredible Kotor Bay. The destination for the first night is the castle town of Herceg Novi, the first settlement inside this breathtaking natural fjord. Explore the Old Town, soak in the mud baths and enjoy the bohemian and arty atmosphere.
Monday: You’ll be heading out to the Montenegro’s Adriatic Coast with the wind in the sails on the second day. Follow the dramatic coastline south to the wonderful Budva, which is the most popular tourist town in the country and – at 2500 years old – one of the oldest. There are over 35 beaches and a great range of restaurants and in the height of summer, it’s possible to party all night long.
Tuesday: Today, you'll head further south to the important port town of Bar. En route, you’ll pass lots of irresistible beaches and it’s worth stopping to check out the idyllic town of Petrovac, a traditional Montenegrin seaside town with its grand buildings that date back centuries. Bar is best known for olives and its Old Town, which was abandoned by the locals in the 17th Century; it's an amazing snapshot of what life was like a few hundred years ago.
Wednesday: On the fourth day, you’ll sail from ancient Bar back northwards to the newly built resort in Lustica Bay. It’s such a beautiful and sunny area that they decided to build not just a marina here, but an entire village resort, complete with houses, hotels, restaurants and a local golf course, all expected to fully open in 2019.
Thursday: On day five, you’ll be sailing back into the picturesque Kotor Bay area, passing Herceg Novi and onwards to Tivat. Once a quiet backwater, this naval base has been transformed into one of the biggest and most luxurious marinas in the world, Porto Montenegro, which is home to luxury hotels and the world’s longest yacht berth; they can park superyachts up to 250m in length in here. The local village also has a nice beach, a splendid royal palace and botanical gardens.
Friday: It’s only a short sail back around the bay area to Kotor, so you should have time to check out all that Porto Montenegro has to offer, hit the beach, or get a good close sail-by of the ‘Our Lady On the Rocks’ church which is on an island in the heart of the Bay. Arriving back in Kotor, you can explore the marvellous Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or walk up to the Castle of San Giovanni on the hillside above the town for magnificent views.
Saturday: Today, you will say farewell to the boat, skipper and the hostess. You’ll disembark at 9am and take a private road transfer back to the airport.
The sailing season runs from April to October, with charters typically booked for one week or more, from Saturday to Saturday. Prices vary throughout the season with peak prices in August, and the best-value sailing available in May and October.
Tailor made cruises
These week-long sailing holidays can easily be added to a land-based holiday at one of our featured hotels or resorts. They can even be added to an escorted small group tour in Croatia. Speak to your Personal Travel Expert to find out more.