Unfortunately, throughout my 15 country tour of Europe, I was only able to visit some destinations for a couple hours. To split up the monotony of long drives, I would stop mid-day in amazing destinations for a mere couple of hours before continuing on to the final destination for the day. Some drive days I would drive through up to four countries in one day before reaching the final destination for that day. One place that stands out in my mind as a unique turquoise destination that I was only able to visit for a short time was Budva, Montenegro.
Montenegro is again another country I hadn’t planned on visiting in Eastern Europe, but was included in my Topdeck tour. I had no idea what Montenegro could offer me as a turquoise fanatic and lover of historical cities. After stopping over in Montenegro on the way to Croatia I now know what the hype is all about (and wish I could have spent more time exploring the coastal cities). Driving through the Balkan region and seeing some of the 72 kilometres of beaches in Montenegro I fell in love instantly. If the coastline wasn’t enough to entice me, the lush black mountains, windy roads above the sea, and small fishing villages surely would. Although Montenegro is a fairly new country after recovering from WWII, it’s incredibly modern and stunningly beautiful.
I stopped in Budva, a bustling seaside town. As soon as I arrived I headed straight for the beach. I walked along the busy promenade lined with take-out shops, restaurants, souvenir shops, and beachside bars before reaching an entrance to the beach. The turquoise water drew me closer and closer to the shore. Although I hadn’t seen turquoise water in a couple days since leaving Greece I was ecstatic to be back by the sea as if I had been gone a lifetime. The coarse brown sand kissed my toes as I walked toward the water’s edge, while walking around bodies trying not to fall on anyone. The beach was scattered with blue, white, and red umbrellas with little sand to be seen because of the crowds of people gathered on the beach. Officially, this is the busiest beach I have ever seen. Even with the beach being swarmed by people, it still remained beautiful to me. As unique and one of a kind as it is, it is said that this beach is reminiscent of Waikiki, Hawaii (and I would have to agree). Even the island across from Budva beach is called Havaii beach.
Budva is a smaller, cheaper, and less popular Nice, yet still draws in crowds from all over Eastern Europe (and beyond). Although celebrities do not flock there like they do in Nice, Montenegrans cherish the area as a place to vacation and unwind. The beach destination is affordable and easy for anyone to live like the rich and famous. The windy steep (and skinny) coastal roads to Budva are worth the drive to this Eastern European turquoise getaway. Dipping my toes in the warm water was worth the journey, even if I was only able to stay for a couple hours before continuing on.