Sveti Stefan – The Crown Jewel Of Montenegro’s Most Unique Vacation Spots

osoian-marcel (CC0), Pixabay

Albeit small in terms of population and size, Montenegro is one of the most beautiful Slavic countries to visit, especially in spring, summer and early fall. Its coastline is praised by tourists from near and far for the white sandy beaches and the crystal clear Adriatic waters. But when it comes to unique vacation spots, the crown jewel of Montenegrin tourism is undoubtedly Sveti Stefan.

The island, or rather islet, dates back to the latter half of the Middle Ages, when it was simply a fishermen village. In the 1400s a system of fortifications was built around the island to keep it safe from invasions from the mainland and attacks from ships traveling by water. Nowadays the fortified walls, cobbled alleys and signature red roofs from the 15th century are still well-preserved and play a key role in this vacation destination’s uniqueness.

All of Sveti Stefan is acting as a 5 star island resort – a rarity for Slavic grounds – which has been praised for its secluded privacy, authentic atmosphere and heavenly Adriatic surroundings by numerous celebrities like Claudia Schiffer, Sylvester Stallone, Sofia Loren and many others.

The island boasts more than 50 guest rooms, 8 exclusive suites, several cottages, cobbled courtyards, cozy restaurants, indoor and outdoor pools, a SPA and wellness center, an open-air square, a private beach on the panoramic coastline and stunning views of the nearby Milocer Bay.

The 15th century authenticity is mixed with high end accommodation, 24 hour 5 star service and comforting privacy secured by the island’s fortifications and geographic location, all of which add up to the experience of a truly relaxing getaway that few can afford.

Closed between November and April, Sveti Stefan is a lovely mixture between the archaic and the modern world which you won’t find on many vacation spots, be they just as exclusive or not. For those selected few non-celebrity mere mortals who can afford a luxurious stay at Sveti Stefan, the prices for a single night vary between €2,000 and €3,000 Euro. The smallest and cheapest rooms are around 45m2 in size (which is significantly larger than what many other 5 star hotels and resorts offer) and their price per night starts from €1,000 Euro.

Due to the fact that it’s distanced from the mainland and secured by the system of fortified stone walls, Sveti Stefan has been attracting locals and foreigners alike for centuries. Kings, queens and princesses have gambled in its casino. Chess grandmasters have played on its occasional chest tournament venues. Tennis champions have held weddings on it. Political figures have attended conferences there. In a nutshell, when people with deep pockets opt for vacationing at Montenegro’s virgin forests, relaxing beaches and gorgeous nature, they opt for Sveti Stefan.

Between serving as a home to Montenegrin villagers, as a protectorate of the Republic of Venice, as a target for Ottoman Turks, as a prized jewel for Adriatic pirates and as a playground for the high life since the middle of the 20th century, Sveti Stefan has a long standing colorful history that’s in no way inferior to its kitschy seaside beauty.

The island is currently owned by Aman Resorts – a worldwide chain of hotels and resorts that operates hundreds of facilities on numerous continents. Before being leased off to Aman Resorts, the island used to be operated by Yugoslavia’s Communist officials, who initially came up with the idea of a luxurious hotel. Aman won a 30 year long contract for the island after the Montenegrin government opened an international bid in 2007 in an attempt to rejuvenate Sveti Stefan and thus, to improve the overall economy and tourism of the country.

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