Tempting turquoise waters, photogenic pink-sand beaches, and a jumble of 15th-century stone villas on an idyllic islet make the Sveti Stefan Peninsula one of the most remarkable sights in the Adriatic.
Connected to Montenegro’s meandering coastline by a narrow causeway, fortified island village Sveti Stefan looks as if it has been plucked from the pages of a fairy tale.
Originally built to protect fisherman from marauding pirates, Sveti Stefan was transformed around 400 years later into a luxurious hideaway for Hollywood stars such as Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe.
Today the islet is in the hands of luxury hotel group Aman. It’s off-limits to all but paying guests, yet travellers on a luxury charter yacht can anchor off the coast and admire the glorious surrounds – and it’s not just the iconic island that wows.
It's just as if I have returned to town from the most beautiful fairy tale of my childhood
The sun-kissed coastline to which Sveti Stefan is connected is also a thing of beauty, with golden sands, hidden coves, rocky promontories, soaring snow-topped mountains, and pine forests where bears still roam.
Such a stunning setting calls for exploration with picturesque hikes. The idyllic Milocer Park and medieval monasteries offer no-end of onshore entertainment, while a line-up of unspoilt beaches awash with crystal clear waters provide relaxation in abundance.
Award-winning Aman Sveti Stefan is one of the most luxurious resorts in the region. Hidden within the hand-restored, red-roofed villas are 50 rooms, cottages, and suites that combine effortless sophistication with authentic Montenegrin character.
There’s also a variety of intimate eateries serving up gastronomic wonders created with local, organic produce, and wines produced at nearby reserves. And an expansive spa, a clifftop pool, the private Queen’s Beach and 19th-century Villa Milocer on the mainland are among the other five-star facilities.
Sveti Stefan Peninsula
Sveti Stefan Islet, Municipality of Budva, Montenegro