Each island has its own history: prisons and temples were built on some islands and luxury hotels with rooms from 1000 euros per night on the others. We have prepared a list of ten most interesting ones.
1. Island of Flowers
Opposite to Tivat, in one and a half kilometers from the coast, there is a beautiful island — the Island of Flowers or Miholjska prevlaka.
The Island of Flowers is famous for its sandy beaches (total length — 1200 meters) and rich vegetation. In the center of the island are the remains of the Monastery of Holy Archangel Michael, built in the 9th century, part of which is now rebuilt and re-populated by monks.
2. Gospa od Milosrđa
The Gospa (island) od Milosrđa is located in the Bay of Kotor. It is only 160 meters long and 60 meters wide. There is a church and a belfry of the second half of the 15th century, dedicated to the conception of the Virgin Mary.
On different sides of the church there are residential buildings, a small garden and terraces for walks. The architectural complex on the island has been destroyed many times, but has always been restored. Gospa od Milosrđa is popular among tourists who come to get acquainted with the local culture and landmarks.
3. Our Lady of the Rocks
Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island. According to the legend, the icon of the Virgin Mary was found on the rocks sticking out of the sea and in 1452 the locals decided to “finish building” the island and built a small chapel on it.
Over time, the island grew, as stones were thrown here for centuries to sink the hijacked Turkish ships. Today’s architectural complex was built in the end of the 17th century — beginning of the 18th century. Small silver plates in the form of ships are hung on the side walls of the temple: this way the sailors who went to the sea, asked Our Lady of the Rocks to protect them from all obstacles.
Opposite the church is a small stone building with an unusual name — the Place of Reconciliation. For centuries, people who had been fighting gathered there to start the dialogue again.
Because of the holiness of the place, no one could hurt anyone by either word or deed, so many of the problems that could not be solved on the shore were solved peacefully here.
4. ‘Ostrvo Sveti Đorđe
Unlike the last one, Sveti Đorđe Island is not handmade. It houses the Saint George Benedictine monastery of the 12th century and the cemetery of Perast.
5. Mamula Island
Almost perfectly round, it is almost 200 meters in diameter. Approximately 80% of the island is occupied by the fortress, which was built in the 19th century by the Austro-Hungarian general Lazar Mamula.
During two world wars, the fortress served as a prison for the most dangerous criminals. The movie “Campo Mamula” was made to tell about the concentration camp, which was located on the island in 1959. Now the fortress is not used in any way and is gradually falling into decay.
6. Grmožur Island
The Grmožur Island is located in Lake Skadar. It is a 30-meter island with the remains of a small fortress. This tiny piece of land has 3 names: Grmožur, Montenegrin Alcatraz and the Island of Snakes. The Turks built the fortress in the beginning of the 19th century, and only at the end of the century Montenegrins took possession of the island. King Nikola decided to create a prison there for extremely dangerous criminals.
This prison was the first in Montenegro to have its own special rules. All the guards and servants who worked there should not have been able to swim. If a prisoner escaped on duty, the sentence lay on the shoulders of the warden.
There was only one escape in the history of this prison — the prisoner used a prison door to swim to the coast.
7. Sveti Stefan
The most famous island of Montenegro, Sveti Stefan, is located 5 kilometers from the city of Budva. Formally it is a peninsula, as it has a direct connection with the land, but everyone calls it an island.
It is the only island hotel in the world that consists entirely of the highest class houses built side by side. Many famous politicians, businessmen, artists from all over the world like to stay here. The price varies from 1000 euros per night.
In 1442, the island belonged to Paštrovići tribes, which lived along the present Budva Riviera. In order to protect themselves from attacks by the Turks and pirates, 12 tribes decided to build a fortress on a small island. Initially, it was 12 houses that were built inside the fortress walls — one for each tribe. Centuries later, Sveti Stefan lost its strategic importance. By the beginning of the 20th century, it was already a fishing village, whose inhabitants often went to look for a better life, leaving their homes empty.
By 1955, the last inhabitants had left the village and it had been completely renovated to become one of the most unusual luxury hotels in the world.
The privacy of the island’s guests is ensured by security guards who keep tourists away from the entrances to the houses, but you can swim below the walls of the hotel and even rent a sun lounger (a set of an umbrella and two loungers cost 50€ or more). If you want to swim for free, then go a little further, spread out a towel and enjoy the view.
8. Sveti Nikola Island
The Sveti Nikola Island, located one kilometer away from Budva, is the largest island along the Adriatic coast of Montenegro.
There is a Sveti Nikola Church (16th century), around which there are many ancient tombs. According to the legend, they belong to the participants of the crusade who died from an epidemic that had spread in Budva.
There are a lot of pebbly and sandy beaches with crystal clear water — they are mostly empty, so privacy and peace lovers often come here.
From the island to Slovenska Beach stretches a shoal, which at low tide is only 50 cm deep. It is believed that when Saint Sava set out on his way from Budva to Mount Athos, he was unable to board the ship because of the huge waves; he then threw rocks into the water, creating a shoal and boarded it.
9. Sveta Neđelja and Katič Islands
Legend has it that either the sailors from the wrecked ship or a Greek sailor found rescue on Sveta Neđelja Island and built a tiny church in honor of their salvation. With its small church and a few pines, this island can often be seen in advertising pictures.
10. Ada Bojana Island
Ada Bojana Island is right at the border with Albania. The island is separated from the land by the Bojana riverbeds, and from the third side it is washed by the sea, which forms sandy beaches with heavily diluted salt water.
One of the attractions of Montenegro is the nudist center located here — an ideal place to spend time closer to nature.
Tourists here can live in tents, bungalows or fishing lodges. It is forbidden to wear a swimsuit or any other clothes on the beach, and it is not allowed to rent a sunbed with an umbrella for dressed people. In addition to the equipped nudist center there is a “wild settlement”. In 1985, a movie “The Beauty of Vice” was filmed here.
Ada Bojana is suitable for surfing enthusiasts, both beginners and professionals. Also, a horse riding school has been working here since 1975.