Sunshine, sea, and speedboats! What more could a FAM trip offer. In September, Helena got the opportunity to travel to Montenegro, a hidden gem of Europe. She tells us all about her jam-packed trip.
The agenda was packed full of incredible activities and experiences I shared with ten other event professionals from different agencies.
The journey to Montenegro felt quick and straightforward. We flew from Heathrow to Dubrovnik where we were met by a brilliant concierge team. They then got us on a coach to cross the border where we were met with lunch on a catamaran over to our first hotel, the Lazure Hotel & Marina.
After settling in the hotel’s extraordinary bedrooms, we all went out for a relaxing dinner at a beach hut nearby to try the local cuisine.
The following day, the sunrise was unreal. We met the others for breakfast and were then given a tour around the Lazure Hotel. Our hosts then whisked us off onto speed boats where we had a tour of Boka Bay. This included seeing unused submarine tunnels that were last used during the war. Speeding off to the Bay of Kotor where we visited a man-made island to see Our Lady of the Rocks. Legend says that in 1452, two fishermen got lost out on the water and discovered an illuminated image of the Virgin Mary which guided them back to the shore. Because of this miracle, the local people threw rocks into the water until a small island above the waterline was made. Then, a tiny chapel was built on the rocks to commemorate the miracle.
Speeding across the bay continued once we finished this great story of local history. Kotor, one of the oldest towns in Montenegro, was our next stop. We were guided around Old Town to see some remarkable sights by a local guide. We were dressed in historical clothing which made the tour perfect.
Kotor Bay and Boka Bay have two world-renowned beach bars. One being the Buddha Bar. Opening in May 2022, this bar has really made its mark on the Montenegro coastline. With its breath-taking 64-foot swimming pool, lined with sunlounges with Boka Bay as it’s backdrop, it’s really one of a kind. We had a quick stop drink and tour; I did not want to leave this venue.
Within a stone’s throw of this venue was Port Montenegro which hosts some of the world’s famous fashion designers’ stores. It is also home to the 5-star hotel The Regent. We were hosted by the fantastic event and sales team who looked after us well.
Onto another day packed full of activities, saw us going up to the Lovcen National Park in 4×4 jeeps. We had a quick breakfast pitstop and then onto Njego’s Mausoleum. The walk up to the mausoleum wasn’t for the faint hearted. After what felt like 10,000 stairs, we reached the summit with spectacular views. We were literally in the clouds. We went back down the mountains for lunch before heading out to the other side of the peninsula to Lustica. Cycling down the side of a mountain to an olive grove, has now been ticked off my bucket list with the views just making all surreal. Sampling the best olive oil that Montenegro has to offer was a great activity to experience.
Later in the day we made our way down to the marina to board another speed boat over to Mamula Island. The only thing on this island is a 5-star hotel that opens next year. This hotel is second to none and is well worth the visit. The sun began to set when we jumped back on board our boat and headed over to Nikki Beach for dinner before returning to The Regent.
Our final day came in the blink of an eye, where we got up early and had a tour of the Chedi Lustica Bay Hotel. The hotel is in an upcoming, purpose-built new area of Montenegro. Our final pitstop on our trip was looking around the One and Only Resort. This resort is one of a kind. I have never seen anything like it before. With its manmade sand beach, to its apartment rooms, to its event spaces, it really is a one and only venue.
The weather in Montenegro was stunning, it really topped off the whole experience. The country itself is just unreal. It is jam-packed with hidden gems and is truly worthwhile visiting. The only way that anyone would want to get around is by boat. It really lets you explore the country in a unique way. Montenegro is an up-and-coming country and is amazing for incentive trips and holidays. I can’t wait to go back!