Swinging, Crowded and Chaotic Budva, Montenegro
The Explore group changed from one small minibus into two vans that would shuttle us through the rest of the Balkans. I don’t like touring in vans with a group. There’s enough room but I think it fosters “cliques” and shoulder-to-shoulder is not the way I like to travel but what can you do…
A last big breakfast at Fanfani in Denovici (gigantic cheese and ham omelets this morning), and we were off to Budva. One of our group actually looked at a map, saw the route to Sveti Stefan (one of today’s stops) went past Budva and asked Sinisa if we could make a fast stop. Why not, and there we were, on the way to Budva beginning with a 45-minute drive around the Bay, and through Kotor where two cruise ships were docked! So very glad we weren’t visiting teeny-weeny Kotor today.
Budva is on the section of the of Montenegrin coast, called the Budvanska Rivijera and is the most visited destination in Montenegro. Completely destroyed by two earthquakes in 1979, it has been entirely been rebuilt. Authorities had hoped for UNESCO status but the town didn’t qualify because it had been rebuilt.
This huge seaside destination swarms with tourists during the summer. Young Russians, Serbs, and others come for the swinging nightlife that turns tiny Budva with its stony beaches into nonstop party city. I read that many nightclubs even use nearly naked dancers to attract customers! Budva is pretty much a one-street town inside the old city walls and loaded with bars, nightclubs, restaurants and boutiques branching off in all directions.
Rampant and unchecked construction is taking place around the perimeter of the old town, along the seaside, on any available piece of land, ruining whatever character Budva had left. Sinisa gave us 30 minutes to walk inside Budva’s Old Town that had a higher class of boutiques and jewelry stores; naturally, expensive.
With expensive boutiques and nothing of historical interest to see in Budva, most of the group was ready to leave after 20 minutes. Sveti Stefan was next…