All posts by Montenegro.com blogger

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Roman mosaics and 2nd-3rd century Villa Urbana in Risan

The rapid Romanisation of Risinium began after the subjugation of the Illyrians under King Gentius in 167 BC. Risinium became a typical Roman town, surrounded by walls, with a town centre – a forum in the Carina fields. Ancient tombs – necropolises – were located outside the walls, and in the southern side of town there was a residential area containing the villas of rich Risan landowners and traders. The remains of the eastern portion of a Roman urban villa were found in the early 20th century. Between 1956 and 1962 the mosaic flooring in four rooms of the villa was fully restored and conserved, and the first protective awning built. Another mosaic floor was discovered in 1972, on which conservation work was also done and a roof added.

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Partial restoration and conservation of all the walls of the villa around the central yard – the atrium – was also carried out. Roman mosaics decorate the floors of four of the five rooms in the eastern part of the villa, as well as two rooms in the western part. There are only traces of mosaic flooring in the remaining rooms. The technique used was one of large cubes of local grey and black stone, with motifs of the labrys – a double-bitted battleaxe originating from Crete. In the eastern wing of the villa a mosaic was laid displaying plant motifs, using stone cubes of varying size and colour (red, yellow, green, blue, black and white). In the middle there is a circular medallion depicting the Greek god of sleep, Hypnos, in the form of a winged boy leaning on the head of the bed. It is likely that this room was the bedroom of the villa’s owner – the dormitorium. Geometric chessboard-like patterns decorate the mosaic floor of the southern room, and beyond that there are a further two rooms with mosaics featuring geometric motifs and stylised sea life (cuttlefish and squid). It is thought that one of the corner rooms that do not have mosaics was the dining room (triclinium), with typical Roman couches.

risan                                                                              Photo by TOKO

Montenegro Dolphin Sailing Tour

On board the ultimate world class cruising yacht, a Discovery 55, the Montenegro Dolphin Project will be guiding you in an adrenaline filled search and a lifetime opportunity to meet these magnificent creatures up close.

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Take part in something extraordinary – set sail on a 4-day eco-tourism voyage on board the ultimate world class cruising yacht, a Discovery 55. Together with the Montenegro Dolphin Project Team you will have the opportunity to:

  • Traverse the exquisite Montenegrin coastline
  • Discover sailing techniques in the Bay of Kotor
  • Explore offshore waters in search of dolphins
  • Observe migratory bird species in Ulcinj Solana
  • Enjoy engaging with our marine biologists through on-board conservation and research activities

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While sailing the Adriatic Sea, the team of researchers will be introducing you to the wonder of dolphin’s lives, their main threats and the possible ways to contribute to protecting their vulnerable world. The Ocean Going Sailing Yacht “Chance Discovery” will provide you with dolphin watching seats, a luxurious deck and saloon, refreshments and bathroom facilities.

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Montenegro’s first long-term cetacean research project

The Adriatic sea holds one of the richest cetacean habitats in the Mediterranean, but unfortunately these animals are classified as either at risk or data deficient and are subject to various anthropogenic threats such as habitat degradation, by-catch, marine traffic and pollution. Unlike many Adriatic countries, Montenegro lacks annual cetacean survey efforts. Dedicated and systematic research is needed to collect important data on cetacean species for their subsequent conservation. For these reasons we launched the very first annual study in Montenegrin coastal waters in order to investigate the cetaceans’ regional status and help support future conservation strategies. Further, the Montenegro Dolphin Project employes scientific outreach techniques to raise marine environmental awareness within the local community.

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For more information about 8 hours Sailing Tour with Wild Dolphins and Marine Wildlife Expedition please contact us on info@montenegro.com.

Thank you for your support!

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Montenegro Wine Tour

If you love wine and want a unique holiday then you should not miss going on one of the wine tours on offer in Montenegro.

It is not widely known that Montenegro, apart from its beautiful seaside and mountain villages, also boasts regions that are famed for producing exceptional and world-renowned wine varieties. France, Italy and Portugal have for many years been building credibility as top tourist destinations thanks to wine tourism. The many scenic regions of our country are perfect for enjoying this type of tourism. The mild Mediterranean climate, the composition of the soil and the favorable location provide ideal conditions for cultivating vineyards and growing grapes. The best-known grape-growing areas are Crmnica, Nahije, Komani, Bjelopavlici and other wine-producing villages around Lake Skadar. Montenegrin wines are produced from various types of grape, including Krstac, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Vranac.

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In 2010 and 2011, signage was put up and the “Wine Roads” of Montenegro were fully marked out. A tourist map of the wine tours can be picked up in local tourist offices in any town in Montenegro, at hotel receptions and in travel agencies. If you like an active holiday, the Wine Roads offer you a chance to visit wine cellars, taste wines, walk through the vineyards and even take part in grape-picking. Wine can be tested, tried and purchased in wine cellars, while some wineries also offer accommodation, so visitors can get the complete experience, learn about the history of the winery, see wine being made and of course enjoy the finished product.

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Lago di Monte Resort

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The vision of the developer and architects was to create a contemporary eco-resort, developed by the principles of sustainability and environmental protection that at the same time offered a high level of luxury with breath-taking views of Durmitor peaks and green pine forest. The guests should enjoy a range of healthy lifestyle activities and programs irrespective of the season and climate conditions throughout the whole year. Lago di Monte is a perfect meditation spot surrounded by raw, untouched nature, offering complete silence and endless panoramic views of tall, snow-covered mountain peaks, grass fields and emerald forests.

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The potentials of the location itself represent an important catalyst of economic and social development of the entire area. Besides being a sustainable luxury destination, the project itself is designed to contribute to the local community by engaging 100% local resources. The sustainability concept behind the project entails a healthy lifestyle with local organic production sourced from the area. The entire program has been carefully planned according to the natural characteristics and potentials of the location.

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Therefore, new structures and their shapes are implemented in synchronicity with the existing terrain. The content positioning is done in accordance with natural and geographical features of the location, so the spatial experience mostly depends of the directed vistas and open spaces. Necessary contents imply accommodation capacities, hotels and villas, spa centre and congress centre, and some additional contents such as sport facilities, restaurant, equestrian club, playgrounds. Lago di Monte is a complete getaway, perfect for everything from romantic trips , to family vacations, adventurous voyages, corporate retreats and destination weddings.

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The micro-location chosen for a perfect getaway called Lago di Monte is set on the shore if a very small and famous lake called Poscensko jezoro at 1487m above the sea level. Its depth is maximum 3.6m, which the lake usually reaches during spring time, when the surrounding snow melts. The lake  is characterized by relatively low temperatures, sometimes reaching up to 20 degrees in the summer season. During the winter, the surface of the lake tends to freeze and the ice cover retains over 60 days which makes this place an idyllic and perfect winter setting. One of its characteristics is high level of water transparency. The resort has a tranquil backdrop of dark emerald pine forests radiating aromatic scents. Lago di Monte is a 6 acres estate with lake, forests and green grass fields perfect for all season relaxation and adventure. It has one of the best views if Durmitor’s highest peak – Bobotov Kuk, which is usually snow covered throughout the year.

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The resort has a good geographical position and sees plenty of sun due to its south-west orientation. All the main popular activities of Durmitor region are within an immediate reach – hiking, climbing, cycling, skiing, and other including touring of famous cultural heritage sites. The location is easily reached – only 8km away from Zabljak and just two-hour drive away from Montenegro’s capital – Podgorica.

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Based on the principles of sustainability and environment protection, Lago di Monte has been designed as a contemporary eco-resort with luxury eco villas and hotel, spa & conference centre. The project has been designed by DVARP from Podgorica based on several research studies done over couple of years. It is created with extremely low carbon print and with great consideration for the environment and vistas thus with very low visual impact, blending into surroundings. This resort is created for those who appreciate the magnificence of nature, adventurous hiking/biking vacations, skiing and snowboarding or just joy of simply letting go.

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There are 105 hotel units in a hotel and 8 villas with total of 300 beds. The spa centre, appropriate for the capacity, extends from the inside out, facing the forest. The conference centre offers space for events for about 300 people and the restaurant capacity with large outdoor terrace extends beyond that which makes it perfect for events – corporate of weddings.

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During the design process the imperative has been to create a unique destination, an unforgettable escape in the middle of pristine nature. This type of resort means not only well planned accommodation with suitable program, but also requires ecological and sustainable design in dialogue with the environment supported by high-ed technology. Except for the very low carbon footprint the resort is designed with a renewable energy system in place and highly controlled water usage and waste management.

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The lake, the nearby surroundings, and precious forest mad it an imperative to preserve and enhance the given natural resources. We have been inspired by the land, astonished by culture and gastronomy while revered by the Durmitor inhabitants of centuries past. We wish the same for our guests and investors.

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Exceptional Houston Time

As one of the largest cities in the U.S., Houston doesn’t lack exclusive entertainment or cultural and educational sites. This is a city nationally recognized for historical Space Center, fantastic and growing art scene, and family-friendly outdoor attractions.

Be sure to check out this Houston Travel Guide to ensure that you are staying at one of the best hotels in Houston as you plan your trip. Then keep reading to find attractions you won’t want to miss for an exceptional Houston trip.

NASA Space Center

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2831/13255447143_b01e86b76b.jpgImage via Flickr by Vlad Busuioc

How many cities across the nation can brag that they have the NASA Space flight and space centers? Only a rare few. Houston became synonymous with National Aeronautics due to its Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center and Space Center Houston. As the supreme center for NASA’s human spaceflight programs, since the Gemini IV flight in 1965, the Manned Spacecraft Center (MSC) successfully pursued a mission to explore the space providing the first-class astronauts.

At the same time, visiting Space Center Houston is an opportunity of a lifetime, not only to experience but also to learn about all wonders of space from real NASA astronauts and simulations of their missions. Visit the shuttle replica, Independence, seated on top of the historic and original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft, or start the journey with Mission Mars virtual tour and exhibit.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Image via Flickr by eschipul

The great thing about The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the fact that if you are an art lover, it is a world-class museum, and if you’re not, you can also delve into it and have the time of your life. The place consists of 19 museums and more than 65,000 displayed works of art, representing different cultures and art collections from ancient to modern art, and presumably everything in between.

In addition to the permanent collections they accompany, some of the interesting touring exhibits are The Glamour and Romance of Oscar de la Renta, Pixel Forest, Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism 1910–1950, and many other worthy of your time. So keep an eye on the promos of this fascinating place.

The Cockrell Butterfly Center

Image via Flickr by urban.houstonian

As a part of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, The Cockrell Butterfly Center is a true living butterfly habitat and memorable place for family entertainment. Learn about amazing bug species and butterfly life-cycle. A variety of beautiful butterflies flying around the area make you feel like you are in a fairy tale land; maybe you’ll be lucky enough and they’ll land on you! Kids love doing interactive games and quizzes offered at the center.

Also, at the Cockrell Butterfly Center is a simulated tropical rain forest where you can enter three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot waterfall. Plenty of exotic plants and hundreds of gorgeous live butterflies imported from around the world, found their home here.

Houston Street Art

Image via Flickr by dandeluca

City of Houston is heaven for the street art. Each corner of the city, even the smallest neighborhoods, has its own recognizable artistic style and a unique story. There are giant murals, colorful mini murals, and striking culture graffiti. Some of these vibrant works of street art are permanent, and you can see them at any time, but others may be replaced tomorrow, so check them out right the way.

It would take a plethora of time to get around all buildings, stairwells, train car,s and bridges decorated with public art. Spend a day taking some awesome shots and getting to know artists of the murals in Montrose, The Heights, East Downtown, and Midtown.

Houston adventures offer something new each time making tourists come back for more unforgettable moments.

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Artistic and Archaeological Riches of Montenegro

Montenegro has a tradition of art going back to prehistory, as testified to by the archaeological finds of paintings by prehistoric man in Lipci near Risan dating to the 8th century BC. The drawing represents a deer hunt, and also features a symbol of the rising sun and others. Another drawing has been discovered on a stone tablet in the Prokletije mountains in the north of Montenegro, depicting a prehistoric man and a wolf.

The Crvena Stijena (Red Rock) site in Petrovići is around 30km from Nikšić and is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe. Remains from the Middle Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic and Bronze ages have been found here, and are highly significant, testifying to the beginnings of life not just in this part of Montenegro but on the planet as a whole. For many years, local and foreign expeditions have been coming to this unique and internationally significant site. More than 26,000 items from the time of prehistoric man have been excavated here. A great many items used in everyday life have been discovered, such as for the procurement and preparation of food, but also non-utilitarian items. These include handmade stone items, snails and shells, as well as ceramic vessels.

The numerous medieval fortresses in Montenegro are an art-form in their own right. They feature Byzantine, Romanic, Gothic and Baroque construction styles, as well as stone forms and paintings. Through the ages these fortresses have played a military and feudal role, or were built as town fortifications. They are built of stone and feature surrounding walls and towers. These fascinating structures were raised in numerous coastal towns, where Illyrian, Austro-Hungarian, Turkish and Spanish influences predominate, such as in Bar, Ulcinj, Herceg Novi, Budva, Kotor, Risan, Perast, as well as in the north of Montenegro: Rijeka Crnojevića, Podgorica and the Lake Skadar area.

The National Museum at Cetinje includes: King Nikola’s Museum, the Museum of Petar II Petrovic Njegoš, the birth house of Njegoš, the Njegoš Mausoleum on Lovćen, Bishop Danilo’s Mausoleum on Orlov Krš, the Art Museum together with the Dado Đurić Contemporary Art Gallery, the Ethnographic Museum and the newly-opened Archaeological Museum and Lapidarium.

The National Museum houses collections of weapons, medals, flags, crests, stamps, photographs, as well as archaeological, numismatic, ethnographic and applied art collections. There are also the residence and the chapel raised in honour of the secular and spiritual leader, poet and philosopher Petar II Petrović Njegoš. During the 1970s the Montenegro Art Museum was known as the Art Gallery, and houses some 3,000 exhibits, including some of the most important works in contemporary Yugoslav and Montenegrin fine art.

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Lipska Cave, a Geological Masterpiece

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If you are interested in how caves come to be and develop, and if you love to have fun exploring, then a visit to the Lipska Cave is just the activity for you. The Lipska Cave is the only cave in Montenegro that has been evaluated by caving experts and made safe for visitors. It is located only 5km from Cetinje, and is a chance to enjoy an array of channels, and geological, structural and water features. The system of 2.5km of passages, halls and galleries of karst features is a geological masterpiece of nature. Due to the river that flows through the cave, the dripping of water and the deposition of CaCO3, this cave is rich in many different types of cave formations, including stalactites and stalagmites, which make for a visually impressive experience.

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The Lipska Cave was discovered before the time of Prince Njegos, and there is written documentation by well-known researchers and scientists from the 19th century of the cave’s decorations and motifs. Interestingly, the Lipska Cave is connected to two other caves: the Cetinjska Cave by the Cetinjska Monastery, and the Obodska Cave near Rijeka Crnojevica.

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There have also been wine tastings in the cave, and in October visitors can enjoy discounts. The paths through the cave and the tours are suitable for children as well. If you are the adventurous type, but not quite an Indiana Jones, don’t worry, there are tours suited to every type of visitor. The Lipska Cave and all of its treasures can be explored in the company of trained guides.

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The Peek into the Cave tour lasts 45 minutes, during which you will walk a 400 m route and have the opportunity to take a look at the cave’s passageways and channels. The tour also includes a train ride. The Peek into the Cave tour is recommended for first-time visitors to the cave, and this tour is the best way to experience the magic of fascinating underground features and enjoy a visit to the best-known cave halls and the cave’s main channel.
Cave Adventure is a tour for the most daring visitors, who want to investigate the cave’s most hidden corners. Experiencing this tour in smaller groups helps intensify the experience and enjoyment of the cave’s beauty. In any case the most surreal moment is when you step off the main path and into the deepest part of the cave, where the cave is completely dark, and only lamps illuminate your path. The Cave Adventure tour includes a train ride and lasts a total of 100 minutes. 

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Do you want to prove yourself as a true explorer? Are you the bold type, who loves physical activity? Then you have chosen the right tour for you. The Cave Expedition can be tailored to your wants and needs descend into the cave by rope from the ceiling like a true explorer, and, together with a professional guide, visit every corner and lake and investigate them thoroughly. Setting off in search of a hidden trove of gold coins in the heart of the Lipska Cave is a truly unique feeling. The Cave Expedition tour lasts 2-3 hours, and can be adapted to suit the needs of families with children.
Cave opening hours:
OCTOBER – NOVEMBER

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Autumn and Montenegro Travel

Yellow, red and golden colors predominate in autumn, and why miss this magical time of year in Montenegro when it is perfect for experiencing adventure? The best time to travel is often said to be between September and November, and it is not different in Montenegro. The beautiful weather, the sunny days and the cool but still-mild evenings are perfect for 4×4 safaris, photo safaris, mountaineering or simply hiking the mountain trails, visiting cultural and historical sites with our tour guides or exploring bays and concealed beaches. Here you can bathe since the average temperature of the Adriatic Sea is still 23°C in October. For visitors who want to spend their days in complete relaxation of body and soul, we can recommend one of the spa and wellness hotels offering a variety of treatments, massages, saunas, refreshing pools or relaxation in a whirlpool bath in beautiful mountain or seaside surroundings.

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What are the advantages to traveling to Montenegro in autumn?Prices of flights and accommodation are lower.
Roads, cafes and restaurants are significantly less busy.
You can visit one of the numerous festivals and other cultural events in Montenegro.
You can tour several destinations, towns and visitor attractions when there are no crowds.
You can travel and spend time outside in light clothing, without the summer heat.
You can enjoy autumn foods and the fruits of the harvest.
You can best experience daily life and authentic local culture.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Best New York City Parks

New York is a cosmopolitan city that’s perfect for a visit any time of the year, especially because visitors of all ages and interests can enjoy more than 1,700 parks, playgrounds, and recreational facilities. Use this New York City guide for great ideas for spending a whole day in the city and check out NYC’s best parks below.

Central Park

Image via Flickr by m01229

The history of Central Park dates back to 1871, when landscape designer Frederick Law Olmsted and architect Calvert Vaux created this iconic 843-acre gem. No matter what you’re in the mood for, the park offers hundreds of exceptional attractions for solo visitors or families. Don’t miss outstanding sights like Bethesda Fountain, the Belvedere Castle, alluring botanical gardens, and the many small lakes and bridges.

Try inspiring activities, such as renting a rowboat from the Loeb Boathouse, attending New York Symphony performances, and catching the summer Shakespeare festival at the park’s outdoor amphitheater. This isn’t a typical park that offers only amazing landscapes. Instead, Central Park is the ultimate cultural and entertainment spot in the largest city in the nation, and it’s open all year round.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

Image via Flickr by dumbonyc

Nestled along the East River in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre green oasis where you can play sports, have a picnic on the grass, roller skate, or have a nice walk along the waterfront trails. Every year, this park offers something new to the many visitors from around the world. Some possibilities include boating, fitness classes, basketball clinics, stargazing, history tours, movies, concerts, and author talks.

It’s a great place to visit any time of the year, as you can revel in all the free cultural, educational, and recreational happenings that the park offers. You can also explore two historic sites, the Civil War-era Empire Stores and the Tobacco Warehouse.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Image via Flickr by pdstahl

As New York City’s second-largest park, Flushing Meadows Corona Park holds cultural and recreational surprises for adults and kids alike. The iconic Unisphere is an unbelievably large globe and a great photo opportunity. Situated next to it is a lovely cultural escape, the Queens Museum of Art.

Flushing Meadows Corona Park also has two big sports institutions, USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, which hosts the U.S. Open tennis tournament, and Citi Field, the home of New York Mets baseball team. Throughout the park, you’ll find plenty of green space to explore, as well as a lake for boating, a skate park, a picnic area, and an aquatic and hockey center.

Prospect Park

Image via Flickr by Mon Œil

Prospect Park is to Brooklyn as Central Park is to Manhattan. The two parks even share the same landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted. In Prospect Park, you can barbecue and picnic, play baseball and softball, take one of the cultural or historical tours, or visit the Lefferts Historic House and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. You can also complete your day with bird-watching or boating to enjoy the 585 acres of nature to the fullest.

There are so many amazing parks in New York that attract millions of visitors every year. These four are the most outstanding, and they’re definitely worth your time during your next visit to New York.

 

Beautiful Night at Grandiose Mediterranean Villa Perast from the XV Century

1Renovated in 2016. Vila Perast is an exceptional 4-level house which is strikingly beautiful, absolutely charming and will tickle your fancy. The building’s original charm has been preserved and enhanced by the hotel’s sophisticated exterior design, and the Vila has preserved a characteristic in common with other houses in Perast: a broken base. The exterior walls are bonded exclusively with blunt and sharp corners because it is believed that this keeps evil spirits from entering. The contemporary and pleasant interior details of this Vila are a mix of stone and wood. It is a Mali hotel with the warmth and charm of a bed-and-breakfast. It is a heaven of tranquility caught somewhere between the sea and sky.

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3The ground floor is comprised of a magnificent entrance opening onto a spacious living area consisting of a contemporary kitchen fully equipped with modern appliances and a dining area spacious enough to fit a large dining table. Vila has a state-of-the-art entertainment system and this floor is also easily transformed into a beautiful, spacious entertainment room dedicated to art where you can find a trendy ambience and enjoy the special night. It is open to non-hotel guests as well. In front of the Vila there is a terrace, which has preserved the charm of the time period when it was originally built. It is suitable for a rest with a view of the bay shaded under an amazing Wisteria, which in Montenegro is often called “blue rain” – a grandiose climbing plant whose charm is difficult to resist. In front of this terrace you can enjoy a swim with Vila’s private access to the sea and move back to the terrace in the afternoon when swimming and the sun have drained your body of its endless reserves of pure pleasure.

4567The hotel has 19 different rooms, most of which have a sea view. As this bay enjoys more than 240 sunny days a year, you can enjoy the early sun’s warmth and how it angrily blisters the land as it rises from most of the rooms on the first and second floors in which ever season you choose to visit us. On the second floor there is also a shady, stone-clad terrace perfect for lounging during hot summer days. A few steps away there is a staircase leading one more floor up to the rooftop, where there are two hidden attics and a laundry room. Vila Perast allows you to feel the peace of this amazing, petite city, which excels in pride and dignity, and the architectural perfection of its Baroque palaces. It can allow you to feel its silence, calmness and simplicity. This is the perfect place where a caress of wind through the window, the smell of the sea and the sound of waves can awaken you. It may impress you so much that you forget about the hours, days, months, and other rags of time.

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