Because there are no direct flights from the U.S. to Podgorica, Montenegro’s capital, or to the coastal hub of Tivat, Americans must catch a connecting flight in Europe. For those accustomed to high-end travel, Montenegro can be uneven, so if you plan to explore a bit, it’s worth consulting a specialist. Abercrombie & Kent organizes customized trips, typically starting in Dubrovnik and traveling into Montenegro by boat (800-554-7016; abercrombiekent.com).
In the City
Virtually flattened during World War II, Podgorica is a pleasant, modern city left off most travel itineraries. While Hilton Hotels is redeveloping a building in the city’s center (slated to open in 2012), the best place to stay in the capital at the moment is easily the Hotel Podgorica, a renovated Tito-era marvel whose large terrace looks over the Moraca River (rooms, from $212; 1 Bulevar Svetog Petra Cetinjskog; 38-22/040-2500; hotelpodgorica.co.me).
In the Mountains
In the northern ski town of Kolasin, where the slopes are modest but uncrowded, the once-shabby Bianca Resort and Spa has been made over as a handsome lodge and first-rate spa (rooms, from $160; Mirka Vesovica; 38-22/086-3000; biancaresort.com). On the outskirts of Kolasin, Savardak is the place to sample Montenegrin specialties such as the declicious but heavy polenta-like dish kacamak (dinner, $15; Biocinovici, Kolasin; 38-26/905-1264).
By the Sea
If you don’t have a yacht to moor at the new Porto Montenegro marina, the boutique Hotel Per Astra in idyllic Perast has smart rooms with fine linens, flat-screen TVs and views to die for (rooms, from $320; 38-23/237-3608; hotelperastra.me). For a meal of fresh fish and good traditional Montenegrin meat dishes, the waterside restaurant Stari Mlini occupies an old mill in the village of Ljuta, between Perast and Kotor (dinner, $25; directly off the main road that borders Boka Bay; 38-23/233-3555; starimlini.com). Just outside the walls of beautiful Kotor, the restaurant Galion serves up some of Montenegro’s best modern cuisine, especially seafood (dinner, $25; Suranj; 38-23/231-1300). And on the waterfront 10 minutes south of Budva, Amanresorts has brought a new level of luxury to Montenegro with its Sveti Stefan resort, featuring sophisticated cottages and suites and world-class dining (rooms, from $800; 38-23/342-0000; amanresorts.com).