Three Trips in the New Montenegro

Courtesy Porto Montenegro

Exploring Montenegro’s capital city, ski towns and beach resorts.

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;

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;

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; 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; 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; 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;