Sveti Stefan: a 15th century fortified village

The small island of Sveti Stefan, better known as the “Pearl of the Balkans”, undoubtedly constitutes a luxury destination. Its hotel complex mixes the fascination of yesteryear with the glamor modern.

This island is located in Montenegro, a nation located in southern Europe, on the Balkan Peninsula, with coasts on the Adriatic Sea. It is a place of mountainous landscapes with populations of medieval architecture, coastal towns and dense forests.

Sveti Stefan is a town that belongs to the municipality of Budva and has evolved from a small fishing community since the 15th century. The town still maintains the picturesque original dwellingsmade of stone with red roofs.

The origin of Sveti Stefan

The first allusion to Sveti Stefan dates back to 1442, when it was described as a fort near the coast. It was from this place that Paštrovići managed to contain the offensive forces led by Esteban Vukčić Kosača.

Such fortifications were built after the constant looting of the population of Sveti Stefan. Despite this, the place was razed to the ground during the confrontation known as the fourth Turkish-Venetian war. Later, the Republic of Venice rebuilt the village in the 16th century.

Although in its beginnings the island was only inhabited by a few families, by the 19th century there were already more than 400 people residing there. In 1934, Villa Miločer, a summer residence for Queen Maria Karadordevic, was built. from Yugoslavia.

Some history of this place

During the fifties, the population that lived in Sveti Stefan was expelled to build the most exclusive luxury hotel in Montenegro. In the sixties and by decision of Marshal Tito, Sveti Stefan was transformed into a sophisticated hotel complex.

It is from this decade when the place became a destination for celebrities from all over the world. The exterior architecture of the town, along with the facades of its houses, has been kept in its original form. However, its interiors have been adapted to provide the greatest comfort that an exclusive hotel can offer.

Of the 4 churches that existed in the town, one was converted into a casino; by the 1970s, the place was very popular with elites from all walks of life. Political meetings and exclusive cultural shows were held there.

Sveti Stefan after Yugoslav dissolution

After the dissolution of the Yugoslav country in 1990, the hotel complex began to decline. After Montenegro became independent in 2006, the government undertook a crusade to recover the former splendor of the island.

Subsequently, the complex was acquired that same year by Aman Resorts, a powerful hotel group worldwide. In 2008, the remodeling work of Sveti Stefan began, which ended a year later.

Finally, the island regained the status it had had in other times. Today it is still a destination for many world celebrities. Since 2010, the hotel complex has been receiving an increasing number of visitors seeking luxury and sun, which has revived the local economy.

the hotel complex

Behind the impressive walls, its cobbled stairs and the alleys, you access the old houses, in which the rooms are now elegant suites. Within the hotel complex, a gigantic 1600 square meter spa stands outplus 6 villas.

The spa has a wide range of services, including both body and facial treatments. For this they have a catalog with more than 600 plants for treatments and several massage areas.

It also has Turkish baths, 3 swimming pools, 2 kilometers of beach with pink sand and a spacious room for practicing yoga. Most activities take place with a spectacular view of the Adriatic Sea.

The sector corresponding to the Villa Milocer has forests of cedars, pines and olive trees, as well as several luxurious suites. All of them have panoramic views towards the mountains or, if you prefer, towards the sea.

a busy place

Montenegro is very crowded throughout the year, especially by European youth who enjoy the wide range of cultural activities. This includes, among others, the Kotor Carnival, along with a variety of dances and spectacular masked parades.

During the summer, in Budva you can enjoy the local Music Festival, considered the most prestigious in the entire Adriatic. In the same way, there is the possibility of tasting its wonderful gastronomy, which is very varied.

In this sense, its flagship dish known as sarma, a kind of goat cheese that encloses a honey chicken filling. Additionally, a whole list of fish with multiple preparations and presentations.

there are also restaurants gourmet and international and old-fashioned taverns. If you have the possibility to pass through Podgorica, which is the capital of Montenegro, it is worth trying the famous pork chops covered with smoked ham and cheese.

Additional activities in Sveti Stefan

Along the beaches of Sveti Stefan there are rows of elegant umbrellas where bathers can protect themselves from the sun. Additionally, the island is practically an ornithological reserve where countless species of birds can be seen heading to Lake Shkodra.

On the other hand, it is possible to take bicycle tours through an infinity of paths or take sailboat rides. Likewise, you can enjoy the most spectacular sunsets in this haven of peace.

Sveti Stefan has a pleasant climate throughout the year, with little rainfall and an average temperature of 22°C. It is worth clarifying that, although Sveti Stefan is a luxurious and expensive destination, also has more affordable accommodations in aparthotels, villas and various hotels.

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