Although Budva is only 60 miles away from Dubrovnik down the Dalmatian Coast, it is a world apart. You still have the beautiful Adriatic Sea and spectacular rocky cliffs, and you still have an historic old town plunging down into the sea. But the whole atmosphere is much more relaxed and laid-back.
I was on a driving holiday in late September, and after having great difficulty parking in Dubrovnik, I now found it very easy to leave my car almost anywhere in Budva, either free of charge or using Euros. Euros! That was a surprise to me. Apparently Montenegro has never obtained formal permission from the EU to use Euros as its currency, but does so anyway!
The hotels were also much quieter and less deferential. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not keen on the yes-sir, no-sir approach of hotel staff keen to attract and keep the tourists. At the Hotel Aruba where I stayed, the staff were very helpful and friendly, but that didn’t stop them arguing the toss about whether the coffee served at breakfast was hot enough!
The journey to Budva involved an exhilarating 20 mile drive around the Bay of Kotor. It is more like a fjord than a bay, with the rocky peaks reflecting off the still waters. We enjoyed some excellent coffee at the Hipnos Restaurant in the bay-side town of Risan.
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