The coastal resort town of Tivat is a small town located in the central part of the Bay of Kotor, set on a sunny peninsula at the foot of Mount Vrmac. Despite being a small town, Tivat is becoming a hotspot for international travelers and the rich and famous with its superyacht multi-million dollar marina, and luxurious Porto Montenegro. The town is based around the glistening waterfront where million-dollar yachts bob in the marina, and high-end restaurants and boutiques line the posh promenade.
Tivat is the youngest town in the Boka region, it does offer quite a few attractions and some beautiful beaches, and hosts some fun events and festivals such as Summer Fest and Bocce Olympiad. The charming coastal town is glamorous and modern with traces of history dotted around in museums, historic buildings, and fortified islands.
The town center is filled with fantastic new restaurants, great bars, charming cafes, bustling beach bars, and the sparkling waterfront of Porto Montenegro. The beaches are great for lounging, swimming, and an abundance of watersports with various playgrounds for children and hotels nestled along the beachfront.
The town of Tivat is rumored to have been named after the Illyrian queen Teuta, who ruled part of Montenegro. The Queen was attacked by the Romans in 229 BC and retreated from Lake Skadar to Risan where she built herself a summer residence in Tivat. During the Middle Ages, Balkan nobility flocked to the sunny shores in the Bay of Kotor for the summer such as the Renaissance-era Buca Residence in Tivat, which is not a museum and art gallery.
Mount Vrmac rises beautifully behind Tivat and leads visitors to some great outdoor activities such as hiking, and canyoning. The Bay of Kotor is a great location for guided boat tours where you can catch a glimpse of the enormous mountains in the distance, and visit the nearby islands. Checking out all of the charming stone villages that are scattered throughout the hillsides is easily done from Tivat. See the likes of Gornja Lastva and the Lustica Peninsula.
Things to see and do
Hiking up Mount Vrmac is a great full-day experience in the great outdoors. Hiking and canyoning are especially popular in the verdant soaring mountains that back the city of Tivat. Mount Vrmac is a mountain located in southwestern Montenegro overlooking the coastal town of Tivat, on a peninsula that divides Tivat Bay from Kotor Bay. The mountain is one of the most picturesque places to visit in the city decorated with beautiful trees and rare plants. There is an observation deck at the top with spectacular views over the bays and an ancient 800-year-old church.
The mountain is the site of the Austro-Hungarian Fort Vrmac, which was built in 1860, and the Vrmac Tunnel connects Kotor with the Adriatic Highway and travels through the mountain. Hikers can enjoy many adventures on the mountain with a hike beginning in Kotor, traveling up the side of the mountain and traversing the ridge to reach the summit and descending to the village of Donji Stoliv.
Mount Vrmac sits as a barrier between the innermost part of the Bay of Kotor and the outer part, the Bay of Tivat. Your walk starts in Kotor on the military zig-zag trail named after Austrian emperor Franz-Josef and climbs up to the “Vrmac Fortress” built-in 1892. The views are panoramic, looking out over the entire Bay of Kotor and down on the old town itself.
Tivat is full of water-based activities including boating, stand-up paddleboarding, sailing, canoeing, and swimming. There are tours that take you around Sveti Marko Island, and the Island of Flowers in Tivat, also passing by Solila Nature Reserve. Boats are available to hire, and gliding around the Bay of Kotor seeing all the sights from the water is a wonderful experience. There are skippered speed boats available for groups of up to 15 with snorkeling gear on board for 10 people and protection from the sun provided by a bimini.
Visit the Naval Heritage Museum, established in 2011 housed in a beautifully restored building showcasing over 300 artifacts. The museum was launched to maintain the legacy of the former arsenal’s prestigious naval history and features Yugoslav submarines, diaries of Montenegro’s Princess Ksenija, Austro-Hungarian ship equipment, and industrial machines spread across two levels. A turn of the century building featuring original beams and fittings with magnificent architecture. The museum is used for launching various products and hosting dinner parties, festivals, concerts, and art installations. The star attraction is the P821 submarine that stands proudly across the street from the museum building, located at the northern end of Porto Montenegro Village.
The world-famous Monastery of Ostrog is a Serbian Orthodox Church situated against an almost vertical background high up in the large rock of Ostroska Greda in Montenegro. Located in the Danilovgrad Municipality 31 miles from Podgorica, it is the most popular pilgrimage place in the country. The upper monastery houses the Church of the Presentation and the Church of the Holy Cross, the lower monastery centers on the Church of the Holy Trinity and was built in 1824, there are dorm rooms available for pilgrims, and monk residences.
The Porto Montenegro marina is a lavish area on Tivat’s waterfront with a multi-million dollar superyacht marina, restaurants, shops, bars, and more. It is one of the most beautiful destinations in the country packed with stunning Mediterranean luxury and one of the most prestigious marinas on the Adriatic Sea. A major tourist attraction in the town of Tivat, a great place to eat, stroll, and shop and spot superb luxurious yachts, some of the best in the world.
There are 17 beautiful beaches nestled along the Tivat Riviera, beachgoers can rejoice on these beaches by sunbathing, and swimming in the warm and calm Tivat Sea. Many of the beaches are backed by verdant greenery and many have lots of restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops along the beach fronts or charming promenades. A Lot of accommodations can be found along the beaches along with parks, beach equipment to rent, and lots of opportunities for watersports such as sailing, water skiing, and canoeing. Here is a list of a few of the beaches to check out when visiting Tivat.
There are some great shopping opportunities to discover in Tivat with many stores located in the downtown area including clothing, footwear, jewelry, and more. There are famous designer brands available in town, and a good stretch of stores found in the center of town including modern boutiques, souvenir shops, art galleries, and handicraft shops. There is a bazaar located in the center of town with numerous stands selling all kinds of articles, there is also a green market where fresh produce is sold as well as dairy products, meats and fresh fish caught in Tivat bay.
Porto Montenegro offers open-air shopping by the marina and along the promenade with over 85 retail stores nestled along with the unique waterfront village. The port has international boutiques, shopping outlets, luxury fashion brands, and lifestyle brands with exclusive couture, jewelry, accessories, fragrances, and art.
Dining and Nightlife
Tivat offers visitors a wide selection of restaurants and eateries to choose from many serving up delicious fresh fish, and seafood, Mediterranean, Montenegrin, and Boka cuisine. Seafood and fresh fish are found in abundance from Tivat Bay, made with sea fruits, and rice cooked in olive oil with small sea fruits. There are numerous fantastic restaurants located down by the sea with a few local popular ones including Galeb, Islet, Kalimanj, Montenegro, Splendido, Bacchus, and Maestral. Montenegrin wines are found in most restaurants in town including traditional white wines like Krstac, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon or reds like Vranac, Merlot, Prokordem, and Cabernets.
The town has many Italian eateries and pizzerias serving delicious plates of pasta, and pizzas great for lunch or dinner, and many are found along the waterfront with great views of the sea. Pastry shops, bakeries, and cafes are in abundance in Tivat selling delicious freshly baked goods and hot drinks. Porto Montenegro has a very upmarket atmosphere with great restaurants and dining options most with views overlooking the bay. Prova is set on the central promenade in Tivat, shaped like a ship and a great place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner serving contemporary cuisine with great views from the rooftop areas.
Most of the nightlife options in Tivat are found in Porto Montenegro where the best bars and clubs are located. This elite part of town offers lavish and luxurious options to spend your evenings a lot the glistening waterfront and beautiful marinas. There is a wide range of restaurants, high-quality bars, and exciting clubs to experience in the port. It is easy to experience the various nightlife options in Tivat with the compact town easily navigable on foot. Some of the most popular establishments are Madame Coco, My Club, and The Clubhouse and Platinum in Porto Montenegro. Walking around the jetties, and marina are especially enchanting at night, where some of the best yachts in the world can be seen.
The long promenade in Tivat leads from the town marina to the ferry dock in Lepetane, another great place for an evening stroll with many waterfront bars and restaurants to stop into. Hotel Carrubba has a wonderful waterfront terrace serving drinks and meals with a view.
History and Culture
The name of the city is derived either from the name of Illyrian Queen Teuta who ruled the region during the 3rd Century BC or from the Greek word Thiodhos meaning "way of God". Tivat is the youngest town in Boka Bay and on the entire Montenegrin coastline, known for its cultural life and many traditional ceremonies like carnivals and costume balls. Tivat is known as the sunniest spot in the bay with its beautiful modernized harbor lapping up the rays, and glistening off the glitzy yachts along the glamorous promenade.
The town is rich in history and culture with fascinating sights including the Naval Heritage Museum and its fantastic collection of ancient naval artifacts, the perfectly preserved stone village of Gornja Lastva, the little island of Our Lady of Mercy, and the convent built in the 15th century, the ancient Austro-Hungarian Fort Gorazda, and St. Sava Church is one of the most recognizable religious sites in the world.
The Festival of the Mediterranean Theatre Purgatorije which celebrates art in all of its forms includes exhibitions, theatre performances, film screenings, and concerts is held during the summer months.
The Festivities of Lastva take place in Gornja Lastva every August celebrating the heritage of the area with authentic music, folk dances, folk games, and traditional cuisine.
The Tivat INART Street Performance Festival is a three-day celebration dedicated to street performers, with public spaces all over town turned into temporary stages with live theatre, music, and dance.
The Tivat Carob Festival is for food lovers and celebrates all things carob with a variety of food, and drinks made from the plant.