by Sue Lancaster
Family Friendly Montenegro
We’d already decided where to take our daughter Tabitha for her first holiday abroad before she was even born. A few years back when we were childless and carefree, my husband and I explored the coast of Montenegro and fell in love with it. One particular resort—a little fishing cove called Przno—stood out to us and we marvelled at how many families with young children were enjoying the small pebble beach and shallow water. So when it came to our first holiday as a family, there really was no deliberation: in June, when Tabitha was 14 months old, we returned to Przno as three.
Montenegro Airlines fly directly from London Gatwick to Tivat in about two hours, and from there it’s about a 40-minute taxi ride to the resort. Naturally, I was anxious about the whole airport/flying experience with a young child, but it all went a lot smoother than expected and Tabitha was very well behaved on the flight. It is advisable to take lots of snacks and activities to occupy the time, but the short flight was definitely a winner.
We booked a two-bedroom apartment with a sitting area/kitchen and terrace overlooking the sea. As much as staying in a luxury hotel is nice, we knew this wouldn’t work with Tabitha, as we wanted to enjoy our evenings without worrying about waking her up. The Apartments Kazanegra were just perfect for our needs and I’d highly recommend staying there; Tabitha slept safely in the second bedroom while we were free to enjoy the rest of the space. The fully enclosed terrace was also a perfect place to hang out during the day, especially once the intensity of the sun got too much to stay on the beach—it had sun loungers for us and enough shade to keep Tabitha happy.
Our days in Przno were very laid back: we’d spend some time at the beach in the morning—Tabitha loved paddling and splashing in the sea—perhaps grab a spot of lunch in one of the beachside cafes, walk to the neighbouring resort of Sveti Stefan if it wasn’t too hot, or take Tabitha to the little park nearby. In the evenings we’d go out for an early dinner so that it wasn’t too disruptive for Tabitha’s routine and then head back to the apartment for a bottle of wine on the terrace once she was in bed.
The biggest mistake we made was not taking a portable highchair, as we naively thought this wouldn’t be an issue. Nowhere in Przno had highchairs, which meant mealtimes were slightly less relaxed than they could have been, with one of us constantly chasing a newly walking toddler along the promenade. But other than that it all went according to plan. We didn’t venture very far, but had exactly what we wanted: a relaxing week by the sea (well, as relaxing as you can get with a one-year-old in tow!). Montenegro is very mountainous as soon as you go inland, so there is plenty of exploring to be done with a hire car had we wanted to.
Your first holiday with a child is a memory to treasure forever and I’m really glad we chose Montenegro as the place for those memories to be made. Tabitha of course won’t remember any of it, but we’ve got lots of photos to show her when she’s older!
Montenegro’s season starts around May and finishes in late September, with the peak being July and August. It is still relatively undiscovered as a tourist destination—certainly for Brits—although it is getting busier with each passing year. For now, though, it remains a little hidden gem in the shadow of Croatia and Italy and is pretty good value too (the local currency is the euro, which makes life easy). This year’s summer season may have passed, but it’s never too soon to get thinking about next year’s holiday, and if you want somewhere close to home that’s not just an all-inclusive package holiday, then the unspoilt coastal resorts of Montenegro are certainly worth looking into.
About the author:
An Essex girl, Sue came to London 12 years ago and never left. She moved to West Kensington with her now-husband, then spent a couple of years living in Stamford Brook, before finally settling down in Mortlake. Prior to becoming a mum, Sue worked in TV production. She now stays at home, looking after toddler Tabitha and writing whenever she can.