Montenegro Fjords and Coves
- Duration: 6 Days (5 Nights)
- Tour Type: Fjord, Bay and Sea Swimming
- Average Daily Swim: 4 - 5 kms
- Accommodation: Hotel Palma, Tivat
- Escort: One Large Boat, Two Dinghies, Kayak
- Extra: Kayak available for non swimmers, friends
This small and unique country is one of the youngest in the world only having gained full independence as a modern nation-state in 2006 after the struggles during the breakup of Yugoslavia. It has a multifaceted cultural heritage and the people are very hospitable. It also enjoys a Mediterranean climate and also offers a diverse natural beauty. Despite this rich tapestry, Montenegro has not yet become overrun with tourists and is one of Europe’s little-hidden treasures.
We are based in the town of Tivat near Porto Montenegro, a great base for daily swimming adventures. We swim and explore the stunning Bays of Kotor and Tivat and hop from one cove to another in the crystal-clear and balmy waters along the Adriatic sea. On the way, we stop in the blue cave and at several historical Yugoslavian submarine tunnels where you have a chance to explore them by swimming!
This tour appeals to swimmers looking for unique fjord, sea and cove swimming adventures combined with great walks through historical towns and islands in the warm Mediterranean climate. Our guides speak the local language and together with local expertise, they have the best knowledge of the region and can guarantee an enjoyable time as well as ensuring safety.
This tour is also suitable for non-swimmers who may wish to combine scenic boat rides with some walking and sightseeing.
A kayak with a paddle can available to use on our tour for those who do not want to swim the entire distance. It is also suitable for partners and friends to join our trip and follow swimmers in a kayak. Please contact us in advance for this request.
– Swim in the stunning Gulf of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
– Explore and swim in the former Yugoslavian submarine tunnels
– Swim through the Plava Spilja (Blue Cave – Grotto)
– Visit the historical towns that are surrounded by the mountains of Kotor, Perast, Tivat
– Walk up to the hill of Vrmac to enjoy Bay views
– Swim around Mamula island (the Montenegrin Alcatraz)
– Enjoy the boat rides through outstanding natural beauty and dramatic scenery
– Being guided by a local professional tour guide
Local Operational Policy
All our trips ensure that in the team of guides there is at least one team member who has in-depth experience and knowledge of the local waters, the main swimming routes and the alternatives as well as a fluent local language speaker.
What is included in the price?
Fully guided tour with comprehensive safety escort (3 boats, 2 swimming guides, local boat pilot), swim coaching, technique & stroke analysis, 5 nights accommodation, all breakfasts, all lunches (except one). Each guest receives a swim silicone hat. Limited fins and tow floats are available on each tour.
What is not included?
Travel to and from the start of the tour, evening meals, 1 lunch. Single room supplement available from 100 Eur.
Photo Gallery from the 2022 trips
In the press (Guardian) – January 2019:
10 of the best activity holidays worldwide: readers’ travel tips
KAYAK is available on our swimming trips to use
Video clips from past trips:
Hotel Palma 4* (seafront location), Tivat, Montenegro: http://hotelpalma.me/
We are based in the small and very beautiful town of Tivat, known as an old marine centre since the times of the sail ships, close to the old UNESCO town of Kotor. Our accommodation (Hotel Palma) offers double and twin rooms with en-suite shower. Single supplements are available – Double room for Single use.
Very close to our base is Porto Montenegro, the renowned marina. Also within walking distance are several shops, restaurants and cafes. Tivat has it´s own airport, which is less than 15 minutes drive away.
MORE ABOUT HOTEL PALMA
The hotel has its own spa centre for a great massage or relaxed time in the jacuzzi. Right in front of the hotel, there is a private beach equipped with complete beach furniture. The first floor features two fully-equipped meeting rooms–a larger one with the seating capacity of up to 60 persons, perfect for events and conventions, and a smaller one with the seating capacity of up to 12 guests. The hotel’s restaurant is located on the ground floor and is suitable for hosting various events. Up to 200 people.
Inexpensive taxis are available to go into Kotor old town at any time. The electricity supply is 220V AC and continental adapters can be used.
Hotel photos and details description are subject to change.
Extra stay at the hotel: If you arrive earlier or want to stay longer, feel free to contact the hotel for extra nights. Contact info: http://hotelpalma.me/, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, +382 32 671 393
Day 1: 8.30pm Hotel Palma meeting for tour briefing.
Day 2: Swimming in the Bay of Kotor, Orahovac-Perast. Afternoon filming for stroke analysis and then a swim from the “Our Lady of the Rock” island to Risan.
Day 3: Morning swimming in the Risan Bay, hike to Gornji Stoliv village, afternoon swim to Prcanj in Kotor Bay.
Day 4: Mamula island swim and visit and afternoon submarine tunnels swimming.
Day 5: Blue cave (Blue Grotto) to Veslo bay coastal swim, Zanjice beach to Rose village swimming.
Day 6: Final morning swim in Tivat Bay. Trip finishes at around midday.
Meet at our accommodation – Hotel Palma front terrace at 8.30pm for the trip briefing.
Before breakfast we walk down to the hotel beach for a short acclimatisation swim. Following breakfast, we take a short boat ride for the first swim in the Gulf of Kotor. We start the 2 km swim at Drazji Vrt village and swim towards the town of Perast. You have a chance to experience the remarkable scenic views of the fjord surrounded by imposing, rugged mountains. We dock for lunch in Perast, the old Venetian town where you can walk around and enjoy the old stone architecture. A great number of historical monuments have made Perast a UNESCO listed World Natural and Historical Heritage Site.
Before we start the second swim we film your stroke for later video analysis at the hotel. This filming can sometimes be moved to another day depending on where exactly we stop the boat.
Before our afternoon swim we first stop at the “Our Lady of the Rock” island. The island with its church has a rich history and you can walk around and explore. Afternoon swim is from the island towards Risan, a small town at the end of the bay. Boat drive back to the hotel.
Our second day is spent part in Risan bay, part in Kotor Bay. We start our morning swim at the end of Verige area (navigational crossing between the two bays) swim coastal towards Kostanjica village on the left. On the right hand side you enjoy the stunning mountainous views of Risan bay.
For lunch we stop at Donji Stoliv´s church, Gospa od Andjela (Lady of Angels) and then we take a walk along the old village path up the hill to Gornji Stoliv’s church. Once we reach the 230m high vista point we take in the superb views of Kotor and Risan bays. A great photography spot.
Our afternoon 2.5 km swim takes us from Donji Stoliv church towards the town of Prcanj in Kotor bay. Boat drive back to the hotel.
Today is the first Adriatic day as we head out to Mamula island and submarine tunnels. The boat takes us from Tivat bay straight to the Mamula island where we do our first swim. We swim two loops of the island which is about 2km in total. Afterward we explore the island by foot where you can see the impressive fortress and infrastructure that was used during WWII as a concentration camp. The fortress was built by Austro-Hungarians in 1852 and it originally served as a strategic guarding point at the entrance of Kotor bay.
Lunch stop in the beautiful coastal town of Rose.
Afternoon swim is between two incredible Yugoslav submarine tunnels along the Lustica peninsula. We stop in the tunnel where you can see how the Yugoslavian Navy used to store and hide their submarines. All tunnels are dead ends, so you cannot swim through, but you can swim to the end and back.
We finish the 2.5 km swim after the second tunnel and just before the old Yugoslav Navy ship no.21. Boat drive back to Tivat.
Today we head out to the Blue Cave on the Adriatic, locally know as Plava Spilja (Blue Grotto). We pass the Mamula island, Azra fortress and start our first swim right at the Blue cave. Colours in the cave offer us an incredible start for our swim. We follow the high cliffs along the coast, swim in and out of several small coves until we reach the Veslo bay. Swimming in the crystal clear water of the Adriatic is a great experience!
For today’s lunch we stop at Zanjice bay along the Lustica Peninsula.
Our second swim takes us from Zanjice bay to the beginning of Rose village. Swimming alongside the green peninsula in clear blue sea is just how you want to end up a great day. Return back to the hotel.
Before breakfast we have a final swim in Tivat bay in front of the hotel at around 8.30am, trip finishes at around 10.30am.
Please note that our swims are carried out in the natural environment and we rely on the current weather conditions. As a consequence, sometimes on-trip changes in the planned itinerary are required.
|Drazji Vrt – Perast (Bay of Kotor)||2.2 km (1.3)|
|‘Our Lady of the Rock’ Island – Risan (Bay of Risan)||2.5 km (1.5)|
|Verige Straight – Kostanjica (Bay of Risan)||2.2 km (1.3)|
|Stoliv church – Prcanj (Bay of Kotor)||2.3 km (1.4)|
|Around Mamula Fortress (Adriatic Coast)||2.2 km (1.3)|
|Submarine tunnels||2.5 km (1.5)|
|Blue Cave – Veslo Bay (Adriatic Coast)||2.7 km (1.6)|
|Zanjice – Rose village||2.5 km (1.3)|
|Tivat – In front of the hotel (Tivat Bay)||1.2 km (0.8)|
|Month||Water Temp. (°C/F)||Air Temp. (°C/F)|
|June||23 / 73||25 /77|
|July||24 / 75||28 /82|
|August||25 / 77||30 / 86|
|September||24 / 75||26 / 78|
Keep in mind that you can skip any of the swims you want and relax on the boat.
In addition to normal items, we recommend the following:
at least 2 swimming costumes, at least 2 pairs of swimming goggles (one clear and one tinted recommended), sweater/fleece, towel, sun hat, small daypack, waterproof sun cream and jacket, walking shoes and sandals or aqua shoes. We provide swim hats for all guests.
We have a range of swimming equipment including wetsuits, fins and rash vests available on each location. We cannot guarantee all sizes, so please bear this in mind and bring your own item if your swimming depends on this.
Up to 16 swimmers or more if arranged differently. Non-swimmers or friends are welcome to join.
The majority of walking on the trip is easy. The Gornji Stoliv hike is more challenging where some guests prefer to stay in Stoliv. In order to enjoy your walks on the islands and mainland, please bring comfortable walking shoes for summer temperatures.
Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. In the event of adverse weather conditions at any of our swimming locations, we may need to adapt our itinerary. Our team always includes local guides who know the safest and most picturesque places to swim, so rest assured you won’t be missing out!
Swimming in the open sea, amongst natural wildlife is a unique experience, but you may come across certain marine life such as jellyfish, coral and sea urchins from time to time. There are very few jellyfish along the coast and so the risk of any unfortunate encounters with them is low, and we will always show you the safest areas to swim. If you are stung by a jellyfish and are unable to carry on swimming, you will never be far from an escort boat where one of the guiding team will be able to treat the affected area immediately. If you suffer from anaphylaxis or any other allergic reactions it is important to inform us at the time of booking.
To get to Tivat (Bay of Tivat), you can fly into either Dubrovnik (DBV) in Croatia or Tivat (TIV) and Podgorica (TGD) in Montenegro. There are a number of international flights to Dubrovnik (DBV) from various cities and a few to Tivat and Podgorica. From UK Easyjet, Ryanair, Jet2, British airways, Croatian airlines, Thomson, Monarch. For more details on all international airlines visit Dubrovnik airport´s website.
Search for flights: www.skyscanner.net
Private transfers to Hotel Palma, Tivat
To book a transfer from/to Dubrovnik (Croatia) airport or town or Podgorica or Tivat (Montenegro) airport, please contact Hotel Palma transfers at: firstname.lastname@example.org, Ph: +382 32 671 393.
When booking a transfer please add into an email: Guest names, Flight number, Arrival time, Airport name and Contact mobile number.
– Dubrovnik airport (Cilipi) to hotel Palma: 90 Eur (up to 3 people)
– Dubrovnik town to hotel Palma: 100 Eur (up to 3 people)
– Podgorica airport to hotel Palma: 80 Eur (up to 3 people)
– Tivat airport to hotel Palma: 15 Eur (up to 3 people).
A good source for online booking and search is https://www.getbybus.com
1) Bus from Dubrovnik town to Tivat
There are a few buses daily going in and out of Dubrovnik, Croatia to Montenegro. Buses to Tivat (Kotor, Budva direction) depart at 07.00, 11.00,15.00. Bus at 20.30 used to depart on MON, WED and SAT (2016 year). Reference link: http://libertasdubrovnik.com/home-english/
The cost is around 15-18 EUR one way and 1 EUR per bag. You can buy tickets at the Dubrovnik bus station or on the bus itself. Please note that some buses stop at Dubrovnik – Čilipi airport, however, they can get full and we recommend you to go into Dubrovnik town first to catch the bus from there. There are several daily buses going to Dubrovnik town, see: http://www.atlas-croatia.com/arrangement/dubrovnik-airport-shuttle-bus/
The journey from Dubrovnik town to Tivat takes around 3-4 hrs and it usually goes via Kotor. Please note that Croatia uses the Kuna, while Montenegro has Euro. Both currencies are accepted at the airport and ATMs are available.
2) Bus from Podgorica airport to Tivat
There is no bus option from Podgorica airport. You can take a taxi to Podgorica town for around 15 Eur and then take a bus to Tivat. Domestic buses leave for Tivat (Kotor direction) almost every hour and you just get to the counter and buy a ticket to Tivat. Cost per person is about 7 EUR and it takes about 2 hours. Bus schedule: www.busterminal.me
Please note that once you get to Tivat bus station you will need to take a local taxi to our Hotel Palma. It costs about 4 Eur and it takes only a few minutes. You can also ring us or hotel to book a taxi for you.
Passports and Visas
You require a full passport to enter Montenegro and Croatia. You should check if you require a visa. Most nationalities including EU, US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens do not require a visa to enter Montenegro and Croatia. Visa regulations do change, so be aware of this and check the current requirement with your local authorities. It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return back home.
There are no specific vaccination requirements for Montenegro and Croatia, but you should ensure that your tetanus and polio are up to date.
The local currency in Montenegro is Euro, in Croatia it is Kuna. It is advised to have local currency with you before you arrive. Also, ATMs are widely available to draw cash. Most places prefer cash and bear in mind an average dinner meal costs around 10-15 Eur.
”Strel team has a great local knowledge of the best and safe places to swim. The scenery, towns and culture were very interesting!”
Chuck, California (July 2023)
”Highly recommended!! The team were very friendly, patient and helpful throughout – they explained everything perfectly.”
Fiona, UK (July 2023)
”I loved the Montenegro trip so much Im eager to book another one.”
Jane, UK (July 2023)
“This trip is a MUST. I’ve done it twice!”
Jim H. (USA, Aug 2018)
“I just wanted to say a huge Thank you again for another enjoyable swimming adventure. Hope to swim with you again in the future!”
John, United Kingdom (June, 2018)
“A brilliant combination of swimming, sightseeing, walking and boat driving in beautiful Montenegro scenery. Loved it!”
Fred, Germany (Sept, 2018)
“Amazing fjord swimming the Bays, Mamula island and Blue Cave. Loved it!”
Karen, UK (Trip June 2017)
“Surpassed my expectations as a country, scenery and the whole experience. A real hidden gem! Travel now before mass tourism hits there…”
Liz, USA (Trip Sept 2017)
“One of the most amazing places to ever find yourself swimming in…”
Kim, UK (Trip Sept 2017)
Guest video testimonials – Swimming Montenegro Fjords