Sveti Stefan: Montenegro’s Historic Gem Turned Luxury Resort

In the 1400s, a small yet strategically important fishing village known as Sveti Stefan, located in present-day Montenegro, was frequently sacked by the Turks. By the 1600s, the authorities decided to fortify Sveti Stefan to permanently repel the Turkish invasions. The village thrived until the 1950s, when the population dwindled to just 20 residents.

In the mid-1950s, a decision was made to transform the nearly abandoned fishing village of Sveti Stefan into a luxury resort, now known as Aman Sveti Stefan. Images of its charming 15th-century stone villas, rugged cliffs, and stunning pink beaches have become iconic representations of Montenegro.

Sveti Stefan is divided between a small islet and the mainland, connected by a sandy isthmus. Visitors to Aman Sveti Stefan can book a luxurious villa with sweeping ocean views and access to a pink sand beach, overlooking the iconic islet.

Aman Sveti Stefan’s five-star amenities, including a spa offering innovative hydrotherapy treatments using over 650 medicinal herbs, an intimate restaurant serving freshly caught seafood, and exclusive access to three beautiful beaches, ensure that this once desolate fishing village is now celebrated as one of Europe’s most luxurious vacation spots.

The resort also offers guided excursions to nearby St. Sava Peak, which towers above Sveti Stefan. The trek, though steep, takes about 40 minutes and rewards visitors with panoramic views of Sveti Stefan and the azure sea. Additionally, there is a 15th-century church near the peak’s summit, historically known for its church bell that rang during times of trouble.

Nearby Lake Skadar, an expansive freshwater lake, is lined with fortified villages and monasteries. Visitors can enjoy boat tours or explore the lake’s shores, which are also known for a rich bird population, boasting over 280 different species.

For those seeking a luxurious, relaxing beach vacation, Sveti Stefan is a must-visit. And even if staying at Aman Sveti Stefan is beyond your budget, simply viewing one of Montenegro’s most celebrated vacation spots from afar is still a worthwhile experience.

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