MONTENEGRO and Rhodes are both amazing holiday destinations, with beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain views and great food.
Beauty Editor Tara Ledden gets a taste for the A-list fave of Lustica Bay in Montenegro. And for a sun-soaked luxury escape, Lindos in Rhodes gets Celebrity Editor Kelly Allen’s vote.
Lustica Bay, Montenegro
Set between UNESCO-protected mountains and the gloriously blue Adriatic Sea, Lustica Bay is the ideal location to explore the rich history of this Balkan country.
It only takes 20 minutes to get to Chedi Luštica Bay resort from Tivat Airport, so you can be off the plane and into the infinity pool ASAP.
The hotel is so chilled-out, there’s no danger of anyone putting their towel down at 8am – there’s always a sunlounger to be found.
The award-winning spa offers Balinese treatments, using luxury Irish botanical brand Voya Organic Beauty, starting from £45.
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The hotel also has a private pebble beach, flanked by the Rok Beach Bar, which serves outstanding sushi and cocktails. During peak season, there’s even a free water taxi across the bay to Almara Beach Club.
Montenegro is a foodies’ paradise. Just as locals grow their own vegetables and keep livestock, most restaurants stick to local suppliers for the freshest and most sustainable produce.
Brasserie-style restaurant The Spot is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The humongous croque madame, £10, is the perfect brunch, or opt for the burrata salad, £12.50, for a “lighter” option. The authentic Pony Art Garden is also a must (Ruralholiday.me/en/herceg-novi-pony-art-garden).
The owners put on a feast with home-grown herbs, catch-of-the-day seafood and cheese made with their own goats’ milk. The family also produce hand-made liqueurs and local wine, so book a taxi to enjoy the hospitality to its fullest.
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With landscapes that rival Lake Como, an e-bike is the best way to traverse the rolling hills with minimal effort and maximum enjoyment.
A half-day’s e-bike rental costs £76 (Montenegroplus.me). Then choose from the many boat trips offered and explore the charming fishing villages that line the Bay of Kotor, such as Bjelila and Forte Rose, making a stop at Our Lady of The Rocks, one of two islets in the bay.
According to local legend, the island was created over centuries by seamen who left a rock in the water after each successful voyage. From the town of Tivat, on the opposite side of the water, hike up to the ancient village of Gornja Lastva for the best views across the bay.
DID YOU KNOW?
Montenegro has been the playground of the rich and famous for decades. Elizabeth Taylor and Sophia Loren were known to frequent the country – then part of Yugoslavia – in the 1970s, and more recently, it has played holiday home to Madonna, the Beckhams and Naomi Campbell.
Porto Montenegro sits just west of Tivat. Once a naval base and now a super-yacht harbour, the upmarket district resembles Knightsbridge and is great for people-watching and window-shopping.
Rooms at Chedi Luštica Bay cost from £153 per night (Chedilusticabay.com). Fly from the UK to Tivat from £31 each way with Easyjet.com.
Lindos Village Resort and Spa is the perfect hilltop hideaway on the Greek island of Rhodes. Overlooking the Aegean Sea, the newly refurbished five-star resort is an all-inclusive, adults-only retreat.
The main restaurant, Ambrosia, offers an all-day buffet with breakfast, lunch and dinner, but the delicious gyros (pitta sandwiches) at poolside cafe Ydor meant we didn’t need to go far to grab a bite.
Dining options were brilliantly varied, from a stylish Italian to an American diner. Each evening, the hotel offers live entertainment, with the saxophonist a highlight.
Lindos town is the place to be for nightlife.
Start at Cozze, a cute rooftop bar specialising in oysters, champagne and cocktails – gin fans should try locally made Grace (Cozzechampagne.com).
Then head to Mystilli Roof Garden, one of the few fine-dining restaurants in Lindos. The terrace has a great view of the castle and the dishes are exquisite. We tucked into moussaka croquettes, £11, which were the best thing we ate all week, followed by an amazing black angus rib-eye, £30 (Facebook.com/mystillirestolindos).
Experience some of ancient Greece in Lindos village, which is guarded by the imposing clifftop acropolis. This natural citadel is quite the climb, so go early before it gets too hot.
At the top, reap your reward with a close-up of the ancient ruins, as well as coastal views that stretch all the way to Turkey.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Legend has it that Rhodes was blessed by the sun god Helios. Locals believe that’s why it enjoys 300 days of sunshine every year.
Double rooms at Lindos Village Resort cost from £270 per night in a deluxe garden room, on an all-inclusive basis (Lindos-village.gr). Fly from London Gatwick to Rhodes from £35 each way with Easyjet.com.
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