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WorldMediterraneanAdriatic SeaMontenegro

An online cruising guide for yachts sailing to Montenegro

42°26.34′N, 19°15.26′E Chart icon.png
Montenegro map.gif
Montenegro flag.png
Capital Podgorica
Language Montenegrin
Currency Euro (€)¹
Time zone CET (UTC+1) , DST: CEST (UTC+2)
Calling code +382
¹Adopted without Montenegro being a member of the Eurozone.
Small info.png Latest News
See below for the substantially reduced cost of the vignette required to cruise Montenegro. --Athene of Lymington 10:53, 16 December 2015 (GMT)
The Republic of Montenegro is a country in the Balkans, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina to the north, Serbia to the northeast, Kosovo to the east, and Albania to the south. To the west of Montenegro is the Adriatic Sea. In addition to safe harbours along its relatively short coastline at Bar and Budva, there are several useful anchorages – some with small quays - which can also be used in settled conditions, notably at (N to S) Bigova, Sveti Stefan, Petrovac and Ulcinj. For many visiting yachts, the main attraction of the country is the spectacular Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), often described as Europe's southernmost fjord, which is in fact a submerged river canyon of the former Bokelj River, which used to run from the high mountain plateaus of Mount Orjen.


186 Vlorë to Bar and Brindisi to Vieste
188 Entrance to the Adriatic sea including Nisos Kérkira
1582 Approaches to Bar and Boka Kotorska
683 Bar, Dubrovnik, and Approaches to Peljeski Kanal
M27 Dubrovnik to Bar and Ulcinj
54240 Dubrovnik to Pellg I Drinit


Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor lie within the Mediterranean subtropical belt. While summers are hot and sunny, autumn, winter and spring are rainy seasons. It is the climate type of the Mediterranean but modifications exist in the vast region. A peculiarity of the littoral Dinarids is the precipitation regime, as at the Bay of Kotor Mt. Orjen receives Europe's heaviest precipitation. Just as the monsoon rain is seasonally distributed, so too November thunderstorms sometimes pour 2000 l of water in several days, while August is frequently completely dry. With a maximum discharge of 200 m³/s of water, one of the biggest karst springs, the Sopot spring, is a remarkable indicator of this seasonal variation. Most of the time it is inactive but after heavy rain a remarkable waterfall appears 20 m above the Bay of Kotor.

Two wind systems are noteworthy for their ecological significance: Bora and Jugo. Strong cold downslope winds of the Bora type appear in winter and are most severe in the Bay of Risan. Gusts reach 250 km/h and can lead to a significant fall of temperatures for several hours with freezing events. Bora weather situations are frequent and sailors keep an eye on the mountains as cap clouds indicate an imminent Bora event. Jugo is a warm humid wind and is important as it brings heavy rain. It appears throughout the year but is usually concentrated in autumn and spring.

Sources of weather forecasting:


List popular passages/routes, timing, etc.

  • Bar – Maljevik – Queen’s beach – St Stefan – Budva – 16 nm
  • Budva – Jaz – Bigova – 8 nm
  • Bigova – Mirišta or Zanjice or Dobreč – Herceg Novi – 12 nm
  • Herceg Novi – Stradioti Island – Tivat – 8 nm
  • Tivat – Perast – Kotor – 9 nm
  • Kotor – Žanjic – Oblatna (Trašte Bay) – 18 nm
  • Oblatna – St Nicholas’ Island – Čanj – Bar – 25 nm


  • Sveti Nikola (off Budva)


  • Bar Radio Coast Station: Ph:+381 (0)85 9833, Mob: 067 642 179, Fax:+381 (0)85 313 600, Monitors VHF 16 and 24 (handles all types of radio traffic) Email

Also see World Cruiser's Nets


Bay of Kotor

The Bay of Kotor consists of an 11-mile long fiord, entered via a 1.6 mile strait between the headlands of Rt Ostra to the W and Rt Mirista to the E. The bay is composed of several smaller gulfs, united by narrow channels, forming one of the finest natural harbours in Europe. The bay inlet was formerly a river system. Very intensive tectonics and karstification processes led to the disintegration of this river. After heavy rain the famous waterfall of Sopot spring at Risan appears, and Škurda, another well known spring runs through a canyon from Lovcen.

The outermost part of the bay is the Bay of Tivat (Teodo) and a small naval port, currently being transformed into a state of the art Super Yacht Marina, Porto Montenegro. On the seaward side, there is the Bay of Herceg Novi (Castelnuovo), which guards the main entrance to the Bay of Kotor. The inner bays are the Bay of Risan to the northwest and the Bay of Kotor to the southeast.

Verige strait represents the narrowest section of the bay and is located between Cape St. Nedjelja and Cape Opatovo; it separates the inner bay east of the strait from the remainder and belongs to the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor, A World Heritage Site.

On the landward side, the long walls running from the fortified old town of Kotor to the castle of Saint John, far above, formed a striking feature in the landscape; and the heights of the Krivošije (Krivoscie), a group of barren plateaus in Mount Orjen, were crowned by small forts.

There are many interesting places on the shores of the Bay of Kotor. Herceg Novi has an Orthodox convent of St. Sava nearby (Savina monastery) standing amid beautiful gardens. Eight miles (12.87 km) east of Herceg Novi, there is a Benedictine monastery on a small island opposite Perast (Perasto).



When approaching the coast of Montenegro you may be contacted by a coastguard or naval vessel so VHF16 must be monitored at all times. If you are contacted, they will require the following information:

  • Yacht's name
  • Owner's name
  • Radio call-sign
  • Vessel's flag
  • Vessel's registered port
  • Destination
  • Last port of call

Yachts arriving from S usually clear in at Bar (NB: it is not permitted to clear in at Ulcinj). From N, it is possible to clear in at Zelenika, Tivat or Kotor – the latter two after contacting the Zelenika authorities for permission (or at least standby on 16 in case they call you). Announce your arrival as early as possible to the harbourmaster on VHF16 and proceed directly for check-in. Note that there is a speed limit in the entire Kotor bay of 10 kts, and 6kts through the two smaller channels.

Required documentation for checking in with the harbourmaster:

  • The boat registration papers
  • The insurance documents (with third party insurance of at least Euros 800,000)
  • Proof of competence such as the ICC or equivalent

You will then be required to complete a crew list on a form supplied. Once the harbourmaster has approved your documents, the crew list will be stamped and you will be issued with a vignette (cruising permit) for the period you require ranging from one week to a year. The vignette is required to cruise Montenegrin waters but is not necessary for any period the yacht is stored in a local marina or boatyard (e.g. for repairs or winter storage). You then take the completed and stamped crew list together with your passports to the port police for recording your arrival, then finally a copy of the stamped crew list to customs.

Note: An agent will take care, for a fee, all of the details and you do not have to to anything. Arrival / Departure is easy from Porto Montenegro in Tivat, which offers to its customers at no additional cost the assistance of an English speaking "Concierge" who walks with the customer throughout the process. The whole process is completed in a few minutes in three offices which are all in the same building, unless the Harbormaster is in the official Harbormaster's office, about 600 meters away, and it is not clear that an agent or a concierge is needed.

Note: As of early 2017, the city of Tivat is charging a new "Tourist Tax". This was €40 for 2 people for 1 month for a 16-metre sailboat. It is not clear whether the tax could be avoided by arriving in a different port of entry, or whether other municipalities also feature this "innovation."

List of agents


See note above. The departure process is basically a reverse of the entry process, with the exception that you don't have to fill in a crew list or pay for a vignette.

Customs and Immigration


All arrivals in Montenegro must have a valid passport with the exception of those from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia and Macedonia who require only an ID card.

For stays of up to 90 days, visas are not necessary for members of the EU, Former Yugoslav Republics (Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia), Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Belorussia, the United States of America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Israel, Republic of Korea, Japan and Switzerland.

Citizens of Albania, Russian Federation and Ukraine may stay for up to 30 days without a visa.

All other nationalities must obtain visas in advance of arrival.

After exhausting a 90 or 30 day visa, they do not reset until 180 days have passed. Stays over these times will require a residence permit.

If you need assistance for visas on arrival by sea you can contact Yacht and Port Agent Montenegro and you will get quick and reliable assistance.


See above.

Fees and Charges

There is a new price for the vignette in Montenegro with effect from summer 2015:

Cruising permit (in Euros) (Updated Dec'15):

  • Yacht for personal use
by metre of length
1 Week
1 Month
3 Months
6 Months
1 Year
Boat up to 7 m 1.00 2.00 3.00 4.00 6.00
Sailing yacht 2.00 6.00 12.00 15.00 18.00
Motor yacht 7.00 12.00 20.00 25.00 30.00
Catamaran 7.00 12.00 20.00 25.00 30.00
Motor yacht over 24m 360.00 + length x 1,5€ 460.00 + length x 2€ 560.00 + length x 3€ 660.00 + length x 4€ 760.00 + length x 5€
  • Yacht for commercial use
by metre of length
1 Week
1 Month
3 Months
6 Months
1 Year
Boat up to 7 m 15.00 25.00 35.00 45.00 60.00
Sailing yacht 25.00 40.00 80.00 120.00 150.00
Motor yacht 30.00 50.00 100.00 150.00 200.00
Catamaran 30.00 50.00 100.00 150.00 200.00
Motor yacht over 24m 70.00 x length 100.00 x length 150.00 x length 220.00 x length 250.00 x length

In addition there is an administrative charge of €5 for issuing the vignette. There is a useful calculator for determining the charge for various kinds and sizes of vessel at (partly in Montenegrin). Alternatively there is more info at Cruising permit - Vignette in Montenegro 

Health and Security


Some sources advise against drinking tap water in Montenegro, especially in Herceg Novi and Tivat municipality. Local people might insist that it is safe to drink it, but far too many cases of diarrhoea, nausea and similar stomach problems have been accounted in the past. It is alleged that some - though not many - tourist complexes run their sewage directly into the sea not far from shore, which can be unpleasant and also poses a risk of infection. However, the water supply in main harbours and marinas appears safe to drink.


Montenegro is generally a safe place to explore. However, be wary of pickpockets and petty thieves in large tourist places like Budva or Sutomore, especially in peak season.


Adriatic coast (N to S) Bay of Kotor
(clockwise from entrance)
Bigova Bigova /wiki/Bigova Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Budva Budva /wiki/Budva Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Sveti Stefan Sveti Stefan /wiki/Sveti_Stefan Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Petrovac Petrovac /wiki/Petrovac Marina icon – marina |
Bar Bar /wiki/Bar Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Ulcinj Ulcinj /wiki/Ulcinj Marina icon – marina |

Herceg Novi Herceg Novi /wiki/Herceg_Novi Marina icon – marina |
Zelenika Zelenika /wiki/Zelenika Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |
Risan Risan /wiki/Risan Harbour icon – harbour |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Perast Perast /wiki/Perast Marina icon – marina |
Kotor Kotor /wiki/Kotor Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Tivat Tivat /wiki/Tivat Port of entry icon – port of entry |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage |
Key to symbols: |Port of entry icon – port of entry |Harbour icon – harbour |Marina icon – marina |Anchorage icon – anchorage ||


By Plane
  • There is an international airport in Tivat, which has regular flights to and from Belgrade, Moscow, Brussels, St. Peterburg, Bari, Minsk etc.
  • The other international airport is near the capital Podgorica. It is connected to most large airports in Europe.
  • Here you can find information about flights in and out of Montenegro
By Train
  • There is a railway station in Bar. From there you can get to Podgorica or Belgrade. International train Belgrade-Bar goes twice a day.
Transfer companies

Cruiser's Friends

Contact details of "Cruiser's Friends" that can be contacted for local information or assistance.

  • Cruisers Forum user "Toffe"


List links to discussion threads on partnering forums. (see link for requirements)




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Names: Lighthouse, FANEROMENI, Zangef, Athene of Lymington, Tackleandtax

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