The Best Things to See and Do in Tivat, Montenegro
If you are planning to visit Tivat for the first time, or you have already fallen in love with this town and decided to buy a property here, you came to the right place. In the article you can find everything, you need to know about Tivat and its real estate market. This blog is constantly updated, so do not hesitate to revisit at any time.
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Tivat, a city full of changes and an incredible travel destination, was founded under the mountain of Vrmac. According to the archives of Kotor, the first mentions of Tivat are in the 14th century. Throughout history, Tivat changed names several times, and names mentioned in the archives are Teude, Theode and Theudo. In the middle Ages, Tivat was a health resort for rulers, nobility and poets.
Tivat enjoyed a peaceful history until the late 19th century when an Austrian admiral knocked on the door of the mayor of Tivat, Captain Marko Krstovic, and announced the establishment of an Austro-Hungarian naval base on the coast of Tivat Bay. From that moment, for more than a century, Tivat became a naval arsenal, a port and a dry dock. Hundreds of artisans, turners, locksmiths and shipbuilders have been trained and lived in Tivat.
Although historians have an opinion that Tivat is the youngest town in the Boka Bay, its history dates back to the Illyrian era that ended in 167 BC. Like the rest of the Boka Bay, the area that we now call Tivat was under the influence of different cultures and empires. Most significant of them are Illyrian, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Serbian and Turkish.
No one can be entirely certain how Tivat got his name, but there are three theories. First one is that Tivat got his from the names of Christian saints that resemble the name Tivat, Sanctus Theodorus, Theodosius, Theodotus, Theodulusor or the Medieval names dating from the 12th century – Theudo, Teodo. The second theory is linked to the Illyrian queen Teuta, who had a number of palaces near Tivat, while the third theory suggests that Tivat got its name from the Celtic word “Teudo ” meaning ‘the town’.
The biggest change, Tivat experienced during the Austro-Hungarian period. During their rule Tivat was transformed from a small fishing village with palaces of Kotor novelty to a real industrial center. As we mentioned above, admiral Marko Krstovic, announced the establishment of an Austro-Hungarian naval base on the coast of Tivat Bay, and Tivat became a military naval base more than a century ago.
The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians liberated Tivat in 1918, but they kept the port of Arsenal to serve as their naval base. After the end of World War II, Tivat was, as entire Montenegro, part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The real cultural and institutional expansion of Tivat started at the end of the 19th century. Today, Tivat has a thriving cultural life, expressed through archaeological sites, cultural heritage and cultural institutions recognized around the whole world.
One of the most important archaeological sites is located on the peninsula of Prevlaka, or the “Island of Flowers”. The first archaeological finds of King Balajos’ treasures on the island testify to the settlement of the Illyrians in these areas. The age of the Roman period was, once again confirmed, by the findings of the mosaic floor of a Roman fairy.
It is hard to write about Tivat cultural heritage without mentioning Kotor’s noble families, who built their summerhouses and churches. The most famous building in Tivat that represents cultural heritage is the Palace of Buca family. Buca was a famous and rich family from Kotor. They built the Buca palace to spend their free time on the hot summer days. The palace was a true representation of the wealth of the Buca family. It had high walls, a watchtower and a vineyard spreading all the way to the sea. Today the palace represents a cultural hub with the summer stage and art gallery in near proximity.
Nowadays, Tivat is an urban Mediterranean town with many traditional and musical events that have the purpose to preserve the culture of the people who live in Tivat, blending in the new era, and to serve as an attraction for tourists.
“Purgatorije” is one of the most important events that you do not want to miss if you are in Tivat during the summer months. The festival is organized by the Cultural Center of Tivat and attracts visitors and Theatre groups from all over the world. What makes this festival unique is that the Cultural Center of Tivat produces most of the plays, which are based on legends, true stories and lifestyles of the people who live or lived in the Boka Bay.
The festival is accommodated with art exhibitions, performances, etc. Most of the plays are performed on the summer stage in Buca summerhouse.
The days of Magnolia
Each town in the Boka Bay has a flower that unofficially represents it. Kotor is famous for the flower Camellia, Herceg Novi for the flower Mimosa, while Tivat is famous for the flower of Magnolia.
Each town has its own festivities dedicated to its own flower, so in Tivat you can visit the festivities of Magnolia. During the days of magnolia, many lectures, cultural, art events are organized. The most significant event, organized by the Tourism Organization of Tivat, is the “Flower of Tourism”. Being organized at the beginning of May, it represents the start of the summer season.
Participants are judged in three categories: The most beautifully landscaped yard in front of the residential and commercial space, the most beautiful balcony, The most beautiful fence, The most beautiful magnolia tree, Originality in horticultural landscaping, etc.
The biggest bocce event in Montenegro is the “Bocce Olympiad” held in Tivat. It brings players from all around Montenegro and the region. The most interesting part of this tournament to the players and spectators, are the old national rules.
Tivat started developing tourism after World War II. Back in the days, in the summer season, it mostly attracted workers from Yugoslavia. Today, Tivat has a completely different tourism offer.
With Hotels such as Regent Porto Montenegro, Chedi Lustica Bay and many smaller luxury condominium hotels, accompanied with breathtaking nature and beaches, Tivat easily became the most prestigious tourism destination in Montenegro. Projects such as Porto Montenegro and Lustica Bay will continue to invest and bring offers that are even more exciting for high demanding tourists.
As we all know, history likes to repeat itself. As the Austro-Hungarian admiral Marko Krstovic announced the building of “Arsenal”, a military naval base, Mr Peter Munk announced his project, Porto Montenegro, at the same location in 2006.
Instead of gray warships, now, you can see expensive yachts and instead of blue uniforms, you can see and feel a vibrant community. The largest and most beautiful yachts that sailed under flags from all over the world are coming and staying at Tivat, Porto Montenegro: the most luxurious resort in the World and the only marina for super-yachts in Western Europe…
Porto Montenegro now consists of the most welcoming marina in the Mediterranean, holder of five Star Gold Anchor award from The Yacht Harbour Association, along with a host of international awards – including Marina of the Year – and UNI EN ISO 14001 certification for environmental protection and quality management. Porto Montenegro at this moment has two neighborhoods: South village and Boka Place.
South Village is a true representation of living on the waterfront, offering luxury apartments and penthouses for sale. It is also, where the Regent Hotel and Pool Residences are located.
Boka place is the latest project inside Porto Montenegro, currently under construction. Apart from apartments for sale, retail areas of Boka place will feature a shopping mall and a cinema. Also in this neighborhood, there will be a SIRO hotel.
If you visit Porto Montenegro, do not forget to immerse yourself in history at the Porto Montenegro Naval Heritage Museum where you can find rare Austro-Hungarian naval equipment, machinery and a pair of authentic Yugoslav submarines that you can enter.
Largest new “town” on the Adriatic sea, Lustica Bay
Lustica Bay is definitely one of the most unique projects on the Adriatic sea. Located on the Lustica peninsula, spreading over 690 hectares of land bank area, 7 kilometers of coastline and only 10% of the land area developed into an integrated town with sophisticated architectural solutions, laid upon innovative technologies and the highest environmental standards.
Lustica Bay started developing in 2013, and today it features a Marina, Marina Village and Centrale neighborhoods, featuring three beaches.
Marina and Marina Village offer a true Mediterranean lifestyle. Located on the waterfront built with local stone and surrounded by rich and beautiful gardens with indigenous plants. Life in Marina village is focused around the modern marina with a charming promenade with restaurants, boutiques, 5* Chedi hotel and an outdoor amphitheater. Also, Marina Village trives with all kinds of events all year round.
The central neighborhood of Luštica Bay, with its residential buildings, school, bank, fire station and more to come is quickly becoming the beating heart of the project. Lively streets and a piazza with many shops offer residents a unique lifestyle destination.
Lustica Bay will continue to expand with many projects in the pipeline. One of the most significant projects is the construction of a professional 9-hole golf course, which will be the first of its kind in Montenegro.
The island of St. Marko, once known as the St. Gabriel, upon the church located there a long time ago St Gabriel is located just across the Tivat airport.
This island has been famous since ancient times for its enchanting nature, pine trees and four-kilometer-long coast.
It is said that the Greek gods sent the best soldiers here to refresh themselves after the battles, to heal their wounds and restore the lost peace. Greek soldiers would rest on the island, enjoy long walks, and tell each other about their war exploits, heroism and glory… The soldiers enjoyed themselves on the island, so they wanted it to stay that way – peaceful. They felt remorse for all the bad things they had to do in the battles. They prayed to the gods wishing that the wonderful island on which they live would forever remain as it is. In return, they vowed never to start any war and to defend themselves only if the enemy attacked them. Moreover, as a sign of bequest, they planted an olive tree, from which an entire olive grove was later created.
When the warrior spirit in them reawakened and they went to the war, this angered the gods, who sent a terrible storm to the island – all the ships were sunk, and the soldiers perished. The island remained deserted – only the olive trees bear witness to a time and a terrible event.
Due to the tragic death of Greek war veterans, the inhabitants of Tivat decided to call this island “Stradioti”, which means “soldiers” in Greek. The locals still use this name for the island of St. Marko.
Things to do
Being the most prestigious destination in Montenegro, surrounded by almost intact nature and old stone villages, there are many things you can do in Tivat.
- Visit Porto Montenegro
- Visit Lustica Bay
- Explore Lustica peninsula
- Attend winter/summer events featuring music, gastronomy, tradition etc…
- Hiking up to the village of Gornja Lastva
- Take a long walk on the Tivat promenade
- Hiking the mountain of Vrmac
- Visit coastal villages like Kakrc, Donja Lastva, Lepetane, Cost of Djurasevici, Krasici….
- Rent a boat, kayak or Sailing boat
- Attend the summer sailing school at YC Delfin at Seljanovo
Tivat Real Estate
When we opened our Montenegro office in 2004, Tivat had the cheapest real estate prices on the entire Adriatic coast. Today, Tivat is the city with the highest real estate prices from Zadar in Croatia to the southernmost point on the Montenegrin coast, except for Dubrovnik. Remember that we exclude Porto Montenegro and Lustica Bay from the story and only talk about real estate located in a narrow radius around them. Porto Montenegro and Lustica Bay will continue to expand. This further expansion will bring even more value to the Tivat real estate market.
If you are thinking about buying a property in Kotor, feel free to visit our website and make an inquiry. Below are links for Kotor properties for sale:
Properties for sale Montenegro
Tourism organization of Tivat
If you have already decided to buy real estate, you are certainly interested in the purchase process. Download our property buying guide by clicking here.