Go List 201325 PLACES TO GO IN 2013

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Montenegro Emerging

Montenegro is the new Monaco, at half the price

Why Go Now Because this paradisiacal, newly minted country may be The Next Great Place. Billionaires have gone bonkers over it ever since Serbia granted its independence in 2006, spending fortunes to transform the former Yugoslav naval base into Porto Montenegro, one of the few marinas deep enough to host mega-yachts. After Nat Rothschild celebrated his 40th birthday bash here by the Adriatic Sea, in 2011, the A-Listers followed, drawn by Montenegro's pink-sand beaches, unspoiled canyons, and towns packed with Byzantine churches and Venetian-style palaces. For now, this pint-sized paradise is still relatively uncrowded. But not for long! –by Robert I.C. Fisher

Where to StayA true fantasy island, Amanresorts' Sveti Stefan resort was once just a 15th-century cobblestoned village set off the shore near Budva, heart of the Montenegrin Riviera. Repurposed in the 1960s as a fantasy resort (Elizabeth Taylor, Sophia Loren, and Princess Margaret have signed the guest-book), today the "hotel-village" is an Aman jewel with many facets. Among them: five spectacular restaurants and guest rooms that fuse ancient stones with sleekly modern furnishings. Go for a stroll—the former palace of Queen Marija of Serbia beckons just across the isthmus bridge.

Insider TipYou can fly into Dubrovnik's Cilipi airport, then transfer to Tivat airport in Montenegro. Even better: ferry in from Dubrovnik (or Italy's Bari) to the Bay of Kotor—Europe's southernmost fiord—and get a head-start on your trip in gorgeous Kotor, a World Heritage Site town.

Word of Mouth "When you come to Montenegro you must see the Boka bay (especially Kotor), Budva, Cetinje-Lovcen, [and] Sveti Stefan," says Daniela30781, a Fodorite living in Budva.

When to Go With 240 days of sunlight and 180 days of good swimming, Montenegro enjoys weather like every other Mediterranean country, so the best months are May to September.

Plan Your Trip Start planning using Fodor's Montenegro Travel Guide.

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