Not all beaches have to be boundless expanses of sand in order to boast high popularity among droves of tourists, and Trsteno Beach is the proof.
Hidden away in a small bay west of Budva, Trsteno has long held a reputation of being one of the charming little beaches that Montenegro so proudly advertises. In fact, if you’ve ever been to this Balkans country before, you’ll know that you’re more likely to discover more beaches that are on the small side, rather than those that span entire kilometers of coastline. Having said that, you’ll find that many of these small beaches have so much character and beauty to offer as the heavy hand of urbanization and tourism development hasn’t reached them yet. See how much Trsteno matches this description and if it should be your next summer destination.
Getting to Trsteno
This is the trickiest part of the entire journey. Unlike most other beaches in Montenegro that are attached to towns one way or another, Trsteno is completely removed from civilization.
First of all, it’s not located on the main road that connects the nearest airport at Tivat with the city of Budva. If you are renting a car, your best bet is to get an offline GPS app before you arrive, so that it can navigate you properly around the area. This is definitely the least painful way to get to Trsteno, as public transport doesn’t service this route.
Besides driving there, you can get someone (taxi) to give you a lift. If you decide to take on this harrowing journey on foot, know that you have about 4 miles (6 kilometers) to cover. Keep heading west until you reach Jaz beach, and ask around there about directions to Trsteno.
At the Trsteno Beach
One way or another, you’ll tackle the journey to Trsteno and finally reach the tucked away gem of the Adriatic Sea.
Hidden between two capes protruding into the sea, this small Montenegrin beach has much to offer, disproportionate to its size. Since we’ve been giving it so much grief due to being small, it’s time to really put it in perspective for you – Trsteno Beach is only 200 meters long. But, before you start your descent from the top of the cliff down a windy road to the beach, you’ll be able to take in all the beauty of the bay from above. The view is absolutely astonishing, and it shows what Montenegro is all about. A perfect blend of lush greenery and blue water will fill your view, as you observe this incredible place sheltered by numerous pine trees, touched only by a single finger of the Adriatic Sea. Down the road you go, flanked by watchful trees until you reach Trsteno at the very bottom of the hill.
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If you’ve arrived by car, you’ll notice the parking on your left, so feel free to leave your car there. Parking costs €3 for the day. Make sure to exercise caution and not leave the windows of the car open and your valuables exposed. The parking lot is situated on a level slightly higher above the level of the beach, so you’ll get a good overview of the place and hopefully find a patch of unclaimed sand for you to plant your parasol down.
We say hopefully, because, as you’ve probably already realized, crowds are going to be a serious issue here. The best way to avoid them is to arrive early in the morning, and even then there are no guarantees you’ll have plenty of room for yourself. There are only two cafes/restaurants, both of which are raised above sea level. One of them even boasts something like a small dock where you can sit and enjoy a cold drink while overlooking the bay. It is also the same one that overcharges for loungers, €15 for two of them with an umbrella. This makes the issue with space even more troublesome, as the few square meters of public sand are even fewer to begin with.
Unfortunately, it would seem that Trsteno has hit some hard times, at least when cleanliness is concerned. Of course, this is just a temporary problem, but reports of increasing amounts of debris littering what little room there is on the beach are downright disheartening. Usually, when trash starts piling up, it’s a problem that tourists immediately notice and react to it. So we believe that it will be taken care of soon and that this beach can do much better!
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One thing that really makes it shine (quite literally so) is pale white sand that really looks and feels magical. Not only does it decorate the beach itself, but it also extends into the water, giving it a dazzling look. Combined with the pristine turquoise waters flowing into the bay, it creates a spectacle of colors that few can resist. The water is fairly shallow, for at least 100 feet so there’s room enough for the young ones to play or learn how to swim. During the summer months, the temperature of the water ranges from 23°C to 26°C. There are buoys limiting how far you can go, and you would do well to heed the warning as there are way too many speedboats and yachts cruising beyond that point.
Being so removed from the world, you can half-expect it to have very few amenities at the beach. There are only portable toilets for you to use, which aren’t that sanitary.
Trsteno Beach is a hidden gem – or at least, it has the potential to become one. Tucked away in a pristine natural area with access to crystal-clear water, it’s a real paradise lost. The only thing holding it back is the lack of space, which is to be expected of such a tiny bay. However, it would be nice if the restaurants that so boldly claim territory on such a small beach would do something in the way of improving it further for future visitors. This is truly a majestic place, but unless you’re an early bird, you’ll have trouble nesting here.