Hawaii or the island of St. Nicholas? This is the largest island in the Montenegrin Adriatic!

Examining the entire Adriatic coastline from Italy to Albania, a notable observation emerges: the most extensive stretch belongs to Croatia, boasting an impressive 4058 kilometers of island coastline. On the other hand, Montenegro’s island coastline is comparatively smaller, spanning a mere 11 kilometers. However, within this limited expanse, one island stands out, playing a pivotal role in the region.


The island of St. Nicholas (mng. Sveti Nikola), also known as Montenegrin “Hawaii”, is the largest island within 249 kilometers of coastline that expands from Prevlaka to Ada Bojana



St. Nicholas, Photo: Olga355, Dreamstime 


This charming, although, uninhabited island is a popular destination among locals and tourists. Spanning a length of 1.77 kilometers and a width of 420 meters, it is adorned with three primary sandy beaches and several smaller ones, often favored by the locals and accessible only by boat. Saint Nicholas island earned the nickname “Hawaii” after the opening of the first restaurant, aptly named “Hawaii,” likely inspired by the azure hues of the surrounding sea.



Adding to its beauty, this island is uniquely linked to the picturesque Budva by the underwater shoal of Tunja. During low tide, a fascinating phenomenon occurs as the water level diminishes to just half a meter, creating the remarkable opportunity to practically walk over to the city. This natural occurrence adds an intriguing dimension to the island’s charm and accessibility. When the tide is high, the only way to access it is by boat, or maybe swimming if you dare.


View of St. Nicholas from Budva, Photo: Comrade Petruha, Pixabay


Beyond the captivating sandy beaches, St. Nicholas Island offers additional things to explore. Nestled on the main beach, the St. Nicholas Church stands as a cultural and historical gem, which according to beliefs was built in the 11th century by the French crusader Duke Raymond. For those seeking more adventurous exploration, a boat ride unveils access to a captivating cave and a St. Nicholas lighthouse, adding a touch of maritime mystique to the island’s attractions.

To complement its attractions, St. Nicholas Island also has some dining options. With four restaurants/beach bars scattered across the island, visitors can enjoy a variety of refreshments while enjoying the warmth of the sun and swimming.


Saint Nicholas lighthouse, Photo: Fotokon, Dreamstime


The island of St. Nicholas serves as an idyllic oasis for relaxation, especially for those vacationing in Budva. However, in an effort to preserve its natural beauty, the island does not offer any accommodations. The only option for an extended stay is for those already exploring Montenegro with a sailboat or a yacht, while others will have to rent it out from locals available at the Dukley Marina.



Once I saw that there was a bigger world out there, so I made myself be a part of it.

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