Behind Montenegro’s answer to the Costa Smeralda are investors such as Nathanial Rothschild and Oleg Deripaska. Just as the Aga Khan turned a piece of barren, arid land used mainly by goatherders in northern Sardinia into one of the chicest marina resorts of the Mediterranean in the 1960s, Porto Montenegro sets out to become the wealthy Noughties latest playgrounds.
Lord Byron described this stretch of Adriatic coastline as ‘the most beautiful encounter between land and sea’, and with Venice and the Croatian archipelago to the north, Corfu and the Ionian Islands to the south, and the eastern coast of Italy to the west, the bay also offers easy and direct access to some of the best cruising in the Mediterranean basin. Located on a former Austro-Hungarian naval base within the coast town of Tivat in the bay of Kotor a UNESCO World Heritage site, the marina will happily accommodate all sizes of yachts.
Taking advantage of the general shortage in the Mediterranean of marinas that can berth superyachts (those longer than 25m in length), the focus of the development is to create a new yachting destination.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Montenegro attracted the likes of Sophia Loren, Elizabeth Taylor and Kirk Douglas to its shores. This drive which involves the revamping of Sveti Stefai by Aman Resorts aims to re-establish some of the glamour lost in the ensuing decades. Prices for the residences around the marina village (where Martin Lane Fox is doing the landscaping) range from €300,000 to €1.8 million in the first phase.
‘Compared to other areas within a marina setting, these prices reflect the fact that this is an emerging market,’ says James Price partner of selling agents Knight Frank (020–7629 8171; www.knightfrank.co.uk/international). ‘It’s a wonderful opportunity to get in early, and the strength of the backing plus its wide yachting appeal will ensure it becomes a new destination in the Med.’