Tivat, Kotor Old Town (UNESCO) in Boka Bay, Montenegro.
Sandwiched between Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, the small Balkan country of Montenegro (meaning "Black Mountain") is sprinkled with flower-strewn meadows, medieval towns and picture-perfect beaches, making it a great call for those seeking a go-slow European escape.
Head to the Bay of Kotor, aka the Boka, and make the tiny town of Tivat your playground. Home to hillside villas, a forested coastline and long stretches of golden sand, this place has recently undergone a major regeneration project, welcoming the glitzy and glamorous Porto Montenegro. Lined by a harbour where some of the world's most sought-after superyachts are moored, the town flaunts an impressive roster of trendy boutiques. Exclusive, sexy and rich in culture, we're pegging this as the next Monaco.
Don't even think about visiting without a trip to the Our Lady of the Rocks, an 17th-century church island. To get there, you'll want to take a 30-minute drive to the picture-perfect town of Perast, where tranquil streets are lined with caramel-hued houses, before jumping on a blustery boat ride to the island. We suggest booking onto a tour to hear the ancient tales of the fishermen that sailed these waters in days of old.
Where to stay?
Bed down at Regent Porto Montenegro. This slick, sea-facing set-up comprises three separate spaces: Venezia, Aqua and Baia. We're making Venezia our base, partly for its sublime nautical-inspired decor - think dark woods, blue and cream coloured linens and a balcony offering sweeping views across the bay - but largely for its close proximity to the in-house spa and superb Murano restaurant. Expect to spend long, lazy days paddling in the palm-fringed infinity pool, before slipping to the Library Bar for a fresh cocktail come nightfall.
Where to go for dinner?
A low-key seafood restaurant in the heart of the harbour, One promises a divine dinner in an effortlessly chic setting. For a side of sunset views, bag an outdoor table, where baskets stuffed with freshly baked bread and bowls of piquant fish paste await your arrival. Otherwise, opt for one of the cosy inside tables, where floor-to-ceilings windows, whitewashed brick walls and linen-draped ceilings meet blood-red furnishings. Start by ordering the traditional fish soup, then work your way through an extra-large bowl of the tagliatelle bolognese.
And for a drink…
The stylish Marea makes for the ultimate drinking den. Tangerine-coloured chairs and moody black tables flank a show-stopping gold-backsplash marble bar, while oak cabinets overflow with covetable wine vintages. Hungry? We recommend the tuna steak, which is incredible, or a selection of starters from the crowd-pleasing menu.
Who to take with you
That friend who eats more seafood than a returning sailor who's been stranded at sea. They'll enjoy frolicking between on-point restaurants and digging into platters of fresh fish at any given opportunity.
When to go
Temperatures in Tivat soar in the summer months. We suggest planning your visit for May, when you can enjoy the slower pace of the shoulder season, while still savouring sunny days.
Essentials to pack
Make the most of Tivat's many spectacular outdoor dining spaces (and say goodbye to squinting eyes) by packing these oversized Loewe round-frame sunglasses. We're also grabbing this Missoni striped coverup dress for an effortless flit from poolside to bar.
How to get there
Jump on a flight from London Gatwick to Montengro's Tivat Airport. Alternatively, other UK airports fly directly into Dubrovnik International Airport, from where Tivat is just over an hour's drive away.