10 Things You Didn't Know About Sveti Stefan

If you’re a fan of luxury stays and hidden gems, then Montenegro’s Sveti Stefan has probably crossed your path before. Up until last summer, this captivating island was closed to visitors. Now you can explore Sveti Stefan for around 25 euros, but only with a guided tour group. Here are 10 surprising facts to add even more depth to your Sveti Stefan knowledge!


Fearing Ottoman attacks, the Pastrovići tribe used spoils from a victory against the Turks to build a fortress with 12 houses (one per tribe) on a nearby islet. This marked the birth of Sveti Stefan.

2. Royal Retreat

Before becoming a playground for celebrities, Sveti Stefan served as a summer residence for the Montenegrin royal family during the 19th century. After the Second World War, Sveti Stefan became the property of the communist Yugoslavian government. The authorities moved all inhabitants out of the island village and transformed it into an upscale resort.

3. Salty Secret

The pinkish hue of Sveti Stefan’s sand isn’t just a pretty sight; it has a practical purpose too! The crushed coral fragments that make up the sand are believed to have antiseptic properties.

4. Ballet by the Bay

During the 1930s, Sveti Stefan played an unexpected role in the world of ballet. Renowned ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn used the islet as a retreat, escaping the pressures of her career and finding inspiration in the stunning scenery.

5. Church with a View

The tiny Church of St. Stephen on the islet isn’t just a historical landmark; it’s also a working church. Weddings are occasionally held here, offering a truly unique and breathtaking ceremony location. Famous tennis player Novak Djokovic got married here on 10 July 2014 – hiring out the entire island for his wedding party.

6. Celebrity visits

Sveti Stefan’s transformation into a luxury resort in the 1950s wasn’t just any renovation. Hollywood stars like Ingrid Bergman and Elizabeth Taylor were involved in promoting the new resort, solidifying its glamorous reputation. Cementing Sveti Stefan’s reputation as a celebrity magnet, David and Victoria Beckham enjoyed two idyllic family vacations here.

7. A Botanical Surprise

Beyond the native Mediterranean flora and flowers, Sveti Stefan boasts a surprising collection of exotic plants. Lebanese cedars, eucalyptus trees, tropical mimosa, loquat trees, cacti, and agave all flourish here, creating a unique and diverse landscape that has captivated visitors for decades.

8. Rebirth on the Adriatic

Following extensive renovations, Sveti Stefan hotel-town emerged from its closure in 2010, reborn as a luxurious haven. The grand reopening celebration, featuring a concert by Andrea Bocelli, solidified its return as a crown jewel of Montenegrin hospitality.

9. Island or Peninsula?

Sveti Stefan can be both depending on the tide! A narrow causeway connects it to the mainland, making it an island at high tide and a peninsula at low tide.

10. UNESCO Recognition

Sveti Stefan is considered for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List, a testament to its cultural and historical significance.

Ready to experience the magic of Sveti Stefan for yourself? 

With Go Sail Montenegro, you can set sail on an unforgettable adventure. Explore the island’s rich history and hidden coves, cool off with a swim in the crystal-clear waters, and soak in the breathtaking beauty of the Montenegrin coastline. Go Sail Montenegro will make sure that this won’t be just another check on your bucket list, but a memory that will stay with you forever.