Single-handedly responsible for Tivat's transformation, this surreal 24-hectare town-within-a-town occupies the former Arsenal shipyard and naval base. Primped, preening and planned right down to the last polished pebble, the almost impossibly glamorous complex includes upmarket apartment buildings, a 'lifestyle village' of fancy boutiques, bars, restaurants and leisure facilities, a museum, a resort-style hotel and berths for 450 yachts (with a total of 850 berths planned by completion).
Porto is a phased development – construction is ongoing – but the works don’t detract from the surreal feeling of finding yourself in a place usually reserved for those of otherworldly wealth.
Unsurprisingly, the project hasn’t been without controversy: 3500 locals took to the streets to protest the sale of the shipyard – a state asset – to foreign investors (an international consortium of the exceedingly rich led by the Canadian businessman, the late Peter Munk, who sold the complex to the government of Dubai in 2016) and the loss of 480 jobs. Yet many naysayers have been silenced by the improvements that are evident in the town.
The complex is open to the public and it's a pleasant place to stroll and ogle opulent yachts – if you're not prone to fits of rage at the injustices of contemporary economics. Kids will love the playground shaped like a pirate ship near the maritime museum.
The success of such of a venture relies partially on enticing yacht crews to dock here for the winter, so bars, restaurants and activity providers operate year-round (unlike along most of the Montenegrin coast). Prices are generally geared more towards crew-members than oligarchs and so, while expensive for Montenegro, they are reasonable by European standards. It appears the strategy is having no small amount of success: the marina was named Superyacht Marina of the Year (2015) by the international Yacht Harbour Association.