The New European Riviera

If you’re looking for some European flare this summer, forget St. Tropez….we have the new European Riviera…fueled by petro-dollars, post-Communist tycoons and more than a little of the local rosé, the booming coasts of Turkey, Croatia and Montenegro give glamour and stunning beauty at a fraction of the cost. Hip hotels now line the less traveled Mediterranean east coast which is just as spectacular as the French and Italian Rivieras. But now is the time to go- according to forecasting companies, Croatia is poised to become a major tourist destination by 2013. The Turkish Iira has weakened considerably against the dollar, pound and euro- so it’s just a matter of time before we all catch on.

Turkey: since downtown Bodrum is now overrun with tshirt shops and nightclubs, we suggest checking out the less developed parts of the peninsula like the hillside village of Turkbuku which has family run hotels and private beaches.

Montenegro: we found a great hotel, Villa Duomo, which is a 13-suite villa in the town of Kotor. It has exposed stone walls and hand carved antiques and at $155/night it’s a great deal.

Croatia: Hvar is a hilly, vineyard dotted island on the Dalmatian coast and the first island to get a luxury makeover. We found a 19th century stone villa on the Hvar Town harbor promenade called The Riva. Rooms start at $207/night.

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