The cheaper, friendlier and generally prettier neighbour of Croatia still, to my surprise, remains unknown to the western traveller. Only a two-three hour bus journey from Dubrovnik, it's location ought not to discourage.
Montenegro owns a beautiful coastline with its crystal blue sea backed by embracing tree covered mountains - I can't imagine that one could find better anywhere in the Mediterranean. The life in this country is extremely relaxed, so don't expect urgent service, but then the surroundings don't lend themselves to a hurried existence. Take the time to wander, to watch the people, soak in the luscious environment and appreciate a truly comfortable and - I restate - affordable lifestyle.
Budva itself boasts a stunningly well-kept, ancient walled town centre, in which to lose yourself amongst beautiful narrow lanes dotted with magnificent boutiques of every variety. Outside this very small centre, is a two-mile-long beachside market, which at night becomes heaven for the partygoer.
Although there are few cultural pursuits within Budva, only one hour away you'll find the biggest natural reserve in Europe, home to astonishing lakes and a city built outwards over 1,000 years. Podgorica may be the capital of Montenegro, but I have heard from Montenegrins themselves that it is only suited to very short business-related trips. This is no disaster given the remaining expanse of fabulous destinations to visit.
It should also be noted that Budva is only eight hours away from Belgrade by train. A relatively short and comfortable trip by eastern European standards well worth trying because Belgrade is another city which ought not to be bypassed by anyone.