Unique location of Herceg Novi, a small but charming and historic city, makes it perfect for setting up camp and making it your base from where you will have easy and quick access to several historic and even UNESCO protected cities, localities and national parks that are in close proximity of this, over 600 years old fortified town.
Herceg Novi is a city you cannot not love. Many consider it the most beautiful city on the Adriatic shore and always come back because of it's pleasent climate, beautiful sea and iconic architecture that is almost endemic in a way, because numerous different civilizations had control of the city during the centuries and all left a distinguished footprint on all spheres of society, including architecture.
The city itself is located between the mountain Orjen and the entrance to the Bay of Kotor. During your stay you can experience different things in a short period of time because of the proximity of the mountain and the sea. You are only a half an hour drive from the 2000m high mountain, with its tracks and routes completely mapped and cleared for all who enjoy a good hike or a nice camping trip. Also nearby you have several viewpoints from which a spectacular view of one of the most beautiful bays in the world stretches.
If that is not your cup of tea, then the crystal clear Adriatic sea sure will be. A lot of beaches have been marked with the blue flag, a mark that signifies clarity and quality of water.
You can finish the day with a walk through the historic Old town, and get familiar with centuries of history, different civilizations that used to inhabit this city, and the mesh they left behind, each adding something new and indigenous that belongs to their culture and integrating it into the city.
Not a bad day's itinerary.
But we are here to talk about excursions. Start with a boat ride across the Herceg Novi riviera. A half day excursion that will give you an insight to some of the most beautiful coves and peninsulas like Rose, Zanjice and Plava spilja.
First out of three locations you will visit is the settlement Rose. This secluded settlement is built in the spirit of the Mediterranean architecture and has a small pier and numerous restaurants. Wreck of a sunken ship and fortification object known as Forte Rose, fishermen, buoy and boats will leave you breathless. Rose are an ideal choice for enyojement in local cousine with an unforgettable view to the beauties of Herceg Novi.
Zanjice is a vacation spot most favored among locals. Its small sacral object hidden behind the fortress Arza and the island with the church of st Anna that you can easily swim to, will leave you breathless.
Plava spilja (Blue cave) is one of the most attractive, in a sequence of caves that are located on the Lustica peninsula. Its natural beauty will make you stare in disbelief. It got its name after an unusual blue color that forms during clear days when the sun rays reflect and bounce off its surface. This is due to the cave’s two openings. The cave is very resonant, so even a simple conversation turns into an echo.
Don’t forget to visit the new state of the art complex of Portonovi. Enjoy a walk trough this, now commonly known, as the second city center. Portonovi Montenegro is a world-class resort community with a state-of-the-art Marina. Envisioned on a human scale, this sophisticated nautical universe also harbors an iconic collection of villa’s and residences, set amid a constellation of high-end boutiques, vanguard gastronomic venues, and lively leisure offerings.
Once you get to know Herceg Novi, you can move on, to nearby destinations.
You can start with Kotor. The oldest city on the Montenegrin shore. One of those under the Unesco protection. A mere 45 minute drive away, but you can get that down to 30 if you have a heavy foot (Don't. Drive carefully). Once you get there you will immediately notice the walls that fortify the city. So iconic they got Kotor to the Unesco list of cultural wealth.Spend the day walking through thecities endless churches, cathedrals, squares, beautiful walkways, and finally taking a break from it all by sitting down for a cup of coffee by the sea.
After Kotor we recommend a tour across the Bay of Kotor. Visit cities of Budva, Tivat and Bar, each with its unique culture, architecture and tradition. Along the way you will see go through small but charming and filled with overwhelming beauty, cities of Petrovac, Canj and Sutomore. The proximity makes this trip doable in a single day, but we recommend you take at least two, to make sure you see it all. Budva is Montenegro's gem, a center for nightlife and spectacular beaches. We advise you visit this city during the summer nights, as then it is as vibrant and alive as you will come across pretty much anywhere else. Tivat became a popular tourist destination because of the Porto Montenegro, a newly built5 starresort and marina complex that attracts more and more people each year. Finish the mini tour with Bar. Another beautiful coastal city and another one, like Herceg Novi, that is surrounded by mountains.
Next, its time to leave the coast and go inland. Head north to the winter centers of Kolašin and Žabljak. Over the past few years a lot of emphases has been put into improving the infrastructure and making the whole ambiance more appealing to the visitors. New and improved ski tracks with accompanying content, with the addition of spectacular natural beauty surrounding it, can compete in level of enjoyment, with much richer and more famous ski centers.
Don't just go skiing. Montenegro has two national parks in the vicinity. Biogradskagora and Durmitor. Durmitor national park was formed by glaciers and is traversed by rivers and underground streams. Along the Tara river canyon, which has the deepest gorges in Europe, the dense pine forests are interspersed with clear lakes and harbors a wide range of endemic flora. Durmitor is a popular tourism destination, known for superb hiking, climbing, mountaineering and canoeing opportunities. The nearby town of Zabljak is Montenegro’s primary ski resort.Besides the extraordinary landscape beauty and the fascinating geological heritage, Durmitor National Park is also home to an impressive biological diversity. The river Tara's canyon stretched within Montenegro is protected as a part of Durmitor National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are rocky and pebbly terraces, sandy beaches, high cliffs, and more than 80 large caves along the canyon. The canyon is part of the Tara River rafting route. The one-day rafting route, from Brstnovica to Šćepan Polje, is 16 km long and it takes 2 to 3 hours. This part of the canyon is the most exciting because the river has the biggest drop in elevation in the shortest length. There are 21 out of 50 rapids in that part of the Tara. The rapids are Brstanovići, Pećine, the very dangerous Celije rapids and Vjernovički rapids. If one decides to go all the way, rafting adventure is 75 km long. At the beginning one will see the waterfalls of Ljutica, then you will pass under the 541 feet high monumental bridge of Tara. Next thing you can see on this exciting journey is the old Roman road and the Lever Tara. "FunjičkiBukovi" and "BijelePloče" will make you realise how calm and up to this moment nice Tara becomes a wild beauty.
The second national park you must visit is Biogradskagora.Park is in mountainous region of Bjelasica that is located in central part of Montenegro between Rivers Tara and Lim and is 5400 acres large and surrounded with mountains whose tops are over 2000 meters high and with nine glacier and one low land lakes, Lake Biograd. Seat of the Park is in Kolasin.
End the road trip across Montenegro with a visit to the capital, Podgorica, Museum of Njegoš,Skadar lake and the Ada Bojana.
Start your way back to Herceg Novi with a visit to the nations capital. Podgorica is becoming more modern each day, but has kept its soul and history. After you browse for a while, take a 30 minute drive to the Museum of Njegoš constructed on top of the Lovćen mountain. It is a shrine to one of the greatest rulers of Montenegro, Biljarda, the former residence of Petar II Petrović Njegoš, built according to the design of Jakov Ozereckovski in 1838, is a place for the visitor to truly sense the time, circumstances and conditions in which the great Montenegrin Prince-Bishop, poet and philosopher created his most important works. Over a whole century, the Montenegrins carefully preserved the legacy of Njegoš, to open a Memorial Museum in the bishop’s renewed residence in 1951.
Continue your way down and visit the Lake Skadar. A natural border between two countries, the biggest and one of the most beautiful lakes in the Balkans. Lake Skadar is presumably an ancient lake, although it is a relatively young ancient lake.The lake is located in Zeta – Skadar valley and is surrounded by mountains, and it’s 7 km away from Adriatic Sea.
After that, Ada Bojana is close by. The island is created by a river delta of the Bojana River. Legend says it was formed by gathering river sand around a ship sunk at the mouth of Bojana river, but it is more likely to be a delta in formation.It is a popular tourist destination, with 3 kilometers (2 miles) long sandy beach with traditional seafood restaurants. Ada Bojana is one of the premier kitesurfing and windsurfing locations on the Adriatic Coast with strong cross onshore winds during summer afternoons. Ada Bojana's main income is from Camping. The New York Times included Ada Bojana and Montenegro's South Coast (including Velika Plaža and Hotel Mediteran) in a ranking of top travel destinations for 2010 – "Top Places to Go in 2010".
For the final leg of the journey, you have to go abroad. Cities Dubrovnik and Trebinje are only 30 minutes from Herceg Novi and can be visited all in one day.
Dubrovnik - The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration program eco-ordinated by UNESCO. City walls, the main attraction of Old Town Dubrovnik with its complex system of forts, towers and detached forts, are the most important feature of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik as the symbol of the white stone beauty is now known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. It has retained the medieval walls so perfectly and that is the reason why Dubrovnik is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979. The City of Dubrovnik is completely surrounded with defensive walls and forts including the Old Port in length of 1940 meters (6365 feet ).The walls were built systematically during the centuries in times when there was a danger of foreign attacks lured over the Dubrovnik Republic and the City. The walls are still functional today thanks to Dubrovnik citizens who maintained them and built upon them when it was necessary and Dubrovnik diplomacy who was able to obviate the enemy threats to the Republic.
Trebinje is first mentioned in the X century. Its Mediterranean climate, with over 260 sunny days per year gives a unique warmth and docile look to the city and its inhabitants. Pleasant climate allows life to a variety of culture, that enrichens the cities tourism offer and appearance.
And that’s about it. We will leave it up to you to discover all the small places, spectacular viewpoints and charming villages that we haven’t mentioned. It’s the charm of every trip. Discovering something you did not expect, something that no one “warned” you about. And even though it’s a small city and a small country, believe us, they come in abundance.