Herceg Novi is a well-known resort on the Montenegro Adriatic coast not far from the boundary with Bosnia and Croatia. The city is situated in the picturesque Bay of Kotor at the foot of Mount Orjen.
Herceg Novi was founded in 1382 by the Bosnian lord Tvrtko I and soon became an important center of the salt trade. The modern name of the resort stems from the title of Duke Stjepan Vukshich during whose reign the settlement became a full-fledged city. In 1466 the Republic of Venice offered to exchange Herceg Novi on the island of Brac and the palace in Split but the Duke refused.
Herceg Novi is famous not only of its marvelous beaches but also the opportunities for recreation. The resort town of Igalo is situated not far from Herceg Novi. Igalo is known all over the world due to its curative mud and mineral waters. There is even an Institute of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in this small town.
Herceg Novi is sometimes called a “botanical garden of Montenegro” because a huge amount of rare trees and shrubs grows in its parks.
Beaches in Herceg Novi
Beach Zanjice is located in the village of Zanjice on Lustica peninsula. It is also known as the President’s beach because in the middle of the XX century it served as a personal beach for the President of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito. The length of the equipped beach coast is about 300 meters. The coastline is covered with light pebble but there are also short sections of concrete slabs.
Beach Njivice is located near the Croatian border and refers to the eponymous tourist village in the Herceg-Novi community. The resort beach is divided into several sections, the purity of which is supported by the nearby hotels. The main part of the coast is covered with a mixture of pebbles and sand. Several concrete platforms, typical for the Kotor Bay beaches are installed here too. The water is very clear and warms up quickly due to its small depth, that’s why it’s a favorite place of tourist families with young children.
Herceg Novi central beach is represented by a strip of gravel and sand not far from the town center. It’s a popular destination at the resort. The site is well equipped for a pleasant rest. You can rent sun loungers and umbrellas or make use of the places free of charge. Cafes, restaurants and grocery stores are within the reach of a hand.
Dobrec beach is a picturesque narrow coast of the Lustica peninsula. The length of the strip equipped for relaxation is about 70 meters. Infrastructure and cleanliness of Dobrec beach were awarded at the international level with the prestigious Blue Flag. Beach is covered with small pebbles and its area is surrounded by the abundant Mediterranean vegetation that gives a lot of shade in summer. You can stay for free with your own towel on this beach. You can also make use of a small playground with sunbeds and parasols, standard locker rooms, showers and toilets. There is even a private rescue service that monitors the safety of tourists on the water. The most common and fastest way to get to the beach is on boats from Herceg Novi. You can also get there by car from Kotor, Tivat, Bigova and Budva.
Transport Opportunities in Herceg Novi
Since Herceg Novi is quite small in size, the main movement within the resort area which also includes the neighboring towns of Igalo and Kumbor is made on foot. Local buses and motor boats are used to travel on longer distances.
Herceg Novi bus station is located on the road above the Old Town and is the main starting point for trips to the other Kotor Bay resorts, the Montenegro Adriatic coast cities, the capital Podgorica and the neighboring Croatia.
Blue Line company is the main bus carrier in Herceg Novi. The tickets may be purchased only at the box office of the station. They cost from 3 to 15 €. The timetable of the bus station Herceg Novi can be found on a local website.
Popular Places to Visit in Herceg Novi
Apart from a beach rest, there are many other attractions in Herceg Novi and the surrounding area.
Kotor Bay boat tour costs about 20 € per person and includes nutrition and visiting of several islands. The speedboats usually depart from the central pier. The tickets may be purchased in advance in the tourist centers of Herceg Novi. You can also choose a shorter trip on the smaller boats for 8 €. These boats make trips along the coast and it’s not necessary to buy tickets in advance.
Blue cave is a very popular tourist destination in Herceg Novi. It’s a spacious grotto situated inside a cliff. It is better to plan the trip to the cave in a sunny weather. Then the sun the rays penetrate deeper into the cave, are reflected by the sea water and the arches acquire a nice bluish color. You can get to the Blue cave having ordered a boat excursion.
It’s highly recommended to visit the ancient Orthodox monastery Savina which is only 2 kilometers away from Herceg Novi in the Kotor direction. The place is very nice, quiet and relaxing.
Fortress Kanli Kula is the main attraction in Herceg Novi. This powerful fortification was built in the XVI century. The wall thickness in some places is up to 20 meters. The fortress is located on a hill which provides a splendid view of the entire city. Due to its location, Kanli Kula frequently was the scene of fierce battles.
Fortress Spanjola is one of the most interesting architectural monuments of Herceg Novi. The fortress was built in the XVI century by the Spaniards. A few years after the construction the Ottoman Empire captured these lands and Spanjola passed a radical reconstruction becoming a truly impregnable bastion. After several decades of the Austro-Hungarian rule, the Montenegrin state finally returned Herceg Novi and the Spanish fortress.
The sea voyage across the Bay of Kotor is one of the most popular excursions in Montenegro. During a high season excursion vessels depart several times a day from the dock in Herceg-Novi and sail along the coast. Tourists may enjoy the beautiful views and take photographs on the background of the picturesque green mountainous shores and recognizable houses with tiled roofs.
Herceg Novi bike rent firms offer their services on the embankment and in the center of the city. Mountain bikes with wide tires are mainly presented here.
There is also a modern tennis club in Herceg Novi. The fields are equipped with natural and artificial covering. You can participate in group trainings or order individual lessons. The necessary equipment may be rented in the club.
Festivals and competitions in Herceg Novi
Herceg Novi Flower Festival was originally held in 1969 in honor of the mimosa. People celebrate it until now. Mimosa grows literally everywhere in Montenegro. The blooming of mimosa means the beginning of spring, that’s why funny events are arranged all along the coast. For example, Kotor enjoys the regatta of rowing boats, while Igalo arranges costume balls.
Apart from this, during the festival you can enjoy the following events:
-colorful procession of majorettes
– a variety of contests, including those among fishermen
-theatrical, literary and musical performances
-special events for children
-art exhibitions. For example, Winter Salon in Herceg Novi brings together actors, sculptors and painters to communicate together and demonstrate their creations.
Entrance is an electronic music festival which takes place in August. It’s a significant event for the local fans of electronic music. You can receive a lot of unforgettable impressions and emotions visiting the event.
Herceg Novi Cup is a traditional sailing regatta of the regional level that is arranged in August.
Adriatic Parachuting Cup in September is held for several years and attracts a large number of fans of this extreme sport.
Winter days of culture in December include a festival of classic music which is attended by singers and orchestras from all over the country.
Shopping in Herceg Novi
When it comes to shopping in Herceg Novi, the city is a very good option. Prices are relatively low here, while the assortment is wide. In Herceg Novi you can purchase Serbian textile, Italian shoes and clothing, local olive oil, ham and cheese.
Prices in shops near the tourist attractions are usually extremely high. But when you move a little away from the main streets, the prices fall several times and are pretty acceptable. Generally, the prices are much lower here compared to the other resort cities of Montenegro. However, if you plan to please yourself with a true shopping, we recommend you to go to Podgorica. The choice is better there and the prices are several times lower than those in Budva.