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Guide To Herceg Novi, Montenegro
Herceg Novi is a beautiful coastal town in Montenegro, at the mouth of Kotor Bay and right under the majestic Mount Orjen. Herceg Novi is an important tourist destination in Montenegro, famous for its healing sea mud and other spa and wellness facilities, perfect for a truly relaxing getaway. If you are planning a trip, a long vacation, or a short stay, then keep this guide to Herceg Novi handy. We will show you every place to see and all the things to do in Herceg Novi to have a blast! Read on!
Where Is Herceg Novi
The city of Herceg Novi is located on the westernmost area in Montenegro, a location that makes it easy to reach from other Balkan countries, especially from Croatia, or if you are touring the country, from any other point along the Bay of Kotor.
How To Get To Herceg Novi
Herceg Novi is located on the northern coast of Montenegro on the Adriatic Sea, very close to Croatia. If you are touring Montenegro, there is no problem reaching Herceg Novi from any point in the country as the city has good roads and convenient connections with the most important areas in Montenegro.
Herceg Novi is about 1 hour from Kotor, a bit more from other areas as you might need to use the ferry:
- Podgorica is about 2 hours and 15 minutes from Herceg Novi.
- Tivat and Budva are about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Herceg Novi.
More details here.
Herceg Novi is just 10 kilometers from the border with Croatia so it can be an interesting day trip from the neighboring country or a 2-3 day stop in your Balkan itinerary. Don’t forget to have your passport with you.
To reach Montenegro from Croatia, you can cross through the border on Karasovici (called Debeli Brijeg on the Montenegro side). This is the more important one and tends to be more crowded. As an alternative, you can cross at Vitaljina (Kobila on the Montenegro side).
The trip from Dubrovnik to Herceg Novi takes about an hour and a half, and it can vary according to the traffic, especially in summer.
It’s also possible to travel between Dubrovnik and Herceg Novi by bus. The service is available in summer, and the ticket is about €16. However, the most comfortable way to make the trip is with your own car or hiring a private transfer.
Important Things To Know About Herceg Novi
Herceg Novi is a quiet town at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, which proved a strategic location that attracted various civilizations over the centuries. In fact, the city was overtaken and ruled by as many civilizations as you can imagine, including the Ottomans, the Spanish, and the Venetians, but also the Russians, the French, Austro-Hungary, Serbia Army, Italy, Germany, and the former Yugoslav Republic.
All these occupations along different periods left a visible trace on the local culture, architecture and spirit.
Despite its turbulent past, the beautiful town of Herceg Novi is now a pleasant summer destination where families, couples, and friends come to relax and enjoy some wellness time by the sea. Near the area of Igalo, tourists enjoy visiting the mineral springs of Igalo, Igaljske Slatin, and taking advantage of Herceg Novi’s famous healing sea mud known as Igalo Mud (igaljsko blato).
Going To The Beach In Herceg Novi
If you’re planning to spend some time on the beach, it is important to know that there are no major sandy beaches along the coast; however, beaches can be reached by boat heading to the Lustica Peninsula. Several tour companies offer day trips to the area to visit different beach sites, including Miriste and Zanjic.
Although Herceg Novi is not really the main beach town in the country, it still remains a popular destination for a vacation, not only for its spa facilities but also because there are other exciting things to do in the area.
Places To See And Things To Do In Herceg Novi
The most famous tourist attraction in Herceg Novi is the Mare Fortress (locally known as Forte Mare). It was initially built by the 1st Bosnian king Tvrtko I, back in 1382. During the course of the years and according to who was ruling the country, it went under several transformations and reconstruction phases.
The fortress was originally a defensive position intended to protect the Herceg Novi from sea attacks. You can access the tower and discover the numerous passageways, ladders, and stairs in the beautiful stone complex during a visit.
Curious fact: The tower worked as a movie theatre back in the 1950s.
Old Town Herceg Novi
The small old town of Herceg Novi can be easily visited in a short time. It is not as big as Kotor’s Old Town, but it can be equally charming or even more.
Since it is not as big or popular with tourists, it is not really overcrowded, making the walk along the alleys really pleasant and never rushed. Besides, prices are not really high, making it a pleasure to get your Montenegro souvenirs in the area. In general, the old town covers a relatively small area and can be visited in much less than an hour.
The whole area is mostly pedestrian, with winding cobblestoned alleys, picturesque courtyards, small squares, tons of blossomed flowers in summer, and quaint little shops.
After visiting this ancient part of town, make your way up the steep stairs uphill to pay a visit to Kanli Kula, a huge tower of Ottoman construction, today an amphitheater overlooking the bay.
Extra tip: Once you’ve seen the old town, follow the signs above the old town to visit Savina Monastery for other impressive views over the bay and the sea.
The massive tower that stands over the old town of Herceg Novi is Kanli Kula, a name meaning bloody tower. This building, which is closely connected with the town’s past, was built by the Turks back in 1539. The tower was expanded and repaired in 1687 by the Venetians, subsequently becoming a prison during the Ottoman occupation, when it got its sad name still used today.
If you’re interested in the history of this small country, then you will undoubtedly enjoy a visit. You will be able to check the dungeons and even look out for the etched writings into the walls made by the former prisoners kept in the tower and check a well-preserved water cistern made by the Venetians.
The tower was afterward restored to host an open-air amphitheater. It currently seats over 1000 spectators, and — especially in summer — it hosts cultural events and festivals, such as film and music festivals, and an important Montenegro Opera Festival known as the Operosa. There is a small fee (€2) to access the tower, which is worth it, especially for the impressive views from the top.
Pet Danica, The Promenade
The local walkway known as Pet Danica Walkway is a 6-km long path that stretches from Igalo, through Herceg Novi, and into nearby Meljine. It is not necessary to walk its whole length, but in any case, it offers plenty of interesting sights, especially along the shoreline, as well as a variety of stalls selling fruit bars, but also beach restaurants and cafés where to sit and enjoy the lovely atmosphere.
During the walk, you will encounter many signs with stairways directing toward the beach; however, venturing down, you will most probably find concrete slabs or other kinds of platforms by the sea for people to lay down and sunbathe.
To enjoy the best of the area without tons of people around, it is best to visit the promenade during the day, during the hours in which people would typically be elsewhere, like the beach. At night, this favorite walk is a must for locals; therefore, it tends to be super busy.
Rose is a small but charming fishing village located across the bay. Several boats can take you there starting from the Marina of Herceg Novi.
Rose is a whitewashed village with beautiful vines and exotic bougainvillea flowers, adding a pop of color along the alleys. Walking along the small town is an excellent way to relax and admire the tranquil vibe of the place. Enjoy the day by sitting in a small al fresco or reaching the nearby pebble beach at the end of the town. It is an excellent place for a refreshing swim and also to enjoy some snorkeling as the water is very clear.
And if you love adventures and thrilling day trips, the best way to visit is to hire a kayak, an excursion available on several places located along the Marina. You can either hire a kayak and discover the area on your own or join an organized kayak tour for all the family.
Curious fact: On your way to Rose, you can check a former submarine shelter or explore a fishing ship’s wrecks sitting along the bay.
Herceg Novi has a few exciting attractions; Plava Spilja is one of them. Translating as the Blue Cave, this beautiful natural formation is located on the Lustica Peninsula and needs to be visited by boat. The trip won’t only take you to check the cave but also part of the surrounding area.
To do so, it is possible to join a guided tour departing from Herceg Novi by booking in advance or walking down to the harbor to check out a private tour, or, as with Rose, you can choose a kayak & snorkeling tour instead. Since these visits tend to include several stops along the way, it is an exciting opportunity to check Fort Mamula and other sights along the Bay of Kotor, such as Zanjice Beach and Mamula Island.
Zanjice Beach and Mamula Island
The same boat trip mentioned above will also include these two stops when sailing to reach the Lustica Peninsula.
Get to Herceg Novi Marina early to make the most of the day. There are several boats at different hours, but catching one early will allow more time to explore and less crowded experiences. The round trip will take you to Zanjice Beach, again the Blue Cave, and Mamula Island, and it will sail back to Herceg Novi in the afternoon. With some boat companies, it is also possible to request a stop in Rose, which could be a good idea if your time in Herceg Novi is limited and you want to see the most of it in only one day.
Zanjice Beach is a fantastic beach area featuring several pebbled shores and incredibly clear waters. Most of the place offers good organization – there are loungers and umbrellas to rent and dozens of fish restaurants and cafeterias by the sea.
Mamula Island is a former fortress and concentration camp that, with time, transformed into a beautiful resort, exclusive and a bit expensive, but dotted with pleasant shores and beaches. When visiting in an organized tour, you don’t really have plenty of time to explore as stops don’t last more than thirty minutes, but you can ask for an extension of that visiting time if you¡re on a private tour.
The ticket for the boat, which includes a visit to Zanjice Beach, Blue Cave, and Mamula Island, costs €15.
Where To Stay In Herceg Novi
Staying close to the main attractions is always a good idea as it makes it easy to explore the area and to join tours and day trips. It is also good because it keeps you close to essential shops, good restaurants, and entertainment.
These are some of the best hotels in town and nearby areas. They are divided into different budget categories, and all of them enjoy a convenient and safe location.
Remember also that it is always better to book in advance if you don’t want to miss an offer or a beautiful location. Booking in advance guarantees convenient fees and better rooms too!
Best Herceg Novi Budget Accommodation
Apartments Gvozdenovic is an accommodation located a 9-minute walk from the beach offering a seasonal outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden, and barbecue facilities. From the on-site terrace, you can enjoy beautiful city views. It is a perfect place to stay for families as it also features family rooms.
The rooms come with seating area and an electric tea pot, while some also feature a kitchen with a microwave, a fridge and a stovetop. Tivat Airport is 16.1 km from the property and they offer a paid airport shuttle service. More info:
Herceg Novi is a beachfront holiday rental home in Herceg-Novi, a few steps from Baosici Beach and under 10 km from Herceg Novi Clock Tower. The property offers accommodations with free WiFi, a private beach area, a lovely patio, and access to a private garden. There is also the possibility to take advantage of the on-site private parking area.
The units are fitted with air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen, and a flat-screen TV. Some units have a seating area or a terrace. The place is a bit more than 10 km from Forte Mare Fortress. More info:
Best Mid-Range Places To Stay In Herceg Novi
Apartman Taraca Villa Knezevic
Apartman Taraca Villa Knezevic is a beautiful place located a 5-minute walk from Igalo Beach. The property features accommodations with free WiFi, BBQ facilities, a garden, and free private parking.
There is also a patio, garden views, a seating area, a flat-screen TV, a fully equipped kitchen with a fridge, and a stovetop. Some units have a dining area or a balcony. There is also an on-site sun terrace while a car rental service is available at the accommodation. The nearest airport is Tivat, located about 27 km from the apartment. More info:
Palmon Bay Hotel & Spa
Palmon Bay Hotel & Spa is a beachfront hotel, a bit more expensive than the previous property but worth every extra €! The Palmon Bay features a swimming pool with gorgeous views of the Adriatic Sea. The property has a private beach with umbrellas and sun loungers.
All rooms include a furnished balcony overlooking the entrance to the Bay of Kotor. Additional in-room amenities include a minibar. Dining is available in the hotel restaurants and bars serving international and local cuisine and drinks.
There is also a spa and wellness center with saunas, a hot tub, and a hammam. Airport shuttle service can be organized upon previous request at a surcharge, and free parking is also available.
Best Top Accommodation In Herceg Novi
Boutique Hotel & Spa Casa del Mare – Mediterraneo
Boutique Hotel & Spa Casa del Mare – Mediterraneo is a 5-star hotel in Kamenari, about 10 km from Herceg Novi and only minutes from the nearest beach. It offers rooms with a sea view and a private beach area. All rooms include a balcony, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and a kettle.
Guests at Hotel Casa del Mare can enjoy a continental breakfast while the in-house restaurant serves a variety of Mediterranean and vegetarian dishes. It is also possible to rent a car, a motorcycle, or a yacht or participate in an organized excursion.
Lazure Hotel & Marina
Lazure Hotel & Marina is also a 5-star hotel overlooking Kotor Bay. It offers luxury accommodations just minutes from Herceg Novi. The resort features three restaurants and a wine bar. There are 24 rooms and suites in an eighteenth-century historical building, and there are more than a hundred rooms and suites located in a new modern residential building.
The hotel serves a vegetarian breakfast daily at the property. Guests can sample Mediterranean cuisine in one of the restaurants and a selection of the finest wines in the wine and lounge bar. Airport shuttles are available upon request at a surcharge.
Where To Eat In Herceg Novi
A perfect place located on the promenade if you’re into fresh seafood dishes
Location: Herceg Novi Promenade, steps from the Forte Mare Fortress
Ideal for a quick snack, serving sweet pies, coffee, and delicious crepes with fantastic sea views.
Location: Setaliste Pet Danica
Looking for a place to eat in the Old Town? Head here! The place is at the entrance of the old city, it’s a quiet location, and the dishes are really delicious.
Location: Trg BelavistaShare