Herceg Novi Travel Guide
Lying at the mouth of the Bay of Kotor, Herceg Novi languishes in Kotor’s shadow. However, Herceg Novi’s founding granted its more famous cousin the protection it needed to thrive over the years.
Come check out our Herceg Novi travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Herceg Novi, Montenegro.
While you are in the Herceg Novi area, make certain to pay the Fortress Spanjola a visit. As you can gather from the name, Spaniards constructed this place. They only had it for a year in the 16th century, though, before the Ottomans swooped in and took it.
They picked up where the Spaniards left off, sculpted it into the formidable citadel it is today. It saw action twice – when the Venetians defeated the Ottomans, and when Montenegrins defended it against Napoleon.
Today, this once-mighty fortress exists in a state of ruins. While some walls are crumbling and the grounds are overgrown with weeds, the views make a visit worthwhile. On a clear day, you can see Hvar, a Croatian island offshore. You can reach the site on a hike from town, but note that there is a 2 EUR to enter.
If you’re still in the mood to check out old military fortifications, head to Forte Mare next. Tvrtko I, King of Bosnia in the 14th century, ordered its construction to protect the Bay of Kotor. Immediately after its completion, the city of Herceg Novi grew up around it.
The Ottomans and the Venetians, who both held the fort at different periods, made additions to this sea fortress. Austrians carried out the last major renovation when they held Forte Mare in the 19th century.
Local authorities converted this fortress into a tourist attraction in the 1950s. Entrance costs a few Euro – from the ramparts, views of the Old City and the harbour are possible. On many summer evenings, the local arts council shows films on the side of the fort – check them out!
Those interested in religious points of interest will want to include the Monastery Savina in their itinerary. This complex contains three church buildings that the faithful built back in the 15th century. Today, they are tied to the Serbian Orthodox faith.
Inside you’ll find relics of note. Among them, you’ll find the Cross of Saint Sava, as well as items that once belonged to Empress Jelena. The frescoes that grace the interiors of these centuries-old buildings are also quite impressive.
If you’re lucky, you may get to do a wine tasting, as the monastery also produces several wines. Prices are relatively reasonable, with bottles starting from 1.50 EUR per bottle. Before leaving, take a stroll outside, as tranquil woods surround this complex.
If you’re in the mood for another religious site, check out the Church of Michael the Archangel. Sitting at the centre of Herceg Novi, its design reflects the history of this important city. This Serbian Orthodox Cathedral boasts Byzantine, Romanesque, High Gothic, and even Islamic influences.
Inside, its arches, made of Korcula stone, will impress, as will its frescoes. Feel free to light a candle and say a prayer. If you’re just there to look, that’s fine, too, but respect the faithful by acting and dressing appropriately.
While you’ll find the best beaches in Montenegro in Budva, it lies a fair distance away from Herceg Novi. Within city limits, Dobrec Beach will have to do. Truth be told, it’s a decent strip of pebbles – it’s just really small.
It’s also cut off from the rest of the mainland by mountains and thick brush. As such, you’ll need to take a boat from Herceg Novi. There are sunbeds available, but they are limited in number. Book ahead to avoid disappointment!
Take a day to stroll around the Old Town of Herceg Novi at a leisurely pace. Unlike Kotor, Herceg Novi Old Town is more authentic. Thanks to the former soaking up attention, locals still live in many of the Old Town’s medieval-era homes.
As a result, the overall experience is better, as you’ll run into actual Montenegrins in restaurants and shops. In the shoulder season, things get really quiet here, making it perfect for those who hate crowds.
After enjoying a fine Montenegrin meal, walk it off by strolling along the Promenade of Herceg Novi. All along its seven-kilometre length, you’ll find locals getting their exercise after a long day. If you tire at any point, stop at any of a number of cafes along the way.
Pay homage to a noble important to Herceg Novi by visiting the Monument to King Tvrtko I. In the 14th century, when this Bosnian King ordered the building of Forte Mare, he also founded Herceg Novi. All in all, it makes for a great selfie before heading onward to your next destination.