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mistybleu Herceg-Novi - A travel report by Amanda
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Herceg-Novi,  Montenegro - flag Montenegro
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mistybleu's travel reports

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This is the kind of place you miss on the map. It doesn’t have any World Heritage sites or any iconic buildings or famous national parks, but what it does have is amazing views over the Boka Kotorska Bay.


The old town of Herceg-Novi
The old town of Herceg-Novi
Montenegro is one of the last undiscovered secrets of Europe, a country that is vast in natural beauty.

From 1918, Montenegro has been a part of the various versions of Yugoslavia and recently part of Serbia & Montenegro; however in May 2006 the country held a referendum and more than 80% of the voters wanted independence. So Montenegro declared independence on June 3, 2006 making it the newest fully recognised country in the world.

It is bordered by Croatia to the west, Bosnia and Herzegovina (northwest), Serbia (northeast), Albania (southeast) and has a southern coastline on the Adriatic Sea. Its capital and largest city is Podgorica, while Cetinje is designated as the old royal capital.

In 2007 it was estimated to have a population of 684,736 and some of the major towns are:

Podgorica (136k), Nikšić (58k), Pljevlja (21k), Bijelo Polje (16k), Cetinje (15k), Bar (13k) and Herceg Novi (13k).

Around Herceg-Novi and owing to its position on the Bay of Kotor, it contributes to the country boasting of 293km of coastline with some 117 beaches. The layout, precipitous mountain slopes descending to the sea resembles a fjord and just adds to the areas beauty. The best advice is to get up high to really appreciate the area.

Montenegro carries the same time as central Europe and the currency is Euros (€) which was a shock to me. I also found that many locals didn’t speak much English, but understood the universal language of Coke and beer.

Favourite spots:
St Ahangel Mihail Church
St Ahangel Mihail Church
There is only one road that lead’s you through town; first through the new town, then the around to outskirts of the old town and if you miss your turn off, you have to go all the way around and start again.

It is one of the newest coastal town in Montenegro and is in a perfect location less than an hour’s drive from Dubrovnik and on the mouth of Boka Kotorska Bay

The old part of town is interesting to explore, cut into the side of the mountain, you have to wonder up steps and across little alleyways. I think this is what makes it interesting, as you never know when the corner you’ve turned down will open up into a square, some church or just more steps.

The town dates back to the1300s and as a result you can see many different cultural influences that shaped the town.

What's really great:
The clock tower
The clock tower
I’m not sure I expected to see a difference between Montenegro and Croatia, as for such a long time they were part of the same country - the Kingdom of Serbia et al.

But I did notice some subtle difference, more high-rise buildings and the smaller red tiles on the lower ones. I’m sure there are many other differences but I was oblivious to them. The scenery, although very beautiful, was very much the same as the coast of Croatia.

The Herceg-Novi Riveria is made up of over 70 beaches and stretches from Njivice to Cape Macak on the Lustica Peninsula, with some of the most attractive/visited summer spots.

The Blue Cave (named as a result of the colour that is seen when the sun rays reflects off of the water’s surface.

Orjen is the highest mountain on the Adriatic coast and stands some 1895m; and also perfect for wandering around the marked footpaths searching for old Austro Hungarian fortress ruins.

Sights:
St Leopold Church
St Leopold Church
Kanli Kula – means Bloody Tower and originates from the Turkish period (16th century); it used to be a prison and in 1966 it was turned into a summer venue for performances. But it also offers great views of the Adriatic Sea.

City Clock Tower - was built in 1667 at the orders of Sultan Mahmud, during the Turkish rule. In 1995 the clock was replaced by an electric one and there is a sculpture of Black Madonna in the alcove.

Sea Fortress - was built in the period between the 14th-17th centuries. In 1952 it was turned into a summer movie theatre and later on into a discotheque.

Monastery Savina - is located 2 km east from Herceg Novi. It consists of two churches dedicated to the ‘Our Blessed Lady’; then there is the Monastery inn with a Treasury and the St. Sava church.

Also of interest was the Fortress Spanjola, Occidental Tower, Perast’s Gate and the ruins of the Citadel that now lies in the sea.

Accommodations:
Kanli Kula Tower
Kanli Kula Tower
Walking through the town I came across the tourist office; which is always nice to visit to get some extra information. I spoke to the gentleman and said that I was here for the day what should I do and see. He scurried off and came back with some leaflets. Now even though I said I was only here for the day he proceeded to tell me about the hotels and apartments in the area. He highlighted four in Herceg-Novi and one in Igalo:

Hunguest Hotel a 4* hotel and several 4* apartments - Apartmani Vila Stari Grad, Aparmani Vila Savina, Aprtmani Porobic.

Institu Igalo AD was his favourite and suggested I head to the spa for some treatments ‘ the mud has healing properties you know’, I’m not sure whether that was good or bad that he suggested it.

Restaurants:
Cafe views
Cafe views
I’m sure there are many restaurants here, but I didn’t try any; I did stop in a café to quench my thirst from the heat of the day. In the main square Nikeole Djurkovica Square there are many cafes as well as in Belavista Square; I counted at least 10.

A few restaurant were recommended including, Obala in the Plaza Institute Igola and Konoba Kruso, but tried neither.

I stopped in Rosa’s (I think that was the name) and it had a very lovely retro feel inside, but on the outside is where everything happens. During this time of year and continuing until late September eating and drinking is done alfresco style – out on the pavements so you can watch people pass by.

Other recommendations:
Over looking Kotor Bay
Over looking Kotor Bay
Herceg-Novi should really only serve as an introduction to Montenegro; continue around the bay for more significant and historical towns including:

Tivat – is considered to have the greatest amount of sunny days owing to its position. The climate is perfect for flora and faunas from around the world to be grown and its worth having a wonder around the Island of Flowers.

Kotor – the water of the bay is perfect for swimming in the summer months. The town situated on the slopes of Mount Lovcen at the very end of the bay and owing to its nautical traditions was added to the UNESCO list of world cultural Heritage sites.

Continue around the Mount Lovcen to the museum-town of Cetinje that has many churches, historical buildings, monuments and museums to explore. It really shouldn’t be missed.

Published on Sunday June 1th, 2008


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Sat, Jul 19 2008 - 01:45 PM rating by frenchfrog

Great report Amanda, as always!!
Glad you manage your trip away!
Another destination to add on my list!

Sun, Jun 22 2008 - 08:58 AM rating by bineba

As always 5*. Great descriptions and photos.

Sun, Jun 08 2008 - 04:17 PM rating by eirekay

Amanda, this is a marvelous report! You writing style is always a joy to read!

Sat, Jun 07 2008 - 12:36 PM rating by jorgesanchez

high quality report

Tue, Jun 03 2008 - 01:19 PM rating by magsalex

I think your report may have inspired a visit!

Mon, Jun 02 2008 - 09:31 AM rating by krisek

A good one, Amanda. I've been wanting to go to Montenegro for two years now, but still could not scrap enough time and effort to organise an escapade there. Thanks for sharing!

Mon, Jun 02 2008 - 08:43 AM rating by marianne

This is an excellent introduction to Montenegro. You made me want to spend some time in this country.

Mon, Jun 02 2008 - 05:55 AM rating by davidx

I remember this kind of view well but not the town. I love it when members see and tell of the delights of lesser known places. Thanks

Sun, Jun 01 2008 - 04:37 PM rating by louis

I really enjoyed reading your report. Great place, superb photos, a lot of informations - simply 5*

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