With such a high number of sunny days throughout the year, and the bright yellow glow of mimosa trees, it’s easy to see why Herceg Novi has been dubbed ‘The City of Sun’. There will be many days where the only cloud in the sky will be around the tops of the high cliffs in the bay, so grab your sunglasses and make the most of the fantastic weather during your Montenegro holiday.
You’ll notice the bright yellow flowers of mimosa trees are in abundance throughout the town. So important are the blooms to the town that since 1969, a Mimosa Festival has been held in February to celebrate the flowers, as they represent spring and new beginnings. They’re so highly regarded, that the first mimosa flowering is reported in the local news. If you time your holiday in Herceg Novi to coincide with the celebrations, you’ll see bunches of the blooms around every corner throughout the town.
Herceg Novi is so welcoming that you may not instantly think of spending a day away from it but heading across the bay in a kayak or water taxi will reward you with stunning views of the coast, and the gems of nearby Rose. This tranquil little fishing village features whitewashed houses surrounded by grapevines and bougainvillea. It has a very Mediterranean feel, and with tempting clear waters and a quiet pebble beach, it’s a little slice of heaven. When you head across the bay, keep an eye out for the rusting wreck of one of the fishing boats that was partially sunk during a storm.
With its winding stone streets and pretty courtyards, the old town is a great place to spend the afternoon. Head up the flights of stone steps to Kanli Kula Fortress and the amphitheatre where you’ll be wowed by the views. It’s also worth noting that there’s a surprising number of ice cream stands in the old town – a particularly tasty way to cool off!
Set on hills amongst the forest just outside Herceg Novi, the medieval Savina Monastery boasts a setting that simply wows those who visit, with incredible views over Lustica and Tivat bay. Comprising three churches, there’s a variety of artefacts held here, including a crystal cross believed to have belonged to St Sava, after which one of the churches is named. More unusual is a silver-plated hand understood to belong to Queen Jelenas.
If you spend time in one of Montenegro’s coastal towns, expect seafood on the menu, and one Montenegrin highlight is black risotto. The black colour may be a little intimidating, but its subtle flavour of garlic, white wine, bay and nutmeg delights the taste buds, and some variations of the dish include squid. One thing to remember is the cuttlefish ink used to colour the risotto can also turn your teeth temporarily grey black – you have been warned!
Running six kilometres along the coast, from Igalo to Meljine, this is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll. The promenade is lined with shops, bars and cafés – perfect for a refreshing pit stop –and you can wander through the tunnels that have been carved through the cliffs or enjoy a swim from one of the swimming platforms. The walkway was named after five women heroes who died during World War II, all of whom were named Danica.
Towering over the Adriatic coast, Mount Orjen is a haven for those who like to get out and about in the great outdoors. If you like a little hiking, then head here in the summer months, but if you’re an avid skier, the slopes come alive in winter. You can either follow the trails leading from the Old Town or join one of the many guided tours around the area, which gives you a great insight into some of the plant, animal and bird species inhabiting the region.
For warm weather and smaller crowds, late spring and early autumn are the ideal times to visit Herceg Novi. Expect temperatures in the high 20s between July and August while the temperature tends to dip below 10ºC in the winter months.
British citizens don’t require a visa to enter Montenegro. For the latest information on travel regulations visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/montenegro/entry-requirements.
The currency is the Kuna (KUN).
The language spoken is Croatian.