I’ve just returned from an incredible 5 day holiday to Montenegro and, as you probably already know, I totally fell in love with this gorgeously underrated country. I was based in Herceg Novi for all five nights. For British visitors to Montenegro, Herceg Novi isn’t usually the first choice to stay for their Montenegro holidays but, seriously, it was perfect!
In this blog post I’m going to tell you more about Herceg Novi, why you should visit and why I think it’s the perfect place to be based during your Montenegro holidays!
Herceg Novi isn’t as busy and crowded as other areas
There are plenty of beautiful places to stay in Montenegro but, in my opinion, Herceg Novi takes the biscuit because it’s beautiful but isn’t as busy and crowded as places like Kotor. You get more of a laid-back holiday vibe and you won’t need to worry about battling the crowds!
The price for accommodation can be cheap!
Because it isn’t quite as busy and crowded as other holiday destinations in Montenegro, this also means the prices are slightly lower. I’ve just been looking on Airbnb and I’ve found nice apartments in great locations for less than £20 a night for 2 people! For £40 a night I’ve found a waterfront studio in July (the peak season!)
As you can see, you can have a really affordable holiday in Montenegro if you base yourself in Herceg Novi. And if you want to splash out then that’s available too. I stayed at Lazure, which is one of the newest and most luxurious hotels in Herceg Novi and rooms start from around £140 with breakfast included in September (I was told September is the best time to visit Montenegro as the sea is warm, the weather is hot, but it isn’t too busy).
It’s only an hour to Dubrovnik Airport
Dubrovnik Airport is in the neighbouring country of Croatia but for many British visitors this will be the easiest and cheapest airport to fly into. There are loads of cheap flights to Dubrovnik with budget airlines (check out Skyscanner to see all your options in one place) and then it’s easy enough to cross the Montenegro/Croatia border and travel to Herceg Novi.
You could pre-book a taxi transfer for 45 euros but I’ve been told that if you pick up a taxi from the airport it’s about 25 euros. If you’re hiring a car, you could easily hire one from Dubrovnik Airport.
Travel Hack Tip: Google Maps says it’s 40 minutes from Dubrovnik Airport to Herceg Novi but in low season you’ll need to give yourself at least an hour (maybe 1 hour 30) and it’ll be longer in the peak summer season due to the queues at the border crossing. I hear the border crossing can be very busy in July and August and the general opinion from the locals I’ve met is to simply avoid coming during that time and stick to the shoulder seasons of May-June and September-October.
^Views across the vine yard in the grounds of Herceg Novi’s monastery
It’s an easy place to reach many of the main attractions in the area
I have a whole guide coming about where to visit in Montenegro but to give you an idea on travel times:
- Herceg Novi to Budva – 1 hour 30
- Herceg Novi to Perast – 45 minutes
- Herceg Novi to Kotor – 1 hour
- Herceg Novi to Tivat – 1 hour
- Herceg Novi to Lovcen National Park – 2 hours
And these are all stunningly beautiful drives. It’s not like you’re getting on a motorway and sitting in traffic. You’ll wind along the gorgeous Adriatic Coast in the Bay of Kotor and it’s simply jaw dropping.
^The beautiful town of Perast is just a short drive from Herceg Novi
There are lots of things to do in Herceg Novi
You won’t want to spend everyday of your Montenegro holiday driving somewhere different because there’s plenty to keep you busy in Herceg Novi too. The town is gorgeous with narrow streets to explore in the Old Town and forts dotted around the city. There’s a monastery, a winery, beaches, fortresses and great boat trips to take from Herceg Novi too.
Some of my favourite things to do in Herceg Novi included:
- A tour around Savina Winery
- A boat trip with Montenegro Outdoors
- Evening walks along the promenade
- Coffee stops in the sunshine
- A trip to Konoba Sikimic, a traditional village in the mountains
- A visit to Spanjolla Fort – there are lots of forts to explore in Herceg Novi but this was my favourite
^ A boat trip to the Blue Cave with Montenegro Outdoors was a definite highlight!
There are loads of lovely places to eat and drink
^Views from Admiral Club in Herceg Novi
It’s busy but peaceful
One of my favourite things about Herceg Novi has been how peaceful it is. But usually when we say somewhere is peaceful, it’s often quiet and there’s not a lot to do; Herceg Novi isn’t like that!
Herceg Novi is busy and bustling with plenty to see and do and loads of bars, restaurants and cafes, but the pace of life is very slow and peaceful.
^ The pretty down of Rose stole my heart!
The promenade is a highlight
A long promenade runs along the shore in Herceg Novi. It was one a train track but once the track was removed it was turned into a wide footpath. The promenade is a popular place for a walk with both locals and tourists. Not only is it a lovely, relaxing place but it’s also very handy to get around. My hotel was a 20 minute walk from the Old Town and the centre of Herceg Novi but having the promenade meant it was an easy and enjoyable walk. You could also hire a bike to make the journeys even faster.
^ The promenade runs for around 6km and is great for walking and cycling
The beaches are lovely
While Herceg Novi might not have much in the way of sandy beaches, there are plenty of pebble beaches to choose from. There are a few beaches that are concreted too and they have deck chairs and beach bars nearby. I wasn’t sure about pebble beaches at first but I actually really liked the ease and convenience of not being sandy!
You can park your car!
The best way to see Montenegro is by hiring your own car. Of course, you can get around without a hire car but this is by far the best way to see country. The only problem with hiring a car is that in some of the smaller towns it can be very difficult to park. Herceg Novi is a little bigger and there’s more space so you’ll find it easier to get a parking space near your accommodation!
^ The Church of Michael the Archangel in Stjefana Square
There are some of my top reasons to stay in Herceg Novi during your holiday to Montenegro. I’ve got lots more posts about Montenegro coming over the next few days so keep your eyes peeled!
Disclaimer: My trip to Montenegro was a press trip but, as always, all thought and opinions are my own.