Standing at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor like an eager host, Herceg Novi (Херцег Нови) welcomes visitors with bright bouquets, sparkling seas and almost-constant sunshine. Can’t find the party? Look down; it’s all happening in Stari Grad (Old Town), a few dozen wonky steps below the main street. Though its shiny squares, elegant churches and formidable fortresses are centuries old, they’re brought to life by the buzz of clattering cafes and the sound of pianos drifting from the windows of music schools. Further down, pebbly beaches and concrete terraces offer access to the bay’s best – and cleanest – swimming. Follow the pedestrian-only promenade and you’ll hit Igalo, famed for its therapeutic mud.
‘Novi’ means ‘new’, and while this is indeed one of the newer towns on the bay, it’s no spring chicken; the city was founded in 1382. ‘Herceg’ refers to Herceg (Duke) Stjepan Vukčić, who fortified the town in the 15th century; the most dramatic of the remaining fortifications are a little younger.