No wasted journey: Herceg Novi

By Rob Packer

It might not look far on a map, but the journey from Herceg Novi, the first Montenegrin town you’d arrive at from Croatia, to anywhere in Montenegro takes far longer than you think it should at first glance. The reason is quite simple: the indentations on the Bay of Kotor are enormous and the road hugs the shoreline. After the 2-hour journey from Budva, I quickly started to think that those were two hours wasted: Herceg Novi’s old town is decent enough, but nothing compared with Kotor, Dubrovnik, Hvar or any of the other towns I’ve visited on this trip. With a this-had-better-be-worth-it attitude, I stormed off to the Savina Monastery, an Orthodox monastery supposedly founded in the 13th century (reports differ). It was more than worth it: the monastery complex is made up of two churches dedicated to the Assumption: the larger one is newer with an enormous iconostasis, but the real gem is the smaller—and older—one, which is covered with fantastic frescoes.

The journey was more than worth it.

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