Category Archives: Events and active tourism

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Montenegro Wine Tour

If you love wine and want a unique holiday  then you should not miss going on one of  the wine tours on offer in Montenegro.
It is not widely known that Montenegro, apart from its beautiful seaside and mountain villages, also boasts regions that are famed for producing exceptional and world-renowned wine varieties. France, Italy and Portugal have for many years been building credibility as top tourist destinations thanks to wine tourism. The many scenic regions of our country are perfect for enjoying this type of tourism. The mild Mediterranean climate, the composition of the soil and the favorable location provide ideal conditions for cultivating vineyards and growing grapes. The best-known grape-growing areas are Crmnica, Nahije, Komani, Bjelopavlici and other wine-producing villages around Lake Skadar. Montenegrin wines are produced from various types of grape, including Krstač, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Vranac.

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n 2010 and 2011, signage was put up and the “Wine Roads” of Montenegro were fully marked out. A tourist map of the wine tours can be picked up in local tourist offices in any town in Montenegro, at hotel receptions and in travel agencies. If you like an active holiday, the Wine Roads offer you a chance to visit wine cellars, taste wines, walk through the vineyards and even take part in grape-picking. Wine can be tested, tried and purchased in wine cellars, while some wineries also offer accommodation, so visitors can get the complete experience, learn about the history of the winery, see wine being made and of course enjoy the finished product.

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UNESCO / Durmitor National Park

Many will be familiar with destinations from the UNESCO World Heritage List such as the Taj Mahal in India, Machu Picchu in Peru, the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, the Grand Canyon in Colorado and Lake Bled in Slovenia.  But did you know that also on UNESCO’s list of world natural and cultural heritage sites is Montenegro’s biggest national park, Durmitor? Durmitor National Park encompasses the Durmitor chain of mountains and the canyons of the Tara river with their 1,500 plant species and 130 bird species. The Tara River Canyon has been declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve, and there are also the Draga and Sušica canyons, the Komarnica canyon valley and a great many mountain-tops – 48 of them exceeding 2,000 metres above sea-level. There are also 18 glacial lakes that have been dubbed the Gorske Oči – the Eyes of the Mountain. Along with hundreds of other destinations the world over, this park has been specially selected for protection by the United Nations Organisation for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). The park is of inestimable value to all of humanity as a centre for the development of Balkan flora, with features of both alpine and arctic and, on the southern slopes, in the canyon valleys, thriving sub-Mediterranean and even Mediterranean vegetation, while the lakes are a focal point for plant life more typical of the Siberian taiga. The mountain meadows and pastures, the deep fissures, rock gardens, scree slopes, melt waters, peat bogs and freshwater habitats are what makes this part of south-eastern Europe so valuable, and incomparable to anywhere else in the world.

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Durmitor National Park extends over 39,000 hectares, with 20,000 hectares under UNESCO protection after its inscription in the World Heritage list in 1980. Durmitor also comprises the highest-altitude town in the Balkans – Žabljak, located at 1,456m above sea-level and surrounded by no less than twenty-three peaks more than 2,300m in height.
German geographer Kurt Hassert said,
“Among the mountain giants of the south-Slavic countries, the most powerful and most magnificent is Durmitor”.

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Photography lovers will attest to the fact that the combination of mountains and lakes makes for some of the most beautiful, natural subject matter. Durmitor National Park is an inexhaustible source of inspiration from which some of the most beautiful works of art have sprung, and the very name Durmitor has some interesting stories associated with it. It is told that the word Durmitor is of Romanic origin, from the Latin word dormitorium – it was from this word that the Italian word dormitorio came, or dormire, meaning to sleep.  When they were advancing into this territory the Roman legionaries are said to have asked themselves whether perhaps the mountain was sleeping. Another etymology of the name Durmitor dates back to the time of the Celts. According to this version the name is derived from the Celtic “water from the mountain” – dru-mi-tor, which many find a more likely explanation.

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Some notable peaks dominate, setting the rhythm for all the others. The most striking are: Bobotov Kuk – 2,523m, Bezimeni Vrh – 2,487m, Minin Bogaz – 2,387m, Međed – 2,287m, Savin Kuk – 2,313m, Ljeme – 2,455m, Planinica – 2,330m, Crvena Greda – 2,175m and Pruta – 2,393m. The Austrian explorer Oscar Baumann was the first to scale the highest peak of Durmitor – Botovo Kuk – at a height of 2,523m, and his thoughts, written in “First Steps in Ciro’s Cave”, are still quoted today: “To our east stretched a deserted valley in the karst, full of rocky debris and snow drifts … while on the other side we were greeted by the green landscape … [A]ll was glistening beside Lakes Skrcko and Malo, which looked like two dark blue eyes”.

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In its unbelievably deep and picturesque valleys, beneath the mountain slopes, surrounded by rich plant life, Durmitor conceals eighteen glacial lakes or, as the locals calls them, the Eyes of the Mountain. Mentioning just a few of them, there are Modro, Zminje, Vražje, Riblje and, certainly the best known, Crno Jezero (the Black Lake) which is frozen over in winter but in July and August reaches water temperatures of twenty celsius or more.
This mountain range offers ideal conditions for active holidaying all the year round – hiking, biking, angling, mountaineering and snowshoeing – but Durmitor also offers opportunities to get to know its cultural and historical heritage with visits to sites preserving prehistoric remains dating back to the time of the Illyrians, as well as the Romans. A variety of cultural influences have left their mark in the form of various characteristic structures. The Illyrians left tumuli, or burial mounds, while characteristic of the Roman period are stone bridges, standing stones and caravan trails that can be found in this region. Necropolises with their stylised tombstones, the ruins of Turkish bridges and watchtowers along the old Montenegrin-Turkish border, the remains of the ancient fortification of Pirlitor above Lever and the three monasteries in the Tara valley, at Dobrilovina, Dovolja and Đurđevića Tara, raised between the 15th and 17th centuries – all bear witness to a thriving mediaeval world here.

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Seven areas of the Durmitor National Park are subject to special protection schemes, each with their own specific characteristics: the old-growth spruce and fir forest in the Mlinski Potok valley, the stands of black pine at Crni Podi in the Tara canyon, the Black Lake with its nearby forest, the Skrčka lakes valley and the immediate area of the Sušica canyon, the Barno Jezero lake with its immediate surroundings, the Zabojsko Jezero lake with surroundings and the area along the Tara river canyon.
Do you want to discover and enjoy the beauty of world heritage? Durmitor National Park is a destination you should not miss – just look at how magical the Black Lake is in winter.

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Explore the amazing Adriatic old town of Herceg Novi

Fortress, small squares, old churches, narrow streets, exotic vegetation – all features of the town of Herceg Novi. Situated at the very entrance to one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Kotor), it abounds in historical and artistic heritage, unique and varied flora and day trip that are destinations surrounded by nature and suitable for visits all the year round due to the exceptionally mild, warm climate. The average annual air temperature in Herceg Novi is 16 degrees centigrade.

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Whether you are coming from East or West, as you turn off the main highway into the centre of town itself, the first thing to greet you will be the magnificent Kanli Kula fortress. It is often said that the fortress, owing to its size and position, rules over the town. It dates from the 16th century, and like most of Herceg Novi is built of stone, with thick walls and towers. Kanli Kula is known across the Adriatic as a fantastic summer theatre stage, into which it was adapted in 1966. Every summer evening Kanli Kula is the venue for all kinds of concerts, film events and more besides. During the day visitors can tour the walls and enjoy the splendid view over the town for only €1 – the price of the entrance ticket. From here you can take the most beautiful photographs of the city and of the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Descending the steps from Kanli Kula to the main town square, Nikola Đurković Square (previously called the Salt Square), our gaze alights on the Sahat or Sat Kula (the Clock Tower).

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The old clock at the top of the tower long withstood the rigours of time, only being replaced in 1995 with a new, electric one, and has always been one of the hallmarks of Herceg Novi. Built in 1667 during the time of Turkish rule, this tower, with steps running through it, is unusually positioned, and this fascinating structure has served as the main entrance to the town ever since it was built. The square is home to numerous cafes, banks, clothes stores and bookshops. Nearby is also the town market, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables every day, mostly home-grown, as well as freshly caught fish from local fisherman.

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As soon as we get to the bottom of the steps from the main square, through the Clock Tower, we come across a second Old Town square called Belavista, meaning “beautiful view”. Belavista Square is dominated by the Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel Michael, unique for its stone iconostasis. The Old Town square is a jewel of architecture. The water fountain in the centre of the Belavista Square was recently reconstructed and is a real attraction for tourists.

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You can get down to the town promenade and beaches via any number of narrow passageways and steps. One of the most interesting is the passageway from Belavista  Square through Marka Cara Street (named after the writer) and the Catholic churches of St. Jerome’s (with its rich treasure-store) and St. Leopold Mandić’s. In this street lives a veritable dinosaur among trees – a Gingko biloba that has found its place amongst the numerous palms and seaside plant life.

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This passageway will also take you to the 15th century Forte Mare fortress by way of a symbolic little bridge that connects the fortress with the Old Town. Built on a rock, it rises steeply above the shore itself, towering over the Town Beach and the harbour (the Škver). At the lower side of Forte Mare there is a door that leads from the promenade to the top of the fortress, built into the walls themselves, and the upper door is also known as the Sea Door (Porta di mare) The Forte Mare Fortress is visible from all around and, as its name suggests, is a true sea fortress. Beginning on 1st July every year, films are shown here, turning it into an open-air cinema under the starry sky – a unique experience. It can be toured between 7 am and 7 pm every day. Tickets for individual visitors are €2 and €1 per person for group visits.

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Descending to the Pet Danica Promenade, if we look towards the eastern part of town we can see the Citadela fortress. Standing in the sea itself, connected to the town centre by its walls, this tower was built during the time of Venetian rule. The earthquake which struck Herceg Novi  in 1979 completely demolished this fortress, the old walls of which still lie in the sea.

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If you decide to head in the other direction, toward the town harbour and the open-air water polo pool, you will see the Railway Station on your right, now wonderfully renovated as a tourist facility. This was a unique railway station in view of the fact that it was built on the very shores of the sea, next to the town harbour.

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Little-known is the fact that trains once ran in the Boka along the Pet Danica Promenade and that the main station was in Zelenika, a few kilometres along the coast . The railway was officially opened on 16th July 1901 when the first train arrived in Zelenika carrying high officials of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled the Bay of Kotor at the time. The railway station building in Herceg Novi was built in 1934 thanks to the much-respected mayor of the time Mirko Komnenović. It was built of stone and reconstructed and reopened in 2005.

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From the terrace of the “Station” there is a view of the small marina and lighthouse, where fishing and tourist boats and yachts moor. The Škver, as it is popularly known, is the best place to rent a craft or hop on one of the small boats that take trippers to popular spots around Herceg Novi that are most easily accessed by sea. In the summer months, when the town is very busy, Rose, Mamula and Žanjice are three not-to-be missed destinations, offering natural beauty, historical sights and a relaxing atmosphere.

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Not only is Rose a beautifully-preserved little Mediterranean village, it is also one of the oldest settlements in the region.It is mentioned as far back as the 4th century by the name of Resnium. Around Rosa, both on land and in the sea, there are some very important archaeological sites. A great many divers come here to explore underwater and to tour the old shipwrecks from times gone by that lie on the sea bed. Rosa is also home to a very well-known diving camp. Alongside the beach, where there are several restaurants, there is the old Forte Rose fortress where there is also a restaurant and tourist amenities.

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The little rocky island of Lastavica on which the Mamula fortress stands is set on the sea route to Žanjice, at the very mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Although the Mamula fortress has a dark history it is an impressive sight. It is one of a series of important fortifications (together with Arza and Prevlaka) constructed by the Austro-Hungarian army in 1853 in order to defend the mouth of the bay. It was symbolically named after the Austrian general Lazar Mamula whose idea it was to raise a fortress on the island. Its remarkable architecture makes this fortress one of the most attractive in the Adriatic. The entrance to the fortress is on the north-eastern side of the island, where there is also a drawbridge. Although difficult to access, the site should not be missed, both for a tour and for some swimming in the summer months.

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If we continue towards the open sea we will reach the Žanjić beach, one of the most popular in Montenegro. This beach is special because of its crystal clear sea, naturally white pebbled beaches and ancient olive groves growing right next to the beach. You can take a look inside the Church of St. John, dating back to 1881 and located in the olive groves just a few steps from the beach. There you can hear the interesting story about this church and the idyllic location that is Žanjice, or take a stroll through breathtaking natural surroundings to the nearby Mirišta beach.

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TAJNA-ĆEMOVSKOG-POLJA-1

Montenegro Wine Tour

If you love wine and want a unique holiday  then you should not miss going on one of  the wine tours on offer in Montenegro.
It is not widely known that Montenegro, apart from its beautiful seaside and mountain villages, also boasts regions that are famed for producing exceptional and world-renowned wine varieties. France, Italy and Portugal have for many years been building credibility as top tourist destinations thanks to wine tourism. The many scenic regions of our country are perfect for enjoying this type of tourism. The mild Mediterranean climate, the composition of the soil and the favorable location provide ideal conditions for cultivating vineyards and growing grapes. The best-known grape-growing areas are Crmnica, Nahije, Komani, Bjelopavlici and other wine-producing villages around Lake Skadar. Montenegrin wines are produced from various types of grape, including Krstač, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Vranac.

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In 2010 and 2011, signage was put up and the “Wine Roads” of Montenegro were fully marked out. A tourist map of the wine tours can be picked up in local tourist offices in any town in Montenegro, at hotel receptions and in travel agencies. If you like an active holiday, the Wine Roads offer you a chance to visit wine cellars, taste wines, walk through the vineyards and even take part in grape-picking. Wine can be tested, tried and purchased in wine cellars, while some wineries also offer accommodation, so visitors can get the complete experience, learn about the history of the winery, see wine being made and of course enjoy the finished product.

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Life is Better on an Island

The post below was originally written by Mila Bozic and published on Sep 10, 2016.

Don’t we all dream of heading off to a new, scenic location where we can make the best use of the remaining summer sun and immerse ourselves in myriad shades of blue? The end of August is the perfect time to explore. The summer is still warm, but with an ever-present breeze, and sometimes the waves are just asking to be followed. We boarded the boat at the city port in Budva and set off on an adventure. The destination: the largest island in this part of the archipelago, the island of Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas). The locals also call it Školj, or “shell”, because its shape resembles that of a seashell. And, as we all know, every shell has a story…

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The fascinating cliffs running around the Old City led us to the famous cave, in which the deep blue waters lured us to dive in and explore the underwater world.

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One kilometer (0.6 miles) separated us from a dreamy, tropical destination and complete tranquility. The journey around the island, getting to know its past, and the deposits of sedimentary rock, reminded us of how short and fleeting the human lifespan is. The high cliffs with their colorful green vegetation descended precipitously, deep into the sea, and in between them narrow layers of white pebbles could be glimpsed in the shadows of the rocks here and there.

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We discovered these small, natural beaches from the sea, and they enticed us with their perfection. The entire island of Sveti Nikola is two kilometers (one mile) long, and the highest cliff on the island stands at 121 meters (397 feet).

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The island was named for the Church of St. Nicholas, which dates back to at least the sixteenth century. Three large beaches with beach bars are popular, with many small beaches around the island only accessible from the sea. We decided to swim to one and found the combination of the dramatic rocks and the peculiar settlement surrounded with lush vegetation, as well as the crystalline, turquoise waters, unusually appealing, and we decided we wanted to return as soon as possible.

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Krašići and a La Dolce Vita vacation

Mountains are invigorating, lakes are romantic, and towns are rich with fascinating artistic and historical heritage, but the place where we all really want to go for our summer vacations is the seaside. The choice of destination for a summer vacation will primarily be based on the quality of the beaches and the sea. Krašići in the Bay of Kotor is one place that fits right in with this idea of a perfect break.

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Situated just 12 km from the Tivat airport, in a small bay of the same name, nestled among the foothills, Krašići is a popular summer destination and holiday resort for both local inhabitants and international visitors alike. They are all in search of their own La dolce vita vacation. We might also call it a sweet escape from reality – one of those rare few charming, dream-like places that offer a peaceful haven and a relaxing, natural ambiance during the hot summer months.

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Since the Krašići coastline is only three kilometers long, and relatively easy to get around on foot, a bicycle or vehicle, you will have a chance to note the differences between Old and New

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Krašići. Along the shore in Old Krašići, you can see the authentic old stone houses, formerly primarily fisherman’s houses, while in the new part, luxurious, modern buildings predominate.

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The view from Krašići is unique due to the Bay of Tivat being the largest of the inlets within the Bay of Kotor, but this is not the only thing that makes it special. It offers the most beautiful view of the Krtoli (or Priestly) Archipelago with its three islands (Miholjska Prevlaka, also known as the Island of Flowers, Sveti Marko – St. Mark’s island, and Gospa od Milosti – Our Lady of Mercy island), which no other town can boast. These islands are jewels of the Mediterranean, abounding in history and lore, especially Miholjska Prevlaka, which was the seat of the first Zeta episcopacy (founded in 1219 by St. Sava).

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The sea water in this bay is always warmer than in other swimming spots because it is very shallow, especially in the direction of Solila.  The atmosphere of Krašići is distilled in its beaches, beach bars and on the terraces of its restaurants. The summer heat is best conquered with a cocktail, a fresh aroma rising from a dinner plate, or a healthy dose of ice cream. If you plan to visit the Krašići hinterland, a more rural vibe is available through walking tours and an excursion called the Tastes and Aromas of Luštica, during which you can delight in a panoramic view of the entire bay from the top of a hill. If you prefer to remain on the coast, an excursion to two large beaches on the open sea—Plavi Horizonti and Žanjice—is a must, just a ten minute drive from Krašići.

The Beach at Krašići

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Autumn and Montenegro travel

Yellow, red and golden colors predominate in autumn, and why miss this magical time of year in Montenegro when it is perfect for experiencing adventure? The best time to travel is often said to be between September and November, and it is not different in Montenegro. The beautiful weather, the sunny days and the cool but still-mild evenings are perfect for 4×4 safaris, photo safaris, mountaineering or simply hiking the mountain trails, visiting cultural and historical sites with our tour guides or exploring bays and concealed beaches. Here you can bathe since the average temperature of the Adriatic Sea is still 23 °C in October. For visitors who want to spend their days in complete relaxation of body and soul, we can recommend one of the spa and wellness hotels offering a variety of treatments, massages, saunas, refreshing pools or relaxation in a whirlpool bath in beautiful mountain or seaside surroundings.

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What are the advantages to traveling to Montenegro in autumn?

Prices of flights and accommodation are lower.
Roads, cafes and restaurants are significantly less busy.
You can visit one of the numerous festivals and other cultural events in Montenegro.
You can tour several destinations, towns and visitor attractions when there are no crowds.
You can travel and spend time outside in light clothing, without the summer heat.
You can enjoy autumn foods and the fruits of the harvest.
You can best experience daily life and authentic local culture.

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Birdwatching in the Tivat Solila

An ornithology trail has been opened in the special Tivat Solila birdwatching sanctuary, with two bird hides.
The close proximity of the sea and the well-preserved geological features of this lagoon make it especially attractive for birds. The shallow saline water, abouding in marine life, and its silt bed rich in benthos, draw water birds to feed, overwinter and stop off during autumn and spring migrations. 47 water bird species have been recorded at Solila, of which 4 species are permanent residents, around 35 overwinter there and 6 probably nest there. Including other bird groups – songbirds, birds of prey and others – 111 species have been recorded at Solila to date. However, this list is by no means complete, since every year several species new to that habitat are registered.
To date 526 bird species have been recorded in Europe, which means that the number of bird species present in this lagoon comprise more than 20% of the European total, which is no small amount.
Of special importance are at least 11 species from Annex I of the EU Birds Directive, as well as a number of internationally endangered bird species, such as for example the pygmy cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus).

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Special plant and animal reserve

Because of its importance for the survival of plant life otherwise rarely found along the 800km eastern Adriatic coast, and as a habitat for numerous threatened species of amphibians, reptiles and birds, in 2007 Solila was placed under protection as a special plant and animal reserve, the first of its kind on the Montenegrin coast and the first protected area of any kind on the coast since 1968, when a large number of beaches were put on the list.
Solila is an Emerald site under the Bern Convention and an IBA (Important Bird Area) in Montenegro.

Help the birds

Artificial nests (bird-houses) are primarily occupied by birds that nest in hollows, in trees or rock crevices. The best way to protect these birds is by preserving as many natural hollows as possible – and if not we can provide man-made ones. This is a good way to attract a great many birds into our orchards and gardens where we can easily watch their everyday activity.
Winter is a time of selection, when only the toughest survive. All of the birds that overwinter in our region are adapted to frost and the cold. Opinion is divided as to whether birds should be fed in winter or not. In a preserved, natural environment, in which birds can easily find food for themselves, supplementary feeding is unnecessary in biological and conservation terms. In environments in which natural food sources are lacking (for example in artificial environments, populated areas etc.), supplementary feeding of birds is worth considering. Feeding stations need only be used while snow is on the ground. Seeds needs to be kept dry and grain trays kept clean. Water, bread and salted food should not be given. The most suitable foods are sunflower seeds, oats, corn and other grains.
During dry times of year it is more important to provide birds with drinking stations than with food. Water can be supplied in purpose-made containers or any other kind of shallow dish. Care should be taken that water containers are not too deep.

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5 Destinations That you Should not Miss in Montenegro

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1. Perast – a unique town, guarded by UNESCO and by the affection of all those who have spent time there. It is thought to be the oldest human settlement in the Bay of Kotor – the remains of a Neolithic culture (3500 BC) and archaeological finds are evidence that the site where the town stands has been settled since Illyrian, Roman and early Christian times, right up to the present day. Perast is best depicted by its numerous important buildings – fortresses, churches, residences and museums testify to the turbulent history of this region, and to the rule here of Napoleon, the French, the Austrians and other conquering nations. Two small islands, called Our Lady of Škrpelj and Saint George’s, face Perast in the bay, lending the town a special charm and authenticity.

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2. Mirišta and Plava Špilja – the former, an island close to Herceg Novi, on which the 14th-century Presentation of the Most Holy Mother of God monastery is situated (some even say it dates from the 11th century), the latter the “Blue Cave”, a unique natural feature on the Luštica peninsula. Two exceptional tourist attractions of this town which are well worth visiting. The entrance to the Blue Cave is guarded by cliffs reaching up to 40 metres above sea level. The deep blue emanating from the waters in the cave leaves visitors speechless.

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3. Porto Montenegro Tivat – the most luxurious marina in the Adriatic. It has been built to receive mega yachts but also smaller sailing boats. This modern tourist complex was built to the highest architectural and engineering standards, whilst retaining Mediterranean charm and warmth. The marina is designed to provide fun and relaxation, with everything you could ever need all in one place, from numerous international restaurants, cafes, organic food shops, clothes shops offering top international fashions, pools, galleries and museums – everything you need for a quality holiday. The combination of quality service and the magical setting will afford you an experience that rivals any of the elite European tourist centres.

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4. Sveti Stefan – the islet and the town sitting atop it. Once a fishing village situated on a rock just off the shore, connected to it by a narrow isthmus, in the seventies and eighties Sveti Stefan (Saint Stefan) became a famous resort for the world’s rich and famous. Famous actors, artists, kings and princes from all over the world have come to holiday in this magical seaside village, including, notably, Sophia Loren, who has been a frequent guest.

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5. Biogradska Gora National Park
Between the rivers Lim and Tara, in the middle of the Bjelasica mountain range, is the Biogradska Gora National Park, and within it, one of the last three European old-growth forests.This area has been protected since 1878, when it was encompassed by the so-called King’s Reserve – a gift to the then-king, Nikola. In the very heart of the forest, at 1094m above sea-level, is the Biogradsko Jezero lake. Its unique turquoise colour comes from the dense forest reflected in its waters. The woods are home to 86 tree species, many of them protected (incidentally, the Biogradska Gora National Park harbors 20% of all species endemic to the Balkan Peninsula). Nature-lovers can enjoy walksamong spruce, firs, beech, elm, oak and linden, while bird-watchers will want to look out for eagles and kites in flight. Large mammals include deer, chamois, bears and wolves. No less than 80 species of butterfly can be seen here too – 40% of all the species present in Montenegro.

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Explore the amazing Adriatic old town of Herceg Novi

Fortress, small squares, old churches, narrow streets, exotic vegetation – all features of the town of Herceg Novi. Situated at the very entrance to one of the most beautiful bays in the world, the Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Kotor), it abounds in historical  and artistic heritage, unique and varied flora and day trip that are destinations surrounded by nature and suitable for visits all the year round due to the exceptionally mild, warm climate. The average annual air temperature in Herceg Novi is 16 degrees centigrade.

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Whether you are coming from East or West, as you turn off the main highway into the centre of town itself, the first thing to greet you will be the magnificent Kanli Kula fortress. It is often said that the fortress, owing to its size and position, rules over the town. It dates from the 16th century, and like most of Herceg Novi is built of stone, with thick walls and towers. Kanli Kula is known across the Adriatic as a fantastic summer theatre stage, into which it was adapted in 1966. Every summer evening Kanli Kula is the venue for all kinds of concerts, film events and more besides. During the day visitors can tour the walls and enjoy the splendid view over the town for only €1 – the price of the entrance ticket. From here you can take the most beautiful photographs of the city and of the mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Descending the steps from Kanli Kula to the main town square, Nikola Đurković Square (previously called the Salt Square), our gaze alights on the Sahat or Sat Kula (the Clock Tower).

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The old clock at the top of the tower long withstood the rigours of time, only being replaced in 1995 with a new, electric one, and has always been one of the hallmarks of Herceg Novi. Built in 1667 during the time of Turkish rule, this tower, with steps running through it, is unusually positioned, and this fascinating structure has served as the main entrance to the town ever since it was built. The square is home to numerous cafes, banks, clothes stores and bookshops. Nearby is also the town market, where you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables every day, mostly home-grown, as well as freshly caught fish from local fisherman.

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As soon as we get to the bottom of the steps from the main square, through the Clock Tower, we come across a second Old Town square called Belavista, meaning “beautiful view”. Belavista Square is dominated by the Orthodox Church of the Holy Archangel Michael, unique for its stone iconostasis. The Old Town square is a jewel of architecture. The water fountain in the centre of the Belavista Square was recently reconstructed and is a real attraction for tourists.

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You can get down to the town promenade and beaches via any number of narrow passageways and steps. One of the most interesting is the passageway from Belavista  Square through Marka Cara Street (named after the writer) and the Catholic churches of St. Jerome’s (with its rich treasure-store) and St. Leopold Mandić’s. In this street lives a veritable dinosaur among trees – a Gingko biloba that has found its place amongst the numerous palms and seaside plant life.

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This passageway will also take you to the 15th century Forte Mare fortress by way of a symbolic little bridge that connects the fortress with the Old Town. Built on a rock, it rises steeply above the shore itself, towering over the Town Beach and the harbour (the Škver). At the lower side of Forte Mare there is a door that leads from the promenade to the top of the fortress, built into the walls themselves, and the upper door is also known as the Sea Door (Porta di mare) The Forte Mare Fortress is visible from all around and, as its name suggests, is a true sea fortress. Beginning on 1st July every year, films are shown here, turning it into an open-air cinema under the starry sky – a unique experience. It can be toured between 7 am and 7 pm every day. Tickets for individual visitors are €2 and €1 per person for group visits.

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Descending to the Pet Danica Promenade, if we look towards the eastern part of town we can see the Citadela fortress. Standing in the sea itself, connected to the town centre by its walls, this tower was built during the time of Venetian rule. The earthquake which struck Herceg Novi  in 1979 completely demolished this fortress, the old walls of which still lie in the sea.

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If you decide to head in the other direction, toward the town harbour and the open-air water polo pool, you will see the Railway Station on your right, now wonderfully renovated as a tourist facility. This was a unique railway station in view of the fact that it was built on the very shores of the sea, next to the town harbour.

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Little-known is the fact that trains once ran in the Boka along the Pet Danica Promenade and that the main station was in Zelenika, a few kilometres along the coast . The railway was officially opened on 16th July 1901 when the first train arrived in Zelenika carrying high officials of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled the Bay of Kotor at the time. The railway station building in Herceg Novi was built in 1934 thanks to the much-respected mayor of the time Mirko Komnenović. It was built of stone and reconstructed and reopened in 2005.

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From the terrace of the “Station” there is a view of the small marina and lighthouse, where fishing and tourist boats and yachts moor. The Škver, as it is popularly known, is the best place to rent a craft or hop on one of the small boats that take trippers to popular spots around Herceg Novi that are most easily accessed by sea. In the summer months, when the town is very busy, Rose, Mamula and Žanjice are three not-to-be missed destinations, offering natural beauty, historical sights and a relaxing atmosphere.

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Not only is Rose a beautifully-preserved little Mediterranean village, it is also one of the oldest settlements in the region.It is mentioned as far back as the 4th century by the name of Resnium. Around Rosa, both on land and in the sea, there are some very important archaeological sites. A great many divers come here to explore underwater and to tour the old shipwrecks from times gone by that lie on the sea bed. Rosa is also home to a very well-known diving camp. Alongside the beach, where there are several restaurants, there is the old Forte Rose fortress where there is also a restaurant and tourist amenities.

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The little rocky island of Lastavica on which the Mamula fortress stands is set on the sea route to Žanjice, at the very mouth of the Bay of Kotor. Although the Mamula fortress has a dark history it is an impressive sight. It is one of a series of important fortifications (together with Arza and Prevlaka) constructed by the Austro-Hungarian army in 1853 in order to defend the mouth of the bay. It was symbolically named after the Austrian general Lazar Mamula whose idea it was to raise a fortress on the island. Its remarkable architecture makes this fortress one of the most attractive in the Adriatic. The entrance to the fortress is on the north-eastern side of the island, where there is also a drawbridge. Although difficult to access, the site should not be missed, both for a tour and for some swimming in the summer months.

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If we continue towards the open sea we will reach the Žanjić beach, one of the most popular in Montenegro. This beach is special because of its crystal clear sea, naturally white pebbled beaches and ancient olive groves growing right next to the beach. You can take a look inside the Church of St. John, dating back to 1881 and located in the olive groves just a few steps from the beach. There you can hear the interesting story about this church and the idyllic location that is Žanjice, or take a stroll through breathtaking natural surroundings to the nearby Mirišta beach.

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