Often referred to as the southernmost fjord in Europe, the Boka Bay is in fact a drowned river canyon. The high mountains that bend around the coastline protect the bay from the open sea and from the cold climate of the north in winter. This allows an abundance of Mediterranean vegetation to grow: agave, palm, mimosa, oleander, kiwi, pomegranate and medicinal herbs can all flourish in these temperatures.
The Bay is naturally divided into four smaller parts – Herceg Novi, Risan, Kotor and Tivat. Herceg Novi displays a fine combination of romantic, Byzantine and oriental architectural styles while Risan is known for the remnants of classical culture found there, dominated by the remains of a Roman patrician’s villa with beautiful mosaic floors. Kotor, a UNESCO protected walled city, is the old coastal and cultural centre which has withstood countless invasions over the centuries and now attracts a lively tourist crowd in summer for its splendid churches and squares.
Home to Porto Montenegro, Tivat is the heart of the coastline’s burgeoning tourism industry. Catering to its bustling nautical community with new restaurants, bars and cafés cropping up across town. Tivat also boasts numerous pretty nearby coves and the greatest number of sunny days of any town on the Bay.
Once the site of the Illyrian Queen Teuta’s summer residence, and later the seaside location of choice during Roman, Medieval and Venetian eras, Tivat’s deep-water harbour was transformed into an Austrian naval base at the end of the 19th century. While greatly expanded by Yugoslavia, elements of the original 1800s construction are still visible in the stonework along the waterfront today.