Risan: the secluded charm of Montenegro

On our journey throughout the coast of Montenegro, 30 minutes from Herceg Novi into the Bay of Kotor we are stoping in Risan. Founded as a small but beautiful village, Risan traces its origins to the ancient settlement of Rhizon, the oldest settlement in the Bay of Kotor. Lying in the innermost portion of the bay, the settlement was protected from the interior by inaccessible limestone cliffs of the Orjen mountain, the highest range of eastern Adriatic, and through several following narrow straits in the Boka Kotorska from the open sea.

The earliest mention of Rhizon dates back to the 4th century BCE, as the main fortress in the Illyrian state where Queen Teuta took refuge during the Illyrian Wars. Five mosaics are the most valuable remains of that period - not only for Risan but also for Montenegro.

The best-preserved one shows Hypnos, the Greek deity of dreams. It is the only known image of this kind in the Balkans. The second Risan Bay archaeological locality is the Lipci Rock. The drawings could not be exactly dated, but some people believe that they date back to the very beginning of the 8th century BC, which would be the Bronze or the Old Iron Age, while others link them too much older periods.

From May to October you are most likely to experience good weather with pleasant average temperatures that fall between 20 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius in Risan, a captivating destination to be in that time regarding Montenegro. On average, the warmest month(s) are June, July and August. It can be accessed by bus and car from Kotor (20 min drive) and Herceg Novi (35 min drive).

Risan is 25 km from Tivat airport, It is 18 km from Kotor Old Town, and it represents a place where you have your peace and calms with the fantastic charm of the Adriatic coast.

Montenegro is booming, and with the explosion of mega-resorts, one can’t help but believe Risan’s ramshackle days are numbered.

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