Ancient Risan dates back to the 2nd century BC. The city was founded by the Illyrians, more precisely by the Illyrian tribe Rizoniti, after which the present-day Risan is name (Risinium). Risan was the center of Illyria's maritime trade, the city also had its own money forge, which testifies to the great wealth of this city.
By 229 B.C. Risan was the capital of Illyrian Queen Teuta. Teuta was a beautiful but dangerous pirate queen. The most famous saying about Teuta was: “Teuta had divine beauty, she was wiser than a serpent and braver than a lion. She had a man's heart in her woman's chest. "
After the death of her husband Agron, Teuta inherited the throne. She built a castle on Gradina Mountain above Risan, the remains of which can still be seen today.
Teuta lost her throne in the battle with the Romans, who were invited by the Greeks because they could not overpower the powerful queen on their own. According to legend, the wise queen, who did not want to surrender to the Romans alive, committed suicide by jumping into the sea from a cliff above Risan. Teuta’s last words were: "I would rather die than put myself into the hands of Roman commanders."
Legend has it that, before committing suicide, Teuta hid all Illyrian riches deep in the bowels of the hill near Risan, with the help of her subjects. Archaeologists are still looking for this treasure even today. During one of these “treasure hunts”, they discovered an underground lake in Risan, which is connected to the city by canals. They also discovered Illyrian coins, precisely 4650 King Balajosa’s metal coins, a gold ring and the remains of Hellenistic houses. Today, in the underwater, in front of Risan, there is a large number of Amphoras (Amphora is a symbol of the city of Risan), which Illyrians used to transport oil from Ulcinj to Kotor and beyond. Amphoras are protected by law in Montenegro. Some of them can be seen in museums all over Montenegro, but it is certainly not allowed to move Amphoras from the sea, it is punishable by law. Also, in Risan, it is possible to see the remains of the Old Risan which “sank”, as well as old houses and remains of a sailing ship.
Risan had the greatest economic growth during the Romans. Today it is possible to visit Roman mosaics from the 2nd century BC. The most famous of all is a mosaic with the image of the dream god Hypnos.
Risan was under the rule of the Venetian Republic for a very short time, which is why the architecture of this city is completely different from the architecture of the cities of Kotor and Perast.
In the Middle Ages, Risan was an integral part of Travunia. In 1376, Risan belonged to the Duke of Zeta, George Balasic, while in 1491 it fell under the rule of Dubrovnik. At the end of 1593, the city was surrendered without resistance to the Ottomans. Therefore, even today there is an old Turkish street in Risan, and there used to be several mosques as well. During Napoleon wars, Risan frequently changed rulers, alternating between Austria, Spain, Russia and Austria-Hungary.
It is assumed that in Risan there is a city below the city, and the most famous archeological site is called "Carine".
Risan population today predominantly works in the tourism sector.
In Risan there is a special hospital for orthopedics, neurosurgery and neurology "Vaso Cukovic", and also Grabovac nursing home, which was until recently the only institution for the care of the elders in Montenegro.
The first public library in Montenegro was founded in 1835 here in Risan.
Perast is home to some of the most beautiful palaces along the Adriatic coast. This is the city of steep stone streets, flower giards, the city of churchs, the city of closed jalouisies, tncredible islands of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks, the city of legends, seafaring and glorious captains. Least, but not last, Perast is home of the famous Peras Cake. This old baroque city has attracted many writers, poets, actors and painters with his charm. Intoxicated, they become in love with this little miracle located on the Adriatic shore.
Risan is the oldest settlement in Boka Kotorska. It is located at the northern point of the bay. Risan is an ideal place for holidays for young people, but also for families with children, because this village is never crowded even during the summer season. The most important tourist attractions in Risan are Roman mosaics from the third century BC, Monastery Banja, the church of St. George and the church of St. Peter and Paul. On the hill Gradina above Risan, there are the remains of the old Illyrian castle.
Boka Kotorska or simply Boka (in Italian Bocce di Cattaro) is the largest bay of the Adriatic Sea. It consists of four bays: The Bay of Herceg Novi, Tivat Bay, Risan Bay and Kotor Bay. The length of Bokakotorska Bay is 116 kilometers. The maximum depth of the bay is 60 meters. Boka Kotorska is the only fjord in the Mediterranean, surrounded by high mountains Orjen and Lovcen. There are countless small fishing villages and 3 major cities in the bay: Herceg Novi, Tivat and Kotor, as well as 7 islands: Mamula, Our Lady of Mercy, Vedvedje, Saint George, Our Lady of the Rocks and the Island of Flowers. There are also two peninsulas here: Luštica and Vrmac.
Kotor is a medieval old town known as Montenegrin Venice. Kotor is one of the best preserved old towns and is located in one of the 25 most beautiful bays in the world. The town is 13 centuries old, but on the site of present-day Kotor, people settled much earlier. Surrounded by grandiose walls, intertwined with old cobbled streets where tourists gladly "get lost", it is a favorite port for big cruisers and tourists from all over the world. Kotor is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tivat is the youngest town on the Montenegrian coast. It is located in the Bay of Boka Kotorska, only 10 kilometers from the city of Kotor. Tivat is home to a famous training ship "Jadran", which in the most beautiful way decorates Tivat waterfront. There are various legends about how Tivat got the name. Some say that Tivat was named after the Illyrian Queen Teuta, who ruled from the neighboring town Risan, but had her summer residence in Tivat. The second assumption is that Tivat is named after a Christian saint Theodorus. What is perhaps the most realistic story is that the name Tivat comes from the Celtic word "teoto", which means „the city“.
Herceg Novi is a place of steps, sea and walls, a city of sunlight and flower gardens. It is situated at the entrance to the bay of Kotor, 51km from Dubrovnik and around 43 kilometers from Kotor. As one of the sunniest cities in the Adriatic, it is the first to greet guests who venture into the bay of Kotor, surrounded by the tall Orjen mountain, and beautified by lush greenery and mimosas, palm trees and the open sea. Herceg Novi is home to many tall palm trees brought in by sailors from their distant destinations, but is also home to magnolias, eucalipus and agave.
Budva is surely one of Montenegro’s most famous and expensive holiday destinations. Known as the Queen of the Mediterranean, as well as the Monte Carlo of Montenegro, this city is rightly considered the capital of Montenegrin tourism. The city is famous for its historical district, once controlled by the Republic of Venice, but also for its modern night clubs, casinos, luxurious villas and hotels, but, most of all, it boasts the best night life experience in Montenegro. The Budva Riviera stretches over a distance of 25km, each step covered by some of the most beautiful sandy beaches Montenegro has to offer.
Bar is a pier town with an open sea view, located 60km from Kotor and 30km from Ulcinj. It is famous for its large number of olive trees, olive oil, Turkish coffee, its old fortress overlooking the city, for the only railway line in Montenegro that passes just next to the sea shore, for the Bar pier, the Bar-Bari ferry. In addition to this, the town is renowned for its history, the diversity of ethnicities and cultures that populate it, and for its rich tradition. Bar boasts beautiful open sea beaches, coves and clear, blue water.
Podgorica is the capital of Montenegro, located in the very center of the country. It is the main economic, trade and university center with the largest number of inhabitants of any city in the country, with over 200 thousand inhabitants. Podgorica is situated at the foot of Mount Gorica, and the local people also call it “the old lady”.
At the foot of the Lovćen mountain, located 670 meters above sea level in the karst field of the same name, lies the once-capital of Montenegro, Cetinje. With its many churches, museums, monasteries and embassies, the city is dubbed “Museum City”, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in Montenegro. with its turbulent history of warfare and destruction, the city will lure all who look at it in with its unavoidable beauty and energy. Cetinje is the city of Montenegrin rulers, metropolitan bishops and kings, as well as the city of bravery and valiance, which is exactly what all Montenegrins are known for.
Ulcinj is located at the very edge of the Montenegrin sea shore, near the Albanian border, and is the souternmost city in Montenegro. Ulcinj is one of the oldest cities in the Adriatic, with a history dating back more than 2000 years. It was always a place where different cultures met, the Oriental and Western mostly, which makes its cultural and historical diversity even richer and all the more interesting even today. Ulcinj is home to Montenegrin paradise on earth, the Ada Bojana, a 13km-long sandy beach, where some of the most beautiful sunsets can be seen. As a border town, Ulcinj’s populace is diverse, with the majority of inhabitants being of Albanian descent. This means that it is as likely to hear Albanian as it is to hear Montenegrin in the city.
Durmitor is located in the north of Montenegro, a 5-hour drive from the seaside. A short drive through the beautiful landscape takes you from the sea to the mountainside, a lake, as well as colder and cleaner air. Durmitor and Žabljak are popular tourist destinations all year round. The cold winter, when skiing is particularly popular, summer, when tourists bathe in the Black Lake and walk along the mountain, and spring, when forest flowers on the slopes of the Durmitor mountain display their most beautiful colors, are all great opportunities to visit the mountain. Žabljak and Durmitor offer everyone enjoyment and fun activities.
The Skadar Lake is the largest lake in Montenegro and in the Balkans. The lake takes up a surface area of around 369,7 km2, 221,8 of which belong to Montenegro, and the remaining 147,9 to Albania. The length of the lake, measured between Vranjine in Montenegro and Shkodra in Albania, measures around 40 kilometers. The lake is a cryptodepression, which means that its depths are beneath sea level. The lake’s deepest point measures around 6 meters deep. The Bojana river starts in the Skadar Lake, ending its journey in the Adriatic Sea. The Skadar Lake is rich in flora and fauna, as well as islands, cultural monuments and beautiful, pure natural wonder. In 1983, the lake and its surrounding area became a national park.