Sea and beaches

The Adriatic is a part of the Mediterranean Sea. The name Adriatic is of an Etruscan origin and was called Hardriatic according to their colony of Hadria. Later, the name of Adria started to be extended, whereas the name Adria is used today in many languages, for example in Italian or German language. It is lying between the Italian and Balkan peninsulas. It runs along the coasts of various countries. In the west, it is the coast of Italia, in the east the coast of Slovenia, Croatia, Bosna and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania. The eastern coast is extending from Gulf of Trieste in the north and in the south is leading into Otrant Lowland. The western shore of the Adriatic Sea (the Italian) has less broken relief, does not have the islands and its inland is covered by lowlands. The eastern shore (the Croatian) has a broken relief, there are many islands in a great part of the shore, almost along all the longitude. It has a broken relief.

Throughout the years the sea level has been gradually rising by about 2.5 mm annually, what for example in 400 years can be approximately 1 meter. The fact, that the sea level is rising, is confirmed by the flooded ports.

Geographical characteristic

The Adriatic Sea is about 500 miles (800 km) long with an average width of 180 km. It has an area of approximately 51.000 square miles (132 000 km2). This area comprises about one fifth of the Mediterranean Sea. The northern part of the Adriatic is shallow, the depth may reach only 23 metres (Gulf of Tert), towards the south the depth decrease by 1330 metres. Deeper part of the Adriatic occupies also the Montenegrin coast. The sea bottom descends abruptly here into so-called South Adriatic valley. It is 300 km long and 80 km wide. In the more distant and south-western parts of the town Herceg Novi, the Adriatic is deepest about 1330 metres. The sea bottom has a broken relief, its form is a result of tectonic processes, sea tides or erosion. The rough areas have been changing under the influence of the sedimentation and the process is slow and continual.

Sea currents

The sea currents are part of the Mediterranean currents. They arise due to the winds and pressure differences, temperature and salinity. Currents emerging from the sea bed are caused by the movement of sea water from warmer to cooler areas. The earth's rotation causes that the sea currents move counter-clockwise. The average speed of these currents is 7 km per day, but not all of them are moving at the same speed. The fastest sea currents are between Bay of Kotor and the island of Vis which flow by speed up to 13 km per day. The currents towards the north are the slowest ones, in the Croatian part of the Adriatic. The fastest flow is in the winter due to the south wind, the autumn currents are the slowest.

Sea animals and undersea world

There are about 100 fish species and about 280 species migrate here in particular seasons. Not only fish is angled but also other sea animals like crabs, poulps or sea shells. During the diving the tourists can see and admire beautiful coral reefs. The sea fishery in the Adriatic Sea plays a significant role.

High tide and low tide

The difference between the high tide and low tide is very small at the Adriatic Sea of Montenegro where this difference is less than 30 cm, very rarely it is more. On the northern coast for example next to Istria’s eastern coast, it is 80 cm, but it may be more than a meter. The sea level can be raised in some narrow canals by strong bóra (north-western wind from the mainland).


The waves are caused by the wind forces. A great surface is needed for creating huge waves together with the wind blowing. The power of the waves depends on the shape of the coast and its exposure to the wind, the surface waters are mixed with waters from the depths of the sea. Wavelength means the distance between the bottom of the two waves. The height of the waves in the Adriatic Sea is usually between 0.5 and 1.5 m, the waves higher than 5 meters are created very rarely.


The transparency of the sea water depends on a number of factors: evaporation, incidence angle of sunlight, salinity, cloudiness and others. In different parts of the Adriatic, the transparency varies to a great extent. The highest degree of transparency is above South Adriatic valley, where it reaches 56 metres. In the open sea between the cities Hercg Novi and Ulcinj, the transparency is around 50 metres. It decreases towards the north, it is also lower next to bigger cities and where the fresh-water springs are; the transparency reaches only 2 metres here.


The cleanness of the sea is influenced by the fact that there are no bigger industrial factories which are the biggest sea polluters. Moreover, there are no big cities which have negative influence on the cleanness of the sea. Tourism development has not had negative influence on the cleanness of the sea water so far. The cleanness of the water in the Adriatic Sea is excellent.


Salinity or saltiness of sea is an amount of the salt which is dissolved in one kilogram of sea water and is expressed in grams. The salinity of the Adriatic Sea is 38.30 per mill averagely. The highest salinity achieves in the south, in South Dalmatia valley, where the salinity reaches even 38.9 per mill in the depth of 130 metres. In Bay of Kotor, it is 38.7 per mill. In the northern part of the Adriatic, the salinity is from 20 to 30 per mill. The salinity is different in particular season, the highest salinity is by the end of August and in early September, lowest in the spring and by the end of the autumn.


An average annual temperature of the water is 18.9°C. The coldest sea is throughout the winter, when the temperature is about 13°C. The coolest water is in February. In the spring, the sea becomes warmer and in the summer, the temperature reaches around up to 22°C to 25°C, in the south may also reach 27°C. In greater depths, the temperature is mostly constant throughout the year.

Average sea temperature

MonthWater °C
January 13.0
February 12.5
March 13.9
April 16.1
May 20.4
Jun 23.7
July 24.4
August 25.1
September 23.8
Oktober 21.3
November 18.2
December 14.8


The winds of the Adriatic Sea are bura, jugo, maestral and nevera. Bura blows from the northeast, especially in the later autumn months. It is a cold and gusty wind which causes huge waves.

Jugo is rather frequent in the autumn, throughout the winter and springtime brings a rain. This wind is not very strong in the mainland, but on the sea creates even 6 metres high waves.

Maestral is a wind coming from the western and south-western side- from the sea. It is a pleasant fresh wind which brings the freshness during the summer heat at the hottest hours. The maestral makes the heat at the Montenegrin coast more bearable. It gushes mostly by the end of the spring and in the summer when it gushes every day. It starts to blow between 2 pm and 3 pm, it is a daily wind. It is very significant for people who are fond of water sports as windsurfing and yachting which can be practised thanks to this wind. Nevera is a wind with short Prussian storms and without constant direction. It is a strong wind, but lasts just a short time.


The Montenegrin coast measures 293 km of which 73 km are beaches, sandy beaches comprise 33 km. The coastline has the four main rivieras: The Tivat Riviera, The Kotor Riviera, The Ulcinj Riviera and The Bar Riviera. Each of them has a lot of beautiful beaches.

Ship transport

Ship transport is of primary importance for all states lying on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. The possibility of the marine transport means lower expenses as for transport of goods in comparison with other types of transportation. Nowadays, 80% world exchange of goods is done by sea. Ship transport is also ecologically friendly. As for passenger transport there other important kinds of means of transport. Large excursion boats are quire significant, they are cruising all the world oceans and seas. The most important ports at the Adriatic coast are: Terst, Venice, Koper, Rijeka, Split, Ancona, Bar, Bari, Durres. Recently, an importance of the Adriatic Sea has been growing in the field of tourism which represents exceptional share in the Foreign Exchange Management of the Republic.

Weather in Montenegro


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