If we knew there could be so many wonderful issues to do in Kotor, Montenegro, we might have come right here ages in the past.
Throughout our transient travels across the Balkans, we rapidly fell in love with simply how distinctive and completely different every nation is.
Serbia was surprisingly pleasant, and we regretted solely having an opportunity to see Belgrade and never any of the opposite gorgeous locations across the nation.
Bosnia and Herzegovina stole our hearts. A nation nonetheless therapeutic from the atrocities of latest battle, the folks welcomed us with smiles and open arms.
Sarajevo turned our favorite capital metropolis within the space, and Mostar was exceptionally lovely. It’s honest to say we had been in constructive spirits after we moved in the direction of our subsequent vacation spot.
After we crossed the border into Montenegro we had excessive hopes. The tiny nation spreads from the coastal plains on the Adriatic Sea by means of karst landscapes and into the Durmitor Mountains within the north.
For such a small nation, it appears to pack loads in, and it was evident as soon as we began to take a look at all of the issues to do in Kotor.
a map we struggled to provide you with an itinerary that might do the place justice. We solely had every week to discover Montenegro and we knew it will not be sufficient.
However we needed to begin someplace, and the seaside city of Kotor appeared pretty much as good of a spot as any.
The fortified partitions of Kotor, with a big artwork show sitting on the sting.
These Rattling Balkan Drivers
We organised a switch from Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina over the border to Kotor by means of Hostel Kotor (which can be a candy place to remain! E book your lodging at Hostel Previous City Kotor right here).
At solely 5 Euros greater than the general public bus, it will save us hours and be a way more environment friendly means of getting into Montenegro, with out having to undergo Croatia.
Having handled greater than our justifiable share of dodgy border crossings, we had been joyful handy over the additional money for comfort. And all was going nicely, till we had been concerned in a automotive accident solely 15km from Kotor.
Coming round a nook the individual in entrance of us jumped on the brakes all of a sudden to drag right into a lookout level. Our driver expertly averted a collision, however not earlier than the driving force behind us slammed into the again of our automotive.
In all equity it wasn’t as dangerous because the bus crash we had in Myanmar, and no one was injured. However we had been warned concerning the horrible highway situations and poor driving expertise discovered within the Balkans and it appeared as if the warnings had been true.
After an hour on the aspect of the highway ready for the police to indicate up and fill out a report, we lastly headed off for the ultimate stretch to Kotor. And rattling it was well worth the wait!
The woman that bumped into the again of us. Not so dangerous in spite of everything.
The Absolute Finest Issues To Do In Kotor
Quickly we rounded a nook and the Bay of Kotor revealed itself in all her splendour. Glistening below the noon rays, the bay stretched round precipitous black peaks and a jagged shoreline, lined with purple roofs and stone church buildings.
Alesha and I had been speechless. The Bay of Kotor was extra lovely than we ever may have imagined.
Our driver dropped us off about 2km up the highway from the Previous City of Kotor and we headed to our AirBnB (get $35 off your first stick with that hyperlink) to satisfy up with our mates Michael and Randi from Simply A Pack.
That they had been within the metropolis for every week already and couldn’t cease raving about what to do in Kotor.
The solar rapidly set and we headed into the Previous City to take a look at the nightlife.
The slim alleyways twisted between medieval sandstone buildings and actually was like stepping again in time (in addition to the horrible techno music blasting from the bars). After a couple of overpriced beers we known as it an evening.
Looking over the Bay of Kotor.
1) Excellent Perast
The following day we had a tour of Kotor’s hottest sights deliberate with M Excursions. We met up with our information Sandra and jumped in a minivan to move again across the Bay of Kotor.
Our first vacation spot was Perast, a tiny village nestled on the sting of the bay and famend to be one of the lovely locations in Montenegro. As quickly as we arrived it was straightforward to see why.
Streets of Perast.
Perast has stood for over 1000 years, and has confronted quite a few sieges throughout the previous couple of centuries. First the Byzantine Empire held management over the tiny city, adopted by the Serbians, Hungarians, French, Austrians and ultimately as a part of Yugoslavia.
Regardless of all this it has remained as one of the picturesque spots alongside your entire Adriatic Sea, and at the moment vacationers flock to the cobblestoned streets to seize the essence of its medieval environment.
We wandered by means of the village, admired the church buildings and soaked up the ambiance earlier than leaping on a small boat to the Bay of Kotor’s different star: Our Woman of the Rocks.
Boats docked in Perast.
One of many church buildings in Perast.
2) Marooned On Our Woman Of The Rocks
Simply off Perast’s shores are two small islets which are residence to some magnificent sights: Sveti Đorđe Island and Our Woman of the Rocks.
We jumped on a passenger boat and took a short tour in the direction of the islands, swinging by Sveti Đorđe and ultimately docking on the island holding Our Woman of the Rocks.
This Roman Catholic Church is constructed on a legendary place within the Bay of Kotor. The story goes that some sailors discovered a picture of Madonna and the Youngster on a rock in 1452, and began throwing extra stones on the precise spot after each profitable voyage. A man-made island was created and the legend lived on.
Our Woman Of The Rocks.
A church was made on the pile of rocks, and changed by the present Our Woman of the Rocks in 1632. After years of restorations and varied developments it now has a museum, a small reward store and a navigation mild on the finish of the island.
No journey to Montenegro is full with out a go to to Our Woman of the Rocks, and it is among the smartest thing to do in Kotor. This was made apparent by the massive variety of folks visiting the island. Regardless of the crowds, it was nonetheless a sensational spot.
After returning to Perast we grabbed a espresso and headed again to Kotor to discover the historic Previous City. To date we had been having a good time with what to do in Kotor for a day.
The inside of Our Woman Of The Rocks.
Sveti Dorde Island.
three) Wandering Kotor’s Fortified Previous City
There isn’t a scarcity of what to see in Kotor, so it’s a common stopover for cruise ships, which dock proper subsequent to the elegant Previous City. For that reason it’s usually teeming with folks, particularly in the summertime moths.
Our luck was with us and for no matter cause there have been no cruise ships within the bay that day. However that also didn’t imply we had the place to ourselves. Vacationers flooded the streets – we are able to’t even think about what it will be like with three ships on the port.
Sandra gave us an in depth tour of the fortified metropolis, which is now protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Web site.
Historical church buildings stand on the town squares and folks dangle flowers and laundry over the streets, which meander like a labyrinth. Even with the scores of vacationers flooding between the partitions, the Kotor Previous City was splendid.
Approaching the town partitions of Kotor.
A surprising church contained in the Kotor Previous City.
We bid farewell to Sandra and headed to the primary restaurant on TripAdvisor for lunch – Tanjga.
Usually anywhere with such a popularity would have us working the opposite means for worry of being out of our finances – particularly in a spot as touristy as Kotor. However on this case the other was true.
This family-run combined grill diner serves up immense and scrumptious meat dishes for less than a few Euros. The proprietor is hilarious and even with the lengthy wait we needed to endure he made your entire expertise pleasant.
The meals itself surpassed all expectations. Alesha and I opted for a roast beef roll, however for giant teams they do big meat platters. Do your self a favour and get to one of the best restaurant in Kotor, Tanjga!
Exterior Tanjga Restaurant.
Jarryd and Michael with the affable proprietor of Tanjga.
four) Cruising The Adriatic Sea
On our second full day there have been nonetheless loads of issues to do in Kotor, so we jumped on a Blue Cave Tour to move out into the Adriatic Sea. It had been fairly a couple of months since we had been by the seashore in Thailand, and we had been actually lacking the ocean.
Cruising alongside the Bay of Kotor, surrounded by the epic mountains and shimmering water was an actual spotlight. There’s nothing fairly like being on a ship, and we lapped up each second of it.
Taking a ship cruise within the Bay of Kotor.
Our first vacation spot was the Blue Cave, a well-liked cease for overseas vacationers. At this level we have now to confess one thing – whereas the cave itself was beautiful, the environment was horrendous.
Our captain drove us into the center of the cave, and we immediately met numerous different boats packed to the rafters with different vacationers. We jumped out for a swim however the horns, screaming and chaos from different vacationers who may barely float was overwhelming. So as to add to the mayhem the exhaust fumes from the boats had been overpowering.
The views had been gorgeous, however we couldn’t admire them as our consideration was targeted on not getting killed by a motorboat. The captain noticed our lack of enthusiasm and known as us again onboard.
He apologised for the large variety of folks, one thing which we conceded was not his fault. He then took us out of the cavern and to a big black entrance proper subsequent to the well-known Blue Cave.
“Do this one,” he urged.
Exterior the second, and far quieter, “Blue Cave”.
Our group of four swam into the second cave and had been immediately transported to a state of bliss. Nobody else was there, the cave was silent and the water was crystal clear. We swam deep into the abyss till there was no extra mild to information us.
Seeking to the sandy backside appeared prefer it was just under our ft, however after diving all the way down to about 5-6 metres we nonetheless couldn’t contact the bottom. It was all we may do to not get vertigo within the pristine sea.
Even now I don’t know why not one of the different boats took their passengers to this cave. I assume the corporate we went with was simply that little bit higher than everybody else.
We ultimately left and headed in the direction of Dobrec Seaside, a small cove that may solely be reached by boat.
The pebbled seashore was lined with solar chairs, and we discovered ourselves a spot within the rustic bar. Just a few beers and a fast dip later it was time for us to finish our tour.
One ultimate stopover earlier than reaching the Previous City of Kotor was an outdated concrete tunnel used to cover submarines for the Yugoslavian Navy. Buried deep into the aspect of a mountain, it was fascinating to say the least. Undoubtedly not one of many typical issues to do in Kotor!
Exiting the outdated submarine tunnel utilized by the navy.
5) Climbing Kotor’s Citadel Of San Giovanni
There’s no lacking the town partitions that climb the ridges to Kotor’s Citadel of San Giovanni, also referred to as St John’s Fortress. The concrete and bricked fortifications cling to the cliffs, defying development logic.
Such tough and steep terrain would absolutely be sufficient to maintain any invaders again, however nonetheless the hovering wall crept their means up in the direction of the fortress.
One trendy advantage of the fortified partitions is that they now present a charming, if a little bit tiring, hike to seize some unrivalled views over the Bay of Kotor.
The Kotor metropolis partitions price three€ to scale, and is nicely well worth the worth. We did hear of one other entrance on the far aspect that isn’t manned, that means free reign to the fortress, however we missed it throughout our go to.
Standing on the sting of the Kotor Fortress.
In the course of the day the solar was belting down and we sweated our butts off as we took on the 1355 steps to the highest. With every metre gained in elevation the views simply bought higher and higher, so the motivation to achieve the summit by no means wavered.
The fortress itself isn’t overly spectacular, however the vistas are merely breathtaking.
Whereas we had been on the prime we ran into two superior Australians who recognised us from our Instagram account.
Alvin and Dishana are the vloggers over at Boring Stunning, and in our opinion make some fairly dope movies on YouTube! Do your self a favour and verify them out.
As soon as we had been completed with the fortress we took the again means down, previous a shepherd’s home that somebody had really useful to us.
The shepherd was gone, however his mob of pleasant goats had been roaming the hillside. We stopped for some photographs and to mess around earlier than heading again to the Previous City.
Don’t miss out on hanging out with the goats!
Sadly we solely had these few days in Montenegro, and we by no means managed to perform the entire issues to do in Kotor.
We didn’t make it to the Maritime Museum or excessive of the mountains to Budva. So I assume meaning we have now to return at some point.
The following cease for us was Durmitor Nationwide Park to discover a few of Montenegro’s fabled mountains. However Kotor will at all times maintain a particular place in our hearts, and that feeling we had the primary time we noticed the Bay of Kotor will not be one thing we’ll ever neglect.
Laundry hanging within the Previous City alleys.
The place To Keep In Kotor
Kotor has a spread of lodging choices, and nearly all of them are within the Previous City. Whether or not you need an affordable backpackers or a 5-star resort, you can see it in Kotor.
In order for you an excellent hostel, we suggest Hostel Previous City Kotor. The workers there may even be capable to fill you in on what to do in Kotor.
In case you’re in search of one thing a bit nicer, take a look at all of the choices on Reserving.com
Disclaimer: A few of the excursions and actions we did had been achieved in partnership with the Kotor Tourism Board. All opinions, phrases and steps climbed are as at all times our personal.
Alesha and JarrydHey! We’re Alesha and Jarryd, the award profitable writers and photographers behind this weblog, and we have now been travelling the world collectively since 2008. Journey journey is our ardour, and thru our tales and pictures we promote thrilling off-the-beaten-path locations and engaging cultures as we go. Comply with our journey in actual time on Fb, YouTube and Instagram. Newest posts by Alesha and Jarryd (see all)