A "Blue Cave" is a popular attraction in many countries - I visited one in Greece, in Malta or Brazil (click on the links to see my posts). Montenegro is less known in the West and not as famous as other popular destinations but it's good to know that this tiny Balkan country also has its own, beautiful Blue Cave. Although the most visited attractions of Montenegro are the spectacular Kotor Bay and the peculiar (and extremely expensive) St. Stephan's Island, the Blue Cave is also a cool place to see, especially when combined with the charming town of Herceg Novi (take a look at my post about it) and the nearby Zanjice beach.
How to get to the Blue Cave and Zanjice
It couldn't be easier - you can take a tour from many of the towns - Kotor, Budva or Herceg Novi. Montenegro is tiny and the distances are short. We booked a day tour in Budva which included Kotor Bay, Herceg Novi and the Blue Cave with Zanjice Beach. The cost shouldn't be higher than 20 EUR per person. Note that Euro is Montenegro's currency - although it is not in the European Union.
I wouldn't recommend booking a tour online - there are so many tourist offices during the season that the competition is huge and you can get some great deals. Out of season, you won't be able to get there - there is no point - it's cloudy and the water can be freezing.
If you wish to rent your own car and drive, you can do so - go to Herceg Novi or Zanjice, and from there you can join a speedboat that will take you to the Blue Cave.
Swimming in the Blue Cave
The Blue Cave is located on the Lustica Peninsula, at the entry to the Kotor Bay which resembles Norwegian fjords. You would be surprised if you think Montenegro is an off the beaten path destination - it may be true among westerners but you'll see it absolutely packed in the summer - many Russians and other tourist from the Eastern European countries flock here for the beaches, beautiful weather and stunning architecture.
The speedboat departed from Zanjice beach, where we stopped during our cruise from Budva to Kotor Bay. Zanjice beach is nice and long, with clear water but it has quite a big pebbles and it's swarmed by the tourists. I've seen better beaches in Albania (check my posts about Albania here), but nevertheless, Zanjice beach wasn't bad.
The boat ride takes around 20 minutes and on the way, you'll see rocky coastline surrounded by turquoise waters and some ruins of old churches (Vavedenja Presvete Bogorodice Monastery) and forts (especially the old fort of Mamula island which used to be a prison during the reign of the Austro-Hungary Empire).
The Blue Cave is impressive and similar to other Blue Caves around the world - you enter it by boat and can see the beautifully illuminated water, seemingly from the bottom of the sea. Swimming and snorkeling is very refreshing. it would be good if the tour stayed a little longer though, but not too many boats can fit in the small cave, so they take turns.
Anyway, it is really nice to see the Blue Cave, especially that you can do it during one day tour combined with such marvels as the Bay of Kotor and Herceg Novi. Note that St. Stephen's Island is not included in this tour!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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