Kotor Bay is one of the two most photographed spots in Montenegro (the other is the incredible island of Sveti Stefan). The town of Kotor is unique in the sense that the bay cuts deeply into the land and the sea is surrounded by high mountains emerging directly from the blue waters of the Adriatic. The mountains create an unparalleled scenery that reminds more of Norwegian fjords rather than a Mediterranean region. However, looking at the spectacular architecture, old houses made of stone and multiple palm trees, you will quickly realize you are actually somewhere in the south and not in Scandinavia.
How to get to Kotor
Normally I would always advise to use public transport instead of organised tours. But to visit Kotor, we took a boat tour in the town of Budva, where we stayed. Surprisingly, the tour cost only around 20 EUR and also took us to other beautiful places around: Blue Caves, Zajnice beach and Herceg Novi (click on the links to read my posts about those places).
What's good about the boat tour is that it allows you to sail through the fjord-like entrance to the bay. On the way, you can stop and visit the tiny islets of Gospa od Skrpjela and St. George's island. Otherwise, it would be difficult to see them and they are worth visiting.
What to See in Kotor
Perast and the islets
As mentioned above, upon entering the Kotor Bay, you will have a chance to visit the two little islets (number 1 on the map). The first one is Sveti Dorde and is large enough to hold a monastery of St. George, but nothing else. The other islet, Gospa od Škrpjela, is home to another church: The church of Our Lad of the Rocks. This is the place where the boat stops - you can disembark and admire the church and the area of the Kotor Bay.
On the way toward the town of Kotor, you can also view the nearby town of Perest (number 2 on the map) with the notable tower of St. Nicolas church.
Kotor Old Town
The next stop is in the old town of Kotor (3 on the map). The town of Kotor is extremely beautiful and tiny, but unfortunately, if you travel here by boat, you will have only a very limited time to spend here (around 1.5 hours). This is the disadvantage of the organised boat tour.
Nevertheless, the old town is very small and we had a chance to see everything we wanted - but it was very hectic - there was no time to sit town and really enjoy the place. If you wish, the option would be to get off on Kotor, end the trip here and stay overnight. I would recommend that you do that if you have some spare time.
The main attraction in the old town is the old architecture itself and the beautiful old buildings covered with red brick roofs - as it's usually done in the Mediterranean.
Apart from that, within the Old Town walls, there are only two churches to see. The first one, St. Nicolas Church dates back to the beginning of the 20th century - you might thin it's way older by the way it looks (number 4 on the map). The second, Cathedral of Saint Tryphon (number 5 on the map), is way older - originally completed in the 12th century, however, after a numerous earthquakes, it was rebuilt in the 17th century.
The best views of Kotor Bay
When you are in Kotor, you simply must do the trail to the Kotor Fortress (number 7 on the map). It allows you to view the old town from an amazing perspective - you can see the red roofs and the original, triangular shape of the town.
The trail is quite steep and it takes some effort to climb it - especially in the summer heat, however, to get the absolutely best views of the Bay of Kotor - those you can see in postcards - you don't have to hike higher than to the Church of Our Lady of Remedy (16th century - number 6 on the map).
The scenery is unbelievably beautiful - the best you can get - the whole bay, the old town, the "fjords" - all in one. Don't miss it!
Author: Tom @ Adventurous Travels
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