Well, Lonely Planet did not list Kotor as the #1 place to visit in 2016 for nothing! Their opening line ‘drop dead gorgeous’ certainly sums it up.
What You Need To Know About Kotor
Places to visit:
#1 Old Town
The Stari Grad (Old Town) of Kotor is believed to have been settled as early as the Middle Ages. It is positioned in one of the most dramatic settings we have seen, with vast rocky mountains as a backdrop and the sparkling blue waters of Kotor Bay at the front, and surrounded by thick fortified walls. No wonder it is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s List as it is one of the best preserved medieval towns apparently in the Balkan countries. The Old Town which is triangular in shape is made up of narrow winding streets and alleyways with palace, churches, squares and market places. Kinda place where you can get lost easily, but who cares it is beautiful and there are little gems around each corner.
#2 St Tryphon Cathedral
The Cathedral dates back to the 11th century and throughout it’s history it has been reconstructed at various times due to the many earthquakes in the area. The Patron Saint of Kotor – St Trypon – remains are located in the Chapel.
#3 St Nicholas Church
St Nicholas Church is the largest Orthodox Church in the Old Town.
Where to enjoy a drink:
Enjoy a nice cold local beer after a morning of wandering around the narrow cobblestoned streets at the Mariner Pub.
Where to travel to on the Bay:
Kotor Bay – Boat Trip to Our Lady of the Rocks and Perast
Opposite the entrance to the Old Town, you will find a local boat tour operator that runs a boat service to Our Lady of the Rocks and the small town of Perast with departures at 12pm and 2pm. The cost per person is 15 euros.
It takes 40 minutes to sail from Kotor Bay to Our Lady of the Rocks where you are given 30 minutes to wander around visiting the church and the museum. A five minute sail to Perast where you have 30 minutes to view St Nikola Church or wander the small back streets and then return back to Kotor.
Sitting proudly in the bay with its shimmering blue roofs, nestled amongst the terracotta roofs and the buildings made of local stone, Our Lady of the Rocks is the local Catholic Church and a Museum. How did they build it? It took the locals over 200 years to build just the base, by throwing stones as they returned safely from each sea journey. The Church houses over 68 important paintings by the Baroque Artist Tripo Kokolja.
Sveti Dorde is a natural island, home to the 12th Century St George Benedictine Monastery. The island houses the graves of priests who once lived there. Today, there are still Monks living in the Monastery.
Where to hike to:
Fortifield Walls and 1,350 Steps to the Fortress
Overlooking the Old Town and 1,350 steps up the mountain is St John’s Fortress. The view is worth the hike up.
To Travel Too Tip: start early in the morning as soon as the gates open and take plenty of water.
Read our blog post on our climb to the top of St. John’s Fortress.
What tour should you go on:
North Montenegro Tour by 360monte Tours
We highly recommend that you visit the surrounding country areas of North Montenegro. River canyons, stunning views, lakes, national parks and the Ostrog Monastery built into the side of a cliff face high up a mountain. We travelled with 360monte Tours and we saw some of the most beautiful scenery we have seen in this part of the Europe.
Read our blog post on our 360monte Tour to North Montenegro
Where should you stay:
Stunning Accommodation right on Kotor Bay
If you want stunning accommodation, right on the bay, in a quiet area outside of Kotor you can’t go further than the Old Mariner Guest House. It is located 10 minutes by car to the Old Town in the small waterfront village of Prcanj. A taxi will cost you 5 Euros to the Old Town. All rooms have amazing sea views over Kotor Bay. We found that the Old Town can be busy and noisy when the cruise ships are in and Prcanj was a lovely area to escape to.
Where Should You Eat
Our favourite restaurant for value and great grilled fish was Bokeski Gusti a 15 minute walk along the waterfront from our accommodation at the Old Mariner Guest House. There are many restaurants in the Old Town but some can be quite pricey and touristy.
For more top things to do in Kotor check out TripAdvisor.
Have you been to Kotor or are planning to travel there we would like to hear from you?