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What To Do in a Day in Kotor

  • July 10, 2017
  • By 50 Shades
  • 32 Comments
What To Do in a Day in Kotor

The great thing about cruising is that you get to stop and see so many interesting places. You can virtually see ten different countries in the short space of two weeks. But the downside is that you only get limited time at each place, either half or full day, so you only get a small snippet (depending on the proximity of the cruise port to the attractions). Fortunately for us we sailed right into the heart of the Montenegrin town of Kotor so we got a full day to see this magical place. Here’s what to do in a day in Kotor, Montenegro.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Cruising into the Bay of Kotor

Kotor

If you want to visit Kotor Montenegro let me tell you a little bit about it:

  • It is located in Montenegro in one of the world’s most beautiful bays. Sailing through the fjord-like gulf into Kotor is an experience in itself.
  • The Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), is one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea.
  • The town of Kotor is surrounded by the limestone mountain ranges of Orjen and Lovćen that come right down to the water’s edge. The views from the top are spectacular looking back down on the Bay of Kotor.
  • Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period.
  • Kotor has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic and is a UNESCO world heritage site.
What to do in a Day in Kotor

A lighthouse at the entrance into the Bay of Kotor

Things To Do in Kotor

Often referred to as a short version of China’s Great Wall, Kotor has an ancient wall, which was built for protection high up into the hills above the old town. These walls stretch some 4.5 km directly above and east of the old town, on almost vertical cliff. If you’re up to it you can clamber up the 1350 steps and be rewarded by spectacular views of Kotor and the bay. Halfway up there is the Church of Our Lady of Health and the St John’s fortress at the apex of the hill, where the views are even more panoramic.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

The Old Walls of Kotor built in to the Mountainside

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Old buildings in Kotor Old Town

We ambled into the walled old town of Kotor with its cobbled streets and squares, churches and a maritime museum bearing proud testimony to the region’s seafaring prowess.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

The narrow laneways in Kotor Old Town

The old town of Kotor has a great number of examples of medieval architecture: churches, cathedrals, palaces and museums. You can easily lose yourself in here for a few hours.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

A medieval church in Kotor Old Town

Budva Seaside Town

We had pre-booked a shore excursion departing from Kotor port to the seaside resort town of Budva which was around 22 kms from Kotor on the Budva Riviera. The bus ride was extremely scenic with mountains, steep cliff faces and then eventually glimpses of seaside and the blueness of the Adriatic Sea.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Views of Budva Seaside Town

The Budva Riviera is 21 km long with 17 beaches, that have been compared to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Who would have thought! It is a thriving holiday hotspot in the summer and attracts many visitors from Eastern Europe and other countries with casinos, discotheques, resorts and top restaurants all in full swing.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Budva Beach and Resorts

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Beach Bar & Cafe in Budva

After a drive through the streets of Budva we stopped to check out the old town with medieval walls, impressive arches and a pedigree dating back to the ancient Greeks.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

The Old Fort in Budva Old Town

The location of Budva old town lies on a small peninsula with pretty views out over the sea and to a small island off the coastline. During the summer months it turns into a city theatre with numerous local performances and international shows.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

These bricks were numbered so that this old building could be re-constructed after being demolished

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Budva Old Monastery

Further around the bay we came to the very exclusive holiday resort island of Sveti Stefan, and instantly were blown away by the aloofness of the place. The island resort comprises of a fortified village dating back to the 15th century, with a uniquely atmospheric setting of cobbled lanes, handsome courtyards and serene sea views. We discovered that a stay at this little patch of exclusivity comes with a very hefty price tag!

What to do in a Day in Kotor

The exclusive resort island of Sveti Stefan

Mountain Village Life

After our stroll through Budva Old Town and some refreshments, we jumped back onboard the bus and headed to the mountains to a farm, to experience mountain village life. As we wound our way up into the mountains with numerous switchbacks, feeling a little dizzy, we finally arrived at a small rural village with mostly stone houses and barns.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Centre of the Montenegrin Mountain Village

We wandered down a cobbled laneway to meet our welcoming party of the farmer and his family all waiting on a circular paved area in the centre of the small community. On one side stood a small chapel and on the other, the farmhouse and outbuildings consisting of barns, chicken coops, pigsties and vegetable gardens.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

A typical Mountain Village Farmhouse made from stone

Our welcome included sampling some home brewed grappa and cherry wine. The grappa was extremely strong and burnt my throat on the way down, but the cherry wine was delicious!

What to do in a Day in Kotor

The little chapel in the Mountain Village

After a wander around the farm and into the little chapel we were served lunch in a building resembling a large barn. The fare was all locally grown and produced, with excellent soft cheeses, cured hams, plump fruity olives, a variety of pickled vegetables and sour dough bread. It was extremely tasty.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

A delicious lunch from local produce

The views back over the mountains were breathtaking and the few hours spent here were very insightful into how Montenegrins lived a harsh life in the Black Mountains prior to farming becoming more modernized.

Towns near Kotor

On our bus trip back down the mountains, that overshadow the town of Kotor and the bay, we stopped to admire the views and take some photos. This is simply the best way to get a bird’s eye view of Kotor and the beautiful bay.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

Views over Kotor Port and the Bay of Kotor

The town of Kotor also includes the towns of Risan and Perast, as well as many small hamlets around the Bay of Kotor. If you have time it is easy to check out these quaint little towns within a short drive or water taxi ride from Kotor.

What to do in a Day in Kotor

One of the hamlets on the Bay of Kotor

Kotor would hands down take out first prize for the most scenic and breathtaking bay that we sailed into during our Mediterranean Cruise. Although Kotor itself is not the greatest town that we visited on our cruise, we still found it enchanting. My advice is to spend half your day in Kotor and then spend the rest exploring other places that are within a short driving distance.

Are you surprised that Montenegro has such a beautiful seaside tourist resort town?

Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday

 

 

By 50 Shades, July 10, 2017 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 32

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 4 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now 60. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Gold Coast in Queensland. She enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, movies, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

32 Comments
  • sandy from Tray Tables Away
    July 10, 2017

    We were so impressed by Kotor when we sailed into the Bay 3 years ago we did it again the very next year! The climb up the mountain is tough but the views are worth it.
    ( funny fact: Kotor is where I have found the very best face cream in the world. They tell me people come far and wide to buy it. Its actually from Bulgaria but I have failed to find it in other eastern european country. Will just have to go back to get some more!)

    • Kathy
      July 10, 2017

      It’s an exquisite experience sailing into this bay. Montenegro was not what I expected. The seaside resort areas were a big surprise and also the mountainous terrain. I loved it though. I never saw that face cream. Can you Google it?

  • budget jan
    July 14, 2017

    The Bay of Kotor is superb. As good as Sydney Harbour??? We arrived from the mountains at the back of the Bay and that was a spectacular sight too. I’m jealous of your trip into the mountains and lunch at the farm!

    • Kathy
      July 14, 2017

      I think Kotor was just as good as Sydney Harbour. The backdrop of the mountains makes it spectacular. Yes the mountain village farm visit was a big highlight of our day in Montenegro. The lunch was very tasty. :)

  • Ruth
    July 15, 2017

    Every time I see photos of Kotor, I am like “wow, that place is incredible.” The photos of Budva and Sveti Stefan are great. I imagine this was a day for the records! #TPThursday

    • Kathy
      July 15, 2017

      Yes Kotor is a spectacular place set amongst a backdrop of steep mountains. I never imagined it would have a seaside resort area and was pleasantly surprised when we saw Budva. It was a day to remember!

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    July 17, 2017

    Gorgeous! You did all this in one day? I think I would want to walk up all those steps on the Wall (working off the huge amount of food I’d no doubt be eating on a cruise). I love the shot of the narrow laneways in Old Town. Looks like a fabulous port of call.

    • Kathy
      July 17, 2017

      We never did the walk up the very steep hill. There were over 1300 steps involved and we thought we’re probably not up to it! Yes we did all the rest in one day. Our tour was fantastic and I’m not normally a huge fan of bus tours. Kotor is a gorgeous spot. :)

  • Amrita Sen
    July 17, 2017

    Wow, such a lovely place. I really like the narrow lanes and the sea.
    Btw, I love the name of your blog. :-)

    • Kathy
      July 17, 2017

      Thanks Amrita. Kotor was a beautiful place to visit by sea. I would highly recommend it.

  • Stacey Billingsley
    July 17, 2017

    I’d love to go on a cruise someday, and Kotor looks like such a beautiful place to go. I love your pictures of the buildings and houses. They almost look like they belong in a fairytale. I’m glad you had a great trip!

    • Kathy
      July 17, 2017

      Thank you Stacey. Kotor was such a scenically abundant place to visit. It was easy getting beautiful photos.

  • Maria Ingrid | Wander with MI
    July 18, 2017

    Your photos makes me want to hop on a ship and cruise.. Kotor looks amazing.. Hope to visit it soon..

    • Kathy
      July 19, 2017

      Kotor was an amazing place to visit. I was very impressed with Montenegro on a whole.

  • Zainab
    July 18, 2017

    Wow the buildings in the old town are gorgeous! Never heard of Kotor before so thank you!

    • Kathy
      July 19, 2017

      Kotor in Montenegro was one of the most scenic waterways that I have cruised into on a cruise holiday. Beautiful place for sure. :)

  • Sandy N Vyjay
    July 21, 2017

    Kotor sounds like a lovely place. there is so much to see and experience, I am sure there never would be a dull moment. Cruises are great ways to see places, which probably we may not even visit if not for the cruise. But you discover pristine gems this way. The flip side is definitely not getting too much time to spend in these places.

    • Kathy
      July 21, 2017

      Cruises are an ideal way to see places that you wouldn’t normally visit. We spent 12 days on the cruise visiting various spots around the Mediterranean and then 3 weeks travelling through Italy. We prefer to spend a bit of time in one country rather than just a small snippet. However Kotor in Montenegro was a beautiful place for a day trip and we enjoyed it immensely.

  • Meg
    July 22, 2017

    This town looks picture perfect! There also don’t appear to be a lot of crowds which I like. I have to admit, I’ve never heard of Kotor, but it’s definitely on my list of places to give a visit to when I’m back in Europe.

    • Kathy
      July 22, 2017

      Kotor is picture perfect! It wasn’t too crowded on the day we visited, but most of the other ports were. Montenegro is definitely worth a visit. :)

  • Oursweetadventures
    July 23, 2017

    Great memories of our trip to Kotor are coming back now. We really loved Kotor. Did you see a bunch of cats while there? Budva looks amazing! We did not here about that place while we were on our cruise. We had grappa all over Italy but not in Kotor. We definitely remember the taste though. The scenery all around Kotor was amazing. Definitely somewhere we would go back to.

    • Kathy
      July 23, 2017

      No I don’t remember seeing a lot of cats. We spent most of our day in Budva at at a mountain village farm. I think we only had about an hour in Kotor itself. One the prettiest places I’ve ever seen.

  • neha
    July 23, 2017

    I totally love charming ancient cities like Kotor. That old wall reminded me of the old city wall of Lucerne that we recently visited. And the buildings have such a rustic charm about them. Perfect guide for a day tour around.

    • Kathy
      July 23, 2017

      Thank you. We loved Kotor. It was one of our favourite port stops. I haven’t been to Lucerne but would like to visit one day. :)

  • Kevin del Prado
    July 23, 2017

    I bet you enjoyed your trip so much. Just seeing the photos gives me a laid-back feeling.

    • Kathy
      July 23, 2017

      We did enjoy our Mediterranean cruise immensely. It was an extremely laid-back and relaxing holiday. :)

  • One Tech Traveller
    July 24, 2017

    Wow I love the beautiful images you took, it really captures the heart of Kotor. The landscape, the sea, the architecture… love it! I#ll add this to my radar of places :)

    • Kathy
      July 24, 2017

      Yes Kotor was a photographer’s dream, particularly the picturesque Kotor Bay with the backdrop of mountains. I would highly recommend a trip to Montenegro.

  • Bruce Schinkel
    July 24, 2017

    Wow, what an incredible place! I love visiting places so steeped in history, so I’m very glad you shared this post … i may even venture up all those steps for the panoramic views … maybe … :)

    • Kathy
      July 24, 2017

      Kotor is an incredible place, as was the seaside village of Budva and the mountain farm village. I would love to go back to tackle those stairs! Unfortunately time did not permit on the day we were here.

  • Jas from My Suitcase Journeys
    July 24, 2017

    Your photos are stunning!!! I haven’t been to Kotor yet but these pictures definitely make me wanna book a flight now and just fly over ASAP. Can’t believe you managed to visit all these places in one day either! I think I’d definitely need more than 1 day if I were to visit.

    • Kathy
      July 24, 2017

      Thank you. We did do a bit of a whirlwind tour of Montenegro. That is one of the downsides to being in port just for one day on a cruise ship. :)

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