The Bay of Kotor is one of the most fascinating places to visit in Montenegro and therefore it’s also one of the most popular places to visit. The bay is very photogenic, as it looks like a fiord thanks to the rough cliffs. Around the bay, you can find many lively towns and lots of nature. In this post I provide you several places to visit and things to do when traveling to the Bay of Kotor. Below you can find a map of the places I’ll discuss.
The town of Kotor probably is to most well-known place around Kotor Bay. As there are many cruise ships arriving in Kotor daily, it’s recommended to visit the town when it’s less crowded (for example in the late afternoon). The old town of Kotor is a must visit. It’s nice to wander around these small streets, go into boutique stores and have lunch or dinner in one of the cosy eateries. The Kotor Cathedral is one of the highlights of old town, which you can also view from the inside.
San Giovanni Fortress
A trail which is worth the hike is the one to the castle of San Giovanni. The castle of San Giovanni is located behind Kotor old town and the hike towards the castle is quite intensive, but once on the top you’ll get some amazing views over Kotor and the Bay of Kotor.
One of the most idyllic towns of Kotor Bay probably is Perast: a small fishing village with small streets, cosy restaurants along the quay and beautiful views over Kotor Bay. It’s not a big village, but there is everything you need. Definitely pay a visit to St. Nicholas’ Church when you’re in Perast.
Islands Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George
From the town of Perast, you can make a short boat trip to the two small islands Our Lady of the Rocks and St George. St George Island is a natural island where you cannot go ashore. On this island you can find an old monastery. Our Lady of the Rocks Island, on the other hand, is an island where you can go ashore. Here you can find a Roman Catholic Church where you also can go inside. It’s nice to stroll around the small island for a short amount of time and to enjoy the views over Kotor Bay.
National Park Lovćen
Close to Kotor Bay, you can find National Park Lovćen: beautiful nature where you can enjoy some magnificent views. There are all kinds of trails for the hikers, but you can also drive towards the top of the mountain, where you can find the stunning mausoleum. To reach the mausoleum you need to hike up 461 steps on foot from the parking lot.
Just behind National Park Lovćen and around an hour driving distance of Kotor, you can find the town of Cetinje. Cetinje is home to one of the most impressive museums of the country, where you can find out more about the history of Montenegro. The monastery of Cetinje also is a must visit when you’re in town. The center is quite small: there aren’t many restaurants and accommodations. However, it’s nice to wander around the center and to have a look at the impressive architecture.
Once, Tivat was an old naval base, but nowadays you can find here a beautiful marina where you can walk along and spot all the yachts. Tivat is well-known for its delicious food: seafood is their speciality. Also, Tivat is one of the places in Montenegro where you can find an airport.
If you’re looking for a less touristic bay town in Montenegro, you’re at the perfect place in Herceg Novi. A beautiful, scenic and historic town at the Western side of Kotor Bay. You can kayak along the Herceg Novi marina, trek up the Savina Monastery or go to the daily market in the town center. There is something for everyone.
A boat trip on Kotor Bay
Although you can reach every place around Kotor Bay very well by car, it’s an unique experience to take a boat trip as this gives you whole other views over the bay. You can just make a boat trip, but you can also go by boat from one to another place. There are these taxi boats, which take you from one side of Kotor Bay to the other side. Absolutely recommended to do this!
Where to stay
During my visit to Kotor Bay, I stayed in the town of Perast. I absolutely loved staying here, as it’s a small, picturesque town but still has plenty of choice when it comes to restaurants (and accommodations). In the evening, you can stroll along the quay and have a drink somewhere. We stayed in a beautiful apartment a little upwards the hill, what gives us an amazing view over the islands of Perast.