Nestled between mountains and sea, along the Bay of Kotor is the namesake fortress town of Kotor. From the winding old streets of the town to the looming mountains, there is a plenty to explore in the area.
When to Visit
Kotor is located along a mountainous bay by the Mediterranean Coast. Because of this it experiences a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. If you go in summer which is the peak time, be prepared for heat, with temperatures up to 100 degrees F.
Here’s 4 activities you have to do while staying in the Kotor area:
1. Explore the Streets of the Old Town
The city of Kotor consists of the old walled town and the new town. The old town is small, yet it’s winding streets make it easy to get lost. You won’t want a map though, as part of the fun is wandering through the enticing streets and alleyways.
As you’re exploring you’ll run into numerous churches and shops throughout the cobblestone streets.
However if the daytime heat is too much for you, exploring the streets of Kotor is even more enjoyable at night. After the sun has set, the sounds of violinists, guitarists and other musicians will echo thorough the streets. Nothing like some music to make Kotor really come alive.
2. Hike In Lovćen National Park
Walking around town is fun, but what about a walk in the mountains? Just an hour drive up and over the mountains will get you to Lovćen National Park. Be warned the drive is not for the faint hearted! You’ll drive along the 25 serpentines. These hairpin turns aren’t the only scary part of the road. Add in the fact that the road isn’t always big enough for two large cars and the reckless Montenegrin drivers and you’ll really want to make sure your seat belt is buckled (Although who really uses seat belts in Europe?)
The main attraction in Lovćen is the Njegoš mausoleum atop one of the mountain peaks. From the parking lot you’ll have a steep walk up 461 steps to the mausoleum. Unfortunately there’s no elevator (or escalator!)
It’s a 2 euro entry fee to enter the mausoleum. The inside of the mausoleum itself isn’t too wondrous but the views from there of the surrounding region is amazing. You’ll see the hills of Montenegro, the mountains near Kotor, and the Adriatic Sea.
However don’t end your trip to Lovćen National Park there. Take a short drive to Ivanova Korita where you can explore other trails throughout the park. They aren’t as awe-inspiring but they’ll take you through some pretty forests and hills.
3. Visit Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks
Although Kotor is a beautiful town by itself, the town of Perast is equally interesting. It’s smaller than kotor, but boasts Just a few miles down the coast, you’ll find Perast. It’s known mostly for its proximity to the Isle of Our Lady of the Rocks. For about $10 you can get a boat to the man made island where the monastery sits.
4. Hike to the Kotor Fortress at Sunset
From Kotor, you’ll see the old fortress watching over the town and the bay from the nearby mountain. Getting to the fortress will reveal panoramic views of Kotor and the surrounding area. However, once again the only way up is by the stairs. You can hike up in the daytime if you want, but why miss a perfect sunset (and who would want to hike in the afternoon sun?)
There are two ways to access the fortress. If you enter from the old town you’ll need to pay 2 euros. However if you’re cheap like me, there’s another way to get to the fortress for free. Outside of the old town, near the north gate you’ll find a path that leads up the mountain. Follow it until you intersect with the main trail which will then take you to the fortress. Enjoy the views and make sure to also stay after the sun has gone down so you can watch the bay lights up at night.
Check out the video below for more!