- 15 Dec 2021

Is Bay of Kotor Worth Visiting Off-Season?

Off-season travel, especially in Europe, is becoming more and more of a trend in recent years. Visiting Mediterranean towns during the colder and more quiet times definitely comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. 

But what about Kotor? Is it worth visiting during the colder months? The answer is, of course, it depends. While it might not be the best time for boat trips, there is still a lot to experience in Kotor during low season. Here is our guide to visiting Kotor outside of summer! 

Montenegro Tourist Season 

Montenegro as a whole, and especially the coastline, is traditionally a summer destination. The high season starts in June and lasts all the way through August. During this time, the weather is mostly hot & sunny and pretty much every day is a perfect beach day. Most people visit Kotor during this time, which is why the town can feel crowded at times. 

Many will tell you that the best time to visit the Bay of Kotor is actually the shoulder season. Late May and early June as well as September and October offer mild weather with much less crowds. 

Low season in Kotor lasts from November till April. During this time, the weather can be fickle with lots of rainy days, but it’s still quite mild. The towns and villages on the seaside become very quiet during winter. 

Weather and Climate in Kotor, Montenegro 

The Bay of Kotor has a typical Mediterranean climate. This means that the summers are usually hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching above 30°C. The winters, on the other hand, are colder but mild, with lots of rain and temperatures rarely going below 0°C.

If you visit Kotor outside of summer, you’ll probably get to experience the unique character of the climate in this part of the Adriatic. The weather here is mainly determined by two characteristic types of wind: Bura and Jugo

Bura is a cold northern wind that can chill your bones, but also brings along sunny weather. Jugo, on the other hand, is wind that blows from the south, bringing with it low atmospheric pressure, gloomy gray clouds, and lots of rain. In this part of the world, Jugo is also said to bring along various physical and mental ailments and a phenomenon called Fjaka – perhaps best described as a state of mind. 

What Is the Best Time to Visit Kotor, Montenegro? 

Montenegro is anything but boring at any time of the year. The best time to visit depends on the kind of traveler you are and what kind of experience you are looking for. 

The most popular time to visit Montenegro is from June till September. Especially the seaside towns, including Kotor, get lots of visitors, especially during July and August. If you are looking for tropical weather, lots of swimming and sunbathing and meeting other travellers – this is the time for you. During the summer the streets and beaches of Kotor come alive, and you’ll also get to experience a bustling nightlife. It’s also the best time to do some of the famous Kotor boat trips, like heading over to the Blue Cave or perhaps even trying scuba diving

For those who’d rather avoid large crowds but still want to enjoy pleasant Mediterranean weather, the shoulder season is the best time to visit Kotor. In late May, early June and September, you’ll probably get to experience the best of what Boka Kotorska has to offer. There are typically still lots of sunny days, and if you are lucky (and depending on your tolerance) it can be warm enough for swimming too. If you are interested in boat tours, you can still get a wonderful experience during shoulder season if the weather is right. Our recommendation: head over to Perast & Our Lady of the Rocks for a day of sightseeing. 

Visiting Kotor during the winter months is not for everyone, but if you are looking for a peaceful holiday and an authentic experience, you might actually like it. While the coastal towns like Kotor might feel a bit dead, there is something enjoyable in the quiet atmosphere. Plus, you can take advantage of the fact that Montenegro is such a small country. If the conditions are right, you could visit one of the Montenegrin ski resorts, even as a day trip – they are only a couple of hours away from Bay of Kotor. 

Reasons to Visit Kotor in Off-Season  

#1 An Authentic Experience 

Even though the weather might be gray, the old town of Kotor and the bay surrounding it are still stunning. Wandering down the centuries-old alleyways of the old town can feel even more enchanting when the city is empty and the weather is gloomy. 

#2 Everything is cheaper and last-minute bookings are definitely an option 

When you visit coastal towns like Kotor outside of the main tourist season, finding nice (and affordable) accommodation is much easier. And you’ll have a lot to choose from, even if you book at the last minute. While beach bars and some other establishments might be closed for the winter, there will still be enough options for eating or drinks, and you can always get a table anywhere. 

#3 Avoid the crowds 

Visiting in the low season means you will have all the main sights practically to yourself. Hiking up the San Giovanni fortress or admiring the architecture of the old town… you can do that and more in a peaceful atmosphere. Plus, if you want to experience a place the way that locals do, visiting during off-season is the best way to do it. 

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