When you are in Montenegro, try Kotor Boat Tours. If you’ve been looking into visiting the area, you must have come across this ubiquitous piece of advice. If you are not sure what to expect from such a boat trip or perhaps looking for tips on which boat tour to choose – this guide is for you.
Destinations: What is There to See?
As you might know, the Bay of Kotor is a unique geological formation. It was often called Europe’s southernmost fjord, but this is more a comparison than a fact. Yes, the rugged landscape and winding coastline of Boka Kotorska truly do resemble the fjords of Scandinavia, but the term is not technically correct. According to geologists, the bay is actually a ria – an ancient river valley submerged by the sea, whereas fjords were created by glaciers.
Be that as it may, it does not change the fact that the Bay of Kotor is a unique piece of artwork made by mother nature. Thus, if we were to list the must-see spots in the Kotor area, the bay itself would be on the top of the list. And the best way to really see the Bay of Kotor? Well, by taking a boat trip, of course.
But of course, this might sound a bit too vague if you’ve never visited the area. Besides admiring the landscape of the bay, what is there to experience on a Kotor boat tour? Here is a comprehensive (but not exhaustive) list of things to see and do:
Coastal Towns & Panoramic Views
According to some estimates, the Bay of Kotor is about 28 kilometers long – that is, if we would measure the length of a straight line that goes from the entrance of the bay to its farthest inland point (which is Kotor). However, the actual coastline is more than 100 km long.
Our tours usually start from the port of Kotor. If you want to get to know the Bay of Kotor, this is pretty much the perfect starting point, no matter what kind of tour you choose to take. Why? Well, because Kotor is located at the most tucked in point of this intricate bay. When you start from here, you’ll get a chance to see everything.
Now, we might be biased, but we think the boat ride from Kotor onwards is anything but boring, even without any stops or activities. Going outwards through the bay from Kotor, the view opens on both sides to reveal rocky mountains on both sides, somehow still full of typical Mediterranean vegetation and sleepy coastal towns tucked underneath.
As we ride onwards from the direction of Kotor, on the ‘left’ side you will catch a glimpse of the towns of Muo, Prcanj, and Stoliv tucked under the Vrmac mountain. While less known than some other destinations in the Bay, these small authentic villages all have a long history and are very interesting to look at, especially from the water. If you look closely, you’ll also notice two stunning old churches up in the hills, one above Prcanj and the other one above Stoliv.
The coastline on the other side is no less interesting with the residential parts like Dobrota and Sveti Stasije housed under jagged rocky cliffs above. Depending on the tour you choose, we might move onwards to visit Perast and its islands or through the strait of Verige and onwards through the Bay. Whichever way you choose, stunning views abound, so much so that it would be too cumbersome to describe every interesting detail here. It is something you have to experience for yourself.
The Islands of Boka Bay
The wider Boka Bay is home to 7 islands, all of them fairly small but with interesting histories, as if not to stand out too much from the rest of the bay.
Our Lady of the Rocks and St George and certainly the most iconic islands of the bay. You’ll often see them on postcards and in magazine photos. It’s not surprising that they are so popular, though, as the view onto these 2 islands is truly unique and amazing.
The island Our Lady of the Rocks is an inevitable stop on any good Bay of Kotor boat tour. The island and the church on it are not just beautiful to look at from the outside. The church and the small museum on the island are also definitely worth visiting. You can read more about the fascinating history of the island on our blog. Or better yet, wait for the tour and get all the info from our experienced guides.
Right next to Our Lady of the Rocks lies another small island. This island is called St George. It is home to a Benedictine monastery dating back at least to the 12 century. Surrounded by a graveyard and a couple of stunning cypress trees, the island is another otherworldly sight – but one that remains out of reach. St George is still an active monastery which is why tourist visits are usually not allowed. However, admiring the island from the water on the way to visit Our Lady of the Rocks is definitely allowed and very interesting.
If you are interested in learning more about these two islands and their rich history, as well as exploring the authentic town of Perast located right nearby, then the Limitless Lady of the Rock & Perast Old Town private speed boat tour is a great choice.
Another stunning combination of nature and culture is the island called Lastavica located right at the entrance to the bay. The island is home to a stunning fort called Mamula. Perhaps due to its gruesome history, the fort was long abandoned during which time it became home to resilient vegetation and various species of birds. Visits to the island are not possible these days due to some planned (and fairly controversial) developments on the island, but a panoramic view from a boat.
The Lastavica island and Fort Mamula can be seen in passing from any boat tour that goes towards the Blue Cave (more about that below).
Besides those there are 3 small islands located near Tivat; and a tiny islet next to Fort Arza; close to Fort Mamula and the entrance into the Bay, this one also home to a tiny monastery.
The Bay of Kotor and its surroundings are full of both natural and man-made wonders that are certainly worth seeing. But, one of them is accessible only by boat. We’re talking here about the Blue Cave, one of the most famous localities in Montenegro. We’ll refrain from revealing too many details about the Blue Cave here, but let’s just say it’s the perfect spot for swimming, snorkelling, or scuba diving.
If you are based in Kotor and want to visit the Blue Cave, a speed boat tour is the best way to do it. Namely, the famous cave is located at the very entrance to the Kotor Bay, while the city of Kotor is located at the bay’s furthermost point. The distance between the two spots is actually quite long, but if you opt for a speed boat, you won’t even feel the trip!
As a plus, you get to see pretty much the entire bay on your way to the Blue Cave. Moreover, if you choose to go with Limitless Boat Tours, you can count on snorkelling equipment being ready for you on the boat. Scuba diving tours can be arranged too upon request (equipment included).
When you go on a boat tour, you’ll get to find out about secret spots in the Kotor Bay you would hardly be able to discover without the help of a local. One example of such spots are the secret submarine tunnels built by the Yugoslav Navy. Nowadays deserted, the tunnels are actually quite fun whether you are into swimming, snorkelling, or just want to see something out of the ordinary.
Our most popular tour, the Blue Cave Adventure, also includes a visit to these tunnels.
Interesting things to see in the Bay of Kotor are not just above the surface. If you choose to look under; you will not only see an abundance of underwater flora and fauna; but also a couple of interesting shipwrecks.
An ordinary boat tour would now let you see the sunken ships, but if you are interested in scuba diving, you can do that with us. The most popular destination on our scuba diving boat tours is the Shipwreck PR-38 Tunj located near Perast. This military tugboat sank less than 10 years ago, which means it’s still in a very good condition – and it’s accessible to beginners.
Marinas, Beach Bars & Restaurants
When you want to experience life in a seaside town like Kotor, you’ll probably want to explore the food scene too and perhaps also visit the coolest places to spend time on the beach. Well, there is no reason why you can’t do that as part of your boat tour.
When you book a private speed boat tour with Limitless, you can choose your own experience.
Our Porto Montenegro private tour, for example, involves a visit to the famous marina and free time at a beach bar on the way back. Or check out our longest boat tour for a full day of swimming and sightseeing followed by tasting culinary delights.
Activities: Things to Do on a Kotor Boat Tours
What is there to do on a boat tour? Well, obviously enjoy the wind, the sun, and the salt on your skin. While a boat ride is an enjoyable experience in itself, it’s by no means the only thing you can do.
There is so much history in the Bay of Kotor that any boat tour will inevitably also become a sightseeing tour – at least in part. For example, a visit to the island Our Lady of the Rocks is almost inevitable, since you can get there only by boat – and skipping such an interesting place would just be too sad.
If you are interested in history or architecture, you could take a boat tour to Perast with us. While a visit to Perast can be done by car or public transport form Kotor, visiting by boat lets you enjoy the day instead of getting stuck in traffic.
The true “‘I’m on vacation” moment’ – jumping from a boat into the refreshing water of the Adriatic. Swimming is not compulsory, of course, but many of our boat tours will give you the chance to do that. Head to the Blue Cave to experience the most spectacular swimming location!
Snorkelling is often such an underrated activity! But with some basic equipment and no special skills required, snorkelling lets you take a peek into the underwater world. If you’ve never tried it, a Kotor boat tour is the perfect chance to do it. Snorkelling equipment is available free of charge on every boat tour you take with Limitless.
For those who want to get really familiar with the underwater world, there is really no better solution than scuba diving. True, it’s not for the faint-hearted and it takes some preparation and training, but the effort definitely pays off! If that’s what you are after, choose one of our scuba diving tours or contact us to arrange a custom-tailored private experience.
Finally, trying out fishing is also an option for those who are interested. Fishing has a long tradition in Montenegro and the Kotor area, and it’s almost never disappointing if you know what you are doing. To book a fishing boat tour with us, you don’t need experience or even your own equipment. We’ll take care of everything.
How Long Does a Kotor Boat Tour Last?
A boat tour in the Bay of Kotor can last as long as you want. The speed boat tour experiences created by Limitless last anywhere from 2 hours to a full day – it’s up to you to choose what suits your preferences
If you are looking for a nice experience to fill your afternoon, for example, our signature Blue Cave Adventure tour takes about 3 hours, and involves a visit to the Blue Cave, the secret submarine tunnels, and Our lady of the Rocks Island. Or, if that’s more up your alley, choose our Hedonist Tour for a full day on the boat, involving, among other things, sampling local delicacies. Everything in between can be arranged too!
What’s the Best Time to Go on a Boat Tour in Bay of Kotor?
The most important thing for an enjoyable and relaxed boat tour is good weather. Luckily, during the summer season Montenegro gets lots of nice and sunny days! From June till September, most days are perfect boat tour days.
When it comes to the best time of day for a boat tour, it’s hard to say as cruising the bay is enjoyable anytime. One thing to keep in mind is that the sun is strong (especially on the water) and the weather gets really hot during peak season in Kotor, so just be prepared for that. If you start later in the afternoon, you get to enjoy the sunset scenery too which is always a pleasure.
The best time to start might also depend on the activities you plan to do. For example, if you want to try fishing the best time might actually be very early in the morning or just after sunset.
What to Bring to Enjoy a Boat Tour to the Fullest
A boat trip should definitely be on everyone’s checklist when visiting Kotor and the surrounding area. There is no better way to beat the summer heat than a day on the water. While you don’t necessarily need to bring anything in order to enjoy the experience, coming prepared can make it much better.
These are the essentials that are always good to have on a boat tour in Montenegro:
Water & Snacks
A day on a boat usually involves lots of sun exposure and fun activities. With activities like these, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water, but staying hydrated is of utmost importance. For that reason, it’s best to always have a bottle of drinking water with you.
If you choose to hop on one of the boat tours organized by Limitless, this won’t be an issue: bottled water on board is always included.
On that note, bringing some light snacks with you is always a good idea. All that sun and time in the water can have you suddenly feeling famished, so it’s good to have a little pick-me-up on hand. Just make sure your snacks are not meltable: fruit, nuts, and granola bars all work really well.
A boat tour will let you see some of the most stunning scenery in the bay of Kotor, and there will be countless photo-ops. Having a camera with you is not a must, but most people regret not bringing one. Bonus points if it’s waterproof.
UV rays reflect off the water, and you’ll feel the effects much more strongly when on a boat. That’s why using good sunscreen (and applying it often) is a must if you want to avoid sunburn. A good pair of sunglasses with UV protection is also a good idea. The sun can damage your eyes too!
There are no rules when it comes to how to dress for a boat trip. But it helps to dress mindfully. First of all, always choose a comfortable outfit. If your skin is especially sensitive to the sun, a lightweight long-sleeve shirt can help you keep your skin protected. A nice hat can also do wonders to prevent overheating in the sun, but choose one that will not fly off in the wind. If you plan on swimming, then obviously bring a bathing suit, and perhaps something else you can change into afterwards. Having a beach towel on hand is also always helpful
Your Best Mood
All of this advice is good to know, but the most important thing is to just relax and have fun! That’s what boat trips are for. If you feel like booking a speed boat tour with Limitless, hop over to our kotor boat tours page and pick your poison.