Hidden Treasures of Bay of Kotor and Its Hinterland
There are many ways to experience the beauties of our Bay of Kotor or the Bay of Saints, as many like to call it. One of those ways is by hiking up one of the surrounding mountains. While it might be the road less traveled, hiking trails around Kotor bay will reveal priceless views and lots of hidden sights.
The most famous trail in Kotor is the hike up to the fortress of San Giovanni (st John), but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Numerous trails around Kotor Bay and its hinterland allow you to experience the nature, culture, and history of the area from a completely new perspective.
Hidden fortresses and sleeping villages set against the backdrop of the unique rugged karst formations, it’s all just a couple of hours of walking away, if you know where to look.
To showcase the beauty and potential of the Kotor Bay area for hiking, we’ve created these 3 tours for all the outdoor-lovers out there:
Village Špiljari and Top of the Fortress
Duration: 2 hours
This is one of the easier, less demanding tours, suitable for almost everyone. The tour last about two hours, from which the climb itself takes 30-40minutes.
The view from the top is stunning, as are the sights along the way, so we made sure to build enough time for breaks to catch your breath and enjoy the surroundings into the tour schedule.
We’ll start the tour by hiking up to the village of Spiljari via the old road that goes around the city walls. The village, situated at 200 meters above sea level, is older than the Old Town of Kotor itself. Nowadays it’s mostly deserted, except from one house.
The lonely inhabitant of Spiljari has converted his home into a small tavern, and that’s where we’ll make our fist stop. The elderly gentleman welcomes tourists into his home and offers the most refreshing cup of tea ever, or a glass of rakija if that’s what you prefer. Of course you will not get a receipt, but if you feel like tipping a few euros for donkey food that would be highly appreciated. Obviously, you will meet the donkey as well.
Moving on from the the village, we will enter the St. Ivan fortress through a passage in city walls and climb to the top of the fortress reaching the flag. Here we will have a well deserved break, which you should use to fully absorb the most breathtaking view in Boka.
Going down we will use a different path where you will have the opportunity to see a man-made tunnel, originally designated to be used for water supply pipes. The project was never finished due to the collapse of Austrian empire after the World War I. After this travel through history and sightseeing we will take you back in the heart of the Old Town of Kotor.
We highly recommend this tour for everyone, especially if you are visiting Kotor for the first time.
Village Velji Zalazi
Duration: 4-8 hours
One of the most popular tours in Boka for those who are not afraid of a challenge. It will take approximately 2h to reach the peak which sits on at 750 meters above the sea level.
The village pf Velji Zalazi is unfortunately abandoned, already for the last 10-15 years. There are many families living in Kotor that originated from there.
This village is like a museum of old Montenegrin culture and village life, depicting how difficult it is to survive in the area without rivers, springs… The villagers used to live without any water or electricity supply. Instead of that you have opportunity to see a man-made water collector and meeting point (gumno).
Spectacular view on the bay is guaranteed. The path leading to the village is still in acceptable condition.
Depending on your level of fitness you can choose the length of the tour, by choosing two different paths on our way back from the village. The length of the tour depends of your decision and it can be from 4 to 8 hours.
Duration: 6-7 hours
This is by far the most extreme and exciting hiking tour in the area. We highly recommend the tour, but only if you are very fit and confident in your abilities.
Usually it will take from 2 to 3 hours from the Old town Kotor to the top. On the way, it will be
necessary to pass bellow the natural rocky bridge – Vilin most or ‘Fairy’s Bridge’, The highest point of the train – the Pestingrad peak – sits at 1007 meters above sea level. It is a sharp rock rising just above the old town. The epic view from this spot will let you see the entire Boka Bay and beyond.
On the way back we will use another, easier, path leading to village Njeguši(Krstac). From the village we can come back to the old town using popular serpentines via village Špiljari or by Taxi.
This tour is almost 10km long and it can take more than 6-7 hours. Make sure to bring good shoes, enough drinking water, some food, spare underwear, clothes and don’t forget the mandatory – good mood.