What is there to do in the Bay of Kotor? A better question would be, how to find the time for all there is to do. No matter if you are the adventurous type looking for a thrill or a pure hedonist looking for good food and atmosphere, you’ll find there are plenty of amazing experiences waiting for you in the Boka Bay.
This also means we are inevitably going to skip a lot of things. Each small town in the ‘Europe’s southernmost fjord’ has its own charm. The combination of stunning natural landscapes and rich cultural heritage will hardly leave anyone indifferent. But, in case you are wondering where to start, here are 10 suggestions nobody should miss:
1. Get Lost in the Alleys of Kotor Old Town
The best place to start exploring the Bay of Kotor is the town of Kotor itself. This is a city with incredibly rich history, and you don’t need a history book to tell you this – the walls of this town speak for themselves.
When you approach the old town, you’ll immediately notice it’s surrounded by medieval walls. You can enter through one of three doors – the Sea Gate to the West, the Gurdic Gate to the South and the River Gate to the North. Each of the doors is centuries old and a unique sight, but wait until you see what is hidden inside.
One can easily spend a morning or an afternoon just wandering the streets, squares and tiny cobblestone alleys. Beautiful examples of medieval and baroque architecture are to be found at literally every corner. And in case you get tired, there are plenty of shops, bars, and cafes to provide replenishment.
2. Check Out the Churches and Museums
Once you experience the spirit of Bay of Kotor for yourself, chances are you’ll want to learn more about its history. A good place to start could be the churches, and there are quite a few of them inside the old town. If you don’t see anything else, you must definitely take a look at the Cathedral of St. Tryphon. Built in 1166, this Roman church is practically a museum in itself.
For more detailed information, and a glimpse of how life Kotor might have looked like ages ago, head over to the Maritime Museum. For those looking for something a bit more out of the ordinary, Kotor also has a Cats Museum. It might not be the most impressive exhibition in the world, but it’s a nice way to honour the numerous cat inhabitants of Kotor.
3. Hike to San Giovanni
A visit to Kotor is not complete without a hike to the San Giovanni Fortress. You can’t miss it – it’s the huge wall going all the way up the hill behind the old town.
The hike to the top is no easy feat, especially in warm weather, but it’s well worth it. After conquering (approximately) 1350 steps, you’ll have some of the best views of the Bay in front of you. It’s the ultimate selfie spot!
4. Don’t Miss Perast!
Bay of Kotor can get quite crowded during the summer. If you get tired of the heat and the bustle of city life, Perast is the perfect place to escape for a day. It’s a beautiful town with rich history, stunning architecture, and a single street along the sea that is closed for car traffic during the summer.
As a plus, you get to admire the two unique islands located in front of Perast: Lady of the Rock and Saint George. A boat trip to see them up close is also easy to arrange.
Perast is easy to reach by car or bus, but if you want to make it really special you can get there by speed boat from Kotor too.
5. Try A Local Seafood Dish
A visit to the Adriatic is not complete without a sampling of the local specialties. To make the experience complete, one ought to enjoy it right at the seaside (plenty of opportunities for that in Kotor and nearby towns).
Definitely stop by one of the charming restaurants and try a seafood platter, some black ink risotto or maybe stuffed squid.
6. Taste the Local Drinks (Wine, Rakija, or Beer)
Among the local delicacies of Montenegro there are also drinks. The wine, specifically, shouldn’t be missed. Wine-making has a long history in the country, so definitely try wine made from the local grape varieties – Vranac (red) and Krstač (white).
If you are interested in more, the local brandy called rakija is also unavoidable. There is also the local Nikšićko beer produced in the Trebjesa brewery in Nikšić.
7. Go for a Drive Along the Coast
The winding road along the coast of the Bay is somewhat of an attraction in itself. Even an episode of Top Gear was filmed there! The road is quite narrow but full of beautiful vistas. If you are brave enough, rent a car and take yourself for a tour. There are plenty of spots along the way to take a break for a picnic, a drink, and/or a dip in the sea.
8. Enjoy a Bit of Luxury at Porto Montenegro
Just in case you get tired of all the history, you can head over to Tivat for something more contemporary. Porto Montenegro is a stunning marina for luxury yachts surrounded by lots of shops and high-end restaurants and bars.
9. Head to Lustica for a Beach Day
Don’t get us wrong, there are plenty of nice spots to dip yourself in the sea practically anywhere in the Bay of Kotor. However, they are usually small gravel beaches or concrete ‘pontas’. If you catch yourself craving the real beach feeling, head over to the Luštica peninsula.
While not technically inside the Bay, the peninsula is right at its entrance. There are quite a few more or less hidden beaches all along the coast. The Plavi Horizonti (Blue Horizon) beach, for example, is only 20 minutes by car from Kotor, but is a complete change of scenery.
10. Go on a Boat Trip
Last but not least, a visit to the Bay of Kotor is really not complete without a boat tour. Especially if the weather is warm, speed boat tours can provide the necessary refreshment and a welcome change of perspective.
Some of the best speed boat tours in Kotor are offered by the Limitless company. The Blue Cave Adventure is one of the most stunning Montenegro boat tours (yes, you get to swim in a blue cave), but there are plenty of other options to choose from too. If you want a boat trip, but aren’t sure where to start with picking one, check out our boat tour guide to learn about all the options.