Bay of Kotor. Fjord in Montenegro, Europe

Bay of Kotor

Fjord in Montenegro, Europe

Bay of Kotor Photo © wally nelemans

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Bay of Kotor

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View
	of Bay of Kotor from Mount Lovcen, Montenegro - Bay of Kotor
View of Bay of Kotor from Mount Lovcen, Montenegro - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Sarah Tzinieris
The Bay of Kotor, also known locally as ‘Boka Kotorska’, or simply ‘Boka’, is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With more than 12 miles in length is the largest Adriatic bay, located at the northern part of Montenegro's coast.

The bay has been inhabited since antiquity and boasts some well-preserved, pristine, medieval towns. For about four centuries it was controlled by the Venetians and you can see their influence in the architecture of the old towns.

The picturesque towns around the Bay of Kotor have a wonderful blend of centuries-old sights, beautiful architecture, and modern vibrancy. An impressively preserved Kotor’s old town is an absolute highlight and should not to be missed. For spectacular views, both inland and down onto the Bay of Kotor, take a trip up the Lovćen (Wikipedia Article) National Park, towering above Kotor.

As the sun goes down most of the fun is to be found in Kotor at the Maximus with several dance floors spread over three levels, where you’ll be able to dance until dawn.

Enjoy a scenic drive along the coast and explore the picturesque towns. Unwind in one of the lively piazzas, lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés, or take a refreshing dip. There are no natural beaches in the Bay of Kotor, but the Budva Riviera (Wikipedia
	Article) is less than an hour's drive away. For the active, there is excellent white-water rafting, sea-kayaking, and hiking.

Montenegro became an independent country in 2006, when it declared independence from Serbia. The country is not a member of the European Union but does use the Euro as currency.

Kotor Montenegro - Bay of Kotor
Kotor Montenegro - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Bernd Schroter

What to See

Herceg Novi

The Herceg Novi is a 700-year-old coastal town with the fascinating Baroque Savina Monastery, the mighty bastion Fortemare, the 'bloody tower' of Kanli Kula and the pebbly beaches on Luštica peninsular, overlooking the entrance to the Bay of Kotor. Most sights are concentrated within Herceg Novi’s charming old town. A pleasant stroll along the lovely seafront, Pet Danica promenade, between the harbor of Herceg Novi and Igalo, lined with cafés, restaurants, and souvenir shops, is a perfect way to spend an afternoon.

Kotor

Kotor
Kotor
Founded by the Romans, Kotor developed in the Middle Ages into an important commercial and artistic center. Stroll around and explore the atmospheric old town with winding cobbled streets, beautiful architecture, and cozy squares. The Maritime Museum is a must-visit attraction, as is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, built in 1166. For impressive views of the stunning Bay of Kotor below, make your way up the 1,350 winding steps to the fortress of Sveti Ivan, dating back to the 6th century. Although it’s a long and tough climb, especially in the heat of summer, is definitely worthwhile.

Perast

Perching at the top of the bay is a beautiful town dating back centuries, steeped in maritime history and representing one of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture. The town of Perast, famous for its two small islands, boast an attractive mix of Baroque palaces, churches, towers, cobbled alleys, and waterfront restaurants. The islets can be visited by boat from Perast’s waterfront.

Our Lady of the Rock Island


Just offshore from Perast is Lady of the Rock Island, an artificial island with the fascinating little church and museum. Walk around the island and have a peek inside the blue-domed church. According to legend, fishermen saw Mary in the reef and began a ritual of dropping a stone on the spot every time they sailed by. Eventually the island we see today was created. The locals here still add rocks every July 22nd at sunset as part of a festival called 'fašinada'.

Montenegro - Bay of Kotor
Montenegro - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Dusko Tasic

Island of St George


Accompanying the Lady of the Rock Island is the Island of St. George with the 12th-century Benedictine monastery of St. George shaded by cypresses and the old graveyard for Perast's old nobility.

Tivat

Tival (Wikipedia Article) is a small colorful town located in the middle of the Bay of Kotor. Its palm tree waterfront promenade lined with plenty of cafés and restaurants, makes a pleasant stop on a trip around the bay. There are several beaches where you can have a dip and enjoy the Adriatic Sea.

Porto Montenegro

Vibrant Porto Montenegro, situated near the seaside town of Tivat, is a former navy port for Yugoslav warships being transformed into a luxury marina-resorts. Two Yugoslav navy submarines, now open to the public, stand on the harbor shore and Cold War munitions are still on show in the Naval Heritage Museum. A vibrant, nautical town boasts Venetian-style waterfront, luxury accommodation, fancy shops, stylish bars and restaurants.

Perast, Montenegro - Bay of
	Kotor
Perast, Montenegro - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Pat Lubas

Kotor fortres - Bay of
	Kotor
Kotor fortres - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Ermedin Islamcevic

Food & Drink

Kotor boasts a large selection of bars, outdoor cafés, and many restaurants specializing in fish, seafood, and traditional Mediterranean cuisine.

The fresh fish and seafood are excellent, usually grilled and accompanied by the tasty 'blitva'; chard and potato. Some of the famous local dishes are: 'Njeguski ham' with olives and cheeses, 'Baka'; a fish stew and mussels in buzzara sauce. A favored meat dish is 'jagnjetina ispod saca'; lamb cooked under a metal lid, which is then covered in hot coals. While tasting traditional meals have a glass of local red Vranac, white Krstac, or a bottle of refreshing Niksic beer.

Climate

The Bay of Kotor has typically Mediterranean climate, characterized by very warm, dry summers and mild, moist winters. The best time to visit is from May to October. Spring and autumn are ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. From November to April many hotels and restaurants along the bay shut completely.

Kotor - Bay of
	Kotor
Kotor - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Carolina

Getting There & Around

The closest airport is Tivat Airport with regular flights from Belgrade and Zürich, and dozens of charter planes landing daily during the summer season. Alternatively you can fly to Dubrovnik or Podgorica airports, and then take the bus from there. If you are travelling by car, the easiest way to reach Kotor Bay is via a 90-minute drive south from the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Make sure you have your vehicle’s registration and ownership documents, as well as the European Green Card vehicle insurance.

It’s useful to have a car to explore the bay, but there are also frequent local buses and plenty of boat trips to see it from the water. The quickest way to cross the Bay of Kotor is by ferry from Kamenari to Lepetani.

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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Mar 21, 2015

Pictures of Bay of Kotor

Perast - Church of Our Lady of the Rock | Gospa od Škrpjela - Bay of Kotor
Perast - Church of Our Lady of the Rock | Gospa od Škrpjela - Bay of Kotor. Photo by Yen Baet

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