Our one day in Kotor, Montenegro

Note that this blog post is available on GPSmyCity as a travel article app  which can be downloaded by clicking here. You can also upgrade the article (for a small fee) for gaining access to the offline map with all sights mentioned on the article. 

I was so looking forward to exploring Kotor after arriving in the country exhausted the night before, that I woke up from the bed at 6:30 in the morning, before everyone else. I went to the balcony right after waking up, and enjoyed the serene morning view of the mountains and the sea.

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Shortly after, the friendly Montenegrin host lady came to the balcony. At first I tried conversing a little in basic English, but she didn’t understand any, so I thought of trying with basic Polish and she actually understood me better! Such was our conversation that we managed to talk about Montenegro, the mountains, Kotor old town, the sea, the cheese that comes from the mountain goats, Croatia, Russian language and her airbnb business:  I in basic Polish and she in basic Montenegrin. I love understanding and speaking some Polish as it allows me to somewhat understand other Slavic words around Europe.  She was a fantastic, super friendly woman and so was her son.

Just walking around

After everybody was up, we were ready to walk to Kotor old town, which was about 20 minutes from our rented apartment. It was already starting to get hot at that time in the morning, but the stroll towards the old town was pleasant. We passed some city beaches on our way. The water started turning bluer and bluer as the morning progressed.

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Serenity

The roads were really compact so it felt a bit crowded for all the vehicles and people that were coming in from the cruise ships, however my mind was completely relaxed after we entered the old town. My favorite thing  about Kotor or Montenegro in general were the mountains surrounding the sea and the towns and villages(the whole country?) all around it. No matter where you turned, you couldn’t miss the spectacular mountains. At Kotor, it was so dramatic that it looked almost like a vertical drop from the mountains to the sea. Mountains all around, yet warm sea and palm trees where we stood. Such a lovely contrast if you ask me.

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Beach in Kotor

 Kotor Old Town

This charming old town, a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the top attractions in Kotor, is walled from all sides. When we entered, we had to decide which of its tiny alleyways to take. Besides the historical buildings that date back to 1500s, the old town is full of little souvenir shops and restaurants.

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The streets of old town in Kotor

Although we never take guided tours as I am generally more interested in the scenery and architecture than history of an area, it might be a good option for some. The old town felt like a maze but I found it very interesting: it was paved with cobblestone streets, historical buildings and churches, cats and of course shops selling souvenirs and other handmade items.

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Climbing up the town walls

It was one of the activities that I really looked forward to in Kotor. As we were riding into the town the night before, I could see lights that went half way up the mountains vertically, from far away and wondered what it was. It was the fort walls of Kotor old town which we were ready to climb. I had read about the fantastic views it offers, and couldn’t wait to ascend. We paid a small entrance ticket of 3 euros and started the climb. I and Stanislaw decided to climb just up to the first church on the trail, Church of our Lady of Health which is about 15-25 minutes up the unpaved trail.

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Walking on the trail

Justyna and Mateusz decided to walk all the way up , until Fortress of St. John. We were lucky that the trail was in shadow as it was morning. The climb to the fort on the top takes about 1.5 hours up and down which Mateusz and Justyna did. We settled for the hike to the first church which took us about 40 minutes in total. We were treated with wonderful views and stopped at several places for photos. I will let the photo do the talking.

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My heart jumps with joy every time I look at the pictures from up there

Tips:

  • Bring good hiking shoes as the trail is narrow, unpaved and unstable at parts.
  • Bring a good camera as the views of Kotor and surrounding mountains are just stunning.
  • Bring water, as the hike is quite uphill.
  • Keep in mind the weather and time of the day, as it can get very hot during summer days.

Swimming!

We were sweaty by the time we returned from the hike in the old town walls. We walked to the apartment, changed into the swimming costumes, bought some beers, and were ready to swim on the Adriatic Sea! I found it very relaxing as we had been traveling in a quite hectic manner and were constantly tired (albeit excited all the time). It is possible to swim almost everywhere along the promenade in Kotor. We chose a paved concrete slab where there were metal stairs leading to the deep water. I prefer swimming in deep water as opposed to the shallow water at the pebbly beach which was nearby. The water was blue and clear.

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From my instagram page

Ride to Lovcen National Park

Located directly behind Kotor at a height of 1749 m is Lovcen Mountain which offers out-of-world views stretching as far as  that of neighboring Albania. Despite knowing all this, I backed out from going, because I just felt so tired from all the intensive bike ride we’d done in the last couple of days and wanted to spend the afternoon swimming in Kotor. Justyna and Mateusz however went ahead and later told us that it was the best part of the trip. I can imagine and their photos and videos certainly say so. But due to time constraint, I had to make a choice between riding 1.5 hours up there again, or spending a more relaxed time down in Kotor. I definitely would have went ahead if we had more than 1 day in Montenegro. Going to the park is an excellent choice for people who love nature, adventure and photography.

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One of the pictures our friends did from the national park

Other activities

Many tourists  arrive in Kotor as a part of cruise ship tour and spend just a day exploring the city. We unfortunately also didn’t have more than one day there but should you have time, there are plenty of activities that can keep you busy in Kotor. Hiking opportunities are aplenty. Rafting, paragliding, swimming  and sunbathing all remain attractive options, and for history and culture lovers, the fortresses, churches, old town, eating options and the Montenegrin hospitality -you’re definitely in for a treat.

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Walking around in Kotor

Since it’s such a small country, you can also easily hop over to the cities and towns nearby for day trips. Montenegro is a jewel in South Eastern Europe that is affordable, extremely beautiful and fascinating and isn’t overrun by tourists yet as neighboring Croatia. Looking back at the whole motorcycle trip, Montenegro remains my favorite destination out of all the places and I will definitely return to explore more of the little country as I had far too less time to see it.

 

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14 thoughts on “Our one day in Kotor, Montenegro

  1. Hello Pooja and namaste. I have just read your blog with great interest. The pictures are great. We see adverts for Montenegro every day here on the Travel Channel and that fjord view is incredible. You certainly are seeing Europe. So many Nepalis don’t see much except their accommodation and jobs but you are really travelling. It’s wonderful.

    1. Good morning and Namaste Dai! Montenegro is truly beautiful – I’d love to go back there again. I hope it doesn’t get as touristy as Croatia anytime soon. I certainly am, Dai. Just a few places in Europe that I haven’t yet been to and that includes the United Kingdom 🙂 English countryside is what I do want to see someday but I just do not want to go through all the tourist visa procedures and the application fee that comes with it when I can travel to so many other places in Europe without any complications. But one day I do want to see it. I’ve heard so many fantastic things about UK from my friends who say that it’s different from continental Europe. Other places that I also really want to visit are Norway, Iceland, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania. More of Spain and Italy.. Ah the list never ends.
      How is your Saturday morning going Dai? Any plans for the weekend? I think I will just stay at home, make some Ramen and watch a movie or something. It’s gloomy here today.
      Pooja

      1. Greetings, Pooja. Yes the UK is different and the visa process is a huge bore I know. But do go there one day. London has magnificent historical sites which aren’t really my thing but I am a huge countryside fan and the UK has some stunning countryside.

        I’ve been to Norway once and to Romania many times. Not yet to Albania, Bulgaria and Iceland. Iceland is far.

        Pooja, it’s yet another clear sunny day here but the temperature is down and I love that.

        Dai

  2. What a lovely destination. The old town looks fascinating, although is it a tourist mecca all the time, or just when the cruise ships arrive? You sound like you had a delightful time, and your photos make me think that I might also visit there one day.

    1. Hi Amanda.
      From what the local Montenegrin host lady told me, it is almost always full of tourists. It wasn’t as crowded as Dubrovnik though, and I think it’s really worth visiting even if does get crowded during the summer months. I had a great time in Kotor indeed, I cannot recommend Montenegro enough as a travel destination 🙂

  3. Wow…really enjoyed your post… as i have told you before i nearly did the same initiary as yours… so i visited Kotor too…. it is amazing…i love your pictures and description of the place…. and like you my heart jumped with joy when i saw your last picture… ❤❤❤ I ‘ll do a post about Kotor too so you’ll get to see my pictures too ❤

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