Kotor is one of the most memorable places I went to in southeastern Europe. It boasts a lovingly preserved UNESCO listed old city and a spectacular bay ringed by mountains that looks as if they were kissed by mother nature. On the bus ride from Dubrovnik, it was impossible to take my eyes off the windows as we wound our way around the bay’s jagged edges.
After exploring every crevice of the old city, we hiked up to the fortress perched high atop a rocky outcrop behind the walls of the city. If you go early in the morning you can avoid paying the fee (around 3 euros) to access the path leading up to the fortress. We got lucky when we went mid morning and got in for free as well. The checkpoint is essentially one of the locals sitting at a little table collecting money from tourists. People live further up along the path so there’s no strictly controlled gate or anything.
if you’re into hiking, an even better trek lies just outside the old city. After exiting at the northeast gate, cross 2 bridges then turn right. There will be a path up ahead that takes you up much higher than where the fortress sits and has an even better view of the bay. And best of all, there are pomegranate trees along the path that are free to pick! I helped myself to a few on the way down.
Just up the road from Kotor is another beautiful town called Perast. It’s easy to get a bus here and back from Kotor. There are plenty of boats on the waterfront eager to take you over to the the man made island Our Lady of the Rocks. According to legend, sailors found an icon of Madonna there. From that point on, rocks were dropped on that spot for hundreds of years till an island formed. And then, of course, a church was built on it. It totally worth a day trip. The views from the island are (also of course) amazing!!
Practical Info Kotor has a small airport which operates during the high season. Otherwise, you can get here easily by bus from Dubrovnik or the capital Podgorica. Montenegro’s currency is the Euro.