Set by the gleaming Bay of Kotor and hidden by the towering Limestone cliffs, Kotor is a magical place with an interesting architecture, an incredible natural setting with a small-town feel. Capital of one of the world’s smallest countries Montenegro, Kotor is like the postcard for the country and it looks like a Mediterranean fjord.
It took us about three hours to drive from the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia, the first glimpse of Kotor is full of natural beauty and is a treat for the eyes. With picturesque mountains and mirror-like waters of Boka Kotorska- what the locals call the Bay of Kotor- the medieval city and picturesque landscape were awarded World Heritage Site . With its tidy, narrow pathways and buildings made of white stone, one can spend the day meandering within the city walls enjoying the view with a drink. The bay is backed by grand mountains, because of which the clouds looks like just a jump away. Hiking up the medieval walls offers the best vantage point over the bay.
The town is full of of natural beauty, Venetian architecture, and ancient history. The old town is fortified on all sides with the massive rocky providing an extra security layer. The walls, which stretch for 4.5 km (3 mi) directly above the city, were built for protection by the Republic of Venice. The main square, Piazza of the Arms, has a beautiful old stone clock tower and has a variety of restaurants, cafés and shops. One can find better prices, more attentive service and more authentic local dishes in the less touristy streets & areas.
We climbed up the mossy rock-cut steps to reach a lookout point. Ominous clouds hung over the bay. A little hike ahead will take you to the 15th century Church Of Our Lady Of Remedy, at around 100 meters high. On a clear day one can hike upto the Fortress of St. John. We couldn’t due to the bad weather. We wandered the lanes of the old town of Kotor and marveled at the beautiful churches.
Getting to Kotor by land
Kotor doesn’t have an airport but it is easy to drive there. From Dubrovnik, plenty of companies offer day trips to Kotor. It’s close to 2-2.5 hour drive from Dubrovnik. One can drive themselves or can take a bus. The drive is scenic, the roads are well maintained and hugs the coast.
While the culture, food, views, and language in Dubrovnik and Kotor are more or less similar, a stay in Kotor should be a more pleasant experience if you want to stay away from crowd. We stayed in Dubrovnik and found it too busy, crowded, and expensive for our liking. However, Kotor, in contrast, has a more relaxed vibe and fewer tourists.