The Discoverer
The Discoverer
Kotor, Montenegro
Edition 93   |   4‌:‌2‌7 r‌ea‌d t‌im‌e
Kotor, Montenegro | @diratania
Romance isn’t dead — just ask Kotor. Tucked around the corner from the bustling Adriatic tourist circuit, Kotor has its visitors but remains woefully underappreciated. Those who do make their way to this Balkan retreat are swept off their feet by its Alpine mountains, fjord-like bay, medieval architecture and Mediterranean charm.
Fun Fact:
Montenegro means “black mountain,” a reference to the appearance of Mt. Lovćen covered in thick forests.
September — October
Kotor enjoys the very best of Mediterranean weather. Warm and sunny, temperate and inviting, this waterside retreat springs to life in summer. Unfortunately, that means the crowds come knocking in July and August. For the best Kotor getaway, head there in fall, after the crowds have dispersed a little.
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Kotor Old Town | @diratania
Cats Everywhere
Kotor’s Old Town has been a UNESCO site since 1979, and upon arrival you’ll easily understand why. Well-preserved medieval fortresses, Venetian palaces and Orthodox churches cluster together on cobblestone streets populated primarily by lazy felines. Pass through the entrance to Old Town at the Sea Gate and stroll past St. Tryphon’s Cathedral. Explore the Maritime Museum or, if you’re wondering why there are so many cats around, the Cat Museum. Wander past small shops and stop to watch skilled craftsmen demonstrate their talents. Toward the end of the day, scale the city walls at the Castle of San Giovanni, climbing 1,355 ancient steps for a stunning view of the entire bay.
Bay of Kotor | @pustolovac_
The Bay Area
In many ways, the Bay of Kotor resembles a Norwegian fjord more than an inlet of the Mediterranean. Hop on a boat and cruise around, exploring the little islands that dot the shorelines, like Sveti Đorđe, home to a monastery, and Our Lady of the Rocks, a man-made floating church. If it’s not too crowded, visit the Blue Cave, a naturally-iridescent water cave, or have your guide find you another cove. Don’t forget the beaches, either. Dobrec Beach is a delightful place to take a dip in crystal clear waters and is only accessible by boat.
Lovćen National Park | @ricardobrazb
A Quiet Place
Head inland from Kotor and find yourself in the mountains. The most well-known way to get into the hills is on the Ladder of Kotor, a daunting trail of 70 switchbacks that starts in Old Town and climbs steadily to Krstac Pass. If you need more, find your way to Lovćen National Park, where mountains and history await. The most popular attraction here is the Njegoš Mausoleum, a mountaintop tomb for Prince-Bishop Petar II Petrović-Njegoš. Stunning views make this final resting place a popular spot to trek to.
Perast | @p_chara
The Village People
Perched along the water in the Bay of Kotor are plenty of adorable villages worth your visit. Rent a car or bike and hop between villages for more relaxation. Perast is considered the most beautiful village in Montenegro, and it certainly makes its case well, featuring Venetian villas overlooking a quiet bay. The charming medieval town of Herceg Novi and the glitzy nautical center Tivat also stake their claim, making it easy to stretch out your vacation by several days.
Chanel & Stevo's Discovery
"This view from above the town of Kotor is one of the best in the country, and sums up this small Mediterranean beauty in one snap. To get here, you have to enter the old town below, and make your way up the slippery steps alongside the city walls. It'll cost you around 8 Euros to enter the walkway, and you have the option of going all the way up to the top of the Fortress, or just stop here at the little church and admire the view."
Tanjga | @tonytitanium
Sea to Table
This close to the water, you can bet seafood is on the menu. You can also expect plenty of olives, cheese, pasta and wine to round out your Mediterranean diet. Find this fare at Galion, a romantic waterside spot where you can sip wine, eat mussels and watch boats bobbing in the water. If you want to skip the frills and go straight to local cuisine, try Tanjga, a laid-back butcher’s shop with meat marinated to perfection. For Montenegro’s take on wine, try the Old Winery which has a fantastic selection in the heart of Old Town. For dessert, don’t miss out on palachinke, traditional pancakes stuffed with jam available on most menus.
Hotel Marija | @hotelmarija
Cozy Corners
Kotor has plenty of accommodation options for visitors, from apartments run by charming families to more luxurious hotels. The boutique Hotel Hippocampus is a favorite; centrally located in Old Town, its luxurious rooms feature original exposed-brick design and stunning rooftop views. For a tighter budget, Hotel Marija offers a similar central experience. Escape the center and into the hills at Hotel Monte Cristo, which sits at the foot of the mountains. You can also expand your base of operations and check out the hotels in the villages around the bay.
#visitkotor | @le_winston
Let’s Go
"Travel in low season: few tourists, not hot, there are many free places to visit. For example, from November to March the entrance to San Giovanni fortress is free, and from April to October it’s €8 per person." – @__evangel__
Cruise On
"There are many tour agencies that offer boat tours for as little as ten euro, but then, you’re stuck on a boat with way too many people to really enjoy what is supposed to be a tranquil activity. You can easily get a private boat at a decent price by going to the tourist info point at the main entrance to Kotor and asking for some providers. We personally think it is well worth it." – @madhouse_heaven
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