Medieval fortifications, a lush green hill, and a sparking bay in the most beautiful spot in the Adriatic
Kotor is a small, fortified coastal town in Montenegro. Located in southwestern Montenegro, in the Kotor bay, it is guaranteed to leave a strong impression.
The panoramic scenery, of the Kotor bay on one side and the high city walls on the other, incite a sensation of intrigue and wonder while the rising mountains of the Dinaric karst add a specific beauty to Kotor and the whole Kotor bay.
The tall, shielding city walls conceal the beauty of the old town, which unravels once you step through the city gates. As you enter the old town, you will find a well preserved medieval city with a truly fascinating history. Easily one of the most beautiful spots in the Adriatic, this medieval old town makes a perfect background with its orange rooftops nestled at the foot of a lavish green hill framed by the sparkling Bay of Kotor.
Why visit Kotor?
Kotor dates back to the Middle ages, and the preserved Old Town has earned it a spot on the UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage list.
Visitors enjoy strolling through the maze streets and hidden passages that lead past stone churches, restaurants, and boutiques, surmounting the steep trail to get on top of St Giovani’s fortress, or simply gazing at the Kotor Bay from the rooftop of the city walls. Even though Kotor can get very busy when the cruise crowds show up, and the traffic can be a challenge as well. However, it is surprisingly easy to find peace, and quiet only steps away from the main street and find yourself in a place where time seems still.
What to do in Kotor?
Stroll Through The Old Town
Begin your Kotor adventure by wandering through the Stari Grad. The narrow streets and structure of the old town tell an intriguing story. You will find numerous structures left by various cultures who ruled or inhabited Kotor in the past. The old churches, the museum, the wall of shame at the square, as well as the shops will reveal interesting facts. One thing you will surely notice about the streets in the old town is that they all look identical. The creators of the Old Town formed the streets into a maze to have a strategic advantage over any invaders.
Visit St Tryphon Cathedral
Built to honor the city’s patron and saint Tripun (Tryphon), the cathedral is one of Kotor’s most recognized structures. It originates from the 12th century and is one of only two existing Roman Catholic cathedrals.
Being one of the oldest cathedrals in Europe, it is known for its treasury with vast artifacts.
Climb up to St Jame’s Fortress
Are you ready to conquer 1350 steps to the top only to enjoy the most beautiful view of the Kotor bay? Although the climb is not for the faint of heart, it is certainly worth the effort. The imposing Castle of San Giovani (St Jame’s Castle) is 280 meters above the Old Town, serving awe-inspiring views of the stunning bay. First built during Illyrian times, it rebuilt during the centuries, withstood multiple earthquakes, and fought off any intruders. Today visitors love to hike the grass-covered ruins and gaze upon the landscape below, which makes the fortress one of the top things to see in Kotor.
Of course, getting to this point is not exactly a picnic, since visitors must scale steep staircases to the top. However, there are lots of points to rest and enjoy a magnificent view. Once you reach the top, the greatest reward is the best view of Kotor bay, and a chance to explore the fortress, which makes it one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro.
Our tip: This hike is no joke, so make sure to bring a bottle of water (at least 0.5l/person) and wear shoes with a good sole. The entrance fee to St Jame’s fortress costs 3 Euros.