Picture this: A clear, crisp autumn morning with the sun rising over the Bay of Kotor, surrounded by stunning mountains, steam rising from the water, creating a mystical atmosphere. The perfect day to explore this hidden gem of a country.
Unfortunately, I’m watching all of this from a bus, leaving Montenegro. My time here was spent dodging the rain and taking advantage of the few hours of sunshine I had in Budva. I hoped to stay here a while longer, but with my luck, the only bus back to Dubrovnik was at 8am. Losing in Montenegro…
But on my drive back through Kotor on my return trip to Dubrovnik, the mountains were towering, with stone paths zig zagging up the mountain, surrounding the enormous Bay of Kotor. When I originally arrived in Kotor, it was raining so hard I literally couldn’t see out of the window, I had no idea how maginicent the landscape was.
Montenegro is extremely lush and mountainous. It has a similar landscape to Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, but more vertical terrain.
My first stop was Kotor, recently named the #1 place to visit in 2016.
Kotor is a city steeped in tradition and history, with remarkable scenic views. A UNESCO World Heritage site, the old city was built between the 12th and 14th centuries and is filled with medieval architecture and historic monuments. Extending over four kilometres, the city walls that have protected Kotor for centuries lead up to the fortress of Saint Ivan.
Visiting during the low season was not exactly favorable. Similar to Croatia, the majority of the tours were closed, along with the majority of the restaurants and shops. However, the town was cute, small and quiet.
With the dark clouds hanging on the tops of the mountains, it looks very mystical and eerie.
If the weather clears, be sure to get outside the Old City and talk a walk along the harbor.
If you’re really lucky with the weather, you can walk up to the top of the Fortress Saint Ivan for stellar views of the Bay of Kotor.
I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow Girls Who Travel gal pal while on the road — Thanks for the fun times, Christina!
- Look out point of Mount Lovcen
- Tour of Our Lady of the Rocks
- Hike the 500 steps to Fortress of Saint Ivan
- If the weather is bad, sadly not much to do/see.
- Go during high season
- Stay inside the Old Walls (Airbnb is great!)
- Rent a car – high season is busy and hard to find parking, but easier and cheaper to see the country by rental car.
- Went to a bar because the music was so loud outside our apartment that we weren’t going to be able to sleep anyway. Walked in and it was all men with bottles of Chardonnay chilling on buckets of ice! Welcome to Montenegro!
- Lots of Russians. Helpful having Christina here since she’s fluent!
- Similar mountains to Croatia, but more and bigger.
- Check out Rick Steve’s Kotor experience here
Transportation: If arriving from Croatia to Montenegro, you’re looking at a 2-4 hour bus ride (30 kuna) depending on the border crossing from Dubrovnik to Kotor. You have to show your passport twice; once leaving Croatia and again two minutes later entering Montenegro. But if the weather is nice, the views will be well worth it!