Kotor- Everything we hoped it would be
Not counting the 5 days we enjoyed with friends Elaine and Sharon, after Budva we felt it seemed appropriate to have another 5 days to take in Montenegro and some of the surrounding area.
Driving out of Budva we stopped shortly at the abandoned Mogren Fortress high in the hills, and eventually arrived into Kotor in the early afternoon to get settled into our apartment for the next few days.
View up the coast from Mogren Fortress
What we soon learned was the apartment we had chosen was an hour walk into Kotor, a small area called Dobreta, although the address says Kotor. Oh well. With that, the apartment was perfect, as it was more of a loft with an upstairs to the bedroom, downstairs a good size kitchen, and a balcony with a kick ass view. Not all bad after all.
I will say, although we made the mistake of booking a residence further away it actually worked out in our favor. As mentioned in the paragraph previously, the view we woke up to each morning made us want to buy the apartment we had just booked. The walk into town, although an hour, was not bad, our hostess told us to walk along the seaside which we did both times we went into the old town. The walk along the sea and the mountains took your mind away from the long walk and the heat and next thing you know we were in the old town.
The first day was to just relax, get some groceries and our hostess gave us a recommendation for dinner that night close to the apartment on the seafront. The restaurant, Konoba Pirun&Ozica, are known for their seafood, so I had the grilled octopus and Mark had the calamari.
Inside of the restaurant, we ate out on the patio
Along the walk from our apartment into Kotor.
Walk into Kotor
Outside the walls of Kotor
Old town is very similar to Budva on a bigger scale, but not the Dubrovnik type scale. Still tourists but not to the point they are restricting cruise ships from entering Kotor, or day trips from Dubrovnik.
Oddly enough Montenegro actually uses Euro although they are not part of the European Union, It was interesting to us, but made it easier since we already had some Euros from our earlier time in France and Italy. But it did make it so that Montenegro wasn't the low cost country we had hoped that it would be, cheaper then Croatia, yes, as inexpensive as Bosnia, no.
We took our time walking around the town with walking through the narrow cobblestone streets, passing many restaurants, shops, and churches. There is a massive wall one can climb to get a spectacular view of Kotor, but not today. What we needed to do was to ensure Mark gets a haircut ,and we found the cutest little barbershop to get this task done.
Afternoon sun showing the old wall of Kotor on the mountain
Heading back to Dubrota from Kotor as the sun sets
After 5 hours of meandering, we headed back to our place and found the cutest restaurant close to our hotel with the best seats ever, right on the water. In fact, you couldn’t move your seat too far back or you would be in the water.
Dinner at Pantagana in Dubroda
The following day we decided to take a 3 hour boat tour around the bay which included a stop for us to take a dip in the refreshing Adriatic, in what is known as the Blue Cave.
View of Perast from the water
The tour was around the Bay of Montenegro and out to the Adriatic, stopping on an island just across the seaside town Perast. Many people go here to not just see the quaint town, but to take the boat from Perast to see the Our Lady of the Rocks. You can read about her on the Internet, but a cliffs notes version is that a local fisherman, after finding an icon of Mary on a small rock island in the bay would return each year he would lay some more rocks, and so after so many years it became an island and they eventually built a church.
Our Lady of the Rocks
St. George Island - only locals are allowed on this island
Then heading out towards the Adriatic, the guide took us to a cave which was used for submarine warfare during WW1 and WW2 and finally the Homeland war. It was first built by the Hapsburgs back in the day.
Another was a stop was a prison, however, due to a Swiss company who would like to build a 5-star hotel we could no longer go onto the island. This prison which was a concentration camp still had cells where one could visit. Alas, we could only take photos from the boat, and none of those came out well due to the position the sun.
Finally the blue caves and a swim and after the weather being so hot, it was a nice reprieve from the heat.
Inside one of the Blue Caves
Swimming in another of the Blue Caves
It was nice to see Kotor from the sea, and a break from the heat. Back to the apartment to cook a nice dinner and relax.
We decided the next day to take a drive to go to Tivat which was about a 45-minute drive from Kotor. Here is the bay where all the large yachts dock to enjoy, from what we understand a bit of a tax break compared to other parts of Europe. The promenade had all the high-end shops one could imagine as well as high end restaurants, and bars.
It was nice to wander around and an afternoon in this area is plenty. Nice to see how the other half live, and although the size of the yachts were quite large, the ones in Monte Carlo, Nice and Mallorca are a lot bigger.
Relaxing down by the Bay
The next day we took on the challenge to walk the wall, which has 1600 steps, and not all are actually steps. You can use your imagination.
First, we had to walk an hour to get to Kotor, and once there, we took a break before starting the hike up to the top. And with us being not so brilliant, we ended up walking in probably the worst time of day 2pm, where the sun was blazing down on us, and of course no breeze to even give us a bit of a break.
Finally, after 90 minutes or so, lost track of time, we made it to the top. We did take some stop to rest or take photos as the view is stunning. Once at the top, you are rewarded for this view. After spending 30 minutes, taking photos, and having a cold beer, we hiked down.
One of the paths up Kotor's walls
Well worth trekking the beers up to the top.
Then walking back to the apartment, we decided to treat ourselves for dinner.
The final walk back from Kotor to Dubrota
We stopped back at the restaurant that we ate at our first night. Again, the food was delicious but also think it may have had something to do with the ambience. The view of the sea and mountains right at sunset made this dinner very magical, and a fantastic way to end the day.
Ah, don’t worry the next night we will be eating inside as we try to stay on budget.
The following day was a day of relaxation. We wanted to enjoy the last day to enjoy the view, do some laundry, and start working on the next leg of our adventure. It worked out well as a major thunderstorm showed up in the afternoon for a few hours. It was interesting to hear the noise from the storms bouncing off the mountains.
The final morning we soaked up our last view, having our daily ritual of eating breakfast on the balcony before the next move to Pluzine, Montenegro.
We truly enjoyed this area of Montenegro and for those who are visiting, even if you don’t have the time to stay in Kotor, definitely recommend the day trip which is offered.