Enjoyed a gorgeous long weekend in Kotor with my mum. It’s been on my list for a while as I was supposed to go in 2020 but then COVID hit. It didn’t disappoint..
You can check out my little vlog for the highlights!
Search for the cheapest flights on Skyscanner! The nearest airport to Kotor is Tivat, but flights aren’t particularly regular / involve changes. I booked direct flights from Stansted to Podgorica with Ryanair for GBP 125 per person (inc. priority with a cabin bag). Podgorica is a 1.5 hour (EUR 65) taxi away from Kotor and a scenic drive.
We stayed at Kotor Muo apartments, just 0.5 miles from Old Town. This was a great location as we had a stunning view of Kotor and the ladder, however, I wouldn’t have wanted to stay any further around the bay as it’s a dark walk without a path late in the evening. I paid EUR 287 (GBP 245) for 3 nights which was reasonable for a 2 bed with a view and a good location. It’s not luxury, but is clean, spacious, and has a great terrace and pool.
Is the Euro. Most restaurants accept card, but we had to have cash to pay for the apartment and taxis so it’s a good idea to get some out.
What we did…
Ladder of Kotor
There are 2 routes you can take depending on how much time you have!
1. You’ll find the entrance to the shorter route to the fortress in the old town. It takes about 1.5 hours to complete (up and down) and offers stunning views of the bay.
You have to pay EUR 8 (GBP 6.80) per person to start the hike.
Steps have been built for the majority of the journey to make the walk a little easier. However, it is quite steep. If you’re not fighting fit, it might take you a couple of hours to work your way up and back down again. There are locals selling cold water and beer along the way if you need to stop and rest.
2. There’s a longer hike with 72 switches to a much higher viewpoint and restaurant. We discovered this on the 2nd day but only had a couple of hours as we had a boat trip booked so only completed half of it (it should take approx. 4-5 hours to get to the top and down again, although there’s a main road at the top so you can get a taxi down if it’s getting dark).
This route isn’t as busy by a long way. I had anticipated this would be the more strenuous hike, but the incline was gradual and it didn’t feel as taxing as the ladder to the fortress.
We definitely would have easily completed if we had the time. Definitely recommend it as I think the views were even better than the first route and would have been even more spectacular if we’d made it higher.
We went on a 3 hour boat trip from Kotor Bay for EUR 40 (GBP 35) per person which I would definitely recommend for a whistle stop tour of places of interest in the bay…
– Our Lady of the Rocks
The first stop was Our Lady of the Rocks – 1 of 2 little artificial islands off the coast of Perast. The islands were created by rocks and sinking old ships full of rocks! There’s a legend that seaman found the icon of Madonna and Child on a rock in the 1400s and would lay a rock in the bay after a successful voyage, building up the islet! There’s a tradition on the 22 July each year where locals take boats out and throw rocks into the sea!
– Blue Caves
Don’t forget your cossie as on the boat trip you’ll visit the Blue Cave! The pictures don’t really do it justice but the water was SO blue. We had great weather and went on a sunny day – the water looks so blue because of the way the light reflects and so obviously wouldn’t look as blue on a dull day. The water was FREEZING in April but I had to jump in anyway.
– Mamula Prison & Submarine Bases
We whizzed by Mamula Prison which was built as a fortress and kept about 2,000 prisoners in WW2. It’s got a dark past but is currently being renovated into a casino / hotel.
We visited ex-submarine bases which look like something out of a James Bond film (our tour guide said they did film in them!!) Rocks were used to disguise the base when they were being used.
The Old Town is gorgeous and full of cute shops, bars and restaurants.
It’s also known for its stray cats! These are well taken care of by the locals and are really friendly – will approach you for some love (thank god I had an anti histamine jab before the trip!). We even found a few on our walks up the ladders. There’s a folklore that in the early 1900s, sailors would bring their ships into the bay, and their cats too – much needed to keep the rats and snakes away. This is also why the population of cats is so diverse, because they’re from around the globe!
Food & drink…
There are loads of places to eat in the Old Town and all looked pretty good and reasonably priced. I didn’t take note of the first place we had breakfast but it was in the main square and was delicious. There are also a few places where you can pick up a massive slice of pizza for a snack at EUR 2.50 – bargain.
Ridiculously good meal in one of the squares with a good vibe and great service. The tuna steak with black risotto was exceptional.
I really enjoyed my meal here but mum wasn’t impressed with hers. If you’re into seafood risotto, definitely go for that. *TOP TIP – don’t feed the cats until the end of the meal or else they’ll keep on pestering you.
Other food recommendations:
– Konoba Akustik next to the port
– Tanjga close to the Old Town
– Galion on the water
– Nevjesta Jadrana at the top of the ladder
Other recommendations for Montenegro:
– Sveti Stefan – Restaurant & Hotel Adrovic
– Tara River Canyon – looks incredible. The deepest Canyon in Europe and second deepest in the entire world (after the Grand Canyon)
Definitely suggest visiting this stunning place. Beautiful views, full of nature, great food and drink, nice locals, reasonable prices – where could you go wrong?