After visiting Budva, one of Montenegro’s most popular cities, we continued to travel to Kotor Bay. We made our way to Lovcen National Park, to Njegos Mausoleum, where, besides an amazing construction, we found some amazing views over Kotor Bay.
Is Kotor Bay worth visiting?
Yes, it’s highly recommended to travel to Kotor Bay. The stunning bay, which resembles a fjord, is situated in Montenegro, by the Adriatic Sea. With rocky mountains rising abruptly from the water’s edge and charming towns dotting the shoreline, the Bay of Kotor is renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty. Tourists frequently visit this location to take advantage of the beaches, historical sites, and outdoor pursuits available there.
The Bay of Kotor is home to a variety of significant historical and cultural attractions in addition to its natural beauty. Several ancient churches, palaces, and defenses can be seen in Kotor’s Old Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cities of Tivat and Perast, which you’ll probably visit when you travel to Kotor Bay, are particularly worth visiting because of their historical landmarks and gorgeous beaches.
In short, everyone visiting Montenegro should make time to travel to Kotor Bay. It’s a genuinely unique and wonderful site to visit because of its natural beauty and rich cultural past.
How do you get around the Bay of Kotor?
Being a very small region, the Bay of Kotor is simple to navigate. As many of the villages and attractions are close to one another, walking is the easiest method to see Kotor Bay. It is simple to stroll between Kotor, Tivat, and Perast since they are all connected by a beautiful coastal walkway that provides breathtaking views of the bay.
There are several local bus services that link the settlements of the Bay of Kotor if you don’t want to walk there. The buses provide a practical means to go throughout the area and are regular and reasonably priced.
Renting a car or a scooter is an additional choice to travel to Kotor Bay. If you wish to visit the neighboring areas, like the Loven National Park or the Skadar Lake National Park, this is a wonderful choice. It’s necessary to drive cautiously because the roads in the Bay of Kotor can be congested and twisty.
Stop in Lovcen National Park when you travel to Kotor Bay
The National Park is located on the rocky side of the Dinara Alps and it takes its name from Mount Lovcen. The mountain rises quite steeply from the edge of the Adriatic Basin, closing the bays of Boka Kotorska.
For history lovers visiting Montenegro, Lovcen National Park is a must-visit location when you travel to Kotor Bay. The park, which lies at the center of the nation, is the repository of a rich cultural and historical history.
The Mausoleum of Petar II Petrovi-Njego, a colossal marble edifice perched atop Mount Loven, is among the park’s most well-known sights. Visitors may take in expansive views of the Bay of Kotor and the surrounding mountains from the top of the tomb. A suitable memorial to Njego, a prince-bishop and national hero of Montenegro, is the tomb.
Numerous additional historic sites may be found at Lovcen National Park in addition to the tomb. The park’s limits include Cetinje, the Old Royal Capital, which is the location of several significant museums and cultural organizations. The Njego Mausoleum, the Monastery of Cetinje, and the Cetinje Town Museum are also located inside the park and are all well worth seeing due to their historical significance.
Hiking, motorcycling, and horseback riding are just a few of the outdoor pursuits that visitors to Lovcen National Park may try when they travel to Kotor Bay. The park is a fantastic location for birding as it is home to several rare and endangered species.
Mount Lovcen is a symbol of Montenegro, and it’s considered sacred ground. The anthem of Montenegro says Lovcen is our Holy Altar.
Njegos Mausoleum on Mount Lovcen
In the Lovcen National Park, you can visit the tomb of the poet, philosopher, prince-bishop, and statesman Petar II Petrovic Njegoš, a national hero of Montenegro. Born in Njeguši, a village at the base of Mount Lovcen, he was the one who turned it into a symbol of national identity. After his death, Njegoš was buried in a mausoleum on the top of Mount Lovcen.
Njegos Mausoleum is the highest in Europe. After climbing the 461 stairs which take the guests from the parking lot to the Mausoleum and the summit of Mount Lovcen, one finds themselves at 1,749 m above sea level.
The Njegos Mausoleum, a colossal marble building perched atop Mount Loven, provides sweeping views of the Bay of Kotor and the neighboring peaks. The mausoleum’s inside is embellished with elaborate carvings and paintings, making it a stunning and mesmerizing sight.
A path at the rear side of the building leads to a vantage point over Kotor Bay. It is said that the view from here made George Bernard Shaw exclaim in amazement: Am I in paradise or on the moon?! So you see why you must stop here when you travel to Kotor Bay!
Check out the Award-Winning Day Trip to Lovcen National Park!
Kotor Old Town
The Old Town of Kotor in Montenegro, which is situated on the beaches of the Bay of Kotor, is a must-visit location for tourists. The Old Town of Kotor is a wonderful hidden gem with its meandering cobblestone alleyways, historic churches, and breathtaking seaside vistas.
The Kotor Cathedral, a stunning Romanesque-Gothic church from the 12th century, is one of the most well-known sights in the Old Town. Intricate carvings and frescoes throughout the cathedral, as well as breath-taking vistas of the Bay of Kotor, are its most well-known features.
The St. Tryphon’s Cathedral, a gorgeous red-domed cathedral from the ninth century, is another well-liked destination in the Old Town. Several priceless religious objects, including a relic of St. Tryphon, the patron saint of Kotor, are kept in the cathedral.
The Old Town of Kotor is renowned for its thriving cultural scene in addition to its historical features. The town has a vibrant nightlife scene in addition to a variety of art galleries, museums, and theaters. There are also several delectable eateries and cafés where you may sample typical Montenegrin fare.
The Old Town of Kotor is a must-visit location for all Balkan travelers. It has plenty to offer everyone thanks to its fascinating history, thriving culture, and breathtaking seaside vistas.
Our visit to Kotor Old Town
You just can’t travel to Kotor Bay and not stop to visit Kotor’s Old Town!
We entered the town of Kotor through the gate of the Gurdic Bastion and made our way on the narrow, charming, cobblestone streets to St. Luke’s Church and Svetog Tripuna Cathedral. After visiting, we had lunch in the square just outside the latter, at Pizzeria Sara.
I know, the rule of thumb is to never eat next to tourist attractions, but it was very hot outside, we had walked a lot and we just wanted to sit down, rest, eat and drink something cold. The food was ok, and we had a nice view of Kotor’s Cathedral while we enjoyed our lunch.
Pressed by time, we couldn’t afford to delay the climb to Kotor’s castle anymore. So… at 3 pm, when the stones were burning from the heat, we started going up the stairs.
3.155 steps to the Castle of San Giovanni
For curious travelers, the Castle of San Giovanni in Kotor, Montenegro, is a must-see location. The Castle of San Giovanni is a genuine undiscovered gem with its rich history and breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor.
It was a long way to reach the top, but I think it seemed very tiring mostly because of the heat. Otherwise, the steps are built to be quite comfortable during the climb and most of them are in good shape.
About halfway up, you can stop and the Roman-Catholic Church of Our Lady of Remedy.
The views of the Old Town and Kotor Bay are stunning, but you don’t really need to go all the way up to be amazed. I went to the top because I was curious about what was on the other side and was utterly disappointed: yellowish grass, some rocks, and… lots of goats. And that was it.
So at least you know what to expect if you choose to go to the top when you travel to Kotor Bay.
Get some water from the town before you start climbing the stairs. You will be able to buy water along the way because there are a lot of locals selling it, but the closer you get to the top of the stair, the steeper the price you have to pay. In my opinion, it’s a waste of money, as you can simply refill your own bottle from one of Kotor’s many fountains for free before this hike.
Quirky stuff to see when you travel to Kotor Bay
Despite multiple Google searches, I was unable to find the reasons behind two of the most photographed exhibits of Kotor: the tree with eyes, staring at you as you enter the city through the Gurdic Bastion, and the red-haired doll fishing off the walls of the Old Town.
If you happen to know anything, please, please drop me a line!
Perast, a necessary stop when you travel to Kotor Bay
For visitors to the Balkans, Perast, a lovely town in Montenegro on the Bay of Kotor, is a must-visit location.
The Chapel of Our Lady of the Rocks, a gorgeous Baroque-style church situated on a tiny island in the harbor, is one of the town’s most well-known landmarks. The 17th-century cathedral is renowned for its exquisite paintings, sculptures, and gold-leaf altar.
Night in tiny Perast when you travel to Kotor Bay
After visiting the Old Town of Kotor, we found ourselves in the evening looking for accommodation in Perast, a wonderful hidden gem with its scenic location, fascinating history, and stunning architecture.
We got lucky and found two rooms because the town is more or less just a street, with buildings on one side and Kotor Bay on the other. After checking in, we had a small bite to eat, and then I joined Ana and Tim on their terrace, to have a drink and chat a bit before getting a good night’s sleep.
The next day, after breakfast, but before checking out, all three of us went for a swim. We just crossed the street and jumped into the water!
While in Perast, don’t skip a boat ride to visit St. George (Sveti Juraj /Sveti Đorđi) and Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjel), the churches built on one of the small islands one can gaze at from Perast.
Other historical and cultural landmarks can be found in Perast in addition to the churches. Many of the palaces and residences in the town are from the Venetian era and are well-preserved. For its collection of antiquities and artwork, the Museum of Perast, housed in the town’s historic town hall, is well worth seeing.
Perast paints a very different picture during the day. From a tranquil town, it transforms into a wasps’ nest as it gets overcrowded by tourists traveling by bus, in large numbers. That is why we were quite quick to travel to Kotor Bay in the direction of Croatia.