A guide of what to do in Kotor, Montenegro…
Kotor is a beautiful historic walled city just about 2 ½ hours south of Dubrovnik. Seeing a couple of photos was enough to convince me to add Kotor or our itinerary for our Balkans trip. Kotor is a popular destination for people doing day trips from Dubrovnik.
But instead of taking a day trip, we decided to spend a night in Kotor, and we loved getting to explore this small city. By spending the night, we got to go on a sunset hike up the hill behind the city. We also got to take advantage of the fact that hotel prices in Kotor were less expensive than Dubrovnik.
What to do in Kotor, Montenegro:
On the way to Kotor we stopped in Perast, a tiny little seaside village known for having two islands with churches on them. Our Lady of the Rocks is the most famous church. It is local legend that the island was build after seamen would place rocks in the bay after a successful voyage. Today a tradition exists were once a year locals add more rocks to the island.
We grabbed beers and enjoyed the view in Perast until it started to rain and we decided to continue the journey to Kotor.
Hike up the hill behind the city
Since Kotor is so small, it is easy to see in just a day. We were there for one day between stops in Dubrovnik and Budva. One day didn’t feel rushed at all. We had plenty of time to explore the town, and to take a hike up the hill behind the city.
Stand Up Paddleboarding
We also went stand up paddle boarding. The Kotor Bay is a scenic bay with calm waters and a few small islands – the island with Our Lady of the Rock is in the same bay. We rented paddle boards and paddled around one long island. The water was mostly calm, but there was a moment when it a little choppy and I lost my footing and fell into the water. I fell so hard that it dislodged a contact lens from eyeball!
We leisurely paddled around one of the islands, but when we got to the other side of the island the weather was taking a turn for the worst. The skies were getting dark and there was thunder in the distance coming from three separate rain clouds around the bay. I was shocked that the company running the paddle board tour didn’t come to get us when the thunder started. We thought that paddling for 30-40 minutes back to the shore where we started was too risky, so we called the paddle board company and they picked us up in a boat and brought us to shore.
Where to stay in Kotor:
We stayed at Hotel Cattaro. Their website isn’t the greatest, so I was a little skeptical, but it was a lovely hotel! It is right beside the entrance to the city walls, and the room was modern, with all of the essentials we needed, and it had a small balcony with views of the city (the photo above shows the view). The staff was very accommodating, and the breakfast was great.
How to get to Kotor, Montenegro:
We hired a driver to take us from Dubrovnik to Kotor. It cost about $220 and took about 2 ½ hours. We did have to go through customs (to leave Croatia and enter Montenegro – it’s a two step process) and that can take hours if you are unlucky. There was a short line (about 12 cars) when we arrived at customs in Montenegro but it still took about 30 minutes to get through. Leaving Croatia was a 30 second stop at customs.
From Kotor we continued on to Budva, a beach town with a party scene. I will tell you more about Budva in another blog post, but for reference it took just 35 minutes in a taxi to get from Kotor to Budva and it cost 20 Euros.