Whether this is experiencing new food, trying new activities or visiting lesser-travelled countries; we’re always on the lookout for a hidden gem. When we first encountered the town of Kotor, we couldn’t quite believe our luck. It didn’t just meet our criteria; it blew it out of the water! Our for Montenegro experiences all allow for time in this beautiful secluded town, but, often it can be hard to know what to do first. Whether you’re travelling through Montenegro on your own, or planning on booking one of our experience holidays, here’s our suggestion of how to spend just 48 hours in the town of Kotor.
Day 1 – AM
Much of Kotor’s charm lies within its old town; a spider’s web of medieval buildings reminiscent of Dubrovnik in Croatia, just a little smaller. Despite its relatively compact size, it’s not difficult to get lost within the entangled alleys and streets. A great way to experience the old town of Kotor is to head on one of the guided walking tours on offer. Many of these can be booked online and cost just a few euros to participate in. During these tours, you’ll have the chance to learn about the history and heritage of the old town and view some of the highlights. Typically, the tours will take an hour or two, and some paid tours can even cover the cost of entrance to places such as the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon. If not, we’d suggest seeing this ancient structure anyway as inside you’ll find a museum and an elevated viewing platform to see the square below. Entrance fee is just €2.50 and is well worth a visit.
Also in the town is a cat museum, comprising of images, postcards, adverts and much more, all featuring the furry felines. It’s a small museum made up of just a couple of rooms, but for only €1 which helps charity, it’s a must for any cat lovers.
To finish off your morning, either drive, bus or boat your way to the neighbouring town of Perast to enjoy a beautiful lunch in Konoba Skolji. We love this place, and the food is always delicious! They offer a great range of meat and seafood dishes, alongside some tasty vegetarian options. Main meals typically range from €8 upwards, but portions are always generous, so value for money is excellent. You’ll also be in the perfect place to start your afternoon.
Day 1 – PM
Staying in the town of Perast for the afternoon, grab a boat trip to Our Lady of the Rocks, a small island located just a few minutes from the bay. The island is man-made and began to be created in the 15th century with fishermen dumping rocks into the sea to form the platform. The tradition still holds with both locals and visitors taking rocks out to the island to help add to the structure.
Once the island grew large enough, a small church was built there, towards the end of the 1400s. Over the years, there have been various works to maintain and renovate the church while in keeping with the initial design. What is seen today is a beautiful monument which really can’t be missed during your trip. Despite the church’s small size, there is a lot to see and you can easily while away an hour looking around the building and the adjacent souvenir store. Make sure you ask for at least 45 minutes on the island as the guided tour is roughly half an hour.
Located roughly halfway between Kotor and Perast, where the land begins to bend, is the restaurant of Stari Mlini. The restaurant is just six minutes’ drive from Perast; however, you could choose to stretch your legs, being roughly an hour’s walk from the town. Seafood takes centre stage on the menu with fish and shellfish being served in myriad ways. The restaurant is very romantic and has beautiful views across the Bay of Kotor, making for a perfect setting to slowly watch the sunset. As the restaurant is very popular, we’d suggest calling up or popping in beforehand to book a table in advance.
Day 2 – AM
An early start to your second day will allow you to squeeze more in. Grab your walking shoes and a bite to eat and head out to explore the Walls of the Old Town. During the walk, you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular viewpoints over the bay and surrounding towns. The walk requires a decent level of fitness as it is climbing a combination of stone stairs and gravel paths. We’d suggest packing a sturdy and robust pair of shoes along with a couple of bottles of water, making sure you take regular breaks along the way. During summer, the temperatures can reach into the mid to high-30s, so we’d recommend choosing a time that has some cloud cover. Typically the walk takes around 90 minutes to get to the top and back, although this could be extended by following the old town road. There is also a restaurant at the top of the walk called Nevjesta Jadrana which offers stunning views over the bay, perfect for a drink to celebrate your holiday!
If you’re looking for a taste of adventure, why not try finding the hole in the wall that leads you to a hidden church? Roughly halfway from the summit, there is a small window-like hole in the wall that allows you to duck through and brings you onto the other side of the wall. There is a rough arrangement of stones on the other side that is supposed to resemble stairs, so be careful when descending the small hill on the other side. The effort is certainly worth it though, as you’ll have the chance to visit the hidden church and to enjoy local refreshments at the house café, where they serve ham and homemade cheese.
Upon return to the town, take the short walk to the water’s edge and visit the Restaurant Galion for lunch. They focus on using locally sourced ingredients where possible including seafood and meat. The food is outstanding, and the view from the tables is even better, allowing you to gaze out across the bay while you enjoy your food.
Day 2 – PM
Having spent some time exploring the land, why not explore the bay by water? There are numerous ways to do so with the best choices being either by speedboat or on a yacht. These can either be booked in advance, or you can hop on a tour during the day if you’re feeling spontaneous. You could choose to pop over the water to neighbouring Muo or zip around the coastline to visit the beautiful town of Tivat.
For your final evening in Kotor, head along to the Boutique Hotel Astoria. During the summer, tables and chairs are set up outside so that you can enjoy an outside dining experience at the heart of the old town. Inside, you’ll find a beautifully lit restaurant with an ambient vibe serving tasty food. Meat and fish dishes are popular here, as are the salad and pasta dishes, so you’ll have no trouble in finding something to suit your appetite. You’ll also be in the perfect place to soak up the town’s evening atmosphere and relax on your final night.