A day trip to Montenegro

Everyday of our travel during our holiday this time, my first thought after waking up in the morning has been ‘Is it raining??’ It’s been that kind of a weather till now but we have been relatively lucky. Not raining at important times. Both in Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

No rain today too. But no sun either. In fact dark clouds threatening to come down any moment. Hoping for the best we set off armed with our umbrella, raincoat and backpack towards our pick up point. It turned to be a lovely seven minutes walk with a slight drizzle at the end refreshing us. The bus soon arrived and we were off towards our next travel destination. A new country, Montenegro.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Montenegro is a small country in Southeast Europe on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Serbia and Kosovo to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina to the northwest, Albania to the south and Croatia to the west. Having a population of little more than six hundred thousand, its capital is Podgorica. Cetinje is designated as the Old Royal Capital.

This beautiful country ranges from high peaks along its borders with Serbia, Kosovo, Albania and a segment of the western Balkan Peninsula to a narrow coastal plain that is only one to four miles wide. The plain stops abruptly in the north, where Mount Lovsen and Mount Orjen plunge into the inlet of the Bay of Kotor.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

The name Montenegro originated from two words Monte and Negro meaning the Black Mountains. The mountains here include some of the most rugged terrain in Europe, averaging more than 2,000 meters in elevation. One of the country’s notable peaks is Bobotov Kuk in the Durmitor mountains, which reaches a height of 2,522 meters. Owing to the hyper humid climate on their western sides, the Montenegrin mountain ranges were among the most ice-eroded parts of the Balkan Peninsula during the glacial periods.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

I have always been a little apprehensive about border checks after our experience last year on a day trip from Copenhagen to Malmo. Tough looking border policemen & policewomen, unfortunately picking up our bus for a thorough check, started quizzing us. With equally ferocious dogs staring and sniffing us. It was a little scary, very irritating and even more saddening as at the end of it all, they had snatched away an hour of our time and all they got was one solo traveler without a convincing reason to visit Sweden. Silly guys. God save them.

But this time our impression was different. Montenegrins are wonderful. Nice and cool guys. They let us through quickly and the journey from Dubrovnik took just a little over two hours. God bless them and the country with good roads and lots of tourists. The first stop after we crossed the border was a nice mall for some coffee and our toilet break. Coffee my love and the toilet visit before that, just bliss. Age is catching up man 😐. Stay fit to keep traveling, I told myself. Then moved my arms a bit left and right, up and down to assure myself of my fitness and we were soon off and moving.

Perast town beach, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

As we were watching these beautiful views, the bus came to a stop. We had reached the town of Perast and a nice small beach on the way to the city center. Perast is an old town on the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro. It is situated a few kilometers northwest of Kotor and is noted for its proximity to the islets of St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks. It was time to get down for a lovely boat trip. Enjoy the journey with us as we head to ‘Gospa od Skrpjela’ island.

Perast town beach boat point, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
As we sail…

Boat ride from Perast town to 'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

Boat ride from Perast town to 'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe
Passing the beautiful black mountains..
Boat ride from Perast town to 'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe
The island now in sight..

Wish to get a real feel of this wonderful ride. Come let’s start all over again.

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

We had reached ‘Gospa od Skrpjela’, also known as ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’ island. It is one of the two islets off the coast of Perast in the Bay of Kotor, the other being ‘Sveti Dorde’ or ‘Island of St. George’. It’s an artificial island created by bulwark of rocks and by sinking old and seized ships loaded with rocks. The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks is the largest building on the islet and has a museum attached. There is also a small gift shop close to the church and a navigation light at the western end of the islet. Let’s go around this tiny but beautiful island.

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe
‘Our Lady of the Rocks’ island

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

'Our Lady of the Rocks' Island, Montenegro, Europe

The time spent was just enough to go around, visit the church, peep at the museum, have an ice cream, buy some keepsakes and take a few clicks. We are now sailing back towards Perast city center where our bus would be waiting for us to take us further into the unseen.

Keep a watch as we sail past ‘Ostrvo Sveti Dorde’ which is also known as the ‘Island of Saint George’. Unlike ‘Gospa od Skrpjel, it is a natural island. The island contains Saint George Benedictine monastery from the twelfth century and the old graveyard for the old nobility from Perast and further from the whole Bay of Kotor. It is also remembered for a small action that took place during the Siege of Cattaro in 1813 when the French held island was captured by a British and Sicilian naval force.

Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Island of St. George, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
Island of St. George

Island of St. George, Bay of Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Island of St. George, Bay of Kotor, Perast, Montenegro, Europe

Back in our bus we are now heading to Kotor. Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor and in one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southern-most fjord in Europe. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape. The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period.

Bay of Kotor, Perast, Montenegro, Europe
The beauty of nature as we move towards Kotor..

Bay of Kotor, Perast, Montenegro, Europe

Bay of Kotor, Perast, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
Main gate, Old Town, Kotor

Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site and dubbed the ‘Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor’. The exact time of foundation of the first settlement here is not known but according to sources, the oldest settled area dates two millennia back and its current name stems from the word “Dekatera” (from the old Greek words “Deka + Thira” meaning “Ten” + “Gate”, probably from the number of gates of this fortified city. The striking feature at the entrance of old town of Kotor is the post-World War II sign “What belongs to others we don’t want, ours we don’t give’. Let’s go in.

Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
The Clock Tower. Slightly tilted after the last earthquake. And the clock that still works..
Square of Arms, Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
The Main Square, also known as the ‘Square of Arms’
Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
General Consulate building with souvenir & gifts shop below..
Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
One of the oldest palace. Palace of the ‘Pima family’..
Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
The charm of Kotor’s squares and old family homes of local aristocracy..
Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
Katedrala Svetog Tripuna or the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon
Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
Maritime Museum

Kotor in its long history has been fortified since the early Middle Ages, when Emperor Justinian built a fortress above Ascrivium, as it was known then in 535. After changing hands over the ages the city was part of the Venetian Albania province of the Venetian Republic from 1420 to 1797. It was besieged in between by the Ottomans in 1538 and 1657. Four centuries of Venetian domination have given the city the typical Venetian architecture.

The city was nearly destroyed by earthquakes in 1563 and 1667 and endured the massive plague in 1572. In World War I, Kotor was one of three main bases of the Austro-Hungarian Navy and home port to the Austrian Fifth Fleet, consisting of pre-dreadnought battleships and light cruisers built between late 1880s and 1905. The area was the site of some of the fiercest battles between local Montenegrin Slavs and Austria-Hungary. After 1918, the city became a part of Yugoslavia and officially became known as Kotor. It was a part of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1992 to 2003 and subsequently in aState Union of Serbia and Montenegro; from 2003 to 2006 till Montenegro became a separate country. Let’s explore further and also check out some age old churches which have always fascinated me.

St. Nicholas Church, Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
St. Nicholas Church

Kotor Old Town, Montenegro, Europe

St. Luke's Church, Old Town, Montenegro, Europe
St. Luke’s Church
St. Michael's Church, Old Town, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
St. Michael’s Church

St. Michael's Church, Old Town, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Cats Museum, Old Town, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
Cats Museum

Kotor has a large population of cats that have become a symbol of the city. The city has several cat stores and the cats museum as well as the Cats’ Square (Trg od macaka). Water and food is left throughout the city for the cats to feed on, and cardboard boxes are often arranged to be a place for the cats to sleep in.

Old Town, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

With the lovely mountains as the background, Kotor outside the old city is equally beautiful. If you are staying here for few days and you are the adventurous kind, you must walk along the Kotor fortification walls and climb up to the fortress of San Giovanni for the spectacular view of the Old Town and the Boka Bay. The 1355 steps to the top of the fortress take you past a 15th century church, ruins of military buildings and finally to the top of the fortress where a castle once stood. The stairs stretch for three miles directly above the city cutting across the mountains. Let’s go up to the first level of the Old Town wall to enjoy the views.

Old Town, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
The Kotor wall and steps going up the mountain..
Views from Old Town wall, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
And the beautiful sights..

Views from Old Town wall, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Views from Old Town wall, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Views from Old Town wall, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Views from Old Town wall, Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
The beautiful bay area outside the Old City..

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
And we celebrating a beautiful day..

Let’s move down and out of Old Town to get a feel of the port, the sea and more as we walk back towards the parking area and our bus.

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe
Some street music and some shopping if you wish..

Kotor, Montenegro, Europe

As we take a quick coffee break before boarding our bus, you too could take one for yourself. We’ll be back with you soon to explore further. A new destination and a happening town.

Montenegro. Loving every moment in this beautiful country with it’s towering mountains, the inviting Adriatic sea, the lovely islands, nature and rich history.

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44 Comments Add yours

  1. Revathi sethuraman says:

    Wonderful description made me feel as if i am there enjoying. You transported me to the place. As if i sat on a magic carpet and aladdin took me to beautiful ,awesome
    place.you both look awedome.Made for each other. Stay blessed.
    .

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Revathi. So happy that you enjoyed. Thanks again for the complement 😊

  2. Anita Alig says:

    Wow, I never realised Montenegro is such a stunning place. Thanks for the inspiration, the wonderful pictures, and the in-depth information.

  3. Beautiful trip! Encouraging me to explore more! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Sunshine says:

    This looks like a memorable trip to the medieval castle. From what i am seeing and reading it seems like a nice family tour. It’s not crowded and good enough for little ones.
    https://daysdreamt.blogspot.com

  5. Ahhh Montenegro is on my bucket list and it’s even prettier than I imagined!! You make it sound amazing!

  6. Kelly Martin says:

    Wow, it looks so beautiful! How nice to be out on the water there.

  7. Norma says:

    Awesome pictures! Montenegro is such a beautiful place! Interesting that the population is a little more than six hundred thousand.

  8. Jam Nesreen says:

    I love how detailed your post is. I felt like I was there with you during the trip! My fave would be the beach. 🥰

  9. Syed Hossain says:

    Excellent description and tempting pics. A very useful blog for travellers looking for out of the way ,exotic places

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Thank you Hossain 😊

  10. Love, Auntie says:

    Beautiful, peaceful place. The Island of St. George is incredible! That caught my eye the most!

  11. Joyce Osiango says:

    I have a coming trip to Podgorica in few months, your post came in handy when I needed some info

    1. Montenegro looks lovely and piecefull. Thanks for the pictures.

  12. Wow! So Beautiful! I want to go!

  13. Emman Damian says:

    Apart from Serbia and Bulgaria, I really want to visit Montenegro! It looks like a very peaceful country in Europe. I hope to book some tickets soon.

  14. Snehal says:

    Places with hills and water go straight into my bucket list and so did this one 😍😍😍

  15. Despite the cloudy skies, you are able to capture great pictures and relieve great details of your experience.
    Thank you for sharing all the time.

  16. Smita says:

    What a beautiful country – stunning architecture and beautiful landscapes! You packed quite a lot into your trip – thanks for the guide to a lesser known place!

  17. Lyosha Varezhkina says:

    You definitely picked the best way to get to Kotor! The water approach is the best and the bay itself is a gem!

  18. Alexandra says:

    You gys looks so happy on your travels. It makes me want to go exploring there!

  19. you have great pictures here. the trip is so relaxing, embracing nature! how i wish i could go back to a trip with nature again soon…

  20. Jessie says:

    We are going to Croatia next year, and we have been debating whether or not to go to Montenegro. I think we are definitely going to check it out!

  21. Nnniiicceeee…if I hadn’t read your post, I would have never known this about Montenegro! It seems to be a beautiful country than what the media portrays it to be.

  22. Montenegro sounds like a great place to visit and explore! Your informative post makes me feel like I’m already there and learned some interesting facts too.

  23. You always visit the best places! It makes me want to travel more.

  24. Carolyn says:

    This small country in Europe looks so pretty and picture perfect! Must remember Montenegro!

  25. Thanks for introducing a new place to travel!The pictures are so so beautiful.I put it my bucket lists.I am coming Montenegro!Wait for me…

  26. Wow what an amazing place to visit! It looks so beutiful and your photos are stunning!

  27. I am drawn to the boat rides you take during these trips because the water is absolutely gorgeous! I always enjoy reading about the history of places that you write about. It makes me want to visit even more.

  28. Alyssa says:

    Wow this looks like a beautiful place to visit. Lovely photos!

  29. Montenegro has been on my list forever. I would love to visit. Your photos sold me for sure to go!

  30. Mother Fluff says:

    Wow, what a beautiful gem. I have never heard of this place. But, the landscape and history of the place is absolutely incredible.

  31. Emily Fata says:

    I’ve never been to Montenegro before, but it’s definitely on my bucket list of places to go. It seems like there are a lot of really cool things to do while visiting. Do you have any more suggestions?

    1. travelwisesr says:

      Yes Emily. A next post coming up with a little more.

  32. Angie says:

    I have never thought of traveling to Montenegro but you showed me how wrong I was! Thanks for sharing your journey!

  33. Brianna says:

    I’ve been here! It’s such a beautiful place to visit!

  34. Ashley Rice says:

    What a beautiful trip! That island looks so cool! I loved the picture of the town square!

  35. Chocoviv says:

    Another place on my bucketlist!

    1. travelwisesr says:

      We went on a day trip but you must spend a few days in Budva to get the best of the place. Food here is again awesome 😊

      1. Chocoviv says:

        What is your favourite?

        1. travelwisesr says:

          My favorite is seafood 😊

          1. Chocoviv says:

            Yum me too!

  36. Cherryl says:

    What a beautiful place 🔆

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