Boka Bay (Boka Kotorska) is known as the southernmost fjord of Europe. It is also known for its crystal clear water, intimidating black mountains and its reputation as one of the world’s most beautiful bays.
Cultural events, historical battles and conquests of ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome shaped this area, known simply as Boka. This created precious cultural and historical monuments we have today, making Boka Bay a must see on any trip to Montenegro.
Kotor old town is famous for its renaissance style architecture, picturesque narrow streets and cats relaxing on the pavements.
You can enter this Venetian old town through three gates - Sea gate, South (Gurdic) gate and the River gate, each built in different periods of the city history.
Whole town is intertwined with streets, small squares and interesting buildings such as Saint Tryphon’s Cathedral, the Clock Tower, the Pillar of Shame - the symbols of the city of Kotor.
An interesting fact is that Kotor is, besides Amsterdam, the only city in Europe with museum dedicated only to cats. Cats museum of Kotor is a true temple for the worshippers of these fluffy creatures.
The best option for exploring the city is taking one of the walking tours and enjoying the city vibe while learning about its rich history.
The San Giovanni Fortress above Kotor is definitely the first thing that will catch your attention when you get close to the city. The fortress is dating back to medieval times, and it’s heavily marked by Byzantine and Venetian influence. The rocky path decorated with walls, gates and bastions will take you on a three hours hike from the old town to the 1200 meter fortress. The view from the walls of San Giovanni over the city and the Bay of Kotor is incredible! It’s definitely worth each of the almost 1350 stairs you’ll climb on your way up.
Boka Kotorska is a perfect hiking area with a lot of routes you can take. The one you shouldn’t miss is the hike on Vrmac ridge. The ridge divides the Bay of Kotor and the Bay of Tivat.
This scenic hiking tour is 5.5 km long and on its way, you’ll go through Austro-Hungarian pathway, thick pine forest and get the chance to rest and maybe eat local specialties in the village of Gornja Lastva.
You’ll withness stunning view from the both sides of the ridge: mountains Lovćen and Orjen, Boka bay, peninsula Luštica and some other beautiful parts of the Montenegrin coast. Kotor city walls will look tiny from there!
A tiny old town of Perast, a couple of kilometers far from Kotor is the prettiest place in Montenegro. This charming town has just one street, a small square and less than 300 inhabitants which makes it perfect for the escape from big city hustle.
At the heart of the town, built on the square is St. Nicholas Church, surrounded by palm trees and bronze monuments, inviting to sit on the bench and just enjoy the moment.
There are two islands close to Perast that add to the charm of the place - Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George.
Our Lady of the Rocks particularly interesting for two reasons - it is the only artificially-built island in the Adriatic and its foundation is carried in legends. Our recommendation is to take a boat trip to this islet and learn about it’s magic.
Located at the entrance of the Boka Bay, Herceg Novi is not extremely attractive to tourists, but it’s still beautiful! Its history was built under Venetian, Spanish, Turkish and Austrian influence, and you can sense its richness just by walking around. The city itself has 6 fortifications from these different periods: Citadela, Forte Mare, Tora, Kanli Kula, Sat Kula and Španjola, all with a story to tell.
You can wander through small plazas and staircases from the old town to the seaside and then take a walk at the pedestrian-only promenade. At the western end of it you’ll see a small town of Igalo, famous for its healing muddy treatments.
From the city you can take the boat to visit the nearby Mamula Fortress, a former prison on an island which is now uninhabited, or get to the Blue Cave and enjoy swimming and diving in crystal clean waters surrounding it.
Seaside town of Risan used to be a the Ilirian metropolis and a city of value to the Roman Empire in centuries before Christ. Its significance is visible in remains from the Roman period, preserved until today in a form of Roman villa, better known as Roman mosaics.
Being one of the most precious monuments of culture in Montenegro and whole Europe, these mosaics are a must see for all the culture and history lovers. If you consider yourself one of them, you’ll appreciate seeing geometric and floral shapes made out of precious rocks built in various mosaics and unique mythology motifs laid out on the floor.
Risan is easily reachable by busses from all the nearby cities, and can be combined to your trip to Perast, which is only a couple of kilometers away from this city/historical monument.
About 2 km from Risan lies an archeological treasure – Lipci cliff. This place is special because this natural amphitheater formed from rocks contains the most extensive prehistoric drawings in Balkan area. The paintings, created in the 8th century BC show simple geometric patterns, people in movement, hunting scenes and some wild animals.
The only thing you should be careful about is the road to Lipci - it not in a very good shape and you might find it hard to orientate, so follow the marks carefully.
Porto Montenegro, a resort built in beautiful Tivat city is a mayor tourist attraction in the area. it is one of the most prestigious marinas in the Adriatic that can accommodate the world’s largest mega yachts.
Its high-end port, branded shops and fantastic bars and restaurants offer a lot to its visitors. Even if you just want to walk around, observe people and enjoy the view to the luxurious yachts, we’re sure you’ll spend an interesting day here. And who knows which celebrity you might meet?
Celebrations organized in cities of Boka Bay give this area additional value, and are an experience you shouldn’t miss if you happen to be in Montenegro in specific times of the year.
The most famous among them is Kotor Carnival. Tradition of fešta (celebration) under masks from Venetian period has been preserved until today, and each February you can enjoy in two weeks of parades and performances on the streets of Kotor.
Also in February, Herceg Novi hosts an interesting event – Mimosa Festival. This month-long celebration is dedicated to this beautiful yellow flower. You can expect a lot of music, traditional dances and plenty of food.
Each July in a traditional whole day event in Perast called Fašinada, male descendants of towns families row a convoy of decorated boats loaded with stoned with the aim to deposit it to the Our Lady of the Rocks island. Nowadays, the ritual is followed by a two-day yachting regatta called Fašinada Cup.
If you need to find an exceptional place for your next trip, don’t look further, because Boka Bay has a lot in offer! And you’ll get the chance to know Montenegro at its historical, original roots.
And remember, for all you need on the road, we’re here!