The fortified, coastal town of Kotor, Montenegro is guaranteed to leave quite an impression, whether you’re making a quick pit stop during a Balkans road trip, visiting for the day as part of a cruise, or are lucky enough to have a few days to properly explore.
Art & Architecture
Easily one of the most beautiful spots in the Adriatic, its medieval old town is picture-perfect from all angles thanks to the cluster of orange terracotta rooftops nestled at the bottom of a lush green hill, framed by dramatic cliff sides and the sparkling, smooth-as-glass Bay of Kotor.
If you can manage to tear yourself away from the picturesque old town, another way to visit Kotor is touring around the serene Bay of Kotor.
Kotor dates back to the Middle Ages, and its preserved centre has earned it a spot on UNESCO’s World Natural and Historical Heritage Site list. Visitors love ambling through the maze of cobblestone streets and hidden passageways that wind past stone churches, restaurants and boutiques, gazing out at the nearby islands from a rooftop perch, tackling the steep trail to get up to the fortress or simply people watching at an outdoor cafe. Sure it can get busy when the cruise crowds show up, and summer traffic on the outskirts is nothing to scoff at, but it’s still remarkably easy to find peace and quiet by simply wandering a block or two off the main streets and suddenly finding yourself in a place that feels like time has stood still.
San Jovani’s castle
It’s only 1,350 steps to the top…easy, right? Not so much, but while the climb up to one of the most popular Kotor attractions isn’t for the faint of heart it’s definitely worth the effort. The imposing Castle of San Giovanni (also known as St. John’s Fortress) is perched 280 metres above Stari Grad, serving up mind-blowing, panoramic views of the stunning bay below. First built during Illyrian times, it has been rebuilt throughout the centuries, withstood multiple earthquakes and scared off many a would-be intruder. Today, visitors are welcome to wander among its grass-covered ruins and marvel at the scene below, making the fortress one of the top things to see in Kotor.