If your business or leisure trip leads you to Montenegro, if not to its likable medieval coastal town Kotor, you should really try to allocate a day or two to pay a visit to its gem – Boka Bay. Although Kotor is a small town, it offers much to its visitors; below you can find some suggestions on how to fully discover its charm, which widely exceeds the town’s moderate size.
1. Explore Kotor’s Old Town
The medieval fortified walls have protected and preserved the exceptional collection of buildings with Romanesque, Baroque, and Renaissance styles. Although devastating earthquakes inflicted a great deal of damage to this exceptional site, much of its authenticity is still preserved. Along the Old Town’s streets you can find an exceptional collection of structures that originated throughout the last millennium, created by the Venetians, the French, local aristocrats, etc.
As you explore its narrow, winding streets (some of which are so narrow that you are unable to spread out your arms completely), you will come across sacral edifices, a few museums, several squares, bars and eateries, fitting into each budget. Open your eyes widely, though, because some exceptional architectural masterpieces aren’t obvious at first glance. St. Clare and St. Anna Churches are examples of such.
2. Ascend to St. Ivan’s Fortress
Although St. Ivan’s Fortress (260 meters /853 ft uphill) has clearly seen better days, paying it a visit would certainly be a crowning experience you aren’t likely to forget any time soon. It is connected to the Old Town by a flight of around 1350 stairs, but reaching it is more than worth the effort. Unless you are very athletic, it will take you an hour to reach the top. That is, if you don’t make frequent stops to enjoy splendid panoramic views along the way.
On your way to the top, you can examine the advanced medieval fortification system, the town below and Boka Bay as well. The related photo was taken halfway up.
3. Visit the Maritime Museum
The Maritime Museum reveals a great deal about Kotor, which is celebrated for its maritime history and achievements of its traders, goldsmiths and other artisans. Throughout the museum premises you can familiarize yourselves with local folklore and culture, the turbulent history through historical documents, events that occurred in history projected on the reliefs, reconstructions of period drawing rooms and salons, weaponry development throughout the centuries, and much more. The Maritime Museum is composed of three levels that can be thoroughly explored within two hours. Admission is 4 EUR (4.50 USD) and headphones in several languages are available.
4. Take a submarine tour
Another out of the ordinary experience awaits you at the Kotor docks. The submarine tour lasts approximately an hour, giving you an excellent perspective on the surrounding mountains, the ramparts of the Old Town and hillside fortifications, the beautiful coastline dotted with villas and ecclesiastical structures, and the underwater world. Submarine tours start each hour between 09:00 am and 08:00 pm, and the full price is 12 EUR (13 USD).
5. Take a night-time walk...
… and enjoy the lights of Kotor reflected on the water’s surface, the majestic appearance of the hillside fortification system, and the murmur of the waves as the daytime traffic lessens. During an evening walk admire the subtle illumination of the Old Town’s defensive walls and fall prey to Kotor’s endless night-time charm.
Wishing for more?
If you are a cat lover, a museum devoted to these dignified and majestic creatures is what you should be looking for in the Old Town. If you are a religious devotee, you can pick among numerous churches to attend the service or simply worship in silence. Finally, from Kotor you can easily set out on a Boka Bay tour or cruise, excursions to Skadar (Albania), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and more!
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