Bewitching Kotor Bay

Kotor Bay, Montenegro

On our way from Dubrovnik to Cetinje, the old royal capital of Montenegro, we passed through a pretty town surrounded by an even prettier bay. So fetching was this stretch of coastline, we hopped off for a closer look: this was Kotor Bay.

The town of Kotor has been settled since ancient times, as part of the Roman province Dalmatia. The wonderful walled city that is there today, has been under Venetian, Ottoman, Italian and Austro-Hungarian rule. In a more recent past, this was a favourite holiday spot in Yugoslavia. Following the break-up of the Yugoslav federation, it was part of a country known for a short while as Serbia and Montenegro. A further separation in 2006 made Montenegro an independent country and the second youngest UN member state.

Kotor, Montenegro

Wandering within the fortified walls, we discovered a small medieval city packed with wonderful surprises around every corner: an intriguing little church here, a small square there, a quirky cafe over there… In fact, we felt we might have been transported to a little Venetian corner of the world. No wonder: the Republic of Venice ruled this area for nearly 400 years and clearly left its mark on the town’s architecture.

Immediately outside the walls is the glittering waters of the Bay of Kotor with yachts moored at the jetties. Lofty mountains reach almost all the way down to the beaches filled with sun-worshippers. Most are from Montenegro and neighbouring Balkan countries. Although, our visit was a few years ago. Since then, cruise ships have begun to arrive in town.

Kotor occupies a strategic location on the Adriatic coast. On top of the mountain is a fortress that once served as defense against foreign invaders. Today, it’s a slightly strenuous (about 1350 steps, some rather shaky), but worthwhile climb.

Kotor Bay practicals

Bay of Kotor

If you like to keep costs down (and who doesn’t), prices in Kotor are much lower than in Dubrovnik. (Same goes for nearby Neum in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Trebinje in Republika Srpska).

  • Kotor has hotels, hostels and private rooms for hire in the old town.
  • Kotor is only 95 kilometres from Dubrovnik, less than two hours away (depending a little on the border-crossing).
  • The vigorous climb up the mountain is best undertaken in the morning (especially in summer).
  • Boats can take you to the islands or the lovely little hamlets along Kotor bay.
  • If you’re from California, it may interest you to know Kotor is twinned with Santa Barbara.

unesco logo

The Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.



21 Responses to “Bewitching Kotor Bay”

  1. Agness 24 April 2014 0408 #

    I am now picturing myself there! LOVELY place, so romantic, peaceful and charming :).

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 April 2014 1212 #

      Kotor is all of that 🙂

  2. Gil 24 April 2014 0730 #

    Loved my trip to Koto Bay! Beautiful pictures and interesting write up. Thank you…

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 24 April 2014 1212 #

      Thanks, Gil 🙂

  3. Corinne 24 April 2014 1702 #

    Sophie, I was just in Kotor a couple weeks ago, unbelievably beautiful and we were there on a hazy day! I agree the city is perfectly small and quiet with lots to discover!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2229 #

      Happy to hear you liked it, Corinne.

  4. Obat Jerawat 25 April 2014 0328 #

    Kotor is on of a beautiful place that I know. That’s very peace place

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2235 #

      It is beautiful, isn’t it…

  5. Larry 26 April 2014 0743 #

    Stunning surrounds … I can’t believe I never heard of this place before!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2236 #

      Kotor doesn’t seem to be on the main trail yet. Most seem to stay put in nearby Dubrovnik.

  6. Agness 26 April 2014 1210 #

    I’m so glad you discovered this place. It’s a hidden gem that many have probably missed when travelling around. What a lovely place, so charming and peaceful!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2237 #


  7. Cathy Sweeney 27 April 2014 2152 #

    Nice to know that Kotor has a sister city in my state of California. Santa Barbara is a beautiful place so it pairs nicely with the lovely town of Kotor. I would love to take a drive along the coastline of Montenegro.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2238 #

      Hope you find an opportunity to soon.

  8. Leigh 28 April 2014 0243 #

    Looks like such a beautiful part of the world. Thanks for the info re prices with other nearby cities.
    I’d never heard of the place before.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2239 #

      Glad to introduce you 🙂

  9. Mette 28 April 2014 1936 #

    Now I see what I have been missing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2239 #

      Not far from Italy, Mette.

  10. Tom Bradshaw 29 April 2014 1243 #

    Kotor is a wonderful place- In fact, I would say its picture-perfect !.I would love to head for Kotor this summer. Triphon cathedral would top my itinerary . Would love to have pastry from forza as well!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 25 May 2014 2240 #

      Picture-perfect describes Kotor well.

  11. Kotor looks just beautiful! I didn’t realize it had so much history with it either. I don’t know how it’s not more known!

Leave a Reply