Scenic View of Kotor Bay and Historic Church in Montenegro Scenic View of Kotor Bay and Historic Church in Montenegro

The Montenegro Bay of Kotor: A Mesmerizing Mirage in the Eyes!

If you get a miraculous opportunity to land in Montenegro, I would highly recommend you make the most of your time exploring the Bay of Kotor and everything surrounding it…!! I am saying this because being a coastal region it offers gorgeous views of mountains, blue waters, and the picturesque old Kotor town huddled in the extreme South. 

Not forgetting to mention that this beautiful bay is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and a highly toured spot in the Balkans. However, you must not get mistaken in thinking that the bay is a fjord. It is not! Instead, it’s called a ria by geomorphologists.

So, dock your senses in the Bay of Kotor as I unfold what lies ahead to equip you for your upcoming trip…!!

Also simply called Boka, the Bay of Kotor is an exemplary travel destination in southwestern Montenegro in the heart of the Adriatic Sea. 

You won’t be able to take your eyes off from towering mountains, crystal clear waters, and the rocky coastline dotted with waterside towns. I am telling you, this bay is simply a spectacular postcard-perfect landscape. Nevertheless, its beauty is amplified by the enclosure of the Lovćen Mountains in the east and the Orjen Mountains in the west.

Montenegro, the country where the bay is located, is pretty small, with a population of just over 600,000 people. It is snuggled between Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Herzegovina and Kosovo. However, initially, it was a part of Yugoslavia before it was cut out in the 1990s.

Bay of Kotor

If you are an adventure seeker, there are uncountable things to do in the Montenegro Bay of Kotor, like swimming, sailing, hiking, kayaking, and boating. Also, there are many places to see within the quaint old towns that cramp the area, like the Orthodox, Venetian-Gothic flair, and Catholic churches, restaurants, boutiques, and countless friendly cats. 

Additionally, Kotor Bay reflects a rich culture and heritage due to the numerous empires that have ruled the place. This is because, earlier, it used to be an important trade route for the Romans, Illyrians, Byzantines, and Venetians, who left a mark on this region as they left its shores. 

I’m sure you’ll have sheer joy to wander into every twist and turn and get lost in the pure bliss of the bay. 

Let’s Sail the Bay of Kotor Backward in Time

The Kotor Bay history dates back many centuries when the Romans had first inhabited the place. During their reign, the Kotor city was called Acruvium, and it was around 168 BC that it was first mentioned. The Romans and the Illyrians built the city walls, and the ‘finishing touches’ were given by the Venetians.

Bay of Kotor

Later, in 535 BC, Justinian I, who was the emperor, built a fort atop the city. Unfortunately, in 800 BC, the Saracens invaded the city, and they built the Cathedral of St. Trifun in 809 BC.

After the death of St. Trifun, his remains landed on Kotor from Constantinople. Later, the rich history of Kotor began to flourish under the reign of Zeta in Serbia. This was when the city became a prominent trade route under the State of Nemanjici. But his reign didn’t last long as it was later taken over by Bosnian, French, Austrian, Hungarian, and Venetian rulers. 

Finally, between 1391 and 1420, Kotor became an independent city-republic. There were constant attacks from the Ottomans in between, and the city sought refuge from the Republic of Venice. Also, it was in this period that Kotor fell into the mighty Venetian Republic’s reign between 1420 and 1797. Simultaneously, you can call this period the golden age of Kotor!

Bay of Kotor

Because there were numerous construction works undertaken around this time, including the building of magnificent palaces and ships. Also, maritime affairs, crafts, and commerce flourished during the Venetian Rule that lasted for 300 years.

But you must congratulate their rule as the good fortification system shielded the city from any Ottoman attacks! The city can be accessed through any of the three gates; the most famous is the Sea Gate, located in the old town’s front.

You can get into this gate to directly access the old town. The Gurdic door and the North door (Tabacina) are the names of the other two gates.

Bay of Kotor

Here Are Some Tips and Other Information to Explore Kotor Bay Along the Adriatic Coast

The city has a 5-kilometer-long wall, and you have to climb 1,350 steps that take you 280m above sea level. Once you reach the summit, you can see the San Giovanni fortress and a breathtaking view of the Kotor city and the entire bay.

Bay of Kotor
  • Also, you can get to the 7 Kotor squares, which are a meeting point for the Kotor citizens to sell fruits, vegetables, and even weapons. 
  • There are two Orthodox, six Catholic churches, a cathedral, and a Franciscan monastery, within the walls of Kotor town. 
  • Others include noble palaces, an old pharmacy from the 13th century, a cinema, an old clock on the main square (a symbol of all medieval cities), a school, a college, and even the narrowest street called “Let me pass.”
  • It also houses delicious cuisine, Bokelj Nights, and the 500-year-old carnival under masks.
Bay of Kotor

With so much to explore in this teeny bay, now it’s time to begin your journey. So, here are some modes curated just for you to have a safe and comfortable trip ahead!

1. Via Air

Bay of Kotor

I have to tell you that there are no direct flights to Montenegro. You need to land first at the nearby Tivat Airport. From there, you must take a rental car or taxi or a bus from there to the Bay of Kotor. But the journey is not too long from this airport as it is just 8km away and depending on the traffic it can take you up to 15 minutes.

In case you wish to go around the Bay, it can take up to 40 minutes. Bus stations are available within a few minutes walk from the Old Town of Kotor and from Tivat. 

2. Via Car

Bay of Kotor

You can begin your road trip likely from the north (Dubrovnik, Croatia) to the south through Herceg Novi. From Dubrovnik, the drive lasts for around less than 3 hours. Also, you can ferry your car across the water for a few euros without paying an extra fee. 

For pedestrians, the ferry is free of cost. It can take just 10 minutes to reach there by ferry from one end to another. Otherwise, you can drive from Podgorica or Albania in the south. Now, this drive will take you through the cost.

You can also cut inland to reach Kotor directly or via Tivat. Driving from Podgorica takes less than 2 hours.

3. Via Bus

KOTOR TO   DOBROTA BY BUS / montenegro travel

 Sarajevo, Mostar, Trebinje in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Tirana, Dubrovnik and Split in Croatia, Belgrade in Serbia, and Shkoder in Albania offer buses to Kotor. If you are taking a trip from Dubrovnik on a bus, I bet you are sure to have an amazingly special treat for your eyes looking at the coast…!!

Try choosing Flixbus buses as they are quite comfortable and clean. However, you need to book your tickets online in advance. Also, don’t forget your passport, as you might require it for the checks at border control!

4. Via Ferry

Bay of Kotor

Let me tell you that there are no direct ferries to the Bay of Kotor. If you are from Itlay, there are ferries to reach Bar, a coastal city. From there, you can reach Kotor. Trains don’t operate to Kotor!

Bay of Kotor

Now, one major question that we all want to resolve is the best time to visit any place.

As always, I would say summer is the best time to visit the Bay of Kotor when everything is up and lively. But you also need to tour with a bunch of tourists. This is also the time you can roam around the bay on a cruise ship, and here also, it remains crowded when a ship docks. Subsequently, in the shoulder months surrounding summer, you get a totally different experience. 

Visiting the Bay of Kotor is great between May and September; however, you can’t expect a lot of places to open around this time…Subsequently, from October through April, no tourist entertainment happens in the Bay. So, if you want ultimate silence and relaxation, book your trip around this time. 

However, many places in the Kotor Old Town will remain open to fill your wanderlust and your tummies…!! You’d have to cook your own meal as you stay somewhere further away from this place.

Bay of Kotor

You’d have to cook your own meal as you stay somewhere further away from this place.

The Bay of Kontor offers its visitors a lot. Believe me, you won’t regret being there. Jump to know all the good stuff you can indulge in the Bay of Kotor from now onwards…!!

  • Wander through the Kotor old town.
  • Take a 1350-step climb over the city walls to capture some stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Kotor from St John Fortress (San Giovanni).
  • Watch the St Tryphan’s Cathedral frescoes.
  • Visit the Maritime Museum to learn the Bay’s history.
  • Feline fans! Do visit the quirky Kotor Cats Museum.
  • Swim or sunbathe in the north of the old town on Kotor’s pebbly beach.
  • Shop below the city walls for local produce at the daily farmers’ market on the seafront.
  • Visit the Old Winery Wine Bar to taste Montenegrin wine.
  • Take a boat tour.
  • Take a scooter on rent and drive the periphery of the Bay of Kotor.
  • Enjoy the gorgeous beaches.
  • Visit Our Lady of the Rocks at the Perast.
  • Visit Lake Skadar National Park.

You Can Check the Following Hotels There

Kotor Budget Stays

  1. Old Town Youth Hostel
  2. Studios Belvi
  3. Guesthouse 455

Kotor Mid-Range Stays 

  1. Apartments Windrose
  2. Garni Hotel Villa Panonija
  3. Apartments Jovanovic
  4. Apartment Palata Bizanti

Kotor Luxury Stays

  1. Hotel Vardar
  2. Hotel Villa Duomo
  3. Hotel Forza Terra

I strongly recommend you get an Airalo e-Sim to stay connected, book direct or connecting flights through WayAway, and get your travel insurance from Insubuy or SafetyWing Insurance

Bay of Kotor - Montenegro

Visiting the Bay of Kotor is a must in Montenegro to fill your eyes and soul with some spectacular views. If you have time, visit the Adriatic Sea to watch the Blue Caves and enjoy a cocktail at Plaza Stevuzo. Also, ensure to explore the submarine hideouts deeper as you travel. 

Doing all this will give you a feel of one of the cool kids who has discovered a tree house…!! So, happy journeys ahead until we meet in another article in a different place…

Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by Pragya


  1. This is a great picture of the Montenegro Bay of Kotor. The sites mentioned are truly remarkable. Personally, the one that captured my attention is the Adriatic Sea, particularly the opportunity to watch the Blue Caves. I can’t wait to explore the magic that awaits in such a breathtaking destination.

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