Mesmerized in Montenegro – a guide to Kotor

IMG_1176I spent 1.5 days in Kotor, Montenegro.  It lies in the Bay of Kotor, an extension of the Adriatic Sea with large black/grey mountains surrounding the bay.  I stayed in the old town which was handy, but there are a lot of other options just outside of the Old Town. I did not feel like I was pressed for time; I accomplished everything I wanted to see and do.

 

Hotel Marija 1 – in a traditional stone building right in the Old Town. My room was clean and nicely decorated. The hotel has a restaurant and bar, and offers breakfast.

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Things to See:

Sea Gate – one of the main entrances to the Old Town.  On the wall close by, check out the statue of St Mark’s lion, and Madonna and Child inside the gateway arch.

 

 

St Tryphon Cathedral – built in the 1100’s, it’s one of the oldest churches in Europe. Admire from the outside or have a look inside.

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Piazza of the Arms – the main square; you’ll see the Clock Tower and the small pyramid in front of it (a pillory where people where shamed for their misbehaviours)

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Churches – at least 10 to find!

 

 

Perast– a small coastal town close to Kotor. You can reach it by car in around 15 min, or take a boat tour that docks there.  Wander the streets and check out the old buildings and churches.

 

 

Things to Do:

Hike to the top of St John Fortress – the entrance is at the rear of the Old Town; it takes around an hour to get to the top. Go slow, stay hydrated and take in the amazing views. Have a peek inside the Our Lady of Remedy Church on the way up, and explore the ruins of the castle of San Giovanni at the top. Small entrance fee in peak season.

 

 

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Get lost wandering in Old Town – the narrow cobblestone streets, the old stone buildings, the many churches, cool restaurants and bars. Something new around every corner. I did this during the day and at night, and both were amazing.

 

 

 

 

Play with the Cats of Kotor – they wander around old town; they are mostly strays and very friendly but of course, use caution!

 

 

Speed boat tour – the one I chose took me to The Church of the Lady of Our Rocks (which can only be reached by boat) and the small coastal town of Perast.

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Places to Eat, Things to Eat:

Cesarica – inside it looks a bit like a cave, and there are outside tables as well. Located down a quiet cobblestone lane. Lots of fresh seafood options

Bokun – a little nook with seating outdoors in the small piazza. Great for tasting local wines

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Forza Café – a bit touristy, but its right by the main square so it’s convenient and a great location. Lots of pastries and coffee, but I opted for prosciutto

Bastion 3 – a traditional style restaurant in a cottage. Lots of seafood and meat options.

Black risotto – rice with tender cuttlefish morsels, flavored with cuttlefish ink, garlic and olive oil. Amazing!

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Gelato – with the Italian influence here, there’s no shortage of yummy gelato selection!

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Seafood and more seafood! – Fresh, vast selection. Try it in a buzara (with wine, tomato sauce and spices) or a platter.

Prosciutto – is locally made; the best comes from the town of Njegusi. Mine was served with olives and a bag of bread.

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Pizza and Pasta – the cuisine here is very Mediterranean and you can find some yummy versions of these staples. I tried seafood pasta, with mussels, prawn, squid and fish!

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Gavice– small headless fish that are floured and fried, like a snack food. I wasn’t into trying it, but it’s supposed to be yummy

Cevapi – minced meat in a skinless sausage, served on its own or with flatbread

Burek – a flaky phyllo pastry traditionally filled with meat. The cheese filled variety is also yummy

Things to Drink:

Niksicko Pivo – brewed with natural ingredients and pure mountain water, it’s a fresh tasty pils beer.

Vranac – local red wine, cheap and delicious. It’s dark and full, with a berry taste.

Rakija – potent fruit brandy….drink with caution!

 

Things to Buy:

Kotor’s Cats Souvenir Shop – you can find a lot of cool things here. The woman that runs the store also helps to look after the stray cats and donates her profits to this cause

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Kotor, Montenegro makes for a spectacular stop for a day or two.  It is a land with rich history and amazing views and scenery.  A great place to enjoy a variety of cuisine, while sipping on local beer or wine.  Whether you feel like hiking to the top of a mountain fortress, or hopping on a boat to explore the bay, Kotor has something for everyone to enjoy!

 

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