Bay of Kotor is something that you must put on your bucket list, since it offers marvelous diversity of things. From breathtaking natural sites, old forts, palaces, cathedrals all the way to the luxurious five stars hotels and mega yacht marina, the Bay has it all. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be amazed.
Once you enter the Bay from Croatia, the first city that you come across is Herceg Novi or Castelnuevo, both meaning New Castle. The city was founded back in XIV century by the first Bosnian king Stjepan Tvrtko I.
Throughout history, city has been held by Venice, Spain, Ottoman Empire, Austria, France and even Russia for a short period of time. This city is a mixture of different cultural influences which makes it so interesting.
The city is known for its numerous fortifications, churches, city stairs (since the town is very hilly, the whole Bay is) and for its pedestrian promenade called Five Danica’s, which was named like that after five women named Danica who died during WWII. It stretches for 5 km. The city is also known for its annual city festival that is held on Kanli Kula.
Risan is next town that comes along, and it is really small since it has only about 2,000 inhabitants. The city was first mentioned back in the 4th century BCE and is known as the capital of Queen Teuta, famous Illyrian ruler. Coins were minted here during the Illyrian ages.
There are five mosaics that have remained from the Roman time, and this is one of the main town attractions. There is also a church of St Peter and Paul.
Just about 10 minutes drive from Risan comes Perast. Once you enter it, you will instantly fall in love it. It is a small town, with picturesque medieval buildings. It is one of the hidden gems of Montenegrin coast. It was a town full of rich merchant families back in the past, and there are many palaces remaining as a testimony of Perast golden ages. Perhaps the most beautiful one is Palace Zmajevic.
Town layout is pretty simple, there is one long street that goes along the seashore, and stairs lead from that street to higher parts in the town. In the city square there is St. Nicholas Church, and the sight is dominated by the Church bell tower which is 55 meters high. Besides this church, there are 17 catholic churches and 2 orthodox ones in Perast.
There are also two small islands in Perast, and they represent the most important tourist attraction of this small town. The St George island with its small church from the 12th century and the artificial island Our Lady of Skrpjela with a legend attached to its formation. On the reef whose top was 1 m above the surface of the water, people from Perast had been throwing rocks and sinking old shipwrecks for about two centuries, creating a plateau of 3,030 square meters upon which they built a church, which received donations for centuries and now it is a type of gallery and treasury of various objects.
Kotor is only 15 kilometers from Perast. City is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovcen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape. Kotor has become an important part of cruise ship routes in recent years.
The old city was built somewhere between XII and XIV century and just like all the other towns in this bay, it had different rulers over time. The town is a medieval maze of museums, churches, cafe-strewn squares and Venetian palaces.
Kotor is especially beautiful at nightfall, the setting seems like a fairytale. The most impressive sites are City Walls, the Sea Gate, the Clock Tower, St Tryphon Cathedral and many squares. But probably most spectacular thing to do, is to go up to the Church of Our Lady of Health, the view you get from up there on the whole city and on the bay is breathtaking and it will make you fall in love with this city.
The last, but not least, is Tivat. This is the youngest town in the Bay, and its fast development started in the XIX century when Austrian Empire built a maritime arsenal for its fleet. Today, Tivat is known for its Porto Montenegro built on this naval base, and it is a luxury marina for mega yachts. Therefore it is really famous for its nautical tourism, and also Tivat is of great importance since it has the only airport on the Montenegrin shore.
Tivat has many attractive destinations. Renaissance Summer House Buca in the centre of city, Ostrvo Cvijeća (Flowers’ Island) with sacred monuments, Gornja Lastva, the old nucleus at an altitude of 300 meters, the magnificent sandy beach at Plavi Horizonti and the Sveti Marko Island with ex-Club Med cottages are the most visited.
In the city itself there is the natural port Kalimanj. There is also a choice of cultural events, such as “Bocce Olympiad” and “Summer Fest”. Tivat boasts a botanic garden planted with gifts from Boka sailors who brought back a wide variety of exotic tree species and ornamental plants from their voyages. It is very popular and beautiful place to visit, though some hotels and apartments there are still in the process of construction.