A short trip to Montenegro

Before and after the break up of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Croatia has been a favorite tourist destination in Europe for its climate, beautiful beaches and historic towns; but, for tourists venturing further south, another gem on the Adriatic coast is waiting to be discovered: Montenegro.

View from the village of Perast in Montenegro

Map of Montenegro

After leaving Dubrovnik following the coastal road past the border between Croatia and Montenegro, the Bay of Kotor comes into view.

The blue waters of Kotor Bay

Consisting of four connected straits, the main town is Kotor. A number of villages scattered around the bay are worth a visit before getting into Kotor.

The small village of Perast

One of them is Perast, once part of the Republic of Venice it has some beautiful buildings, like the palace of Bujović on the waterfront and a number of churches, St.Nicholas’ and Our Lady of the Rosary among others.

Palm trees by St.Nicholas church in Perast

View of Perast Our Lady of the Rosary church

From the small harbour in Perast, boats leave regularly to take visitors to the two islands in the bay in front of the village. On St.George island, a Benedictine Abbey can be visited and on the smaller neighbouring island of Our Lady of the Rock there is a church of the same name.

View of the two small islands of Kotor Bay

View of St.George Island in Montenegro

View of the church of Our Lady of the Rock in Montenegro

Driving towards Kotor, it is common to see cruise liners making their way up the bay with passengers keen to visit this wall encircled town and climb the hill to St.John’s Fortress.

A cruise ship sailing on Kotor Bay

Looking up at St.John's Fortress in Kotor

View of Kotor Bastion Valier

The main access to the historic city centre, (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is through the Sea Gate leading to the Clock Tower and Saint Tryphon Cathedral. Numerous churches can be seen in Kotor, including St.Luke’s, St.Michael’s and St.Nicholas’.

Gate at the entrance of Kotor in Montenegro

View of the clock tower in Kotor

Looking up at Kotor cathedral

View of Kotor's St.Luke's church

View of Kotor's St.Nicholas church

Girl painting in Kotor Old Town

View of a cafe and a church in Kotor

Along the narrow streets and in the small squares of Kotor there are many shops, restaurants and bars so that visitors to the town can enjoy a pleasant stay before moving on to other locations in Montenegro. Driving further south along the coast, there is the city of Budva with its beautiful beaches and Aman Sveti Stefan. Originally an island, it is now connected to the mainland by an isthmus and it has a luxury hotel and pink sand beaches. The best view of the area is from the road above, with the red tiled roofs contrasting with the blue water of the Adriatic Sea.

View of Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro

View of the beach outside Aman Sveti Stefan in Montenegro

Panoramic view of Sveti Stefan in Montenegro

View of Northern Albania

The coastal road continue south to the towns of Bar and Ulcinj and driving inland, the border with Albania is only a few miles away. It is a relatively new country on the tourism map with new infrastructures, roads and hotels being upgraded to accommodate visitors keen to explore this almost unknown part of Europe.

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