If you’re spending a summer vacation in Dubrovnik, use the opportunity to take a day trip to Montenegro and stunning Kotor Bay.
Dubrovnik is a small Mediterian town situated on the furthest south of the Croatian Adriatic coast, quite close to the border with Montenegro. Surrounded by many islands, Dubrovnik is considered to be a premier destination in the Mediterranean region.
It is known for its distinctive Old town from the 16th century, encircled with high stone walls. After the Game of Thrones, one of the bestselling book and television series filmed a couple of scenes in Dubrovnik and at a nearby island, it made it even more popular. Today, travelers from all over the world are coming to Dubrovnik to take photographs of themselves at the same locations where scenes from the Game of Thrones took place.
This touristic hotspot has a bustling life from late Spring to late Autumn. An increasing number of cruise ships started to arrive in March, and by the end of May streets of Old town are already crowded with tourists. Besides being a popular destination for cruisers, Dubrovnik has its own international airport, which is in summer one of the busiest airports in Croatia and region.
Because of its vicinity to the Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina, this Mediterian town is perfect as a base for exploration of the southern Croatian coast and these two bordering countries. Whether you want to plan day tours by yourself or to book a day trip from Dubrovnik with a local travel agency, there are numerous destinations that you can visit. One of them is Kotor Bay in Montenegro.
Travel from Dubrovnik to Kotor Bay
While traveling from Dubrovnik to Kotor Bay, the road takes you along the beautiful Adriatic coast and through numerous small place into the deep Gulf of Kotor.
At the beginning of the gulf, in Kamenari settlement it is possible to get 10 minutes ferry drive ( 4.5 € per car) to take you to the other side of Kotor Bay. Great opportunity to stretch legs while breeze and smell of the sea caress your face. From the ferry, you’re looking at Perast, a peaceful and charming town in ‘Bocche di Cattaro’ tucked below the high mountains rising above the gulf.
On the way to Kotor, you’re passing through Tivat, a popular destination for a summer vacation in Montenegro. At this point, only Vrmac is a natural border between these two towns. Almost two kilometers long tunnel built through the high Vrmac hill is an entrance gate into Kotor town. Sometimes, in rush hours no one is spared from traffic jam at the entrance into this lovely town. But, it’s is worth of waiting!
As you are entering the town you see walls of the Old town surrounding the fortress and old church perched on the rocky steep slopes of Lovcen Mountain.
You can’t miss going into the Old town and walk the narrow cobbled streets. For anyone who is coming to Kotor for the first time, it can seem like you’re walking through a labyrinth. But, if you check the map you will see that the Old town has a shape of a triangle. Whenever you feel like you’re lost, just stand facing your back toward mountains and walk straight ahead. All street will take you to the Main gates.
During my last visit to Kotor, in the heart of the Old town, I have discovered a coffee place that serves charcoal coffee. Can you imagine that? It’s called Letrika and their specialty is a Turkish coffee served with charcoal. The charcoal needs to stay a few minutes in the coffee to remove the acidity from the traditional brews. It makes the taste super smooth and unique.
To enjoy the stunning view of Kotor and the bay don’t miss to walk up to the fortress. As so many tourists have walked this trail, on some sections the path is polished and slippery, so shoes with good grip would for sure help you to reach your goal. The entrance fee to walk to the church and fortress is 8 euros, and the entrance is close to the North gate.
Perast: Peaceful town with Baroque palaces and churches
First time I have visited Perast, I was blown away by its beauty and peacefulness. Every time I come it looks even more beautiful, and the energy and history this town holds are amazing.
I love it’s not crowded and when you walk the streets you can have the town for yourself and feel its soul. You can enjoy in Venetian inspired architecture, and numerous baroque palaces and churches.
Every time I come to Perast I can’t miss visiting Conte restaurant, a small baroque palace converted into the hotel and restaurant. The restaurant has a huge terrace with a stunning view of two islands- the artificial island with a beautiful church dedicated to Our Lady of the Rock, and St. George, a natural island with only a monastery on it forbidden for touristic visits. The food in Conte is delicious and the staff is very friendly and pleasant. A great stop to have a rest before you visit Our Lady of the Rock and start your drive back to Dubrovnik.
The island Our Lady of the Rock has an interesting story about its origin and very impressive interior. At the dock beside the Conte restaurant, there are local boats that can take you for 5 euros to the island and back. It’s a 10 minutes boat drive that offers a nice view of Perast and two islands. The entrance into the church is free, but if you want to visit the museum of the church the entrance fee is 1.5 euros per person.
As Perast is situated in the heart of the ‘Bocce di Cattaro’, you’re halfway away from the exit from the bay. Having said that, I would recommend to take a ferry drive on your way to Kotor and then to drive back to Dubrovnik.