The Old Town of Kotor lays in one of the most beautiful bays in the world, on the only natural fjord of its kind in the world, covered with the shadows of the fearsome St. Giovanni Hill. It is surrounded with the walls protecting the town presenting a fortification masterpiece, 4.5 km long, up to 20 meters high. Kotor is the largest of the old architectural entity in Montenegro. It fits in triangular area bordered by the hill and the sea, the river Skurda and the well Gurdic.
The town is entered through three gates, out of which the largest is Sea Gate in the West, which used to be entered from the sea.
South one actually presents a triple gate whose outer arch has wooden drawbridge across a Gurdic well.
The northern one has a drawbridge across Skurda and was erected in 140 to celebrate the defense of the town from the fleet of Turkish pirate Barbarossa.
Visiting Kotor is about more than stunning views—it’s also about experiencing turbulent and glorious history of Boka Kotorska. While being completely fortified, enclosed within strong walls and nestled at the foot of Mt. LovÄ‡en Kotor is also rich with architectural styles. Dominating are Venetian and Austrian influences, Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings, winding streets, piazzettas and squares. The whole setting is colored by harmony and specifically Mediterranean image.
The finest church is 12th century Cathedral of St. Tripun. The building stores rich collection of golden relics which are work of art of old Kotor goldsmiths, from the period between the 11th and 18th centuries. The most precious is the Golden Plate positioned on the main altar while also the object that makes cathedral especially interesting is precious 17th century white marble ciborium.
Main Kotor square is called Square of arms, and it was named by Arsenal building. In this area was a huge shipyard on the seaside in front of the bastion Citadela. Square is surrounded by many buildings like Prince ( Provost’ ) palace, The Napoleon theatre, Arsenal, The Town-clock tower with pyramid in front of it and with a pillory, citizens houses and palaces from 8th and 9th century as well as with foundation of St Jacob’s of Lodja church.
The 17th century tower was built in the time of Venetian provveditore Antonio Grimaldi. It is specific since frequent earthquakes esp. big one in 1979. made the tower going askew westward, some 20cm out of the perpendicular.
Pillar of Shame, positioned below the Clock Tower was used for punishment of accused persons.
Kotor is also home to the various palaces of rich aristocratic families from past centuries such as Bizanti Palace, Buca Palace, Vrakjen, Grgurina and Drago palaces .Every square, coat of arms, every monument and relief has specific story linked to it. This is the town brimming with legends and history.
Kotor also possess Maritime Museum, which explores local seafaring history. The port of Kotor presents a marina of international importance. Ideally positioned at the entrance of Old Town’s it offeres capacity for 80 8-2m long vessels. It also has Nautica club which provides various services to the boat owners.
Due to its authentic cultural and historical value, Kotor has been entered on the UNESCO List of the Natural and Cultural Heritage.
Absolute visiting must is the nearby gem of this medieval town that reached its greatest heights in cultural and economic development in the 8th century. Tourism has brought new life to this town with its Renaissance-Baroque church and number of old mansions, outstanding among which is the Bujovic family mansion -the most beautiful Baroque building on the Bay of Kotor. For a more astonishing view and experience, there are two little islands just off the coast from Perast. First are the ruins of the Monastery of St George, and on the other side, the Church of Our Lady of Rocks. Legend has it that this second islet was formed from enemy ships, loaded with stone and sunk here by the people of Perast.
If in need for accommodation, Per Astra hotel is settled in beautiful ambience of baroque Perast, at the place where Kotor and Risan bay meet, at only 100 m from beach hidden in beautiful pine forest. It presents 11 luxurious suites, while hotel complex consists of smaller and bigger mansions. Hotel also features superb wellness, Jacuzzi, Turkish bath and outdoor pool. (www.perastrahotel.com)
Njeguši exploring –Whoever is willing for true nature-experience, and excursion, on the way from Kotor to Cetinje he will reach a Krstac pass of 1000m of altitude. This road is very specific by its shape. Legend has it that Croatian engineer Josip Slade who finished the road in 1882 was in love with the beauty of Montenegrin princess Milena, and above Kotor he built the section of road double bend in the form of letter “M”, which is visible from above. Official version of story says that this was made in honor of duke Nikola’s daughter Marija. Anyhow, the road leads to Njeguši settlement which is one of the most interesting areas to visit for nature lovers. Besides intact nature, black pines and idyllic meadows, one can enjoy traditional Njeguski cheese , dried sheep meet koshet, and smoked ham-prosciutto., which excels with quality even compared to the Italian products. One should also taste mead, or honey wine , called medovina. It is most authentic and perhaps the oldest alcoholic beverage in this area.
Beaches Unofficial beach paradises in bay are: Morinj with sandy and pebbly beach, 2000m long and 15 m wide This beach is known for very clear and coldish water as there is numbers of underwater springs..Risan-pebbly beach 500 m long and 10 m wide, Bajova Kula( Bajo Tower)- pebbly beach, 60m long and 6m wide, Orahovac- pebbly beach, 100 m long, 20 m wide, while official bathing beaches are Town beach kotor and Markov rt( Marko's Cape) -pebbly beach, 1000m long, 10 m wide.
Medieval stone building of hotel Hippocampus is located in the Old town, next to the 12th century church of St. Anne presents masterpiece of careful restoration . Its refined interior is a comnination of preserved stone elements and contemporary design.The best pieces of antiue furniture from the old houses have been combined with pieces designed specialy for the hotel. (www.hotelhippocampus.com)
Monte Cristo is situated in the heart of Old town, in picturesque courtyard near the Maritime museum. It presents renovated building from 113th century. Breakfast will be served for you at cozy ambient of Luna Rossa restaurant whose terrace is overlooking Museums garden. Their motto is fine cuisine and excellent wines and they live up to both.(www.montecristo.co.me)
Vardar is nestled among historic monuments on the Main Square of the old town of Kotor, Hotel Vardar offers elegantly furnished accommodation with many accompanying facilities. Selected dishes as well as national specialties accompanied by cocktails and other beverages are served on the terrace. The state-of-the-art wellness centre as true pampering oasis) is specially attractive. (www.hotelvardar.com)
Astoria is lovely 4star hotel situated at the core of Old town Kotor and presents a part of Astoria chain of hotels. It is tucked in amazing building which used to be a palace originating from 14th century. Its walls reveal the art and history of middle ages. However the spirit of ancient times is beautifully merged with sophisticated and renovated interior with al modern amenities. It also features several restaurants with variety of cuisine offer.
This family - owned boutique hotel is the first design hotel in the area. Settled only 3km away from the old town of Kotor, in a village Dobrota, it has a stunning view of the waterfront of the Boka Bay. This five star hotel is luxuriously decorated but besides luxus, it also offers coziness, a warm, intimate and friendly atmosphere and a perfect holiday getaway.(www.forzamare.com)
Palazzo Radomiri is housed in beautiful 18th century Baroque palace that has been carefully restored and transformed into a charming boutique hotel. Palazzo Radomiri is directly on the coast with its own mooring facilities. Hotel represents blend of ancient features with contemporary design and functionality. Enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere with superb views while sipping drink in one of the beautiful lounges, having dinner served on the jetty or cooling down in the swimming pool. (www.restaurantpalazzo.com)
Indulgement for senses
Galion For gourmands and for those who consider every meal a special occasion by itself, Restaurant Galion is an excellent choice. Overlooking the bay in its romantic, glassy enterior, it certainly presents a right choice for a top class dining in Kotor.
Ä†atoviÄ‡a Mlini Located on the Herceg Novi-Kotor road, in the village of Morinj, known in the 19th century as a port for large seafaring ships. From the main road via a narrow road you come to the two-century old Ä†atoviÄ‡ family estate where an old mill has been transformed into a tavern
The lavish garden, rich with various types of vegetation as well as peace and tranquility is a sight from paradise. The cuisine is recognizable by delicious national and international seafood specialties and fresh fish. The skillfully selected wine list makes the experience a true gastronomical enjoyment. (www.catovicamlini.me)
Stari Mlini For more than 3 decades restaurant Stari Mlini ( Mulino vecchio) offers exclusive specialties in breathtaking ambience. They also offer domestic cuisine of the highest quality. They are positioned on the river Ljuta while in front of the restaurant there is peer for approach by yacht or boat.If you want to taste the sophisticated dishes or genuine cusine in ambience of ancient house with mill where tradition and contemporary intertwines, visit Mlini and as it promise unforgettable experience.
Old Winery Imagine that, after pleasant wandering through miraculous Old town Kotor, you bump onto the wine bar and taste most delicious drinks ever, complemented with local cheese and meat platter. This can easily happen in Old winery since this fantastic wine bar offer wide selection of wines with most sophisticated tastes.
Dobrotski dvori is a Little tavern on only 30 m away from rocky beach in village Dobrota near Kotor. Do not get discouraged by the fact it lays literally on the street, as everything which happens after you get served will make you forget it. Run by family, who added their dedication and love for restaurant business in every meal, you will taste delicious Mediterranean cuisine fresh and tasteful as you did not experience for a long time.
Tramontana restaurant is settled in the beautiful village of Morinj in Bay of Kotor, on the position along the coast between Risan and Kamenari. It is approachable from the sea side.
Tramontana features private beach, followed by comfortable and stylish beach gear. There is also restaurant's parking.
Tramontana completely stands out as independent venue at the coast and with light Italian cuisine, famous by homemade pizzas, it offers full-day vacation at the beach.
Whoever is in Kotor during August and feel festive, shouldn’t avoid Boka’s Night (Bokeska Noc). It’s a city traditional party with music in the streets and squares, and a boat defile in which local boats and barges are decorated during a defile in the harbor. The night ends with splendid and unforgettable fireworks.
Another traditional fest is Kotor carnival which is held every year in February. Tradition omitted by second WW is retained during 60ies and lasts untill today. Months before carnival are dedicated to creation of original masks which present parody to people and event from public life, therefore there are more interesting from year to year. Carnival is scattered through Kotor’s main promenade ’Riva’, streets and piazzetas, hotels and other places and it involves masquerades for children and grownups, and degustation of traditional specialties of Kotor cuisine , concerts, theater performances etc.
Every true fashionista shouldn’t avoid nights of Fashion called Kotorska smotra mode traditionally reserved for end of July in front of St. Tripun’s cathedral, which gather famous local and international fashion designers. Just some of them who already visited Kotor and presented their collections are Renato Balestra and Jean Paul Gaultier.
Maximus club is located at the center of the Old town. Four large stages within disco can host over 4000 people. Maximus is whole year through host of numerous local and international music performers and dj-s. (www.discomaximus.me)
Every fun of electronic music will not miss Refresh festival, traditionally held in Maximus in August, and hosting world recognized dj-s. This summer, from 13th to 15th August, Kotor will host Derrick Carter, Chris Liebing, Miss Kittin plus fifty more dj-s. Make sure to keep an eye on it on http://www.refreshfestival.me