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Kotor - Black Pearl of the Adriatic

From: #flymeto   |   Sep 14, 2018

Surrounding the shores of the deepest Mediterranean fjord, Kotor in Montenegro is a small town set among hills. As if its builders anticipated future interest in one of the most charming and well-preserved historic towns of the Adriatic and tried to deliberately hide it in the unsightly waters of the bay.

Kotor is one of the oldest towns in Montenegro, thanks to its location it withstood medieval raids and modern Balkan civil wars. Although Montenegro has only existed as an independent state since 2006, you will not know this either in Kotor or in nearby tourist resorts such as Budva. Tourists from all over the world cheerfully stroll through the historic center, which is packed into 4.5 km of walls.

Once endangered by UNESCO

The center and the fortress are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. They got to it in 1979 mainly due to the 15 m thick and 20 m high city walls and already in the same year moved to the list of endangered heritage, when they were damaged by the earthquake. During its long existence, Kotor fell under various powers from the Byzantine Empire to Austria and Yugoslavia. None of its forms have so much the same characteristics as the Republic of Venice. It is the Italians who started to build such an attractive city center and you will be strongly aware of the influence of Venetian architecture and aesthetics.

Flymeto - Jitka Kratochvílová |

Flymeto - Matej Kmeť |

Flymeto - Matej Kmeť |

Flymeto - Jitka Kratochvílová |


In the high summer season, large cruise ships arrive in the harbor, which spew several thousand visitors into the walls of the historic center. Then, for half a day, they will flood all his alleys to sail again in the evening. April, May, September and October are therefore ideal for visiting Kotor. In spring, although not much bathe, but the greenery in the city and the surrounding hills have not yet caught the summer sun and trips will be more pleasant. In September you can swim and avoid the biggest crowds. October is the time when wild pomegranates and kiwis are ripening here and the season is almost over.

Kotor - the city of cats

Kotor and the nearby tourist resort of Budva are a paradise for cats. Street cats are staring at you from every corner and souvenir shop. Cats are decorated with postcards, T-shirts and fridge magnets. And the locals are proud of them. Do you want to improve Montenegrin sweatshirts? Look for shops that give a portion of the proceeds to the local four-legged inhabitants. Or go to the Cat Museum . The museum is a collection of drawings and historical photos dominated by cats, and seeks to draw attention to the stray paws not only Kotor, but around the world. At the entrance you can buy a bag of granules or a pack of pockets. Those interested in signing up as soon as you go out on the street with them.

Kotor Castle is not easy to conquer

Kotor Fortress, also known as Tvrdjava sv. Ivan (Castle of St. Ivan or San Giovanni) is nestled in the hills above the city that grip the bay along its entire length. The walls and paths twisting steeply through the terrain give you a clue as to what to expect if you decide to visit the castle and several churches in its perimeter.

There are several paths to the ruins, but the best is the main entrance directly from the historic center near the bridge over the Gate. At the entrance you will be asked for a few euros as an entrance fee, you ask for a brochure describing the sights you will meet along the way. They definitely don’t give it automatically. Head out as early as possible in the morning, ideally around 7pm and even sooner. Or late afternoon before sunset. If you really do not want something, then climb about 1,350 steps in the direct Mediterranean sun and in a dungeon of hundreds of sweaty tourists. Do not forget to take your drink with you and do not hesitate to take breaks even after 10 meters. On the way to the view of the bay and the city you can climb almost 1,200 m elevation. Even with very good physical condition, take at least 2 hours to get out, if you are not in shape, add two more.

Flymeto - Kotor - Black Pearl of the Adriatic

Flymeto - Kotor - Black Pearl of the Adriatic

Flymeto - Kotor - Black Pearl of the Adriatic

Flymeto - Kotor - Black Pearl of the Adriatic

Jitka Kratochvílová |

The Isle of Kotor and his false sister

Kotor itself is quite small, but the surrounding villages freely sit on it, so it is hard to say where it starts and where it ends. If you have time, take a ride along the entire bay. Even villages like Orahovac, Perast or Kostanjica have their cute beaches and harbors. The last two offer views of almost the entire bay and two charming islands. Sveti Đorđe (St George Island) is a natural islet, which in the 12th century, almost from region to region settled Benedictine abbey. There is even a small cemetery on the island. The neighboring island of Gospa by Our Lady of the Rocks was created artificially by hitting large boulders on sunken ships. The landmark of the island is a Roman Catholic temple with an adjacent museum and even a souvenir shop.

Lážo neplážo

Finding a beach in Kotor and the surrounding area is not an easy task. Not far from the historical center is a public pebble beach with sun loungers, but it can only accommodate a few dozen people. The locals are therefore more likely to occupy various concrete patches at smaller berths, where they climb down the steps directly into the calm, clear water with fish and mussels adhered to stone and concrete walls. Often this happens when a Kotor old man walks past your blanket, leans into the water and catches a bunch of delicious clams that are served in local restaurants to take them home and cook for dinner. It is worth trying the concrete plaque in front of the Faculty of Maritime Studies, so a 3-minute walk from the center. Simply go towards the public beach, do not stop and look for a crane with an orange rescue vessel on the winch.

Flymeto - BMG_Borusse |

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