Located along the mediterranean coast the tiny town of Kotor is just a short thrilling drive away from the touristy Dubrovnik.
Kotor Top Attractions
1. Bay of Kotor
As the cliché goes, you’ll fall in love with Kotor the minute you lay your eyes upon it. The region has one of the most amazing Mediterranean landscape you’ll ever see, with beautiful sea on one side and the spectacular mountains on the other. The turquoise green water is so clear that you can enjoy the minute marine life from outside; also a haven for scuba and snorkeling. In-fact the Bay of Kotor, a shining gem among Balkans’ attractions, is considered Europe’s southernmost fjord.
At any given time you’ll see the sea dotted with fluttering mast of sail boats. If sailing is not your thing you also has an option of kayaking.
Hire a boat and go to the nearby islands. One has a Venetian church called Our Lady of the Rock and the other has beautiful 12th century monastery dedicated to St George. It costs a total of 5€ for the roundtrip.
2. Kotor Old town
The old town will somewhat remind you of Dubrovnik, but it is more of a Dubronvik packaged in a smaller pack. Wander around in the winding cobbled stone streets, and go explore the side alleys. You can spend hours sitting in the atmospheric coffee shops without even realizing. Check out the restaurants and you will feel Pizza and wine are quite a popular choice for dining, it’s primarily due to the venetian influence which reflect on cuisines as well.
A total of three gate open up to walled Kotor Old Town. Sea gate, River gate and Gurdic gate. Of these 16th century Sea gate is the main entrance which lies on the bay side.
It can get really hot in summer, so wearing comfortable cotton clothing would be your best choice.
3. Cat Museum, the Symbol of Kotor
Inevitably, sooner or later you’ll stumble upon the Cat museum dedicated to the feline animal; don’t be surprised Cat is the symbol of the town as it saved Kotor from the deadly plague.
Check out the simple but elegant clock tower located on the central square, Piazza of the arms. This large open square has a large concentration of building around it, built in typical Venetian style.
On the down side in the peak summer season, Kotor can get crowded because of the cruises coming in for the day.
4. Kotor’s Castle Of San Giovanni
From the Old town hike up the hill above to a ruined fortress. The beautiful trail is lined up with colorful flowers and views of the bay from the top are exceptional. The trail is steep so you’ll need a moderate fitness level. It takes about 1.5-2 hours to climb up the 1200+ steps. If you don’t have the energy to go all the way up, you can take a stop at the viewing platform.
Entrance to the castle is €3.
Tip: Carry a bottle of water and good shoes for hiking. Start early to beat the scorching heat of the afternoon. Detailed trail information can be found here.
5. St Tryphon’s Cathedral
Tryphon’s Cathedral is a 12th century orthodox church built in Romanesque style architecture. The church is dedicated to St. Tryphon who is the patron saint of the Kotor.
The baroque bell towers were added much later in 17th century along with the parts of the cathedral which were rebuilt following a destructive earthquake. Interestingly, one of the tower still remain unfinished and lends an odd look to the church.
The Inside of the church is simple but elegant, Corinthian columns and the Vaulted ceiling impresses the viewer. Ponder upon the old 14th century fresco which highlights the important events in the life of St. Tryphon. You’ll also notice the huge paintings of four evangelists, John, Mark, Matthew, and Luke. The paintings were donated by Russian Orthodox Church on the centenarian anniversary of the cathedral. Also, check out the Treasury with several valuable items.
The entrance to the church is free, and photography is allowed inside.