Day Trip to Bay of Kotor Montenegro
Jason Daniel Shaw
BAY OF KOTOR – MONTENEGRO
The Bay of Kotor in Montenegro is a perfect day trip from Dubrovnik. From the historic city of Kotor to the sweeping mountaintop vistas, there is so much to see in this part of the country. Whether it’s just one day or you time for a longer overnight stop, make sure to add Montenegro to your list when visiting Dubrovnik. We did and it was country number 40 for me. Follow along and find out a few tips along the way.
ORGANIZED TRIP OR DO-IT-YOURSELF?
There are a couple ways to see Kotor from Dubrovnik – you can take one of the many organized tours or if you have a car, go on your own, like we did. Both have their advantages. If you want to travel stress-free and let someone else do all of the work, take an organized tour. If you want to control how long you have at each stop and customize your trip, drive yourself. My first tip is for those who elect to drive – make sure to leave early (say sunrise) to beat the crowds at the border crossing. There are no issues with taking your car from Croatia to Montenegro but they may ask to see your rental contract at the border. Another quick tip is to make a stop as you are leaving town to get some incredible views of Dubrovnik.
DRIVING THE BAY OF KOTOR
The Bay of Kotor is basically a giant loop. Once you cross the border into Montenegro, the road will travel along the western edge of the bay. There are many little towns along the way to stop and grab breakfast or take a short break. My recommendation is to save any extended stops for the way back as you will want to maximize your time in the city of Kotor. That is not to say that you shouldn’t make some stops to sight see because you absolutely should. There are some beautiful views. At one point, you will come to a spot where you will see a couple small islands in the middle of the bay. There is a small church on one of the islands (Our Lady of the Rocks) and a boat that will shuttle you out there for a small fee. We opted to not visit because the island is a man-made island and we heard it was pretty touristy. As you continue on, the walled city of Kotor will come into view.
EXPLORING THE WALLED CITY OF KOTOR
Find a spot to park and make your way into the city. There is a maze of narrow streets that contain many shops, restaurants and hotels. We picked the first restaurant that we came to as we were hungry from our drive. We got an appetizer and a couple plates so that we could try some of the local dishes. We had way too much food but it was amazing! Another tip is to make sure that you have Euros as even though they get a lot of tourists, they do not take the Croatian Kuna in Montenegro. If you didn’t eat too much, like we did, there is a hike to the top of the mountain that towers over the city. The views from there are spectacular and worth the walk – you can see the entire bay.
FROM KOTOR TO DUBROVNIK
After your time in Kotor, you will continue on the way that you were going until you come to a ferry port. There, you can load you car and make your way across the narrow part of the bay and head back towards the Croatian border. If you ever make it to Dubrovnik, make sure to visit Montenegro and the Bay of Kotor. If you want to follow along with our 25-day wedding / honeymoon trip, you can see more of our adventures in Malta, Italy, the Vatican, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.