Kotor, Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro: Destination #10

Our driving to Kotor, Montenegro was rainy, foggy, steep and AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL!

We had a quick passport stamping at the smallest mountainside border crossing between Bosnia and Montenegro and within 90 minutes the roads were winding and offered views like these:

Photo taken from the car window

Fun fact: Some call the Bay of Kotor the southern-most ‘fjord’ in Europe, but this is incorrect as these mountains were not carved by glaciers.

Instead, Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor is a ‘ria’, a submerged river canyon, with a stunning backdrop of steep black cliffs that plummet to a narrow inlet of the Adriatic Sea.

While driving in, the views of ‘Our Lady On The Rocks’ Church were incredible (more on this later when we visited on our last day in Montenegro {or skip to page 2!}.

After a long day trip in Bosnia, we finally got into our rental around sunset and enjoyed some of the homemade wine left by the host on the balcony. 🍷

Kotor apartment balcony views 😍
Balcony views 😍

Nothing like a cruise ship to give some depth perspective of these magnificent black mountains!

Our first night in Kotor included dinner at ‘Ladovina’ Restaurant & Bar. After a long day of traveling through 3 countries/ 2 border crossings, we celebrated with a charcuterie board + catches of the day + pasta + local beer. 🍻

Our first morning in Kotor, we set out to explore the old town including the high number of well-maintained Orthodox and Catholic churches— both of which are evidence of the city’s past.

The old city of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built in the Venetian period and was added as a UNESCO’s world heritage site in 2017.

The overwhelming majority of Montenegrins are Eastern Orthodox Christians, yet St. Tryphon Catholic Cathedral remains a strong symbol in the city center.

Built in 1166, the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon is one of very few Roman Catholic Churches in Montenegro and is quite the site to see with the vertical black mountains in the background.

St. Tryphon Cathedral

Nearby on the square Piazza Greca in Kotor, is the church of Sveti Luka (St. Luke) which has traits of both Roman and Byzantine architecture.

Church of St. Luke

St Luke’s Church speaks volumes about the history of Croat-Serb relations in Kotor and is a testimony about the harmonious co-existence of Catholic and Orthodox people.

Originally constructed as a Catholic church in 1195, the church today is significant because of the fact that it has two altars, a Catholic and a Serbian Orthodox one, with each faith taking turns to hold services here.

The Catholic Church has since gifted it to the Orthodox Church as a gesture of coexistence. ❤️ ☮️

Fragments of 12th century frescos are still visible in the church with surrounding Romanesque and Byzantine elements.

St. Nicolas Church

Located on the northern part of the old town, St. Nicolas is one of the most beautiful and important Serbian Orthodox Church in Kotor.

The main facade has two bell towers with black domes topped with golden crosses that were gifts from Russia. On the second floor the Serbian flag hangs just above the entrance with a marvelous mosaic.

Built in 1909, St. Nicolas is relatively one of the ‘newer’ churches in Kotor.

St. Nicolas interior

St. Claire‘s Church (below) is also a hidden gem and is adjoined to the Franciscan Monastery and dates to the 18th century.

For the next several hours, we walked the cobblestone alleyways and soaked up all of the architecture and history.

The historic stone houses with green shutters and orange tiled roofs have been well-preserved within the city walls.

Peeking into the narrow stores and window shopping for souvenirs and Christmas ornaments provided a day well spent in Kotor!


Interestingly, there were cats EVERYWHERE in Kotor… If you love cats, you will especially love Kotor! 🐈

After a long day exploring the old city of Kotor, Jeff decided to spend a few hours climbing the ancient city walls to St. John’s Fortress in the rain. Meanwhile, I stayed home on the balcony and absorbed these views:

Balcony views 😍

Looking directly to the left, St. John’s Fortress and the Ladder of Kotor are also visible from the balcony (as seen below).

Balcony view of Kotor city walls

During the day, the wall and St. John’s Fortress is camouflaged with the landscape of the black mountains.

At night, the wall is completely lit up, fully revealing how magnificent of a fortification it really is.

With over 70 switchbacks on a trail with long history, here are Jeff’s phenomenal views of the Bay of Kotor after climbing ~940 meters on Ladder of Kotor, then back down nearly ~1,400 steps to town.


Kotor, Montenegro- San Giovani Castle Hike via Ladder of Kotor

After a day exploring Kotor, we got cleaned up for our dinner reservation at ‘Galion’ Restaurant.

This was a recommendation I found in the Rick Steeves book and I am very glad we stopped here!

Even in the rain, this restaurant offered an incredible view of the Bay of Kotor and the food was delicious!

Galion restaurant views
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

If ever near the Bay of Kotor, we would definitely recommend a dinner at Galion!

Our booking.com rental in Kotor was also perfect for our stay— It included a garage, washing machine, premium coffee maker, and wonderful balcony views (even in rainy/foggy conditions) 😍

Morning views from bed 😍
Virtual tour

Link for Apartments Magic Sea View:


I must admit—watching a cruise ship do a sharp 180* turn in the middle of the narrow ‘ria’ from your balcony is very satisfying to witness every night.

The next day we headed to ‘Our Lady on the Rocks’ Catholic Church floating on an artificial island in Montenegro– Check out page 2 for details!

Published by coatseyecare2020

Just a couple of Optometrists who love to travel.

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