Kotor is a very ancient city (its origin dates back to Roman antiquity), surrounded by fortifications dating back to the Middle Ages, located in the Bay of Kotor, one of the most rugged areas of the Adriatic. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979.
Towering cliffs, walls, and fortifications from the time of the Republic of Venice (it was called Cattaro), a charming historic center, reddish roofs like something out of a fairy tale, history and diverse cultures in every corner.
Kotor is undoubtedly a most exciting tourist destination.
Located between Croatia and Albania, this Montenegrin city combines its diverse cultural heritage with mountain and coastal landscapes, beaches, gastronomy, architecture and much more.
Day-Trip to Kotor from Dubrovnik
#1 Full Day Private Tour to Kotor, Montenegro
The first stop is at a lookout point to photograph the beautiful old city from another angle. Then, the journey along the Dalmatian coast officially begins in a comfortable and air-conditioned vehicle if necessary.
The tour includes a guide along the way, so we can take the opportunity to ask questions about the culture of Montenegro and the region along the way.
After about an hour’s drive, we will cross into Montenegro and tour the Bay of Kotor. The coast and the mountains meet in this landscape that welcomes us with all its splendor and beauty.
Kotor, with its walls and history, awaits us. Upon arrival we will have time to explore it on our own and discover its Venetian streets and squares, its monuments and mansions, its churches and architecture.
Afterward, we can have lunch (lunch is not included in the tour) and choose to continue to Kotor or head to Perast in the same bay.
#2 Day Trip from Dubrovnik to Kotor, Perast, Sv. Stefan and Budva
The private tour (up to four people) starts at the meeting point for departure from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, first of all, to Kotor.
As it includes a guide, upon arrival in Kotor we will be able to tour the historic center of the city and then explore its nooks and crannies at our own pace.
After touring Kotor, we will head towards Sveti Stefan, formerly an island now connected to the mainland by a bridge. The visit will be brief, to get to know its particular landscape.
Afterward, we will pass through Budva, one of the oldest on the coast, particularly suitable for lovers of history and Mediterranean culture, which permeates all its architecture.
Finally, after a tour of the old town of Budva, with its lively nightlife and beautiful beaches, we can take the ferry back to Dubrovnik on a short trip across the Adriatic at the end of the day, a beauty guaranteed.
#3 Boat trip: Day Trip to the Bay of Kotor from Dubrovnik to Lady of the Rock
The 10-hour tour starts at a hotel pick-up or a previously arranged pick-up point in Dubrovnik. We will then depart for Kotor in a comfortable vehicle.
After the border crossing and the entrance to Montenegro, we can enjoy the panoramic view of the Bay of Kotor that the drive provides. The coast, the beach and the mountains are located at different points of this beautiful spot on the map.
First stop: Perast, an ancient town heavily influenced by the Venetian culture, especially in terms of architecture and history. There we can appreciate catholic and orthodox churches, as well as defensive towers. Many churches (19) and palaces (15).
Also in Perast we will see the islands of St George and Our Lady of the Rocks, both with their mystique of a religious place (temple, monastery) located in the sea. The tour includes* a boat ride to Nuestra Señora de las Rocas.
The impressive thing about Nuestra Señora de las Rocas is that it is a temple located on an island created artificially in the 15th century, around a rock where an image of the Virgin was found. The other island, St. George’s Island, cannot be visited, as monks only inhabit it.
Afterward, we will return to Kotor’s bay and arrive at Kotor at approximately noon. Its ramparts, its cobbled streets and its medieval atmosphere will welcome us to visit, above all and in principle, its old town.
We will have 2 hours of free time to explore the sights of Kotor.
This is the tour we did. The truth is that it is highly recommended, everything is very nice and Kotor is much cheaper than Dubrovnik, so eating there or having a beer will be very good value for money.
*Regarding the boat ride to Our Lady of the Rocks, when we did it, it did not include the ride, but I have put this link that looks like it does. In any case, we had to pay in cash; they accept euros.
It was 5 or 10 euros per head and they give you a short guided tour of the church and the small museum behind it.
#4 Day trip to Ancient Montenegro from Dubrovnik
This 11-hour tour starts very early, around 6:40 in the morning. You will enjoy watching the start of the day in a vehicle from which you will appreciate the historic center of Dubrovnik as we head out on the road.
One of the comforts offered by this tour is, in addition to the vehicle, the fact of having a personal guide during the car tour who can explain or answer any questions you may have about the region and the places you visit.
After traveling along the coastline and crossing the crossing the border with Montenegro you continue along the beautiful coastline of the bay of Kotor.
There, first stop: Perast. We will be able to visit, from this small, religious and Venetian city, the island of Our Lady of the Rocks, if it is of our interest.
Then we will resume our journey to Kotor, where we will have free time to explore the city according to our interests. Walls, towers, alleys, museums, markets and others are waiting for us to go and find what we have planned.
After Kotor, the next stop will be Budva. There we can enjoy another tour and free time to walk around the old town or its beautiful beaches, have a drink or a snack and relax in a place that seems to be made for that.
Finally, from Budva we will return at the end of the day to Dubrovnik, first by van and then by a short ferry ride across the bay of Kotor.
Best places to visit in Kotor
Kotor makes it very easy for us to list its points of interest to visit, see and do. Among the must-haves are the following.
Old Town, Plaza de Armas and Clock Tower
Medieval city and old town go practically hand in hand. Cobblestone streets and tourist charm, too. Strolling through the Stari Grad or old town is so charming and wonderful.
As soon as we enter it, we will see here and there remains of other times, from bridges, palaces and castles to squares, moats and towers.
Speaking of squares and towers, palaces and castles, the Plaza de Armas gathers all these elements around it. The Ducal Palace and the Clock Tower, dating from the 17th century, are its major stars.
St. Jhon Castle
The castle of San Giovanni is located at the top of the mountain and reaching it seems like a pilgrimage. So, first of all, remember to wear comfortable shoes if you plan to walk up, as the path is steep.
In addition, it is more than a thousand steps and almost 300 meters above the old town.
But the effort is worth it because when you climb up there you can see in all its grandeur, lengthwise and crosswise, the city in its context of bay and mountain. This 16th-century castle is a tourist gem. The views are simply spectacular.
Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., the entrance fee is 10 euros.
St. Luke’s Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church of St. Luke dates back to 1195. It has several peculiarities that make it a point of interest both for religious people or curious about religion and for those interested in history in general.
First of all, this church has the particularity of having been Catholic at one time and Orthodox at another, and has two altars inside, one of each creed.
Its architecture is a mixture of Romanesque and Byzantine, so you can see in these particularities how it is a monument that records the region’s multiculturalism.
Open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. in summer (until 7 p.m. in winter), admission is free.
St. Tryphon Cathedral
The origins of the Cathedral of St. Tryphon date back to 1166, although before that there was another church there, where the present cathedral was located.
It is one of the two Catholic cathedrals of Montenegro, very important for having been built in honor of the patron saint of the city.
In the sarcophagus of the Cathedral are the relics of the patron saint’s body. But it is not the only relic: many others are also exhibited, among which, according to the stories, a splinter of the Holy Cross stands out.
The Cathedral is open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and access is free of charge.
Kotor Bay Cruise
Among the must-dos of a coastal city is, without a doubt, a cruise on the bay. After so many city tours, monuments, narrow streets, towers and walls, a little bit of Adriatic sea and coastal panoramas will not be a bad thing for anyone.
The price of the cruise usually starts at 50 euros. They usually include a tour of the Mouths of Kotor and one or two stops at one of the tourist spots in the Bay, whether islands, caves or nearby towns.
The bay of Kotor offers a landscape of undeniable natural beauty with its fjords and cliffs surrounding the crystal clear turquoise Adriatic. It also includes incredible geological formations such as caves and unmissable beaches.
A cruise through the Mouths of Kotor is always relaxing and gives another perspective of the city.
It allows us to take a bath in the sea, and visit points of interest such as the island of Our Lady of the Rocks, the Blue Cave or Perast, while we admire the landscape and recharge our energies.
What You’ll See and Do in Kotor
It is convenient to start at the entrance gate, precisely the Sea Gate, to enter Kotor the way it deserves. We enter the old town and can walk through the Main Square, and see the Clock Tower and the surrounding palaces and castles already mentioned.
After a walk through the historic center, it is advisable to choose our first point to visit. In this case, we recommend the Cathedral of St Trifon, since we continue inside the city and we can take the opportunity to delve into its rich history.
A good option, after visiting the Cathedral, is to look for a place to rest and have a light meal that will allow us to continue on our way, in case we need to, or, if not, to continue with the itinerary.
The next place to visit in Kotor should be the Castle of St. John, whose climb will demand us physically and reward us with the best possible images of the city and its natural environment.
After the descent, we recommend the counterpart to the effort: relaxation. It may now be time to head to the bay and take a cruise around the Mouths of Kotor that will allow us to relax and enjoy a swim, the beaches and the scenery.
You can also opt for a tour that includes a visit to some point such as the island of Our Lady of the Rocks or Perast, for example, to add particular destinations to this destination in itself unique that is Kotor.
If you are lucky, you may admire the sunset from the Adriatic and then from the bay. The mountains and cliffs will do the rest of the magic.
To end the day, the best way to close the circle of this tour is to taste the local gastronomy in the historic center, with its diverse cultural influences from Italy, Turkey and, of course, the Balkans.
How to Go from Kotor to Dubrovnik and From Dubrovnik to Kotor
Getting from Dubrovnik to Kotor and from Kotor to Dubrovnik is not complicated at all. We simply have to choose the means of transportation or form of travel that best suits our interests.
The route can be covered by car. It is about 93 kilometers on route D8, about 2 hours of travel time. Be careful with the paperwork to cross the border, it is better to get information before traveling.
You can also go by bus for about 20 euros and practically the same duration of the trip.
Finally, the tour can be through a tour, which can be found from 50 or 60 euros and will have the advantage of some proposals and extra services.
Unfortunately, there is no ferry between Dubrovnik and Kotor. But fortunately, as you can see, there is no lack of means of transportation or offers to go from one city to another.
Where to Stay in Kotor
In case you want to spend the night in Kotor, there is a great offer of accommodations and areas where to find them according to our particular interest.
In terms of areas, there are two main areas: the historic center and the Dobrota area.
Staying in the historic center has the usual advantages of being in the city’s main and central point, with all its gastronomic, cultural and touristic offer.
The Dobrota area, on the other hand, borders the bay of Kotor and allows access to the city center either on foot or by transport. If walking is not a problem or, better, if it is a pleasure, then this area may be ideal.
Best Time to Visit Kotor
Like most of the coastal region of which it is a part, the best time to visit Kotor is undoubtedly the summer and its surrounding months. That is, between May and September.
This is the ideal time of the year to appreciate all the goodness and possible activities of the coastal landscape and the activities in the natural surroundings that make this destination an attractive place.
Plan Your Trip to Dubrovnik
- Boat Trips from Dubrovnik
- Day Trip to Mostar and Kravice Falls
- How to go from airport to Dubrovnik
- Best Things to Do in Dubrovnik
- Dubrovnik Itinerary
Last Updated on 8 September, 2023 by Veronica
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Vero, a seasoned traveler, has explored 25 countries and lived in five, gaining a rich perspective and fostering an infectious passion for travel. With a heart full of wanderlust, Vero uncovers the world’s hidden gems and shares insights, tips, and planning advice to inspire and assist fellow adventurers. Join Vero and let the shared passion for travel create unforgettable memories.