Cruise Port Atlas | Kotor, Montenegro Day Trips | Attractions

Kotor, Montenegro in a Day | What to Do | What to See

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Kotor: Star Clippers, Voyages of Discovery, Windstar, Azamara Club Cruises, Crystal, Oceania, Paul Gauguin, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea, Celebrity, Cunard, Holland America, Princess, Costa, MSC Cruises, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, Viking River Cruises

Key Attractions: Kotor, Venetian Walls, Maritime Museum, St. Tryphon Cathedral, Bay of Kotor, Budva Beach,, Budva Old Town, Sveti Stefan, Perast, Our Lady of the Rocks, Podgorica, Skadar Lake National Park

Kotor Attractions

Dock to Old Town - 0.1-0.5 KM, 2-8 minute walk
Dock to St. John's Fort - 2 KM, 60-90 minute strenuous hike
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Kotor is the center of a declared UNESCO site, designated for its historic buildings and stunning scenery. Since 1990 the town has built a solid tourism industry focused on cruise ship visits, revitalizing the Old Town section. Along the water is a formidable Venetian wall, which lends the city a medieval atmosphere. Within the walls are numerous stone churches including the Kotor (St. Tryphon) Cathedral built in 1166 and numerous palaces built by the important mercantile families of the city's past. The central meeting point is the Square of Arms so named because the town was so often the point of armed struggles and sieges, most memorably between the Venetians and the Ottomans. Above the city on a hill is the St. John Castle which is not easily accessible, but is a great destination if you want to take a vigorous hike with stunning views.

           

   

Photo of Square at Arms by Peter Croyle, Photo of Kotor from St. John's Castle by Ggia

Budva and Sveti Stefan

Kotor to Budva - 22 KM, 22 minutes
Dock to Sveti Stefan - 32 KM, 35 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Budva is Montenegro's most popular tourist destination, famous for its wealthy visitors, it's ancient walled city and the wide sandy beaches of the Budva Riviera. The old town of Budva is situated on small peninsula surrounded by a wall of mostly Venetian construction. Within the walls are many historic buildings some dating back to the early medieval era. Among the oldest buildings are St. Ivan's Church from the 7th century and St. Mary's Church from the 9th. Budva's infrastructure has not kept pace with its tourist development which can make traffic in the area a bit of a nightmare. Southeast of Budva is the former fishing village of Sveti Stefan, an island connected to the mainland by a causeway. For the last 50 years this has been an exclusive resort that attracts the rich and famous (Sofia Loren, Kirk Douglas, Sylvester Stallone, many Soviet leaders). While casual visitors cannot go there, views of the island are among the most popular in the area.

     

   

Photo of Budva by Igycg, Panoramic photo of Budva by Niki Gango

Budva Beaches

Kotor to Jaz Beach - 19 KM, 22 minutes
Kotor to Mogren Beach - 22 KM, 22 minutes
Kotor to Slovenska Beach - 24 KM, 25 minutes
Port to Becici Beach - 26 KM, 28 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The coast near Budva is often called the Budva Riviera and has long attracted tourists with it's beautiful beaches. Becici Beach was named Europe's most beautiful beach in 1935 and it continues to be a major draw offering clean sand and sports facilities. Jaz Beach has both sandy and pebble sections and is surrounded by campgrounds and was the location for two major recent concerts given by the Rolling Stones and Madonna. Mogren beach is the closest to Budva's old town and offers two sandy sections connected by a tunnel cut through rock. Budva's main beach, adjacent to the new town is Slovenska Beach which features many large resort hotels and urban beach amenities. There are a wide variety of other smaller beaches in the area, some of which have received blue flags for their cleanliness and sustainability.

           

   

Photos of Jaz Beach and Slovenska Beach by Bratislav Tabas

Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks

Kotor to Perast - 19 KM, 22 minutes
Kotor to Our Lady of the Lakes (island) - 50 minute ferry
Link to Full-Page Google Map

As your ship sails into the inner Bay of Kotor through the narrow Verige strait, you will see the small town of Perast, which was once a wealthy Venetian enclave and the location of important shipyards. What remains today are several defensive towers from the Renaissance era and a number of Baroque palaces. Just off the coast are two islands both with churches. Most visitors will sail to one or both islands. The more famous island is Our Lady of the Rocks which is man-made and built parially from scuttled ships. Tours from Kotor to Perast offer incredible views of the bay.

           

   

Photo of Perast by Janusz Reclaw, Photo of Our Lady of the Lakes (public domain)

Podgorica and Lake Skadar

Kotor to Lake Skadar - 70 KM, 1 hour 15 minutes

Kotor to Podgorica - 75 KM, 1 hour 25 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Podgorica is the capital of the new nation of Montenegro and is located in a central plain where several historic trading routes met. While it has no important tourist attractions and was nearly razed during World War II, it is still the economic and cultural center of the country. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the local Slavic tribe known as the Montenegrans dominated the area until the Ottomans conquered the city and region at the end of the 15th century, ruling for the next 400 years. After brief independence during which the city thrived, Montenegro became part of Yugoslavia between the world wars. When the communists under the communist dictator Tito took over after World War II, Podgorica was renamed Titograd and began an economic renaissance. This renaissance has continued since the break up of Yugoslavia and now the city holds over one-quarter of Montenegro's population. While many of the buildings in the city are from the soviet era and range from ugly to unimaginative, the city is still the center for the modern country. While the Orthodox Church and Montenegran culture dominate the country, significant Muslim and Roman Catholic minorities make this a diverse city which is rapidly developing into a modern one. And getting to Podgorica introduces you to the diverse ecosystems of Montenegro, from the coastal tourist areas around Budva, to the large protected wetlands area near Lake Skadar to the central plain where the city lies.

           

   

Photo of Podgorica by Nije bitno...

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible