This jewel of the Adriatic is a real stunner. Reached by a stupendous voyage up the Bay of Kotor, this ancient Montenegrin city sits on a narrow strip of land between deep waters and the plunging, rock-strewn hillsides. It's easy to explore, since the cruise ship port is directly across the road from the Old City.
What We Love
The Fortress of Saint Giovanni: The city walls run perpendicular for 1,360 steps up the flanks of the mountain above Kotor. The fortress sits at the 4,000-foot high point, with spectacular views of the town, bay, and peaks.
Bay of Kotor: The blue mirror-smooth waters of this breathtaking 17-mile-long fjord reveal a landscape of impossible beauty, with small jewel-box villages clinging to the shoreline, backed by steep limestone peaks.
Best Known For
Old Town: The ancient heart of Kotor is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it delivers, with Venetian lions at the gate, ancient squares of stone buildings, and medieval and baroque churches.
Scenic Spots: Book a car or bus tour and head down the shore to another unforgettable UNESCO site: the village of Perast with its two island churches floating just off-shore.
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Who It's Best For
Super Yachters: The same deep waters that allow cruise ships to make passage have also always made this region popular for mega yachts and the mega rich who sail them.
Cat Lovers: Pre-Internet, you had to get your kitten fix via amusing postcards and lithographs. The Cats Museum has an extensive collection, and the cat theme continues in the gift shop.
Don't Say We Didn't Warn You
Steep Climbs: The Old Town has nearly vertical streets and walls, plus bell towers and other buildings that require stairs.
Under Construction: Kotor and all of coastal Montenegro experienced an uncontrolled building boom, much of it fueled by Russian buyers, which blighted previously undeveloped landscapes with new construction.