- Have you been to Kotor?
- No, and where is that?
This would be a typical answer-question about Kotor, one of the most beautiful and often-overlooked towns in Europe. After seeing photographs of this truly wonderful place, a person who’s never even heard of Kotor would surely say: “I should definitely go there”.
Kotor is a perfect yacht charter destination for at least half-day stop during a yacht charter vacation in the Adriatic. It can be included in only-Montenegro itinerary or a mixed route of Albania and Montenegro, or Montenegro and Croatia. The options for an amazing itinerary in the Adriatic are multifarious. You can even add Italy to your cruising route.
Kotor is located deep at the end of a butterfly-shaped Boka Kotorska, a bay that reminds a quiet Nordic fjord. Spectacular scenery of Kotor’s location leaves your breathless, either you’re you are at the foot of towering mountains or you’ve reached the top of Saint Giovanni castle and now gaping at the canvas of terracotta roofs and the bay’s unforgettable looks.
A travel guide will tell you that the highlights of Kotor, that is UNESCO World Heritage Site, are its arched Romanesque churches, antique & souvenir shops, renowned fortification. But there is more than that. Here in the heart of its winding lanes and marbled piazzas you’ll enjoy watching kids running to their schools bested in centuries-old buildings. It’s a town with super narrow streets, a moat that surrounds walled town, pots with hydrangea and lavender growing here and there, folk dancers and singers who perform at local piazzas for Kotor’s guests, bars with live music. Street musicians play violin, guitar, and all kind of instruments.
You’ll do yourself a favor if you hide a travel guide or a map once you have stepped on one of Kotor’s cobblestone streets and allow yourself simply to get lost in the maze of its history and unique ambience and ogle pretty views of Kotor.
Don’t be afraid to miss something interesting. It’s all here in one miniature world of a medieval fairy-tale. Every nook, every corner, antique store, a souvenir shop, churches, and museums - you’ll see them all.
Life passes by slowly in Kotor. You can feel each breath of the town. Despite the busy cruise ship traffic and hundreds of tourists who disembark in order to have a date with the town, somehow it manages to stay comfortable and peaceful, and definitely less crowded then neighboring Dalmatian coast.
Kotor will teach you how to see the past, appreciate the present, and look forward to the future.
Don’t rush to linger in a café or restaurant. Work up an appetite, if you’re not very hungry of course. Otherwise, don’t stress out and choose a spot where they serve local olives, cheese, meat, wine, salads, all kinds of fish dishes. The food of Montenegro is delicious with a mixed touch of Italian, Balkan, and Ottoman influence.
Locals are very friendly and relaxed. They manage to combine their day-to-day life and welcome guests of the town. In Kotor you’ll see how an ordinary life coexists with dramatic looks of history and steep mountains. We’re more than sure you’ll find lines of colorful laundry hanging from the medieval balconies cute and atmospheric. Even more, you’ll surely take some photos with these inartificial decorations.
Stari Grad of Kotor, which means “old town”, is one big playground of street cats lolling on marble squares. Locals cherish furry citizens of their town. In each shop there are numerous souvenirs with images of cats. There’s even cats’ museum in Kotor. It’s hidden in one of cozy squares just across a centuries-old huge tree. Entrance fee is next to nothing. Symbolic sum of money goes to feed cats - a true symbol of Kotor.
Skip the museum and instead pop in one of many antique shops in Kotor. You won’t leave without buying something special.
To feel peace and religious heritage of the country, go inside Saint Nicholas church even if you’re not spiritual. Here an atmosphere of serenity reigns in every detail: icons, hydrangea and roses, scent of candles and frankincense.
As for the famous fortress of Saint Giovanni, it is a must to climb there, and the view is more than rewarding, but it’s better to know that the road to the top of the fortress is not easy. It takes about an hour to reach the top, the steps are very slippery and sometimes are quite dangerous. Bring along some water with you and cover your head with a hat for a safer journey. When you make it, you’ll have one of the most amazing postcard panorama of Kotor bay, where you’ll enjoy butterflies flying freely among the ruins of the medieval fortress, encounter happy smiles of people who have just made it to the top. And of course you won’t be able to stop taking photographs of Kotor’s every shape.
After encountering with Kotor, get back on board of your charter yacht and set off to explore the winding riviera of Kotor Bay. Sail by cozy little medieval gems and enjoy a yacht charter of your dreams.
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