After exploring Sveti Stefan and Budva, my brother Josh and I traveled to Kotor, located on Montenegro’s dramatically-beautiful Bay of Kotor.
Kotor ended up being my favorite city in Montenegro. Its Stari Grad (old city) has quaint stone buildings surrounded by the gorgeous sea on one side and the imposing mountains on the other. As you walk, the streets seem to get more and more beautiful around every corner, and I had the distinct impression that I could be happy wandering them forever.
So could Josh.
If your hotel is located in Kotor’s Stari Grad, you should know that you can’t actually drive into the old city. Our lives would have been a lot easier if we had known that beforehand! Instead, you should park either along the water or in one of the parking lots across the river. Then you can easily wheel your suitcases into the Stari Grad and to your hotel.
We stayed at the Hotel Astoria, which is one of the most unique hotels I’ve ever visited. It was part Lord of the Rings, part Game of Thrones, and part warrior princess.
The corridors are designed like caves. Instead of room numbers, the rooms are assigned Greek names.
It was very fantastical, and definitely worth the experience.
Kotor is famous for its Cherry Strudels, so during a quick rainstorm we took a break from exploring to sample the local delicacy. It tasted like heaven!
When the rain stopped, Josh and I decided to climb Kotor’s city walls on St. John’s Hill, located at the foot of the Lovćen mountain. The walls zigzag up the hill, passing by the Church of Our Lady of Remedy and eventually reaching the St. Giovanni Fortress at the top.
It was perfect going after the rain, because everything was green and fragrant. Plus, there weren’t many other people on the path, which means that we were able to enjoy the journey instead of surreptitiously racing people to the top (we’re a competitive family).
The hike wasn’t difficult at all. In fact, the ascent felt a lot easier than reaching my New York City fifth-floor walkup!
We reached the Church of Our Lady of Remedy in about 20 minutes, and were treated to gorgeous views of Kotor and the surrounding bay.
If you do nothing else when you’re in Kotor, you should climb the city walls!
After our trek, we treated ourselves to drinks and dinner at Kotor’s Old Winery restaurant. Well, drinks and “lunch” as the waiter kept calling it!
We ordered a local Montenegrin Buk Chardonnay, and it was delicious!
One of the things that I absolutely LOVE about Montenegro is that restaurants serve bread and olive oil with every meal. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn’t matter, there is always going to be local olive oil on the table. Plus, Montenegrin olive oil is absolutely phenomenal, and is the best that I’ve had in my entire life!
So needless to say, we ate a LOT of it, and enjoyed it. But it was never quite as enjoyable as the olive oil at Old Winery, when we got to spray it onto the bread!
I had heard good things about Montenegrin fish soup, so I ordered a bowl as a starter. For some reason I had it in my head that it would be a clear soup with boiled fish, and assumed that it would be disgusting. But it arrived looking like this, and actually wasn’t bad at all!
I loved my main course of grilled squid, and ended up eating a lot of it throughout the trip!
Josh ordered grilled prawns, and they were good as well.
The next morning, after a breakfast of bread and olive oil, we said farewell to Kotor. As Josh always says (which I hate!), “take a good look now because you’re never going to see it again!”
He’s wrong, though. I will see Kotor again. It’s too wonderful not to go back!
For all of my Montenegro travel posts, click here.