Budva and Kotor are two amazing cities in Montenegro. We recently had an opportunity to visit both of these places and explore some of their attractions.
Whilst we were in Dubrovnik we decided to take a day trip to Montenegro. There were many travel agents offering such trips in Dubrovnik’s old town. We then started some extensive research to decide which firm would be lucky enough for us to book with.
By extensive research, I mean that we asked the owners of the apartment we were staying in for their advice. Followed up by a Google search for advice from other travellers. Hardly extensive but it sounds good!
It was the opinion of the apartment owners and online reviews that a firm called Adriatic Explore offered a good day-trip to Montenegro.
Happy with our research we decided to book our trip to Mostar with this firm. We also booked a day trip to Mostar, but that’s another story.
The journey to Montenegro from Dubrovnik
We were collected from our apartment by car and taken to a central point in Dubrovnik so that we could board our bus. The guide on the bus spoke perfect English and told us about some of the points of interest along the way.
It didn’t take long for us to reach the Croatia-Montenegro border. After going through passport control it was time for what the guide described as a ‘comfort stop’. This stop was in a small service station near the border. It offered the usual unremarkable hot and cold drinks as well as a variety of snacks.
With everyone back on board the bus, we set back on our merry way onward through Montenegro. Along the way, the guide gave us some details about the history of the country.
Bay of Kotor and ferry crossing
Our first real stop of the day was at a viewpoint of the Bay of Kotor. I had seen pictures of the Bay of Kotor before making the trip to Montenegro. But seeing the landscape with my own eyes was incredible.
The high and rugged mountains stretched down to the bay as far as we could see. I also noticed that there were small settlements and churches on the other side of the bay. This definitely added to the scene.
To save driving around the circumference of the bay the bus took the Lepetane to Kamenari car ferry. This reduced the travel time to our next destination and also gave us another opportunity to take in the amazing view of the Bay of Kotor.
Next on the agenda was to visit the old town of Budva. This old walled town surrounded on one side by a harbour and on the other side a sandy beach.
We explored Budva without the rest of the group. We managed to see quite a bit of the old town’s narrow streets and churches.
Out of everything we saw, Budva Citadel was the most interesting. Especially its eclectic library and great views of the city and Adriatic sea.
After a spot of lunch in the old town, we had enough time for a quick look around the new town and a nearby shopping mall.
On arrival in Kotor, we enjoyed another amazing view. In one direction was the magnificent scenery of the Bay of Kotor. In the other direction was the equally impressive scene of the city of Kotor. You could see the Venetian walls and the fortress on the mountain behind the town.
We walked through the Maritime gate of Kotor and into the Square of Arms. This was our meeting point for a walking tour of the old city.
At this point it started to rain. But despite this inconvenience, we pressed on with the tour. It was an interesting walk seeing attractions such as Kotor Cathedral, Pima Palace, the Maritime Museum and the Serbian Orthodox Church.
With the tour completed the rain was starting to get very heavy. Some of the streets of the city had a few millimetres of water on them and resembled streams. We decided to take cover in a nearby bar to have a beer and wait for the rain to pass.
Unfortunately the rain didn’t get any lighter and now low cloud was also descending too. This meant that we couldn’t get up to the old town walls of Kotor to get a view of the town and bay. A big shame, but you can’t control the weather can you?
The return to Dubrovnik from Montenegro
Now drenched through to the skin we got back on the bus back to Dubrovnik. The rain and low cloud meant that we could see very little of the Bay of Kotor on the return journey.
The weather seemed to follow us all the way back to Croatia too. It was even raining on arrival back at the apartment.
Despite the bad weather on the second part of the day we had a great time exploring the towns of Budva and Kotor. It definitely whetted the appetite for a trip back to the Montenegro one day.