The Republic of Montenegro, the “land of the Black Mountains”, is one of Europe's smallest states with an area of around 14.000 square kilometers. Almost as many people live in Montenegro as in Düsseldorf on the Rhine: 620.000. All of this hardly needs to be mentioned if it weren't for the scenic beauty and diversity. Montenegro has almost 300 kilometers of spectacular coastline along the Adriatic Sea, beautiful mountainous areas with canyons and deep gorges, and picturesque historic cities. One of these cities is Kotor.
Kotor at the end of Boko Kotorska
The small town, surrounded by high fortress walls, lies at the end of the fjord-like bay of Boko Kotorska. What looks like a fjord is the canyon of a river that has carved its way into the Adriatic Sea. High mountains surround the bay and the city. In 1979 both were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Boko Kotorska Bay - narrow passage
Kotor's checkered history
The first settlers on the edge of the protected natural harbor were Illyrians; Greeks and Romans followed later. The first defenses were built around 535 at the time of the Great Migration. The protection turned out to be inadequate. Saracens sacked Kotor in 840. Once again, Mongolian hordes attacked and destroyed the port city in 1242.
Kotor - fortress wall with the Venetian lion
Kotor - fortress wall Vrata od Skurde
That being said, Kotor's merchants and seamen were skilled and recognized in the Mediterranean. As early as the 14th century, the city had risen to rival Venice and Dubrovnik. Although Kotor gained the status of an independent republic in 1391, it came under the protection of Venice in 1420. The city owes its eye-catching ring of fortifications to this connection. Later Kotor belonged to Austria, France and then again to Austria. At the beginning of the 20th century it fell to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
Kotor - in the present
Kotor attracts nature lovers and cruise tourists alike. Kotor is currently Montenegro's most popular tourist region. The city lives mainly from vacationers. It is also the location of individual faculties of the University of Montenegro and the seat of the Catholic diocese of Kotor.
Kotor - cruise ship MSC Armonia at the quay
Kotor for cruise tourists
For 2019, the statistics portal “statista” reports 519 calls by cruise ships. That is more ship calls than the cities of Venice or Dubrovnik recorded in the same period. A total of 700.000 passengers were counted. On a few peak days, the number of cruise tourists reaches the 10.000 mark. This moves the small town into the ranks of those destinations that suffer from overtourism.
Cruise ships need just under two hours from entering the bay to reaching their berths in Kotor. The cruise of the cruise ships through the 30-kilometer-long Boko Kotorska Bay requires the special instinct of the helmsmen and the pilots. The journey is a unique experience for the guests on board. A quay awaits the ships. If several cruise ships visit the city on one day, the remaining ships anchor in the bay. The passengers are brought ashore in boats.
The Bay of Kotor
Majesty Princess in Kotor's roadstead
Because of its location and the medieval cityscape, Kotor is an appealing cruise destination. Under Kotor sightseeing let's describe the city's attractions. For visitors who know Kotor well, we recommend a visit to the beautiful coastal town of Budva. The excursion includes a spectacular drive through the surrounding mountains. The extensive beach and the historic old town beckon in Budva. Under Shore excursion to Budva let's describe the tour. Another activity is a boat trip from Kotor to Perast. The elegant boats stop twice: first in Perast and then on the artificial island off the coast. The guests have the opportunity to get to know Perast and the church of Maria vom Felsen.
Note: In Montenegro, payments are made in EURO. Visitors from the euro zone are spared the need to exchange money.
Update January 2021