Nestled between dark brooding mountains and the glistening waters of its namesake bay, Kotor has more than enough natural charm to make your heart skip a beat. Once an outpost of the Venetian Republic, the sweeping views are balanced out nicely with the city’s graceful Old Town. Behind its imposing city walls lies a labyrinth of cobblestone streets that hold everything from lavish palaces and churches to quaint squares dotted with quirky shops and open-air cafes. Between its spellbinding scenery and sophisticated medieval charm, Kotor is the undisputed jewel in Montenegro’s crown.
Where to Stay
Located in Dobrota, a charming suburb just north of the Old Town, the magnificent Forza Terra Boutique Hotel & Spa is gently tucked away within Montenegro’s Balkan beauty. Inspired by icons in the world of fashion and design, the family-owned hotel consists of 12 exclusive rooms and suites that incorporate contemporary design touches like lush textiles and bright accents. For the cherry on top, the bayside rooms have expansive balconies that allow you to really soak in the otherworldly beauty of the Bay of Kotor. If an outdoor pool is what you’re after, you’ll find a beautiful plunge pool on the first-floor terrace, whereas in-house spa features a sauna, Turkish bath and mosaic-tiled whirlpool bath. Elsewhere, you can sample the area’s wines at the Forza Terra Winery, which holds dozens of premium wines that will please all your senses. Be sure to take a look through the Luxury Hotel Guide to Kotor for a complete breakdown of the top stays in the city.
Where to Eat
Gazing out onto the gleaming yacht-filled waters of the bay, Restaurant Galion is the prime choice for those craving lavish seafood with sublime coastal views. Floor-to-ceiling windows gift waterfront views and natural light to the beautiful dining space, whereas you can also sit on the breezy terrace for unobstructed views of the mountains, waters and Old Town. While fresh fish from the bay is the chef’s firm focus, you can also take your pick of tender steaks and Italian-inspired pasta dishes that mix centuries-old recipes with bold innovation. Take your pick of some of the finest regional wines to top off an unforgettable meal. Take a peek through our Restaurant Guide to Kotor for an expanded list of fine dining establishments.
What to Do
Dating back more than a millennia, Kotor remains guarded by a well-preserved set of city walls that has helped fend off would-be invaders for centuries. Heading all the way up St. John’s Hill and forming a protective loop, the fortification comprise 1,350 steps and extend to 260m above sea level, where you’ll be rewarded with tremendous views of the fjord and medieval buildings below. Although small, the Old Town of Kotor is an open-air museum that showcases the long-lasting influence of the Greeks, Romans, Illyrians, Venetians and Austrians. Once home to workshops organized around brotherhoods and guilds, it’s one of the most well-preserved Old Towns in the Mediterranean, seemingly made for aimlessly strolling with palaces, cathedrals and churches hiding around every corner. In between the landmarks, you can enjoy one of Europe’s most intimate and romantic atmospheres with al fresco cafes, family-run restaurants and local artisan shops filling the narrow corridors.