As I mentioned last time, Billy and I took a day trip to Montenegro while we were in Dubrovnik. To be honest, I really didn’t know anything about Montenegro until I started looking into places close to Dubrovnik. It seemed like a good option since the Montenegrin border was less than an hour south of where we were staying and it turned out to be an amazing day! Our first stop of the day was a brief one in Perast. Perast is a small picturesque village on the Bay of Kotor. There are two islets in the bay across from Perast, Saint George and Our Lady of the Rocks.
After Perast, we drove to the other side of the bay to Kotor. Kotor is probably the most underrated city I have ever visited. We entered through the Sea Gate, which was constructed in the 16th Century. The city itself was founded in the 5th Century BC. The Old Town, or Stari Grad, feels like it has been untouched by time. The cobbled streets are a bit maze-like, but the town is not huge so even if you get lost, you’ll be able to find your way back.
The city is surrounded by fortifications, with the bay on one side and mountains on the other. On the mountain side, a wall zigzags it’s way upwards to the Castle of San Giovanni. The views all the way up are incredible, but they are not without effort. 1,355 steps must be conquered before you get to the Castle. There is a church halfway, where many people stop at, but Billy insisted on going all the way to the top. The birds-eye-view at the top is absolutely worth the climb if you have the time and energy.
The last stop of the day was Budva, where we grabbed a bite to eat on the beach. We also checked out the citadel. Budva is another city where the Stari Grad is enclosed by defensive stone walls. Who knew there were so many well-preserved medieval walled off cities? As a child, I was obsessed with medieval history and castles so visiting all these fortified cities had my inner child jumping for joy! What’s different about Budva than the other cities is that there is a lot of construction happening due to the city’s popularity as a beach resort destination. Therefore, the city is a big mix of old and new with most of the history located in the Old Town and modern high rises surrounding.
I was absolutely blown away by our day in Montenegro and wish we’d had more time in each city! Don’t you just love it when you visit a new place and it exceeds all your expectations??