Ticking of these 5 best things to do in Kotor will make sure that you get the most out of your stay to the most beautiful town in Montenegro.
Kotor in my opinion is the gem of Montenegro. The old town is situated on the southern tip of a stunning bay that is surrounded by towering mountains.
The towns unique history, stunning scenery, and nearby attractions will keep your jaw on the floor for at least a couple of days.
Kotor Old Town
The old town of Kotor is one of the most interesting old towns I’ve explored.
Down every street you’ll find another smaller side street with something unique to explore. I found the cutest little shops, hidden relaxing areas, as well a cool open air cinema!
The streets are very hap-hazard and random. This was deliberately done by the town planners to confuse potential invading forces!
Take a hike to Kotor Fortress.
Overlooking the old town are the fortifications of Kotor. The fortifications protected the medieval town hundreds of years ago and are still in relatively good condition.
To get to the fort you can take the usual route up the mountains at the back of the old town and pay a fair bit fo money, or you can take the secret route.
My hosel friend and I took the secret route and its a lot quieter, a lot more authentic, and a lot cooler.
The route will take you out of the old town and crisscross up the mountain. On your way up you’ll pass really quirky sites.
An old man who doesn’t speak English will offer you refreshments from his farm house, you’ll pass plenty of goats, and can explore the cutest abandoned church.
The back entrance to the fort is then up a wooden ladder through a back window.
Then you are free to explore the awesome views!
Our Lady of the Rocks
About an hours walk north of Kotor is the cute little town of Perast. Just off the shore of Perast you will find two little islands.
These islands make up what is known as ‘Our Lady of the Rocks’. This little island was once literally a bunch of rocks and has been build on over the years.
In the 1400’s an image of the Virgin Mary was seen on the site and a small Orthodox church was built on the site.
Over the years the Church has changed and now there is a Catholic church that you are free to visit and explore with a ferry service from Perast.
Lovcen National Park
Towering over the south of Kotor is Lovcen National Park. The National Park contains two large mountains that have a myriad of hikes for you to complete.
A hike to the top of Mount Lovcen to visit Njegos Mausoleum is likely to be the highlight of your time in Kotor. The imposing Mausoleum overlooks the bay of Kotor.
The Mausoleum itself is the highest in the world and is flanked by two towering figures guarding it.
A short walk on from the mausoleum is a circular view pint offering the best panoramic views in Montenegro.
Kotor Old Town Saturday Market
If you’re lucky enough to be in Kotor on a Saturday then I highly recommend a trip to the Saturday Market. Sellers from all over the region converge upon the old Town of Kotor and sell a mesmerising array of goods.
You’ll find food produce ranging from the finest home made olive oil to the tastiest vegetables in Montenegro.
You’ll also find plenty of little handmade trinkets that you’ll be able to take home with you. If you keep them for yourself or use them as gifts for friends and family is up to you!
Written by Michael
Want a stunning 1 week Montenegro Itinerary? Then you’ve come to the right place you lucky sausage.
I first heard a lot about Montenegro when I was in Croatia. Fellow travellers just coming from Croatia’s small neighbour were raving about the place.
Rustic, cheap, crystal clear waters, less tourists and plenty of stunning nature.
I had to go.
A month later I was flying into Montenegros capital, Podgorica, to start a 1 week adventure like no other.
For this 1 week Montenegro Itinerary you can fly into the capital Podgorica and fly out of Tivat. Or you can do it the other way around!
You Montenegro itinerary begins..
Skadar National Park – 2 nights
Lake Skadar is your first stop on Your Montenegro Itinerary. After taking the ancient train from the airport you arrive in arguably the most beautiful part of Montenegro.
Skadar National park is a nature lovers paradise and isn’t short of activities to keep you busy.
Kaying Lake Skadar
The centre-piece of the National Park is Lake Skadar itself, and it’s surrounded by huge limestone hills.
As you kayak on the lake you’ll glide over the carpet of lily pads and see the many birds that call this lake home.
You can easily spend a morning exploring the lake. It’s pretty tiring but if you want you can even visit some local islands and beaches!
Hidden about a 90min trek or 10 min taxi ride from the town of Virpazar is Godinje bay. The bay isn’t that well known and as a result its beach will only have a few visitors.
The beach overlooks the lake with stunning views of the distant mountains as well as an island that has the ruins of an Ottoman prison.
The beach has kayaks available to rent as as well as a small restaurant to keep you fed and happy.
Some of the best hiking in Europe
Now I’ve been on my fair share of hikes, but Montenegro has honestly the best hike i’ve ever been on.
The hike in Walnut valley will take you along a crystal clear river with old ottoman bridges crossing it. The whole way you wont see another soul and the hike culminates in the freshest waterfalls i’ve ever swam in!
Besac Castle overlooks the Lake Skadar and the town of Virpazar. The castle costs 1 euro to enter and has recently been restored to its former glory.
Its only a 15 minute walk from the town and is a great place to watch the sunset.
Budva – 2 nights
Budva is a bustling seaside town that is a big draw for tourists from all over. Although busy, the town is well worth a visit and will keep you entertained for your stay.
Beaches and Cliff jumps
Budva is famous for it’s beaches, and they’re busy during the summer! However that’s for good reason, the waters are crystal clear and the beaches are beautiful.
On the north side of Mogren Beach you will find two stunning cliff jumps. one is about 7m and the other is over 15m. The scenery is stunning and the waters so inviting!
Jump at your own risk!
Situated up in the hills overlooking Budva is Aquapark Budva. Opened in 2016 the park has 7 waterslides and apparently you can get up to 80kmh on one of them!
The park has plenty of restaurants and bars and it also hosts plenty of parties during the summer for you to enjoy.
The night life in Budva is buzzing and the best you’ll find on your Montenegro Itinerary!
Inside the old town there are plenty of cool bars and pubs for you to visit – my fave was Casper Bar. Some are a little stuck up and only let you have a table if you buy a bottle – but you can avoid those!
Once these places quieten down you can head to the clubs if that’s your thing! Top Hill was voted the worlds best club in 2012 and still impresses. It wasn’t out thing so we just headed to the beach and talked! Grandad, I know.
You have probably seen a picture of Sveti Stefan from Instagram. It’s a stunning piece of land that juts out into the sea. On the island is Montenegros most exclusive hotel as well as a swathe of fancy restaurants.
Viewing the island from the shore and visiting the beaches in the area is an experience itself. To get on the island you need to book a table at one of the restaurants – check you out fancy pants.
Kotor – 2 nights
Kotor may well be the highlight of your Montenegro Itinerary – it was for me! The town has simultaneously the best old town i’ve visited and the most jaw dropping scenery to accompany it.
The old town of Kotor is the one of most stunning i’ve visited in Europe. The town is surrounded by its ancient walls and the streets have so many secrets to explore.
Off each cobbled street you will find churches, cute cafes, tiny shops, and great pubs.
Fortifications of Kotor
The imposing fortifications of Kotor overlook the town and are a great place to view the sunset. Getting to the fortifications is about a 30 – 45min walk and there is a way you pay 8 euros or another way it’s free.
The free way is fun and takes you up a shepherd path, past some pretty cool ruins, and into the fortress through a back door.
once at the top the views of the bay of Kotor are stunning and exploring the fortress is great fun.
Perast and Our lady of the rocks
Perast is a small piece of Venice about a 30minute drive up the coast from Kotor. The town is small but has stunning buildings and views to accompany!
Our Lady of The Rocks is a small island that was formed by sailors dropping rocks on the spot until it formed an island. On this island has been built multiple places of worship and rocks are still dropped there today!
The Saturday market in Kotor is a must visit if you’re in the town on a weekend.
TripAdvisor has this rated as the 3rd best attraction in Kotor so it must be pretty good 😉
Vendors come from all over the region to sell their homemade produce such as olive oil, fruit, and trinkets.
Lovćen National Park
Lovćen National Park is another paradise straddling the paradise that is Kotor.
The small National Park contains the best panoramic views in Montenegro. A hike up the steps to the Njegos Mausoleum is tiring but well worth it.
The mausoleum is guarded by two huge statues and you’ll feel like you’re on the lord of the rings set. The views from site are a Panormaic dream.
Theres also 3 great hikes in the park ranging from 4.5km through to 12.5km.
You Montenegro itinerary summary
This stunning 1 week Montenegro Itinerary will take you on an adventure through the rustic young country.
Skadar will provide you with stunning nature and outdoors activities. Budva will provide you with fun times on beautiful beaches. Whilst Kotor will show you the stunning ancient history of Montenegro in jaw dropping surroundings.
Written by Michael
Lake Skadar is a stunning National Park for you to explore in Montenegro. Situated in the south east of the country, the area is home to rare wildlife, secluded beaches, and the largest lake in Southern Europe.
Lake Skadar National Park is a 20 minute drive or 30 minute train ride south of the capital Podgorica. As a result it’s a perfect day trip from the capital or stunning retreat to relax at for a couple of days.
The National Park is often overlooked by tourists, and It’s absolutely bamboozling why. This means you don’t have to share it with lots of happy snapping tourists. On your trip you’re likely to visit parts of it and be one of the only people there.
I stayed on the lake for 2 nights in the town of Virpazar which was an awesome base from which to explore the region. Here’s 5 great things you can do in and around Lake Skadar.
Kayak on Lake Skadar
From the town of Virpazar you can rent yourself a colourful kayak for an hour or the whole day. On these you can silently explore the river that runs from the town into the lake.
Along the way you’ll pass towering reeds, never ending carpets of lily pads, and plenty of the lakes famous wildlife.
You can stop and relax on your kayak among the nature whenever you feel like it. When you leave the river you’ll be out on the big open lake. You’ll feel so tiny in your little kayak but will be mesmerised by the views!
I would suggest leaving early in the morning when it is calmer as it can be quite an effort kayaking back against the wind.
If you’re looking for a little bit of beach paradise to have all to yourself then Pješačac beach in Godinje Bay is the place you should be spending at least a morning.
The bay is a 90min walk from Virpazar, or a €15 return taxi. The driver will also pick you up at whatever time you want – how nice.
Once you’ve arrived and walked over the rocky shoreline path the little piece of paradise will reveal itself to you.
The beach is a small one looking over the lake with old concrete jetties either side of it. In the distance you can see Fortress Grmožur – Skadars version of Alcatraz. In the waters lapping the beach are thousands of tiny little fish ready to nibble you.
I was at the beach for about 3 hours and only one tourist boat popped by. The rest of the time it was me and a couple of other people – paradise!
Lake Skadar Boat tour
If you fancy exploring the wonders of Lake Skadar in a little more comfort and with a private guide, then you can book a boat tour.
There are multiple boat tours running from Virpazar. Most of these will take you to interesting points along the lake. This includes remote islands, beaches, and areas with a lot of wildlife.
The tours will also stop of in the middle of the lake for you to take a swim in the refreshing waters of Skadar!
Surrounding the lake you will find some truly memorable hikes. The multiple valleys and hills in the area allow for multitude of awe inspiring routes through the imposing environment.
My favourite hike was the Walnut Valley hike that takes 5-7 hours round trip. You will go for hours without seeing another soul, walk over ancient bridges, and will end at secluded waterfalls deep in the valley.
You can join in on a group hike on Saturdays, any other day it’s down to you!
Overlooking the town of Virpazar is Besac Castle. The castle is only a short 15minute walk from the town and costs 1 euro to enter.
The attraction has undergone a recent restoration and is very nice to walk around at sunset. The views over the lake and the surrounding areas are stunning.
Written by Michael
The stunning area around Lake Skadar in Montenegro can keep lovers of the great outdoors occupied for days. The illusive Walnut Valley hike is one of its highlights.
The valley contains one of the most adventurous and unique hikes I’ve ever taken. Along the way you’ll see plenty of nature, and ancient abandoned buildings and bridges.
You’re also highly likely to go the whole hike without seeing another soul due to the fact a lot of locals don’t even know about it, let alone tourists.
The culmination of the hike takes you to a secluded pool at the top of a river that is full of the FRESHEST water I’ve ever swam in. This water is fed by two small waterfalls.
I started my hike from the local town of Virpazar and it took me around 7 hours. It took this long because I literally had no idea where I was going, you’ll find out why further on in the post.
You can probably do the round trip in 4-5 hours, especially with the map and directions included at the end of this post 😉
Looking for the unknown..
I had a whole day to kill at the end of my stay in Lake Skadar and I wanted to do something pretty epic.
I heard of a stunning hike that took you to waterfalls in the nearby Walnut Valley, and there was a guided tour! However, this tour only ran once a week on Saturdays, and today was a Sunday!
I tried to find directions on how to get there myself and I even asked some locals. However, they only had a vague idea of where it was and nothing concrete.
Google Maps shows you where the waterfalls are, but surrounding it there is absolutely nothing, no paths, no directions, no civilisation.
Undeterred, I knew there must be a path to the falls that the guided hike takes, and I figured I’d just keep walking until I found it.
It made sense in my head.
So, off I went from the local town of Virpazar with backpack and drone in hand, and enough water to sustain a small village for a month.
The Walnut Valley hike begins
The first part of the hike is pretty simple. Follow the road out of Virpazar cross the railway line and the main road. Then join the road on the other side where all the cars and coaches park.
Follow this straight road and you’ve started your adventure!
The road is easy to walk and there’s very few cars on it, after about 10 minutes you’ll follow the road around to the left and start to climb a bit.
About another 10-15 minutes in the road will fork, take the road on the left that leads down.
This is the road that will lead you to Walnut Valley. This road will twist and turn for around 30-40 minutes.
Around about half way along this road you’ll notice theres a river running along the left of the road. This is the river that comes from the waterfalls you’re hiking to!
Along this river you’ll find a cute river crossing where you can dip your feet in and some cows from the local field might even join you to cool off.
Carry on along the road and you will pass through a small village. Here the local kids will run out and offer you ‘Domestic Products’ from their stall which includes lots of liquor and honey!
Enjoy the human interaction while it lasts because these are probably the last people you’ll see for a good few hours!
Out of the village follow the road and it will eventually lead up the side of the valley slightly. Just before the road turns left further up the side of the Valley you’ll will see a clear track leading off down to your left.
Take this track and you’re on your way to the waterfalls!
Start walking along this track and you will find bee hives where the locals grow their honey. I also stumbled across quite a few turtles munching away on grass int the middle of this path.
After a short while there will be a clearing on your left. Thos will lead you to your first ancient bridge that crosses the river. Here you to take some pretty cool photos!
At the end of this bridge there is a small narrow path off to the right that will take you back to the main path.
Along the main path you will see plenty of paths that run off to the right.
If you want to explore down these then absolutely do, most of them take you to the river where you can cool off if you need to.
I took pretty much all of them because I didn’t know what turning to take. Some will scratch you up, some will have massive spiders, and others will have random abandoned buildings.
But all will take you to the river where you see the remains of the many bridges that used to run over the pristine waters.
As you walk further along the main path you will notice a pretty small quarry on your left. If the digger is there then you could sit in it and take a picture, just sayin 😉
The path you’ll want to take to the waterfalls is just a bit further on from the quarry. You’ll take a right at a pretty obvious junction.
The path will lead you past more beehives then to the river. At the end of the path on your right there is a big slab of concrete witch concrete benches around the far end.
It definitely looked like people had had a camp fire there recently.
In front of you there is a crumbled bridge that you can’t walk across. However, there is a path to the left of the big concrete slab that will lead you down to the river.
Wade across the river and on the other side there is a path that will lead you up the bank. Climb over the rocks and you’ll be on the other side of the crumbled bridge!
There’s now two paths in front of you, take the one that leads you along the river, not the one that goes up the hill. God only knows where that goes.
The abandoned building.
As you carry on you’ll eventually stumble across an abandoned building that definitely doesn’t look stable enough to go in. Its super old and loads of things have collapsed in it. But it’s still cool to see.
Again, you’ll find two paths. One that leads left down to the river where you can now hear the waterfalls (you’re getting close!) and another that leads to the right.
Take the one on the right! Don’t try to be cool like me and ‘take the road less travelled’ that just leads to a world of pure pain induced by lots of stinging nettles.
As you walk all the way around the building you’ll come to a drop. Look to your right and you’ll see a path up some rocks and a red marker on one of the rocks.
Once you’re over this little hill you’ve completed the Walnut Valley hike! Walk a few meters and the stunning pool and waterfalls will reveal themselves to you!
Take this path, don’t jump down the drop, even more pain lies that way.
You’ve made it!
The site that unfurls in front of you will make the hike you just completed so worth while. The pool looks so inviting, and the waterfalls are so beautiful.
While in this little snippet of Eden you have to take a dip in the water, it’s the freshest (by that I mean coldest) and clearest water I have ever swam in.
Explore the rocks around the pools too – there’s some pretty massive frogs hanging around and some great rocks to just chill out on.
In total I spent about an hour and a half at the pools as I wanted to get back before the light started to fade. However, if you get there early you could spend multiple hours chilling by the pools and swimming in them.
Walnut Valley hike directions
Here is a map and accompanying directions for the Walnut Valley hike.
River crossing on left with cows in the picture( you don’t actually cross it)
Homes selling domestic produce including honey and liquor
Turn off the main road onto the track
Cross the ancient bridge
Walk past the random field on your right
Walk past the random quarry on your left
Take a right at a junction
Crumbled bridge and big slab of concrete, path down to the river on the left of the concrete slab. Cross river and walk up on other side.
Abandoned building, take the path on the right around the building then path up rocks on your right.