Written by: Thomas
One of the last stops on our 3-week whirlwind honeymoon last month was Montenegro. Established in 2006 after gaining independence, Montenegro is one of the world’s newest countries – so new that many have never heard of it. Nestled by the Adriatic coast, and bordered by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, and Albania respectively going from west to east, the ‘Black Mountain’ is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever visited.
When we told people we were heading to Montenegro, we were often met with puzzled looks. This included Qatar Airways check-in staff at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo airport. In fact, we eventually began to just simply tell everyone we were headed to neighbouring Croatia (which was technically true, as we ended off in Dubrovnik after our 4 days in Montenegro).
Flying into Tivat, we decided to make Kotor our home base for our 4 days there and explored the nearby towns of Perast and Budva. Since we were on our honeymoon, we mainly took it easy and didn’t try to squeeze too much into our short stay.
Though many may have never heard of Montenegro, cruise ships certainly have. Every day, the Bay of Kotor gets inundated by cruise ship passengers. Thus, the title for this post. Although it was generally pretty quiet with only a few backpackers here and there, I think it is just a matter of time before Montenegro becomes a full-fledged mainstream tourist destination like Croatia. Though, they may need a little more infrastructure to support a massive growth in tourism – namely, a bigger airport in Tivat, and maybe more hotels, as cruise ship passengers merely pass through by day.
Kotor was everything I dreamed of and more. The landscapes we witnessed were stunning. One of the best views I’ve seen in the world was had at the top of the town walls hike – a somewhat pedestrian 1,350 step climb. Aside from that, we took it easy in many of the cafes in the Old Town.
Perast and Bay of Kotor
We took a small boat tour out to the Bay of Kotor and to the small island of Gospa and to Perast. It reminded us alot of our Milford Sound cruise in New Zealand, though on a much smaller scale.
Budva is a short one hour bus ride away from Kotor. I have to say that it was not quite our cup of tea, as it is quite a commercial resort town, and caters mostly to well-to-do Europeans. There were some nice views, and we also stopped by the popular Dancing Girl statue.