Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Montenegro : Exploring the Bay of Kotor

Today I want to show you a taste of Montenegro. I was able to take a day trip there in April, specifically to the Bay of Kotor - and the city of Kotor. While my day wasn't long enough to see everything I wanted. I feel like I got a good glimpse of the city. Enough to make me want to come back for more.


As part of a tour with stops in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro & Venice with Gate1 Travel (not paid by them, just feel like I got a great value for my $)

So far, I've posted a few recaps. 

Considering my trip was way back in April, I figured I should get a move on those travel recaps. I love having this space as a journal for myself, but also, I hope someone stumbles upon this post & is inspired to take a trip, or just wants some more info before a trip they've planned.

First thing's first, Montenegro is a fairly new country, only about 10 years old, and was previously part of the former Yugoslavia. They use the euro and are attempting to join the EU. During our trip we drove from Dubrovnik, Croatia. But border crossing was simple and required no more than a few minutes time. There were two border crossings. One to leave Croatia and a separate one about a mile or two down the road to enter Montenegro.

Once you cross the border in to Montenegro you'll immediately notice most signs are in two languages, Montenegrin, the local language and Russian. This is due to the large influx of Russian investment that has been seen over the last decade.


Our first stop was the Bay of Kotor, after driving through the tiny town of Persat. We boarded a small boat that would take us out to Our Lady of the Rocks, a church, located on a man-made island, created by sinking enemy ships, laden with rocks. The church was built in 1452 and has remained in some capacity since.



After a brief tour of the church, which BTW is still an active church, holding Catholic mass at least once per month, we headed back to shore. We headed further around the banks of the Bay to the walled city of Kotor.


 You'll see in the top right corner of the photo below, you can vaguely see a wall, the walls of the old city extend that high, now as a viewpoint for the brave traveller, but previously as a viewpoint from which to protect the city from oncoming attack.


Our tour of the Old Town afforded us a look at churches, like this one.


But, after the tour was when the real  fun started. I booked it to the base of the wall, which was climbable by rudimentary "steps" and gravel grades. For a 3 Euro entrance fee (which was SO worth it).

| side note | to truly climb to the tippy top is about a 2 hour trek. At first I laughed at this, it didn't look that far & I am in pretty good shape. But nope, it's true. With the time I had I was able to make it about half way, and it took ever bit of an hour.



The views looking back down on the Old Town & over the Bay of Kotor were spectacular.


Eventually, my time was running short, so I booked it back down the hill. Just in time to swing by a local bakery for a 2 Euro sandwich, and to bip into a small market for a bottle of local wine (Vranac - a red) + local prosciutto. 

The prosciutto was unlike any I've had before, its flavor was very smoky & deep. I'm told it's from their climate. Mountaintops get cold, allowing the meat to age at a cooler temperature & then smoke in smokehouses before being sold.



 Then it was time to hop on the ferry, back across the Bay of Kotor, and back to Dubrovnik.




Have you ever been to Montenegro?
What's the next place on your travel bucket list?
What's your favorite thing to try when you go somewhere new?


 I’m linking up with Amanda, LovePastaToolBelt, A Little R&R +  Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World for Wanderful Wednesday!
Linking up with Running in a Skirt for #BestoftheBlogs









40 comments:

  1. Montenegro is somewhere I'd really love to visit. I loved your photos and the helpful descriptions of what you saw. Really interesting to read that the signs are in several languages too.
    Visiting from #WanderfulWednesday

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    1. Thanks Clare! I actually found that most of former Yugoslavia has signs in several languages.

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  2. Montenegro looks enchanting! That prosciutto picture really did my in though. Damn I love prosciutto mmmm

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    1. My mouth watered writing this post, I can still taste how good it was. And I haven't found anything similar since.

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  3. I love churches from other countries - especially old ones & their uniqueness. You dont see them like that anymore

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    1. No & it's one of my favorite truly authentic glances into other cultures.

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  4. Montenegro looks beautiful! It hasn't been on my travel radar at all so I'm glad you shared about your experience.

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    1. Thanks Chaitali. It was the perfect day trip from Dubrovbik, Croatia. And since it's such a small country it could easily be a day or two trip as part of a longer vacation!

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  5. This place looks so beautiful! Like something from a calendar or postcard haha. The views from your hike are incredible! Ahhh I have so so so many places on my travel bucket list. Australia is my number one and I'm dying to see Portland, Oregon too!

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    1. YES to Australia! The problem is every time I finish reading a travel recap I usually end up adding it to my travel bucket list, so it just keeps getting longer!

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  6. I'd love to go on a Croatia/Slovenia/Montenegro trip as well! Looks like the area is still relatively untouched and so cheap too!

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    1. It was definitely very inexpensive. The wine + prosciutto was less than 5 euro. And my bakery sandwich was 1.5 euro I believe.

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  7. the pictures are so pretty but dang that prosciutto!!! i love prosciutto!

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    1. OMG it was so good, and such a unique flavor that I haven't found anywhere else yet!

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  8. I have traveled with Gate 1 (Thailand) and there is nothing bad I can say about the company. I would like to do the same trip you did. All those places sound incredible!

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    1. Glad to know you had a good experience in Asia. That's one place where I think it would be so great to travel with Gate1. I think as a solo female that would be a daunting trip for me.

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  9. Montenegro looks lovely! I've never been but it is definitely on my list!! Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Thanks! Probably a fairly feasible trip for you as well!

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  10. Enjoyed reading about your day trip to Montenegro. While I have been thinking of travelling to Dubrovnik, I had not considered Montenegro until now. Sounds like an interesting place to visit for a couple of days. #WanderfulWednesday

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    1. It was the perfect day trip from Dubrovnik! And crossing the border was so simple too!

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  11. Wow, I would almost say this one is the next one on my travel bucket list. It looks so BEAUTIFUL. I love the old buildings and gorgeous scenery in Europe, and my next travel goal is Eastern Europe, Lord willing, that it stays semi-safe. :)

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    1. That was my favorite part of all the places I visited. Was the old architecture & the walled cities, something we just do not have here in the US. Amazing how it is all still standing.

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  12. sighhhhhh we spent part of our honeymoon here years ago and it was one of the most magical places, love Cinque Terre!

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  13. Never been to Montenegro, although I've wanted to go to Croatia (and heard it's lovely). It sure looks beautiful in your photos!

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    1. Croatia was BEAUTIFUL! I cannot recommend it enough.

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  14. All of your travel posts give me so much wanderlust! I'm happy to hear someone else had a good experience through gate one! I'll have to try this trip out next.

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    1. I saw your Budapest & Prague trip the other day on Groupon, but I couldn't act fast enough to snag it!

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  15. I had no idea that Montenegro was that young of a country! That's awesome that it was so easy to get in and out of, and it sounds like you got to see and do so much while you were there! That prosciutto that you had looks absolutely amazing!

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    1. I didn't either. I actually only bothered to look it up because so many people back home kept asking me if I was sure it was a country. Uhh, yup. I'm standing here in it & they stamped my passport! Haha.

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  16. Montenegro looks so so cute! I have to admit I had no idea the country was so young! Looks like you had a great trip and really got to soak in a lot of the scenery :D

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    1. Definitely a great trip. It wasn't on my original itinerary but I'm so glad I got to add it.

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  17. What an incredible place to explore! I really want to travel around Europe and your tour sounds like the perfect way to do it on your first trip!

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  18. Wow...that looks absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing your experience!

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    1. Thanks Rachel! It really was gorgeous!

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  19. Well how cool was this little trip? Never been to that area but of course I'd like to see all the world! Awesome!

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  20. Beautiful pictures Jessie! Montenegro looks like an interesting place. Your post is descriptive and very informative and would definitely come back to your blog when we make a plan to visit Montenegro :-)
    #TwinklyTuesday

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  21. Wow the views were amazing even from half way!

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  22. Wow! Adding this to my travel with list. It looks beautiful. So cool that you used that travel group. I always wondered about them because the deals seem so good. Thanks for linking up to #BestofBlogs-- pinned for you!

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  23. Wow., this look like a really beautiful place and some of those shots you have taken are stunning. Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

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  24. Wow, I've never been to Montenegro or anywhere that side of world, but it looks so beautiful! I love all the history and that view, wow!

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