Montenegro | Photo by jakobradlgruber
Montenegro | Photo by jakobradlgruber

Exploring Montenegro’s coast

by Jessica Zen
Stripes Europe

The lovely Balkan country of Montenegro has a picture-perfect coastline on the Adriatic Sea. With both strikingly high mountain peaks and the sparkling water of the sea below, the coast is an incredible place to vacation. Though small, this country packs a punch when it comes to sites and activities. Here you’ll find ancient walled towns that are so close to the water you almost wonder how they don’t fall in! Take a look at the following attractions for inspiration on where to go on your trip to Montenegro. 

Kotor is a well-preserved medieval town nestled in a corner of the Bay of Kotor, which is shaped like a fjord. To journey to Kotor is to journey back in time to a land of walled towns, cobblestone streets and more churches than could possibly be necessary. What really gives this town the awe factor is the surrounding mountains, which seem to rise out of the sea itself. 


Cathedral of St. Tryphon | Photo by Beyla Balla

Start your visit at Stari Grad, the Old Town, which is accessible by three main gates: River Gate, South Gate and the main Sea Gate (western side). If you come through the Sea Gate, admire the Clock Tower from the early 1600s. You can also walk along some of the fortified walls and visit the various churches. The Cathedral of St. Tryphon, perhaps the most impressive of the Old Town’s churches, is an incredible stone structure with two Baroque bell towers. It is one of only two Roman Catholic cathedrals in the country. The interior is Romanesque and on the second floor, you will find the Sacral Art Museum, full of relics. Walk out onto the balcony for a perfect view of the square below!

Another incredible religious structure in the area is the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Nicholas, whose roots date back to the 17th century. The exterior boasts two large bell towers topped with black domes and a third larger central dome. Inside you can admire the massive wall frescoes. 

While wandering through the Old Town, you’ll likely notice a large stone fortress looming in the mountains. Great news! You can hike to this location, which is St. John’s fortress. A mere 1,350 steps will take you up the hill. This incredible piece of history can trace its roots back to the 9th century when construction was started. This is the perfect place to admire the town below and the sparkling Bay of Kotor. 


Sveti Stefan Island | Photo by givaga 

Another incredibly beautiful location along the coast is the fortified Sveti Stefan island village. Here you’ll find a preserved 15th-century fishing village. The islet is connected to the mainland by a causeway from Budva and the stone villas with rustic red roofs overlook the glittering azure waters. If you want to stay here, the islet is part of the Aman Resort. You can stay in a luxurious hotel and bask in the glorious sunshine and sea breezes on this picturesque islet. 

Budva, which is connected to Sveti Stefan, has an Old Town that is similar to a small Dubrovnik. Here you’ll find stone walls that were built by the Venetians and a seaside citadel. The Old Town dates back around 2,500 years and is full of ancient churches and palaces. Stop at the citadel on the seaward end of the Old Town and check out the library full of model ships and maps. Though it was built on the site of an ancient acropolis, the current structure was built in 1936. 

Are you dreaming of exploring Montenegro’s fascinating coast? There are so many incredible buildings to explore and sites to behold. Once you are able to travel again, consider hopping on the next plane to Montenegro! A little sand and sun are sure to cure your coronavirus blues!

 

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