Monday, 17 July 2017

Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor Top 5 Must-Sees

Today on the blog we have a guest post from Micaela, who blogs at the wonderful StylishLondon Living. Please pop over and take a look at her blog and maybe support her on her twitter account.

A winding bay of the Adriatic Sea in southwestern Montenegro, the Bay of Kotor is an area rich in history, culture, delicious cuisine and stunning views. With a Mediterranean climate Montenegro is a beautiful country working hard to attract tourists as an affordable alternative to neighbouring Croatia’s Dubrovnik.

The UNESCO protected bay is made up of the medieval towns of Kotor, Risan, Tivat, Perast, Prčanj and Herceg Novi with each town having its own charm and sights to see. With influences on the culture of Montenegro coming from Orthodox, Slavic, Central European, and seafaring Adriatic cultures there is a lot to see and do, here are my top 5 must-sees when visiting this picturesque coastal region. 

Our Lady of the Rocks, Perast
Legend has it that Our Lady of the Rocks, a manmade island, was built over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of Madonna and Child on the rock in the sea.

Accessible only by a hiring a boat across the bay, the Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady of the Rocks along with a museum sits on the island. The Church contains 68 paintings by a 17th-century baroque local artist alongside a collection of silver votive tablets and a famous votive tapestry. 

St. Tryphon Cathedral, Kotor

There are many buildings inspired by religion on the Bay of Kotor, a fine example of this is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in Kotor. Consecrated in 1166 the Roman Catholic Cathedral is one of the largest and most ornate buildings in the city.

Although the Cathedral was damaged in an earthquake in 1979 the Romanesque architecture was restored and is stunning with 14th century frescoes and many ornaments made of precious metals. The Cathedral showcases beautiful works of art alongside religious artefacts and relics. 

Blue Grotto, Herceg Novi

If you aren’t afraid of jumping in a boat I can’t recommend visiting the extraordinary Blue Grotto enough. This is a natural marvel having been carved from the rock to create a hidden cave with a round-shaped interior of around 15 metres wide, with the ceiling shaped as vault.

The name Blue Grotto is well deserved as the water in the cave is a dazzling crystal blue colour with photos barely doing it justice. If you are the adventurous type you can enjoy a dip in the water which is 3 meters deep, just watch out for the tourist boats bobbing around in the current! 

Citadela, Budva
Originally the fortress of Kastel first mentioned in ancient chronicles in 1425, the Citadel in the graceful medieval town of Budva proudly sitting along the defensive stone city walls at the southern tip of the city. The 160m long sea-facing ramparts offer offering striking views of the coastline making it the perfect spot for a selfie or two!

The Citadel boasts two towers intricately connected to the city walls along with impressive barracks making up the most prominent structure. The Citadel houses a museum and a library full of rare books and maps with its large terrace serves as the main stage of the annual Theatre City festival.

Tivat Promenade, Tivat
If you want to seek out some luxury and creature comforts after exploring The Bay of Kotor’s history and natural beauty then head to the Promenade at Tivat which is becoming a classy, high-end tourist destination thanks to a recent investment to improve the area for tourists.

Spend a day enjoying the Promenade by strolling along the coast, admire the super yachts as they come and go at Porto Montenegro or rent a lounger on one of the beaches and enjoy a cool drink. There are several restaurants in Porto Montenegro that serve everything from 5-star dining to casual meals. Tivat has a lively nightlife, try Madame Coco, My Club or The Clubhouse for a great night out.

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