Planning to visit this infamous bay in the summer of 2008 at which point I will update this page and give readers the inside scoop on this beautiful slice of Adriatic coastline. Hoping Montenegro is still a little off the beaten path but something tells me that even if it is - it won't be for long...
Herceg Novi — founded in 1382 and located in the entrance of the Bay of Kotor
Kotor — an ancient fortified town located deep down the Boka Kotorska bay, UNESCO World Heritage Site
Perast — beautiful small village, a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site
Prčanj — small family-friendly place with great view of the Bay of Kotor
Tivat — located in the vicinity of the Tivat International Airport, in the near future it will become the home of a luxury yacht marina called Porto Montenegro
The bay is composed of 4 smallers gulfs - gulf of Herceg Novi, gulf of Tivat, gulf of Risan and gulf of Kotor. The first 2 are connected via the Kumbor strait, while the Verige strait connects the gulf of Tivat with the gulfs of Risan and Kotor. The total area equals 88 square kilometres.
Due to its unusual look, the bay is often called Europe's southernmost fjord, but infact it's a submerged river canyon.
The territory of the bay of Boka Kotorska is divided into 3 municipalities: Kotor, Herceg Novi and Tivat. It's a multiethnic region, with a Serb majority in the municipalities of Herceg Novi and Tivat, a Montenegrin majority in Kotor, and a sizeable Croat minority in Kotor and Tivat.
Satellite image of the bay
The Montenegrins', Serbs' and Croats' languages are all mutually intelligible and derived from Serbo-Croat. The dialect and the vocabulary of the local people are heavily influenced by Italian. Locals usually speak and understand Italian, Russian and English.
Tivat, airport and marina
Boka Kotorska has an international airport located in Tivat, with regular flights to several European cities, such as Moscow, Belgrade, Paris, London and Kyiv. The other Montenegrin international airport is in Podgorica, some 80 km from Tivat and it offers flights to several other European destinations - Vienna, Zürich, Frankfurt, Rome, Copenhagen, Skopje, Zagreb...
Buses are very frequent in the area, and are the most popular terms of transport, being usually very cheap and very comfortable.
Boka Kotorska has 2 international passenger sea ports: in Kotor and in Zelenika. Port of Kotor hosts cruisers on a daily basis during the summer.
Tourist boats operate on several destinations in the area, they vary from luxury Bateau Mouche-styled boats that offer excursions through the whole bay to small fishing boats that transport tourists from coastal towns to some near, but hardly reacheable places (for example: Perast - the island of Gospa od Škrpjela; Herceg Novi - Žanjice beach etc.).
There's a plenty of local bus lines, both inter- and intra-municipal. Taxi service is fairly safe and comfortable, but on the other side also quite expensive.
A ferry line operates between the villages of Lepetane and Kamenari in the narrowest part of the bay - the Verige strait. A one-way ticket for an automobile is 4€, but pedestrians can cross the strait free of charge.
Kotor — visit its Old Town and the surrounding walls
Herceg Novi — take a walk on the 6km-long 5 Danica's esplanade to meet with the rich and diverse history of the town
Perast — a well preserved village, built entirely in barroque style
Tivat — a small town, quickly emerging into a major touristic, business and transport centre
Risan — the oldest settlement in the bay, historical capital of the Illyrian kingdom
Herceg Novi during winter
Boka Kotorska offers a wide variety of restaurants serving both local and international food. For some great Mediterranean cuisine, visit Ćatovića Mlini in Morinj, or Stari Mlini in Ljuta, near Kotor. As far as international cuisine is concerned, the old towns of Kotor and Herceg Novi are packed with Italian restaurants. There are also restaurants serving Dalmatian, Russian, Greek food... Herceg Novi even has a Georgian restaurant. Dishes from Eastern Asia are hard to find in this area.
You've got a wide choice between open summer bars along the coast or cafés at the old towns' squares. Prices vary greatly, but usually a bottle of water is around 1€, an espresso or a cup of cold Nescafé cost 1€ - 1.5€, Coca-Cola and similar non-alcoholic juices cost 1.5-2€.
All open bars have to close at 1AM, and that's when the party moves to some of the closed nightclubs and discotheques. The best clubs and discos are: