Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro surrounded by fortress walls and a bit of history. The Old City of Kotor is an ancient trade center, due to its fortified entrance to the sea. It’s also a UNESCO World Natural and Historical Heritage Site and Montenegro’s most famous town.
Because of their impressive medieval architecture and numerous cultural monuments, it’s one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro and one of my favorite cities in Europe.
Want to see the other side of Kotor? Wait, let me rephrase this: want to see the overlooked angle of the Old City of Kotor? Go on a kayaking tour in the Bay of Kotor with Adventure Montenegro! You’ll definitely have a blast.
That time I was staying at Hotel Splendid Conference & Spa Resort, and I wanted a bit of adventure during my relaxing break at the resort. Adventure Montenegro surely gave me that opportunity to get out of the resort area and take a bus to Kotor. It wasn’t hard to get to their office, but I did get a bit lost through the jumble of their streets and city walls while looking for their office. Luckily I found a local who were familiar with the area, so he showed me the way.
Strolling through the Old City of Kotor
Maybe strolling is not the best way to describe what I exactly did, but let’s go with it and you’ll see. =P
As soon as I arrived, they were prepared for my arrival, but I was 45 minutes early to the scheduled tour.
At that moment, I didn’t want to wait at all, so I asked the staff how long it would take to go up to the fortress at the crown because I could see that it was nearby. Plus, I wanted to see the view of the Old City from above. They told me that it would likely take me 90 minutes.
90 minutes? I challenged them that I’d return in time for the scheduled tour. They were uneasy about it, but I went off anyways.
Along the way up to the fortress for a panoramic view of the Bay of Kotor, I realized that I wanted to sweat a bit before going on the kayak to cool off in the water afterwards. So, I sprinted, jogged and paced through the city walls as they climbed all way up the mountain behind the town. After shuffling through slow-walking people from all walks of life up to the top, I was panting and sweating buckets.
Guess what? I timed myself and I finished the whole hike uphill in just 10 minutes! Beat that, people! 😉
With their gorgeous landscape and collection of buildings, churches, squares and stone streets that date back to the Middle Ages, I took a few minutes to absorb the stunning surrounding and take a breather before going down because… Going down is mandatory after going up, right? Everybody knows that!
Exploring beyond the beauty of the Bay of Kotor
When I returned, I found out that I still had 10 minutes left to the scheduled tour. The staff was surprised with how fast I had done the hike.
10 minutes turned into a 30-minute wait anyways because the previous group had some kind of delay during one of their stops.
While the previous group was finally arriving, the guide started explaining to my group that we were to stay near the shore while kayaking because boats, ships and whatnot will be using that bay. We wouldn’t want to be run over by any of those boats if we intervened their paths.
Before anyone saw me, I was the first person to get on my kayak. Yeah, I had so much energy and I was just excited about this experience.
As this kayaking adventure began, I was suddenly blown away by their towering peaks surrounding a rocky coastline dotted with pretty waterside towns. It was beyond words to describe this kind of beauty. I started discovering its magnificent coastal churches, villages and vistas of Montenegro.
I could see tourists and locals enjoying their sunbaths alongside the shore as I glided on my kayak splashing waters on the bay.
At times, we would paddle far from the coast, gliding over the crystal waters and just soaking up the sea breeze. Other times, the tour guide would lead us close to shore and shared stories about local legends and landmarks, but I didn’t really pay attention as I couldn’t hear. I still enjoyed contemplating the view of the scenery while waiting for the group to move along. From the bay, I could see all parachutes gliding up in the sky. I couldn’t stop watching them and reflecting on the memories of my paragliding experience in Turkey
We stopped by one part of the Old City at the other end of the bay for a short break after an hr and 15 minutes of paddling. We did some swimming and snorkeling, but then I decided to explore a little more of the jumble of the streets in the area. It was clear that Kotor had been well-preserved with their narrow cobbled alleyways lined with honey-colored stone buildings.
Kotor is full of shops and little restaurants for coffee, beer or lunch, mostly eaten outside on tables placed in one of the city squares. You could get lost in their maze of stone walls, but but that’s part of the attraction as you never know what you might come across – a Venetian-style church, a city square full of restaurants, a flight of steps leading up into the hills, a doorway surrounded by colorful pots of flowers.
After all that getting-lost-hype of mine, I returned to the group in time for our return trip to the origin of the kayaking adventure. it was another hour, a little over though, before we actually arrived to the original spot.
Truth to be told, Kotor looked like a normal waterside town to me until I got a whole new perspective from the view of Bay and saw that it had been surrounded by city walls, built by the Venetians to protect it from invaders. These stone walls run right up into the steep hillside above the town and you can climb up them for a panoramic view across the bay.
Therefore, visiting Kotor is a must when you’re in Montenegro and be sure to go kayaking with Adventure Montenegro! You will not regret it!