Working its way inland from Montenegro’s Adriatic Coast, the fjord-like Bay of Kotor—known locally as Boca—is one of Europe’s great natural beauties. Backed by rugged mountain peaks, scattered with sparkling blue coves, and dotted with medieval waterfront villages, this glittering inlet reveals a postcard-perfect scene at every turn.
Montenegro’s Bay of Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a common day-trip outing from Dubrovnik in Croatia. Organized tours from the Croatian resort town typically include round-trip road transport, boat rides out on the bay, and free time in the historic towns of Kotor, Buda, Purist, and Risen. For a more active day out, consider a hiking, biking, or stand-up paddle boarding tour of the bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Bay of Kotor is a must for scenery-seekers.
- Day trips from Dubrovnik involve crossing the Croatia–Montenegro border, so be sure to bring your passport.
- Remember that while Croatia uses the kuna, Montenegro uses the euro, which can be withdrawn from ATMs across the border.
- The cobbled surfaces and steps common in the Bay of Kotor’s historic towns can be challenging for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The town of Kotor is about 59 miles (95 kilometers) from Dubrovnik. If driving, factor in extra time for the border crossing. Kotor-bound buses depart from Dubrovnik’s main bus station. Without a car or the dedicated transport provided as part of an organized tour, traveling around the bay can be time-consuming, with only limited bus services available.
When to Get There
During the busy summer months, delays at the border are not uncommon. Depart early in the day to avoid long lines. Kotor can be crowded on days when multiple cruise ships dock at port, so check the cruise ship schedule in advance and plan your trip accordingly.
Highlights of the Bay
Climb to the top of the fortifications of Kotor’s medieval Old Town for views of the bay. Purist is known for its Venetian palazzos and architecture, while the seaside Erceg Novi offers a pretty waterfront promenade and a picturesque old town. Our Lady of the Rocks is a church-topped artificial island and Svelte Stefan is a former medieval fishing village turned luxury hotel connected to the mainland by a small strip of land.