How to Spend 3 Days in Kotor
Steeped in history and with fabulous scenery and sightseeing all around, Kotor holds appeal for almost every traveler. If you have three days in this Montenegrin stunner, here are our tips for the perfect itinerary—from admiring Kotor’s medieval showpieces to river rafting and more.
Day 1: Kotor and Kotor Bay
Start with a small-group or customizable private walking tour of Kotor Old Town—exploring by foot is your only option in the pedestrianized town—to see highlights such as the Sea Gate and Cathedral of St. Tryphon. Then head to quaint, bayside Perast, with no less than 16 picture-perfect churches, including Our Lady of the Rocks church, on an island in Kotor Bay. For more time on the water, instead take a longer boat trip on Kotor Bay. Ride a shared boat to Perast, or choose a private motorboat cruise to Mamula Island—once the site of a World War II fortress—that also calls at Dobreč Beach and the Blue Cave to swim and snorkel in its aquamarine waters.
Day 2: Exploring Farther Afield
Strike out on your second day, venturing to the seaside gems of Budva and Sveti Stefan—the latter a picture-postcard fortified island connected to the mainland—or choose a tour that combines both with other towns and wine tastings. Options include Montenegro’s old royal capital of Cetinje; the village of Njeguši, known for itspršut (prosciutto); and Skadar Lake, famous for its wildlife. Alternatively, take a trip to the 17th-century Ostrog Monastery—perched on a sheer mountain face—and enjoy a boat trip on Skadar Lake to spot its bird species and absorb its tranquil beauty. If you want a glimpse of Montenegro’s lesser-known neighbor, however, journey south into Albania to explore its still-mysterious capital of Tirana and history-steeped city of Durrës. Highlights include a well-preserved Roman amphitheater and archaeological museum.
Day 3: The Great Outdoors
Devote your last day to nature and adventure. Steer a stand-up paddleboard over Kotor Bay to drink in the incredible scenery, or hike the mountain trail above town known as the ‘Ladder of Kotor.’ Cyclists can spin down the slopes of Mt. Lovcen National Park, where 26 hairpin bends reveal beautiful panoramas. For high adventure, go rafting on the River Tara on a full-day trip from Kotor. This steep-sided canyon river foams through cliffs and forests and offers white-water sections for beginner and experienced rafters. End your trip enjoying Kotor’s buzzing-yet-laid-back atmosphere. Stroll the waterfront, relax over dinner at a restaurant, and snap photos of the starlit bay as keepsakes.