Visit Europe’s most southerly fjord
Cruises to Kotor, Montenegro have become popular over recent years leading to a steady increase in tourism to this World Heritage Site.
Kotor is set in what most people refer to as the most southerly fjord in Europe. Although not really a fjord but a submerged river canyon.
Bay of Kotor
Both the sail in and sail out of the fjord are spectacular and not to be missed.
You will, however, need to set your alarm clock for at least an hour before you are due to dock to be on deck for the sail in.
Grab yourself a coffee from the breakfast buffet and head to the top deck with the rest of the early risers and don’t forget your camera.
As you approach Our Lady of the Rock (Gospas od Skrpjela), a small island in the Boka Bay, the captain may sound the horn as you turn towards Kotor, quite an experience!
Once you are docked the very least you will want to do is walk into the small town.
It is full of history, but has not been a tourist destination for as long as the likes of Dubrovnik and Split and is not quite as sparkly.
The port of Kotor is surrounded by an impressive city wall which was built by the Republic of Venice and this Venetian influence can be seen in the city’s architecture.
You may want to walk the walls, which can be reached towards the rear of the town and for which there is a small charge. You can just about pick them out on the picture.
This looks like hard work and has yet to attract us! We suggest an early start, a sunhat and lots of water.
There is not much to Kotor so this might be a good port to splash out on an excursion, perhaps to Cetinje, known as the ‘Valley of the Gods, once Europe’s smallest capital city.
Or maybe Budva which is 3,500 years old making it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic coast.
Budva is the most popular tourist destination in Montenegro, home to many millionaires.
Excursions to the church and museum on the Lady of the Rock are organised by most cruise lines.
Otherwise you may prefer to enjoy the views from the deck of your ship as you watch the comings and goings of the occasional luxury yacht and its crew. If you were up early for the sail in (or even if you weren’t) there is no more spectacular place for an afternoon snooze on deck.
If possible, you will want a good 360˚view on deck for the sail out of Kotor.
Even if you made it up for the sail in, the light will be different, as will the views and the activity on the water.
Perhaps you will be waved off by a jet skier keen to ride the wake or be tooted at by the car ferries as they cross the narrowest part of the bay – the Verige strait.
Watch out for the old WWII submarine tunnels on the Lustica peninsula (port side on the sail out).