Last Updated on 31 July 2022
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Dreaming of Montenegro?
I absolutely love travelling to places which you can use as a base for day trips to other countries, and the Croatian town of Dubrovnik is one of those gems. Day tours are the perfect way to have a brief encounter with a new country, so you can decide whether you may like to visit for an extended period in the future. Dubrovnik is perfectly positioned to visit neighbouring Balkan countries, like Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. And a Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik is one of the must-dos on your itinerary for Croatia and will help you to escape the busyness of the daytime streets!
What is the best Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik?
After a tonne of research before my trip to Croatia, I opted to go on the Best of Montenegro trip with Amico Tours, who are a family owned local tour agency in Dubrovnik. This was a one day trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro, which included a visit to the charming town of Kotor and the quaint town of Perast. I have nothing but good to say about Amico Tours, and had the most memorable trip to Montenegro with them, so I wanted to write this blog post to tell you more about how my day went. (note: the itinerary may have changed since my trip – check their website above for up to date details.)
Note: This post is not sponsored by Amico Tours. I am writing this simply because I truly had the best day trip from Dubrovnik to Montenegro with them, and want you to know all about it! Amico Tours were friendly and affordable, and come highly recommended by moi.
Montenegro day trip from Dubrovnik with Amico Tours
I boarded the bus to depart for my Montenegro day tour from Dubrovnik at 7.20am – these types of international day trips do call for a crack of dawn start, but the early bird catches the worm, right? Fast forward 1 hour and 40 minutes and I had already fallen in love with Montenegro. It was 9am and we had stopped at a cafe for a comfort break. The cafe was situated on the sparkling waters edge of the Bay of Kotor and surrounded by the tranquillity of the mountains in a little place with only a handful of houses, and it was just breathtaking.
Funnily enough, this moment is one of my favourites out of the whole of my Montenegro trip from Dubrovnik. Picture it… paddling in the cold waters of the Bay of Kotor whilst the morning sun reflects blindingly off of its surface with a cold beer in hand. Ok, some may say that 9am is not a socially acceptable time to drink beer but in my defence I was on holiday and it was kind of like my lunchtime as I’d been up super early that morning, so why not? (psst… always drink responsibly!)
A short while later, and we are back on the bus winding our way around the Bay of Kotor and bound for our first proper stop of the day – the town of Kotor. The Bay of Kotor has some of the most stunning scenery you have ever seen and is unsurprisingly a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most organised tours combine visiting Kotor and Perast, but some do include Budva. I opted for a tour which went to Kotor and Perast only, as I felt including Budva would cause the trip to be too rushed in each place (and I did not regret my choice).
Mid-morning and we’ve arrived in Kotor, which is also a popular destination for cruise ships, and when our tour bus arrived there was an intimidatingly large boat docked opposite. However, it was early, so walking through the town was quiet, with only a few people scattered outside various cafes drinking their morning frothy coffee. As you look at Kotor, you will probably first notice the striking fortified city walls which snake around the town and up the mountain side behind.
Entering Kotor through the gate in the city walls, you feel like you are stepping back into a world which time forgot. It is a beautifully preserved and charming town, and is the perfect place to enjoy some time wandering through the various squares and narrow streets, passing by the many cats of Kotor as you go (cats are ever-present in Kotor and after symbolic of the town – they were once used to protect it against rats and mice). You won’t get lost easily here, because Kotor is fairly small and is contained within it’s fortifications.
Be sure to find the Karampana Well where women used to gather and gossip whilst collecting water (true story). I would recommend stopping in one of the restaurants for a drink on the square where St Tryphon Cathedral sits, to enjoy the sound of the chimes and the beautiful backdrop of the mountains. And, be sure to grab some tasty Burek for a mid morning snack from one of the local bakeries – the Balkans seems to be a bit of a paradise for foodies like me!
Once our time was up in Kotor, we drove back around the Bay of Kotor to the small town of Perast. Perast is a peaceful and quaint town which clings to the edge of the Bay of Kotor, is hemmed in by the mountains behind, and is known for its rich maritime history. It is where you will be able to board a boat Our Lady of the Rocks whilst on your Montenegro tour from Dubrovnik.
As you set sail from Perast across the Bay of Kotor for Our Lady of the Rocks, you will pass the curious Island of St George that houses a Benedictine Monastery and cemetery, which just beams tranquillity (but is off limits to the public, unfortunately). Gracing the Bay of Kotor, Our Lady of the Rocks is an artificial island which sits on, yes you guessed it, a lot of rocks! Many legends surround this island which houses a small Catholic Church and museum full of interesting artefacts, and offers panoramic views around the Bay of Kotor and of Perast.
After your visit, you will head back to Perast for some free time, and I would recommend you take this opportunity to climb the Bell Tower of St Nikola Church for spectacular views, before enjoying some lunch at one of the restaurants which follow the curve of the shoreline. I ate at Palace Jelena and had some mighty fine pizza and local beer – the restaurant has shoreline seating which overlooks the beauty of the bay (it is certainly one of the most stunning places I have ever lunched)! Once our time was up in Perast, we boarded the bus and continued our journey alongside the Bay of Kotor to the border crossing, before heading back to Dubrovnik.
Tip: If you decide to re-visit in the future, Perast would be the perfect base if you wanted somewhere quaint and quiet to base yourself for further exploration of the Bay of Kotor.
Book your day trip to Montenegro with Amico Tours
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