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Kotor, Montenego

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Kotor, Montenegro

Since we put two cruises together as a back to back we had the opportunity to visit Kotor twice on this trip.

16 May 2014

The morning was rather misty but the traverse in to Kotor through the fjord was beautiful. The color of the water in the fjord ranges from a deep emerald to light sea green. It was about 8 am when we arrived at the end of the fjord and the town of Kotor. We scheduled a tour of the Flavours and Traditions of Montenegro to learn more about the "new" country.

The tour left around 9:30 am and we drove up the mountains and through valleys for nearly an hour before we reached our first stop. Montenegro has developed a strong wine culture. The land is very lush and green easily producing strong vines.

The first winery was the Kalimut winery and wine cellar in the village of Boljevići near Virpazar. The owner, Mr. Tomislav Ukšanović, and his wife welcomed us to their tasing cellar. Along with several of his wines there was a selection of montenrgin ham, rolls, and other items to enjoy with the wine. Their red Vranac wine has been awarded numerous medals including a silver medal two years in a row at the Novi Sad Festival (2009, 2010) and at the Split Festival in 2009, and a bronze medal at the Festival vina i ukljeve (the Festival of wine and bleak) in Virpazar. The owner gave each of us a bottle of the red Vranac as a gift, quite nice!

We continued on through the countryside and along the mountain tops with a view of the Adriatic sea below. We stopped to view Sveti Stefan, a small islet and hotel resort approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 mi) southeast of Budva. The island has quite a lengthy history from its beginning as a fortified village to defend from the Turks to an exclusive summer home for the queen of Serbia to an exclusive resort for the rich and famous! Only registered guests can access the island. We continued on into Cetijne and the village of Gornji to visit Vinariji Vukmirovic.

The winery specializes in sweet wines and honey based products. The family has numerous hives on the property and the wife makes delicious cakes and sweet bites which they paired with different wines and liqueurs for us.

We then traveled on down the mountains and came along the seashore to arrive at the coastal town of Budva. Budva is 3,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic Sea coast. Much of the old town was constructed during Venetian rule, however the oldest church, St Ivans was built in the 7th century. We wandered the town for a while and then re-boarded the van for the drive back to the ship.

The ship overnighted in Kotor so the evening plan was for an on deck barbeque. Unfortunately the mist of the day had changed into rain, so the venue was moved to La Terraza with an hour's notice. It was amazing to watch the crew and staff completely re-locate from the deck to the restaurant one deck down, establish a buffet line along the outside wall, grills on the outside deck for lobster and a meat station, and enough seats for everyone to come and go through the dinner hours. While not an outdoor barbeque, the food was great. Of course it was lobster for us! Our "No Share" food item - in other words, don't ask to take it off my plate if you have finished yours! I'll offer if I am full. Leftovers never happen!

The view of Kotor at night is spectacular. The hill side is lit on the old stone walls that protected the town from attacks establishing a "ring of light" with the old town lights at the center.

The next morning we departed around 6:00 am to travel on to Dubrovnik, just a few hours up the Adriatic Sea.

Our Lady of the Rocks
Our Lady of the Rocks
A church along the fjord
Traveling the Fjord
Traveling in the fjord
Sailboat entering the Port of Kotor
Port of Kotor
WWII Submarine Hide
Randy at Kalimut Winery Tasting Room
Kalimut Vineyard
Kalimut Wine Cellar
Sveti Stefan
Kalimut Winery products
Sveti Stefan Island (Saint Stephen)
Randy at Sveti Stefan
Carey at Sveti Stefan
Vukmirovic Wine Cellar
Tasting Room
Vinariji Vukmirovic (winery)
Vukmirovic Tasting Room
Budva Old Town
Randy inside entrance gate
Madonna and Child fresco
Streets inside Budva Old Town
Budva and the Adriatic Sea
Evening Kotor
Kotor and the Venetian Fortifications
Map of Kotor Old Town

24 May 2014

On our return visit to Kotor we enjoyed a slow morning - a facial for Carey (thanks to Lynn), and a relaxing breakfast. Since we had toured Montenegro on the first leg of our trip we wanted to explore the Old Town. The ship was docked just across the street from the main gate so we walked over about 11:30am.

We wandered through the small town. Interesting that such a small area has 9 churches, 2 monasteries, and 4 ruins or remnants of former monasteries. The oldest churches appear to be the original St Tryphon constructed in the 9th century and St Luke's built in 1195. The most recent is the replacement of Church of St Nicholas constructed in 1909. The Venetian influence is very prevalent from the fortifications to the homes and buildings inside the town. We enjoyed a cappuccino sitting in the square by St Tryphon's Cathedral and then walked the rest of the town. We decided to take another break, check our emails, and get somehitn cool to drink. We sat down at an outdoor cafe by the main gate and Oruzja Square and drank Montenegran beer. It tastes very similar to German Pils - smooth and light. At least the version I had!

Back on the ship we caught up with David and Lynn for evening toddies, review of our day's adventures and then off to dinner. Tomorrow would be our first, and only, sea day for the entire 18 days of cruising! But with a spa appointment at 9:30 it would not be a really late sleep in!

Main Gate to Old Town
Main Gate to Old Town
Gated Entry
Gate to Wall
An entry to a home
Gate to the wall and the fortifications
Typical street
Our Lady of the Remedy
Venetian fortifications and Our Lady of the Remedy up to Castel St John at top of the mountain
Our Lady of the Remedy - 1518
Silver Wind
St Luke's
Silver Wind docked in Kotor
St Luke's - 1159
St Tryphons
Bell Tower
St Tryphon - 809 and 2009
St Tryphon Bell Tower
St Tryphone INterior - Postcard
Interior of St Tryphon's Cathedral - Postcard
Water Pump




Pre-cruise Posts

Flag of Kotor
Kotor Coat of Arms

Updated 25 January 2014

Kotor (Cyrillic: Котор, pronounced [kɔ̌tɔr]; Italian: Cattaro) is a coastal town in Montenegro. It is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor. The city has a population of 13,510 and is the administrative center of the municipality.

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska), one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called the southern-most fjord in Europe, but it is a ria, a submerged river canyon. Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape.

In recent years, Kotor has seen a steady increase in tourists, many of them coming by cruise ship. Visitors are attracted both by the natural beauty of the Gulf of Kotor and by the old town of Kotor. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor. (From Wikipedia)


Google Earth Image Capture




What We Plan to See: Update 25 January 2014

We scheduled a shore excursion for Kotor on our first stop. It is the one we looked at early on and even commented on it in the orginal post below. Knowing very little about Montenegro this excursion enables us to learn more about the culture. When we come back on the second half of our itinerary we will explore Kotor on our own! Here is the description of the tour from the Silversea website -

Flavours & Traditions of Montenegro, May 16 2014 - 7 Hours

Experience Montenegro's traditions and culture during this Silversea exclusive Silver Shore Collection ethno-gastro full-day tour.

Departing the pier, begin your adventure through the small villages surrounding Montenegro for an opportunity to taste some of well-known specialities of the region while learning about the traditional ways of life that have endured through the centuries.

The combination of continental and Mediterranean climates makes products tasty and mild and the picturesque scenery resplendent with breath-taking colours. Visit two villages and meet the local people who will share some interesting stories, legends and anecdotes.

Your scenic drive starts in the direction of the continental part of Montenegro and Skadar lake region. Indescribable and in many ways unique, Skadar Lake within the National Park, is the largest lake of Balkans.  It is in this region that you find the village of Virpazar, your first stop.

Village of Virpazar

In past centuries, Virpazar was the main market place of the region. The tradition of growing autochtonic varieties of grapes here has been passed down from generation to generation.  In a local family's home, begin with a brandy followed by wine and a traditional snack of home-made specialities. Your host will provide you with tales of village life during your visit of the wine cellar and tasting.

Gornji Ceklin Village

Your tour continues towards Podgorica, the capital of Montenegro and turns in direction of Cetinje, the old capital. Stop in the village of Gornji Ceklin, located between two capitals.  You are welcomed with brandy made from grapes, blueberries or walnuts or if you prefer, homemade juice will be served.  Your tour here includes a visit to the beehives, the vineyard and orchards.  Be tempted by the food tasting offered in an authentic Montenegrin atmosphere with delicacies made from honey and fruit.

Budva Independent Sightseeing

Following your look into the traditions and flavours of old Montenegro, proceed to Budva, with its beautiful Old Town.  Much of the architecture in the Old Town is of Venetian design. Doors, hinges, windows, balconies and many other small but noticeable things seem to hold the Roman style of the Republic of Venice. There are three main churches you may wish to view and the Venetian walls of the Old Town are a notable attraction. Enjoy some free time for independent sightseeing or relaxation at one of the café's that line the picturesque harbour.  

Rejoin your coach at the appointed time for the return journey to Kotor and your awaiting ship.

Sounds extraordinary!!



With our new cruise itinerary, we will actually get two full days in Kotor - one full day on each 9 day itinerary. This additional time will enable us to really visit the area, but at less than "breakneck speed".

Kotor is actually situated in a bay that connects to the Adriatic Sea. It was a key fortification from the Venetian Period and another UNESCO World Heritage Site. We will take time to fully explore across the two days we will have on the cruise.

One of the interesting tours offered by the ship is an "ethno-gastro full-day tour visiting the Village of Virpazar, Gornji Ceklin Village, Budva" which visits different villages and experiences the Montenegran culture and foods. This is also a "well-preserved" medieval town that could just be fun to wander through. Just have to see what we decide to do!






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Page Updated: 14 September 2014

Page Created: 14 July 2013

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