To be honest, I have no idea how we decided to stay in Kotor. We knew we had 14 days, 2 of which we wanted to spend in Dubrovnik right before going home and we felt like 12 days in just one place would be too much. We want to see, experience, discover! We first thought of staying around Tivat but somehow settled on Kotor instead. We also decided that while staying here, we would go river rafting in Bosnia one day and visit the luxurious emerging city Porto Montenegro one day.
Anyway, here’s my conclusion on this little city:
Because there is no beach in Kotor, and the little bay gets polluted by the many cruise ships who dock here during summer, we needed to find another place to bathe. The day after we arrived, we headed to Jaz Beach just outside of Budva and had a little lunch at a local hotel restaurant, before we decked in the comfy sunbeds by the beach. Jaz beach, like almost all beaches on the Adriatic cost, is pebbly and takes some time getting used to for your feet but the water is clear and clean.
We also visited Porto Montenegro, which I will tell you more about in my next post, and a beach club called Almara beach club. Almara Beach Club could be so perfect but honestly was ruined due to an extremely unpolite hostess at their restaurant. It takes a lot to piss me off and she managed to do so exactly 2 seconds upon greeting me. I won’t go into why right here, but rule number one for any hostess should be not to offend your customers. Apart from this excuse of a hostess, the other staff were nice and polite and the food was good, but at that point I was so pissed off and focused on keeping my cool that I couldn’t enjoy anything.
Overall, the food in Kotor is great and the restaurants offer a varied menu with something for everyone – even us vegetarians (for vegans, it might be a bit harder as much of the non-meat dishes contain cheese instead). The best restaurants we ate at and that I can recommend are:
Konoba Boka Bay
This is a true little gem, hidden away from Kotor. We drove here on some very narrow roads and it took around 15 minutes from Kotor. We got a table right by the ocean just after the sun had set behind the mountains. We ordered bruschettas to start with, because we were very hungry and they were one of the best bruschettas I’ve ever had. I took a pasta with spinach in white wine sauce, if I’m not mistaken and it was a great meal as well. Prices are cheaper than the good restaurants in Kotor, staff is friendly and efficient, and the setting is magic. Definitely go there.
This boutique hotel turned out to have some amazing food. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much with only a few (empty) tables greeting you. So go in through the reception and take the small elevator up to the fourth floor where there is a small roof-terrace with only four tables. Only one of the tables was occupied and we were a bit nervous as to why this restaurant had so few guests. Turns out, we needn’t worry as the food was absolutely delicious. The fresh stone-oven baked bread was still hot when we got it and it I don’t think I’ve had better bread ever. I had a mushroom risotto and Jacob had something with truffles and we were both impressed of the food as well as the service.
Lido Mar is the yacht club in Porto Montenegro, which I will write about in my next post and it took us around 20-25 minutes to get there by car. While hanging out by the gorgeous infinity pool we ordered some lunch. A chicken burger for Jacob, which he swears is one of the best burgers he’s ever had, and a delicious salad for me. I’ll tell you more about the place further on, but just wanted to say that the food here is pretty darn good! (And the mojitos, too).
All in all, we stayed in Kotor for 5 days and in hindsight it’s far too long. Sure, the old town is quite picturesque and you can easily wander around the cobblestoned streets and find small shops or little bars to have a cold drink at. But other than the old town, Kotor is to be perfectly honest, a bit underwhelming. You could easily skip it or just visit it for one night/day. If you do stop by, I would recommend climbin the 1400-something stairs up to the top of Kotor’s city walls. We didn’t do this, because we’re lazy, but I wish we had. From the top you’ll get a breathtaking view of the bay and I hear the sunrise/sunset watching from here is worth every step.
The apartment we rented was, as I mentioned in my last post, quite perfect and they even had two cats and a dog, which if you know me at all is always considered a plus in my book. The reason I love staying in apartments in the Balkans, as opposed to hotels, is that they are often of higher quality, in better locations and you get to meet the locals. We arrived early to our apartment but were let in by the hostess’ mother because the hostess wasn’t there at the time. This was much appreciated considering the heat outside and we were let into the chilled apartment and offered a cold drink while waiting. This is just one example of the hospitality down here – people are generally very open and social.