Increasingly popular as a cruise destination, the approach to the Montenegrin port of Kotor is one of the most stunning in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Kotor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located at the end of southern Europe’s longest and deepest fjord, the sheer, forested sides falling steeply into glassy clear water, tiny churches perched high on the hillsides and fishing villages dotted along the edge.
- The medieval walls: The massive walls that once surrounded the town snake across the hillside and are dramatically lit at night. Take some water and hike up the cliff path; the views of the fjord and your ship below are worth the effort.
- Churches and palaces: The city’s best-known landmark is the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, a monument of Roman culture on a beautiful square. The Church of Saint Luke from the 13th century, the Prince’s Palace from the 17th century and the Napoleon’s Theatre are also worth visiting and are all within easy reach of the dock.
- Only in Kotor: Explore the beautiful fjord, known as Boka Bay, in more depth by joining a day-long boat tour (sold by cruise lines as a shore excursion). Get up close to the forested cliffs and visit the sleepy Baroque town of Perast, highly photogenic with its 17th and 18th-century seafarers’ houses.
Look out for Italian designer labels in the old town, and for a bit of local colour browse the fruit and vegetable market found outside the city walls on the dockside.
Fish, pasta dishes, smoked ham, cheeses and olives are all local staples. Make your way to St Tryphon Square, in the old town – it’s lined with restaurants, or head to Maritime Museum Square.