Montenegro is a sovereign state in Southeastern Europe and it’s also a famous tourist destination. Even though it covers solely around 14.000 km2 and it only has about 670.000 citizens, its contribution to the world cultural heritage is impressive comparing its size.
The chance to enjoy everything Montenegro has to offer in a country that’s smaller than Wales makes a vacation here all the more appealing. Savvy travelers will want to add all the best places to visit in Montenegro to their list of must-see destinations before the rest of the world discovers the country’s many charms.
Perast is one of the most beautiful little places in Boka Bay, located just a few kilometres from Kotor. It looks like a piece of Venice that has floated down the Adriatic. This tiny town boasts 16 churches and 17 formerly grand palazzos. Perast’s most famous landmarks are actually right in the middle of the waters- two picturesque islands with quite the story behind them – Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Skrpjela) and Island of Saint George.
Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Skrpjela) sits on a man-made island. The story begins on July 22, 1452: two sailors, returning to Perast from a difficult voyage, discovered an icon of the Madonna and Child resting on a rock in a shallow part of the Bay. Considering the find a miracle, they vowed to build a church on the spot. The sailors dropped stones around the spot where the icon was found, slowly creating an islet and building a small chapel. It soon became a tradition for sailors to drop stones in the water around the chapel before a voyage, to contribute to the strength of its foundations and to ask the Virgin Mother to bring them safely home. The tradition of dropping stones at the site remains alive today and forms an integral part of one of Europe’s oldest sailing regattas: the Fasinada. At sunset on July 22, countless local boats are decorated with garlands and sail out into the Bay to drop a stone around the island.
Island of Saint George is other islet off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor. Unlike Our Lady of the Rocks, it is a natural island. The island contains Saint George Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard for the old nobility from Perast and further from the whole Bay of Kotor.
Many small restarurants on the Perast coast will offer you great fish specialties. Often called as the quietest town in the Bay, Perast is definitely something special. And as an UNESCO World heritage site, it is a must-visit!
Their doors are open for all the people of good will.
One of the most striking natural features in Montenegro, soaring Mount Lovcen is capped by two mammoth peaks of granite. Part of the Mount Loven National Park, the mountain inspired Montenegro’s name and is a symbol of national pride. Climbs to the top of Mount Lovcen offer panoramic vistas of the fortified city of Kotor, the surrounding hills and the Bay of Kotor. With its circular viewing platform, the nearby Njegos Mausoleum is a destination for sightseers as well as for those who want to pay their respects to the poet and philosopher buried there. Petar II Petrovic-Njegos is beloved for writing “The Mountain Wreath,” Montenegro’s national epic poem.
Located to the northwest of Kotor and sharing the same gorgeous fjord-like bay, pretty Perast is a small town notable for it stone-crafted villas and historic churches. Two of the city’s picturesque chapels are situated on tiny islets, Our Lady of the Rocks and St. George. Back onshore, the Church of St. Nikola is worth a visit for the pleasant views that a climb up to the belfry offers of the town and bay. While there’s no beach in this bay-front city, the stone jetties along the waterfront are popular places for sunbathing and relaxing.
The main Montenegro attraction is Kotor:
During the visit to Kotor you should, by all means visit the fortress St. John (Sveti Ivan). It is situated above the bulwarks of the Kotor’s Old town. Climbing up to the fortress St. John or as people from Kotor like to call it San Giovanni, starts with the serpentines from the east part of the Old Kotor, which go to the very top of the fortress on 280 m above sea level. Before you set yourself to climb towards the fortress we suggest that you take your camera with yourself, because the pictures of Kotor and bay of Boka Kotorska, which you will see, can not be described in words, but instead they have to be first, experienced, and then noted, pictured. While you are climbing you can enjoy the sights of the Old town of Kotor.
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