Bay of Kotor



For centuries, Montenegro's Boka Kotorska, or Bay of Kotor, the deepest coastal inlet in the Mediterranean, was the boundary between Christianity and Islam. Today, the beach-lined bay, located 35 mi/55 km west of Podgorica, is home to several tourist resorts and historical sites. It is also considered one of the most beautiful bays in the world, and is the southernmost fjord in Europe.

Herceg Novi, strategically located at the northern entrance of the Bay of Kotor, is close to the borders of Bosnia and Croatia. Herceg Novi is noted for its city gates, fortresses, and the church and monastery of Savina, which contain Gothic and baroque architecture. It is also a haven for artists, with numerous galleries located throughout the area that continuously hold exhibitions. If you visit in February, you can attend the Mimosa Festival, which is the city's oldest traditional event.

The 14th-century port of Perast has been declared a national conservation area. It has a strong seafaring tradition—Peter the Great, when building up the Russian Navy, sent sailors to its naval academy. With the mountains in the background and the Bay of Kotor in the foreground, Perast is a pleasant place to spend some time just relaxing or strolling its narrow streets.

At the southern end of the bay is the town of Kotor, a medieval walled city on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Kotor rates a full day to walk its narrow streets, investigate the shops and see Katedrala Sv. Tripuna (St. Tryphon's Cathedral). History buffs will enjoy the Maritime Museum located in the Grgurina Palace. If you're feeling fit, you can walk on Kotor's fortress walls that eventually wind their way up to St. Ivan's Castle. It's a steep climb, but worth it for the views of the bay.

Other interesting places along the bay include the fortresses and second-century Roman mosaics in Risan and the Island of Flowers near Tivat.

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