With its Venetian influence, old-world charm and huge bay for cruise ships, Kotor in Montenegro is a popular stopover on both Balkan and Mediterranean cruise itineraries.
The stone walls of Kotor’s Old Town and distinctive orange roofs of the buildings make it a photogenic sight whether arriving by land or sea.
The Mediterranean port town is located in a secluded part of the Gulf of Kotor and is surrounded by fortifications built during more than 300 years of Venetian rule.
Kotor and nearby Perast are the only two towns in Montenegro to have been awarded Unesco World Heritage Site status, and are ideal partners for clients seeking a trip steeped in history and medieval charm.
Perast is only a short drive away from Kotor, meaning both can easily be visited in one day.
Clients can begin their day in Kotor with a visit to the market. Located just outside the city walls, it is easy to find and a great place for foodies.
Delicacies on offer include handmade Turkish delight, fruit, herbs, handmade soap, cheese, salted meats, honey and wine.
Open from 7am until 2pm, recommend that clients arrive as early as possible, especially when cruise ships visit. The vendors are happy to haggle.
Take a leisurely stroll around the fortified Old Town, whose cobbled streets are completely free of cars.
The Maritime Museum gives an insight into the town’s seafaring past and also highlights Kotor’s Venetian influences and years of ancient Roman rule.
Or there’s always the Cat Museum for feline lovers. Energetic clients can hike up to San Giovanni Fortress for amazing panoramas of the bay and a bird’s- eye view of the Old Town below.
After working up an appetite, recommend clients stop off at BBQ Tanjga, a wholesale butcher’s that doubles up as a grilled meat restaurant.
Situated near the main city gate, this spot is loved by locals and tourists alike for its low prices and generous portions – €15 buys a hearty meat platter for two with three traditional pickled salads, fries, tzatziki and spicy sauce.
From Kotor, you can reach the tiny town of Perast by road in around 30 minutes, taking a boat from there to Perast’s most famous landmarks: two man-made islets boasting plenty of history.
Our Lady of the Rocks Island is named after the church it houses.
Recommend a visit to its museum, which features paintings and tapestries. Balkan Holidays offers a seven-night stay in Perast for £755pp for clients who want to explore the region further.
For upmarket eats back in Kotor, Galion restaurant serves local seafood and meat from the mountains and surrounding pastures, which comes paired with fine wines.
Highlights include tuna ceviche and grilled octopus. Your food-loving clients can also enjoy a spectacular view of the town’s walls and the Mediterranean Sea as they dine.
Or there’s Bastion, a seafood and grill restaurant located near the Unesco-listed Northern Gate that offers both alfresco and indoor dining.
Clients should not be deceived by Kotor’s quiet streets – there are many bars suited to wine and cocktail lovers.
Letrika Cocktail Bar is in a seemingly hidden part of Kotor’s Old Town.
Advise trying local beer Niksicko. There’s also Bokun, a wine bar where oenophiles can also dine on a selection of cold meats and cheeses.
Live music on weekends adds to the ambience.
For more information visit balkanholidays.co.uk.