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Kotor, Montenegro (5/25/19)

Before this cruise, most folks had likely not heard of Kotor (the port city) nor Montenegro (the country.) Both have ancient origins, with Montenegro being the 3rd youngest country in the world. It became part of Yugoslavia in 1918, then after much warring in the area, merged with Serbia to become Serbia and Montenegro. In 2006 their Parliament declared independence and Serbia did not object. Thus, this young country was created. At 5,333 sq. miles, it is 156th in size out of 195 sovereign states and dependencies. It is just a bit smaller than the state of Connecticut. Classified by the World Bank as an upper middle-income country, Montenegro is a member of the U.N. and many other government and international trade organizations. They are negotiating to join the European Union. On 2 December 2015 Montenegro received an official invitation to join NATO, whereby it would be the 29th member country.

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period. It is located on the Bay of Kotor, one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southern-most fjord in Europe, but it is a a submerged river canyon. Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive and picturesque Mediterranean landscape. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor.

Kotor has been compared to Dubrovnik as it also is a walled city, or at least has the historic section that is walled. They call this historic area the "Fortifications of Kotor." In Dubrovnik the wall encircles the city, while in Kotor it climbs over 850 ft. (1,350 steps, not sure if that is one-way, or round trip) to the top for an incredible view of city and bay. In Dubrovnik you can take the funicular to the overlook, which also has a spectacular view.

Kotor Pic

As you can see in the picture on the right, ships dock just across the street from the Old City with it's imposing 16th-century Sea Gate (about a 50-yard walk). The Old City is something of a maze, with its twisted, narrow passages. Not to worry as you can wander off without fear, as any local will be able to direct you back to this gate. There is a HOHO Bus in Kotor, that costs €20. Some say the place is too small to warrant the price. I'll link it below for you to decide.

EXPLORE THE PORT:

Kotor Cruise Port Page - Cruise Critic port page for the port city of Kotor.

Kotor Attractions & Activities - Tripadvisor's Things to do in Kotor, with ranked lists of attractions and activities.

Frommer's Montenegro - a well respected travel guide, has their take on Montenegro, with lots of links to explore.

Fodor's Kotor - Fodor's Travel, the world's largest publisher of English language travel and tourism information, about Kotor.

Lonely Planet's Montenegro - Lonely Planet's list of things to do in Montenegro.

Tours by Locals Kotor - Experience Kotor through the eyes of a local private guide! Browse our tour 'suggestions' - each can be customized just for you.

Viator's Kotor Tour Offerings - Viator is a consolidator, meaning that they source tour companies and resell them. What is nice is that you can pay in USD with your credit card before you leave home. I've used them in a few places and was very pleased. If you can find the company they are using to book directly, you can save a bit.

Montenegro Pulse - Discover the Undiscovered at their website. They are the ones with the Kotor Open Tour on HOHO Bus

Go Montenegro - A sneak peak at the official website of Montenegro. The main site is currently under construction.

Montenegro Travel - The official website for the National Tourism Organization of Montenegro

Kotor & the Bay of Kotor - A 10-min, HD video that gives you a great introduction to Kotor that has music, but no narration.

Rick Steve's Montenegro: Country of Contrasts - a 4-min, hi-def video that is narrated by Rick Steves.

More to come...

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