The Western Balkans countries are like a book full of stories and legends to tell! Once you visit, you become addicted and keep coming back for more! Not only nature but the cultural and historical heritage are breathtaking too!
In that tone, Explore Balkans team decided to start an editorial dedicated to the cultural treasures and may we start with tiny Montenegro and its jewel Boka Kotorska!
Did you know that Lord Byron once wrote:
“At the moment of the creation of our planet, the most beautiful merging of land and sea occurred in Boka Kotorska!”
We picked our favourite spots, and let us present them to you in this blog!
This small townlet is settled at the foot of St Elijah Hill. Even if today’s Perast belongs to the municipality of Kotor and doesn’t have its autonomy, during its history, this place was a crucial point for trade ships, merchandise of all kinds and maritime history. As written in the archives, the sailors of Venice, and later Russia, came to the nautical school here and comprehended the skills of Perast’s mariners, cartographers and engineers.
When you visit Perast, it feels like you travelled in a time machine! One wouldn’t be surprised to meet baroque ladies and men walking down the street in their gowns and suits. Perast and its stunning architecture are becoming a hot spot in the travel industry for travellers from all meridians.
Not only is this coastal UNESCO protected townlet, but also its surrounding is spectacular! The symbols of Perast are the 2 islets facing the town riviera – Our Lady of the Rocks and St George.
#FunFact – Our Lady of the Rocks was artificially made by people from this area. Read the full story here.
Take a look at our video, partially filmed in Perast.
Old Town Kotor
Similar to the majority of the Kotor Bay, the Old Town of Kotor is under UNESCO protection as a place of significant cultural value. Kotor is the city bursting with the contagious Mediterranean energy, full of events, festivals, carnivals and people so friendly that once you visit, it feels like home already!
Kotor Old Town is a place of churches, monumental buildings, palaces and museums where people still live, which gives it a unique charm. Walking down the narrow stone streets, under freshly washed bedsheets hanging from the windows, makes you want to freeze the time and, just be!
You can climb up the city fortress San Giovanni and soak up the remarkable views over the city of Kotor, something that will stay in your memory forever!
The Bay of Kotor hides the secret of the oldest settlement of this area called Risan (or Rhison as the Romans used to call it), best known as the metropolis of the Illyrian Queen Teuta (3rd century BC). After the Illyrians came Romans who saw the value of the Kotor Bay strategic position and they kept the rule over the Bay as long as they could.
The long history of the Roman Empire has its remains in Montenegro even today, especially in Risan, where the whole palace of Roman Mosaics is restored and set for travellers’ visits. This palace used to be Villa Urbana dating from the 2nd century AC. Inside this villa with 7 rooms there is one, particularly attractive, mosaic showing God Hypnos while sleeping – a unique thing worldwide.
Don’t miss to visit this Bay, and hear all the stories from the local guides if you ever travel to Montenegro!
Until our next article, enjoy reading!