As you arrive into Montenegro by yacht, you are treated to a spectacular site. Steep, green mountains give way to rocky peaks that rise to 2000m straight out of the sea. It’s a bit like being on a yacht, right in the middle of the Alps and after the flat, low lying Italian coast it was an incredible sight.
In Comparison to Croatia and Greece, Montenegro is a bit off the cruising path and Albania to the south even more so. It has however, become a playground for the rich and famous, with a brand new super yacht marina in Tivat which is a funky spot to people watch and also has a cool maritime museum complete with fully restored submarine that you can climb all over!
When you mention to other cruisers that you are headingto Montenegro you get heaps of stories about red tape and hefty fines for checking in incorrectly, not obtaining the correct cruising permit or generally not following “procedure”. The general view is “sure it’s a beautiful place, but it’s bit of a hassle”. But our experience couldn’t have been further from that. We sailed straight into Kotor and checking into Montenegro as a British registered yacht was straightforward, as was getting the cruising permit – 31 Euro for a week, which is more than enough time to explore the area. Both Calyxa and Antigone had no problems checking in either, but we did meet another yacht who, having waited in line for 2 hours to extend their cruising permit, was told “not today, come back tomorrow”, so it seems we may have been lucky!
Kotor Old Town
Kotor is the highlight of the Kotor Basin, its old town which dates back to the 9th Century is a UNESCO world heritage site and is simply stunning. As you wind your way through the town it opens up into beautiful spaces with ornate buildings and stone flagged courtyards. It oozes character and you can easily imagine yourself transported back in time to when it was a thriving citadel. From the Old town you can climb up the 1350 steps to the old fortifications and incredible views to the surrounding hills – it’s a hot, sweaty walk but well worth it, both Ben and Cormac ran all the way up…way too much energy!!!
The old town is a great place to hang out for a few days, watching the world go by, the cruise ships come and go and savouring the delights of 1.80 Euro beers 🙂