Cradled by mountains, the glistening Bay of Kotor is one of Montenegro’s best-known destinations. There are a few notable hikes around the Old Town of Kotor that provide stunning views of Boka Bay as well as the Old Town’s impressive fortifications.
The well-graded Ladder of Kotor hike begins just outside the Kotor Old Town, near the North Gate, and zigzags up the mountainside along 70 switchbacks. Start early to avoid the midday sun.
The Ladder of Kotor (aka the Ladder of Cattaro) is a historic mule trail, which was built in the 19th century by the Austrians, in order to connect Kotor with Njeguši and Cetinje, Montenegro’s former royal capital.
A shorter day hike option is the hike to the hilltop Kotor Fortress, also called Fortress of St. John, or the San Giovanni Fortress. This trail starts in the Old Town.
There is an entrance fee of 8 EUR to tackle the 1,350 steps leading up to the Fortress. The hike first passes Our Lady of Remedy, a church built in 1518.
The view of the walled city is very satisfying, so some people even turn around at this point. However, if you push on to the San Giovanni Fortress, you’ll be happy you did.
One of our favorite hikes around Kotor starts at Fort Vrmac atop the Vrmac mountain ridge. The Vrmac ridge trail follows an old military road, built by the Austro-Hungarians, to the panoramic Sveti Ilija (765 m) peak. This is an easy hike that only takes 3 hours out-and-back.
Another short, but rewarding hike near Kotor is Pestingrad Peak.
Learn More: Best Hikes in Kotor
Stay in Kotor Bay
Kotor Bay is rimmed with seaside villages. We’ve summarized the best places to stay in Where to Stay in Kotor.
If you’re traveling without a car, stay in the Old Town of Kotor, or nearby.
If you’re traveling with a car, it’s more convenient to stay outside the city walls, especially if your accommodation has private parking. There are some great apartments, just steps away from the various gates of the Old Town.
You can also stay in the neighboring villages of Dobrota, Muo, or Prčanj. Orahovac and Perast are also possibilities, but further away from the main hiking trails.
Kotor Old Town (Inside City Walls): Old Town Youth Hostel (social hostel), Palazzo Sindik (apartment), Katareo Apartments (apartment), Hotel Hippocampus (boutique luxury hotel), Boutique Hotel Astoria (luxury hotel), and Hotel Vardar (luxury hotel).
Kotor (Outside City Walls): Apartments Ana (budget) and Apartments Qualitas (budget)
Dobrota: Apartman Castello (midrange), Solaris Lux Apartments (midrange), Corso Levante Luxury Suites (seafront luxury suites with private beach), Hotel Forza Terra (5-star seafront boutique hotel), and Three Dots (seafront private villa).
Muo: Nikola Lux apartments (budget), House 44 Apartments (midrange), or Apartments Residence Portofino (midrange)
Prčanj: Palazzo Sbutega (midrange)