Pestingrad is a panoramic peak overlooking the Old Town of Kotor and the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.
The hike to Pestingrad begins near the Krstac mountain pass along the P1 road close to Njeguši.
Though the Krstac to Pestingrad hike is short, there are some tricky passages. Hikers should be comfortable navigating uneven karst terrain and steep, secured passages (no special equipment needed).
The hike begins by following a wide gravel track. There are minimal trail signs, but the path is obvious. The second half of this trail is narrow, slightly overgrow, but heavily waymarked (which I found very comforting). There should be no confusion about where to go.
We recommend hiking this trail in the morning, when temperatures are cooler.
You can easily combine this hike with a visit to Njeguši, the village that produces the famous Njegusi prosciutto (Njeguški pršut). We ate lunch in Njeguši, before continuing on to Njegoš Mausoleum in Lovćen National Park.
The height of Pestingrad is unclear. On the peak, a painted sign states 1009 meters. But other sources state 980 meters. So, Pestingrad is between 980 and 1009 meters high.
Pestingrad Summit Hike: Best View of Kotor Bay
- Trailhead: Etno Selo Sveti Georgije | Google Maps
- Distance: 5.7 km out-and-back
- Time Needed: 2:30 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 243 meters
- Difficulty: Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 927 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 1027 meters
- Where to Stay in Kotor Old Town: Palazzo Sindik (apartment), Katareo Apartments (apartment), or Hotel Hippocampus (boutique luxury).
- Where to Stay in Kotor (Outside City Walls): Apartments Ana (budget), or Apartments Qualitas (budget)
- Where to Stay in Muo: Nikola Lux apartments (budget), House 44 SEAFRONT APARTMENTS (midrange), or Dekaderon Lux Apartments (midrange-luxury)
- Where to Stay in Dobrota: Apartman Castello (midrange), Solaris Lux Apartments (midrange), Corso Levante Luxury Suites (luxury), or Hotel Forza Terra.
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Pestingrad Hiking Trail Map
Where Does the Pestingrad Hike Start
Etno Selo Sveti Georgije / Krstac
The Pestingrad trail starts at the Etno Selo Sveti Georgije (Sveti Đorđe) bungalow complex, near the Krstac mountain pass.
There’s a parking area along the P1 road, directly across from the trailhead. When we visited, there was no parking fee.
It’s feasible to hike from Kotor to Pestingrad.
You can ascend the Ladder of Kotor trail to the P1 road (3 hours) and then walk 5 minutes in the direction of Njeguši to the Pestingrad trailhead.
While this is a possibility, combining the Ladder of Kotor with Pestingrad Peak is a long and exhausting day hike.
The 20 km out-and-back hike takes 8 hours and involves 1196 meters of elevation gain/loss.
Pestingrad Trail Description
Etno Selo Sveti Georgije (Sveti Đorđe) to Derinski Vrh/Pestingrad Trail Junction (35 minutes)
Across from the playground of Etno Selo Sveti Georgije (Sveti Đorđe), there’s a gravel side road, which leads to a few rustic holiday homes.
There’s no trail sign, but there’s a yellow sign indicating the names of the homes/accommodations (Salazi, Gacevici, Knez Do) situated along the road.
Follow this road towards the cone-shaped Mrajankik (1336 m).
At the end of the road, there’s a cluster of buildings, one of which sells cold drinks.
The gravel track continues. The landscape is arid. We spotted a snake on the side of the trail that quickly slithered up a branch.
When you get to a signed junction, bear left in the direction of Derinksi Vrh (1 hour) and Pestingrad (1:30 hours).
The trail, grassier now, leads to another signed junction. Turn right to Pestingrad.
The left trail leads to the summit of Derinksi Vrh. Though it’s technically possible to hike over Derinski Vrh to Pestingrad, the trail isn’t waymarked and very difficult to follow. Hence, it’s not recommended.
So, turn right, following the trail that skirts Derinski Vrh.
Derinski Vrh/Pestingrad Trail Junction to Pestingrad (40 minutes)
Pass the stone building ruin and follow the Knafelc waymarks, painted on various rocks along the trail.
The path dips down and narrows. You’ll pass another stone building ruin and then the trail ascends a rocky karst passage.
The narrow trail rises and falls. More blazes (the ones you usually see in Austria) steer you through the thick vegetation. Though the trail is overgrown, the trail is clear.
When views open up to Kotor Bay, there’s a sign indicating 15 minutes to Pestingrad.
The trail initially descends through more thick bushes and then ascends again. When you emerge from the forest near a cliff edge, you’ll see the rounded crest of Pestingrad, marked with a Montenegrin flag.
Carefully descend the exposed western flank of Derinksi Vrh down to the slender saddle between Derinksi Vrh and Pestingrad. The trickiest part along the rock wall is secured with a rope.
Hike up the slender saddle and climb up a few meters to the rocky Pestingrad peak.
The Pestingrad summit affords sweeping views of Boka Bay, divided by the long limestone mountain of Vrmac. You can see the Old Town of Kotor, Dobrota, and the many other villages around the Bay.
Pestingrad to Etno Selo Sveti Georgije (1:15 hours)
Return to Pestingrad, following the same exact route.
Where to Stay near Pestingrad
Read our guide to Where to Stay in Kotor to find out the best places to stay in Kotor Bay: top areas and accommodations.
Old Town of Kotor (Inside City Walls)
There’s something so romantic about staying within the walled city of Kotor, a tangle of narrow streets lined with historic buildings, which house humming restaurants and bars.
The entire UNESCO-protected Old Town is a pedestrian zone, so naturally, accommodations do not offer on-site parking. If you’re traveling without a car, definitely consider staying in the Old Town.
If you’re traveling with a car, I wouldn’t write it off altogether. Just ask your accommodation for clear parking instructions in advance of your stay.
Keep in mind that you’ll have to carry your luggage to your accommodation, as accommodations rarely offer a bellhop service.
If you’re sensitive to noise and loud music, don’t stay in the Old Town on Friday, or Saturday nights. There’s a midnight curfew on music, but it’s not strictly enforced.
Budget | Old Town Youth Hostel is a social hostel for the young party types with raving reviews.
Apartment | Palazzo Sindik is a lovely one-bedroom apartment in the old town of Kotor.
Apartment | Katareo Apartments offers newly renovated and spotless apartments with kitchenettes. Try to book the apartment with the terrace, if it’s available.
Luxury | Hotel Hippocampus is a stylish boutique hotel set in a 17th century building with a roof terrace and restaurant. A slow, mouthwatering breakfast is served on the rooftop, featuring local cold cuts and cheeses, freshly baked Montenegrin pastries, eggs-to-order, coffee, and orange juice. All rooms are air-conditioned.
Luxury | Boutique Hotel Astoria is a luxury hotel, housed in the UNESCO-protected 13th-century Buca Palace. The hotel’s restaurant spills outside onto the square. Rooms are spacious and feature funky, love-it-or-hate-it decor.
Luxury | Hotel Vardar is a 4-star hotel with classic rooms situated on the main square in the Old Town of Kotor, a stone’s throw from the Sea Gate. Guests have access to a gym, sauna, and steam bath.
Kotor (Outside City Walls)
Budget | Apartments Ana is located just steps away from the River Gate (North Gate) of the Old Town at the Kotor Ladder trailhead. This is a great value apartment with private parking.
Budget | Apartments Qualitas offers snug apartments at the marina, very close to the South Gate.
Dobrota is the sprawling settlement to the north of Kotor, which stretches for several kilometers from the Old Town to Ljuta.
It’s hard to know where Kotor ends and Dobrota begins, as one bleeds into the other.
Many accommodations in Dobrota are within walking distance of Kotor’s Old Town. For example: Apartman Castello (midrange apartments) and Solaris Lux Apartments (modern apartments).
However, many others are 3-4 kms away (10 minute drive), including some of the finest seafront hotels in Kotor Bay.
Far from the bustling port and city, these accommodations provide private sea access, minimal traffic, and a more peaceful environment.
Stand-out seafront accommodations: Hotel Forza Terra (5-star boutique hotel) and Hotel Forza Mare (boutique hotel), Villa Maestral (apartments), Corso Levante Luxury Suites (luxury suites), and Three Dots (private villa).
Muo is the seaside settlement to the northwest of Kotor’s Old Town, along the base of Vrmac. From Muo, it’s about a 15-25 minute walk to the Old Town.
Budget | Nikola Lux apartments are two modern and clean apartments with sea-view balconies and private parking. The price is unbeatable. 2 nights minimum stay.
More accommodations in Muo: House 44 SEAFRONT APARTMENTS (midrange apartments), Residence Portofino (midrange apartment), or Dekaderon Lux Apartments (midrange-luxury apartments), and Villa Mima (4-bedroom villa)
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Montenegro Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Montenegro Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip.
When to Visit Montenegro
We recommend traveling to Montenegro during shoulder seasons: spring and early fall.
For coastal exploration, May, September and October are ideal months. For hiking in the mountains, it’s best to visit in summer, or early fall, when trails are mostly snow-free.
We always rent a car when visiting Montenegro, so that we can reach trailheads and visit destinations that are not accessible by transit.
Follow our 2 Week Montenegro Road Trip Itinerary for route planning.
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Places to Visit in Montenegro
Take a look at Top Places to Visit in Montenegro for a summary of the most beautiful coastal and mountainous destinations across this Balkan country, including Kotor, Lake Skadar, Durmitor National Park, and Ulcinj.
Hiking in Montenegro
In our Montenegro Hiking Guide, we summarized the best hiking destinations, including Komovi Mountains, Kotor Bay, Durmitor National Park, and Prokletije National Park.
Must-do hikes around Kotor: Ladder of Kotor, Kotor Fortress, Pestingrad, and Vrmac Ridge Trail.
Montenegro Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- Hiking Socks: Smartwool women’s Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew / Smartwool Men’s Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip