If you’ve ever even considered planning a trip to Montenegro, then the Bay of Kotor was probably at the top of your list of things to see. Because this:
The Bay of Kotor is often referred to as Europe’s southernmost fjord (though technically it’s a ria? thanks Wikipedia) and let me just tell you now that it totally deserves all the hype. And there is a lot of hype.
While a decade ago my sister was trying to dissuade me from visiting Montenegro because it might still be dangerous – the Balkans didn’t find peace all that long ago – now it seems clear that Montenegro has finally nabbed a much deserved spot on the tourist track. I mean, mountains, turquoise lakes, winding rivers, and stunning
fjords “fjords,” – what’s not for a tourist to love?
Well in my case, Kotor.
Anyone who’s visited this old Mediterranean port city will probably roll their eyes in exasperation at this, but after spending half an hour in Kotor I knew it wasn’t for me. Dan and I were there at the end of May, but tourists had already filled the luxurious seaside cafés that certainly didn’t offer anything for our tiny $20/day budget.
After four months on the road we were more interested in relaxing by the sea than exploring Kotor’s historic sites and nightlife, so we moved on.
Where to Stay on the Bay of Kotor
In fact, we moved on to the single best place we stayed on our entire five-month journey: the tiny bay village of Lepetane.
Or more specifically, Apartments Okuka in Lepetane. If you ever go to Montenegro, you NEED to stay here.
The crazy part? We each only paid 10 euros/night for this magical little apartment on the Bay of Kotor. We would have spent considerably more just to stay in a 10-bed dorm in Kotor.
We were an easy 5-10 minute bus ride away from Kotor, but happily spent all our time in the little village instead. Seriously, if you are looking for a quiet, less touristy place to stay on the Bay of Kotor, I could not recommend staying in Lepetane more.
The houses were far more charming than the brand new buildings in nearby Tivat (where all the super duper fancy yachts dock), there were several beaches nearby to go swimming at, and the ferry across the bay is free for foot passengers – both perfect for enjoying beautiful views of the bay and an easy way to reach the nearest supermarket.
I’m literally sighing out loud just writing about it – oh how I want to go back to those blissful days we spent in Lepetane, swimming in the Bay of Kotor, eating homemade meals (our apartment had a kitchen!) on our balcony, and lying in bed watching boats sail across the bay.
If I hadn’t been so excited about seeing Kosovo I think we simply might never have left Lepetane (except that I did happen to check the apartment’s availability and it was pretty much booked through the rest of the summer!).
Well, Lepetane wasn’t actually our first stop on the Bay of Kotor. We first spent a night at Hostel Anton in Tivat, which we thought would be the perfect quiet escape from Kotor. We had intended to stay two nights, even when the hostel manager told us that a large group on a “7 countries in 7 days tour” would be arriving the next day. But when Dan found a bedbug crawling up the wall next to his bed he couldn’t get any sleep, so we checked out a day early.
And everyone knows that the best way to get rid of bedbugs is to put all your clothes in a black plastic bag on a hot hot roof. At least it worked for us in Kazakhstan. And again in Montenegro! Phew.
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