Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Mon August 01 2016

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  • Nick and Dariece | August 1, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    Montenegro’s Must-Visit Sights in the Bay of Kotor

    Montenegro’s Must-Visit Sights in the Bay of Kotor

    Photos by Goats on the Road unless otherwise indicated

    The drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia to the Bay of Kotor only took us around three hours. The journey was smooth and simple, and when we rounded the bend and the bay revealed itself, we knew we had made the right decision to cross the border and travel to Montenegro.

    Towering jagged mountains rimmed the bay, while a winding road made its way along the shoreline. We passed by small villages and many churches before arriving at our base for the next week, Kotor. Having a rental car is the best way to see this area, and because many of the sights in the Bay of Kotor are doable on a day-trip, it's best to base yourself in one spot.

    travel to montenegro bay of kotor

    The old town of Kotor is a site in itself. The town is completely surrounded by a 9th century stone wall. Even though the town is backed by protective mountains, the wall was actually built up the mountainside to create a large loop around the old town. The Byzantines and the Venetians added to the walls over the years, before they were finally completed in the 15th century — what a feat of engineering!

    READ MORE: 5 Reasons to Love Budva Montenegro

    travel to kotor bay montenegro drone picture of fort walls

    Wandering the lanes of the old town, hiking up the fortress walls and visiting the many churches make for a great couple of days in Kotor. Located just a quick 15 minutes or so north of Kotor is the little town of Perast. Although there isn't all that much to see or do in the actual town, the setting is beautiful and the offshore floating churches are pretty incredible. St. George and Our Lady Of The Rocks are the two islets located offshore from Perast. Each of them has a chapel built on top, and Our Lady Of The Rocks is particularly interesting because it's the only man-made island in the Adriatic Sea!

     travelling to montenegro

    The story goes that two Venetian sailors saw an image of the Virgin Mary on a rock and continuously added rocks to the pile after each successful voyage, which eventually grew into an island. In reality, the islet was created from rocks, yes, but also from sunken ships. The present-day church on the island was built in the year 1632.

    These days, you can hire a boat to take you the short journey across the water to visit the churches. Heading a little bit south, and inland from Kotor is the Lovcen National Park, with the 5,739 feet high Mt. Lovcen dominating the park. This is where the locals go, and you should too! The views of the bay as you make your way up the many hairpin turns are simply stunning. Once at the top, you will be in awe of the views down below.

    montenegro lovcen national park

    Photo courtesy of Johnny Ward/

    Two-thirds of the park is covered in woods, and it's home to many birds, reptiles and even some bears and wolves. You can spend the night up here in a bungalow, or bring your own tent. There are also a few eateries and the option to rent bikes for the day. Heading south past Kotor, you will want to visit the city of Budva, if for no reason other than a swim and to eat some of the best SE Asian food anywhere! Yes, that's right, there is an incredible restaurant here for when you tire of local seafood, Italian-influenced cuisine, and grilled meats and vegetables.

    pad thai from taste of asia in budva montenegro

    Budva is filled with modern development, which means that it's not the most aesthetically pleasing place in the bay. There is, however, a small old town, a beautiful seaside promenade and some great spots for swimming. Driving further south past Budva, about an hour drive from Kotor, you'll arrive at the historical old town of Sveti Stefan.

    READ MORE: The 10 Hottest Under-The-Radar Destinations

    From the main road, you'll see the glowing red roofs of the resort across the water on an island, and a small causeway, which now connects the island with the mainland. Unfortunately, the island itself is closed to non-resort guests. However, the beautiful beaches north and south of the island are open to the public. This is the perfect spot for a swim and even though you can't actually go on the island, you can have lunch with views of the island.

    Check out our quick video of our road trip in Montenegro!

    Montenegro really is a magical place, and in our opinion is a must-see country in the Balkans, or anywhere in Europe for that matter. If you're looking for great value for money, natural beauty and friendly people, consider Montenegro!

    Have you been to the lesser-known country of Montenegro? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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Nick and Dariece Notes from the Goats

Nick and Dariece Nick and Dariece are the couple behind Goats On The Road, a website designed to inspire others to live a financially sustainable, location independent lifestyle. Masters at making money abroad and turning their travels into a way of life, they've been on the road since 2008 and have explored some of the least visited places on earth, finding adventure wherever they go. They are also full time contributors at Credit Walk where they share their expertise of making money and travelling forever. Check them out at Goats On The and follow them on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.
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