Picture of bay_of_kotor The Bay of Kotor is a multi-pronged inlet from the Adriatic Sea that juts into Montenegro. The bay wraps around the coastal mountains and the scenery is amazing. This view is from Risan in the northeast corner of the bay.
Picture of bay_overview At the furthest southern end of the bay is the city of Kotor. It's only about 3km to the coast from here (by air) but a high ridge of mountains separates the coastal plain and it's a considerably greater distance by water. Cruise ships (like the one in the distance here) are dwarfed by the steep cliffs around the bay. Driving to the bay area from any direction other than Herceg Novi involves a pretty spectacular view from above.
Picture of front_gate Kotor's old town is a roughly triangular peninsular jutting into the bay. It is impressively walled and there are only three small gates into the town (this is the largest). When a cruise ship is docked in front of the wall, the streets are barely passable inside the city walls. When the cruise ship leaves it suddenly feels deserted.
Picture of walls A canal runs along the north side of Kotor's walls. Along with the main city wall in the foreground here, the curtain walls that protect the inland side of the city can be seen zig-zagging up the mountain. The chapel up there is St. John. The mountain rising from behind Kotor is ultimately part of Crna Gora (black mountain) - the mountain from which Montenegro takes its name.
Picture of hotel_view Inside the walls you'll mostly find restaurants and shops with a handful of small hotels. We felt it was very much worth it to stay within the city walls. This is one view from our room in the Hotel Monte Cristo.
Picture of romanesque_church The Romanesque church of St. Luke was our personal favorite of the numerous churches in town. The walled area of Kotor is quite small. You can easily explore all of it in a full day.
Picture of canal_wall Outside the walls there is a small beach not far from town (walking distance). There are also a couple of very small island shrines in the bay that can be visited by ferry. Much to our own surprise we didn't visit either of these as our son was far more interested in climbing the walls. The walls incidentally are in good shape as far up as St. John. After that they become progressively more crumbling until you reach the limit of where you're willing to take a four year old child. If you go climbing, take water. The higher up you get, the more expensive the water being sold becomes.
Picture of cruise_ship The view honestly doesn't change much as you go higher up the walls. It doesn't take long before you can see all of Kotor and the arm of the bay that it lies in. There is a trail here that ascends all the way up to Lovcen National Park on top the mountain and continues over to Cetinje. We have to assume that would be a fairly formidable hike on altitude gain alone.

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