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The best day trips and excursions from Kotor

by Sam
Viewpoint of the Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

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The pleasant town of Kotor in Montenegro is in a brilliant location for day trips, excursions and tours. It’s close to a number of beautiful spots, such as Lovcen National Park, Budva and Perast, and so there is no shortage of great places to visit nearby. If you’re happy to travel further then it’s also possible to visit amazing places like Durmitor National Park and the Tara River Canyon on a day trip from Kotor. There are great options for everyone, whether you just want to peacefully enjoy the country’s wonderful nature or you’re looking to go whitewater rafting or zip-lining for an adrenaline rush! Check out the best day trips and excursions from Kotor below!

Looking for more information for your trip? Check out our guide to the best things to do in Kotor Old Town as well as our article featuring the best accommodation options in Kotor!

The top day trips, excursions and tours from Kotor, Montenegro

Lovcen National Park

The stunning Lovcen National Park is one of many beautiful places to visit in Montenegro. It’s an easy day trip from the town of Kotor, which is conveniently located at the foot of Mount Lovcen. It’s possible to enjoy the wonderful nature of the park in a number of different ways, with quad-biking and zip-lining available for thrill-seekers or hiking and cycling options for those looking for a more serene visit.

Lovcen National Park’s most famous attraction is the Njegoš Mausoleum. Located 1,660 metres above sea level, there is a circular viewing platform providing breathtaking views of the Bay of Kotor and Montenegro’s countryside. The mausoleum is the final resting place of Petar II Petrović Njegoš – one of the country’s most beloved poets and leaders. To reach the Njegoš Mausoleum you must climb 461 steps, but it’s certainly worth the effort to see this unique spot and the wonderful views!

To get to Lovcen National Park you can either drive yourself or take a day tour from Kotor. The serpentine road up to the park is infamous for winding back and forth as you make your way up the mountain. If you opt to drive then make sure to take your time and be careful as Montenegrin drivers have a reputation for being slightly reckless.

Click here to find great deals on rental cars for your trip!

Tours to Lovcen National Park can be booked in advance through Get Your Guide or arranged once you’re in Kotor itself. Get Your Guide’s tour includes visiting the Njegoš Mausoleum and national park, as well as the city of Cetinje, Lake Skadar, Sveti Stefan and more! It’s a great way to see this wonderful park amongst a number of other wonderful places that Montenegro has to offer. If you’re not comfortable driving yourself then it’s also a great way to save yourself all the hard work! Tours start from €49 ($56 USD) per person, but you will also need to pay €9 in national park entrance fees on the day.

Click here to book a wonderful tour to Lovcen National Park, Cetinje, Sveti Stefan and more!

Sveti Stefan - an easy spot to visit as part a day trip from Kotor to Lovcen National Park


Durmitor National Park

One of our personal favourite day trips from Kotor was to Durmitor National Park. Located in northwestern Montenegro, the park is home to some truly stunning nature – from rugged mountains to beautiful lakes to the colossal Tara River Canyon. Although the park is a fair distance from Kotor, in our opinion it’s simply unmissable due to the wonderful nature found there.

To visit Durmitor National Park from Kotor you will either need to rent a car or take an organised tour. In this instance we recommend taking a tour as it saves you from having to drive long distances, and the tours know some of the best places to visit on the route to and from the national park. If you do opt to drive then click here to find the best prices on rental cars!

We were fortunate enough to visit Durmitor National Park on an amazing tour that we booked through Get Your Guide. The tour starts off by visiting a couple of nice spots in the Bay of Kotor before continuing on towards the national park. On your journey into the north of Montenegro you get chance for a quick photo stop at the artificial Salty Lake, also known as Slansko Lake. It’s a lovely viewpoint from which to enjoy some fabulous nature, and is well worth the brief visit!

Next you will head further north into the country on a scenic drive that takes you up into the mountains, providing views of some of the most incredible scenery Montenegro has to offer. Eventually you will reach your first stop in the national park, Đurđevića Tara Bridge. The bridge provides brilliant views of the Tara River Canyon, as well as the mountains and dense forest surrounding it. If you’re feeling brave enough then you can also pay to take a trip on a zip-line straight across the canyon!

Tara River Canyon in Durmitor National Park - a great day trip from Kotor


After you finish up at the bridge the tour makes its way to the beautiful Black Lake, also known as Crno Jezero. In the summer the water is normally warm enough to swim in, making it a spectacular spot for a dip! There is also a 4-kilometre circular trail leading around the lake, giving you the chance to hike amongst some of Montenegro’s wonderful nature.

The final stop of the day is one of the most important religious sites in the Balkans, the Ostrog Monastery. Perched high up on a cliff, pilgrims come from all across Europe to visit this spot due to its supposed magical healing powers, as well as the incredible view. It takes around 45 minutes to climb to the monastery, but it’s well worth the effort. During the summer months it can get extremely busy with visitors, and so visiting outside of peak season is a good idea if you can. Either way, it’s a beautiful place for the last stop of the tour. As the monastery is a religious site you will need to be appropriately dressed, meaning your shoulders and knees should be covered.

Visiting the amazing places in and around Durmitor National Park was one of the highlights of our trip to Montenegro and so we really can’t recommend it enough. The tour costs just €49 ($56 USD) per person, which is great value for a full day out exploring some of the best spots in the country! You will also need to pay a €3 national park entrance fee on the day of the tour.

Click here to book an amazing tour to Durmitor National Park and North Montenegro on Get Your Guide!

Ostrog Monastery - a beautiful spot to visit from Kotor


Budva

The coastal town of Budva is perfect if you want to have a beach day, and thankfully it’s an easy day trip from Kotor. One of the main reasons for visiting is to enjoy the town’s sandy beaches – in particular Mogren beach, which is one of the nicest in the area. Kotor itself only has a man-made pebble beach, so if that doesn’t do it for you then heading to Budva is a must. Although the beaches are one of the main attractions, it’s also worth visiting to explore the lovely Old Town – which is smaller than Kotor’s Old Town, but is arguably even nicer! There are plenty of other nice things to do in Budva too, so it’s well worth adding it to your Montenegro itinerary!

If you have the time then you can also take a bus from Budva to Sveti Stefan – a tiny resort island just a few kilometres along the coast. The island is home to beautiful stone buildings with orange rooftops, which make for a truly wonderful sight from nearby viewpoints. 

Getting from Kotor to Budva is extremely easy by bus and takes around 30-45 minutes. Tickets start from just €2.50 one-way if bought online in advance, which means a day trip to Budva will only set you back €5 if you plan ahead!

Budva Old Town - another easy day trip from Kotor


Bay of Kotor boat trip

One of the top things to do during your stay is to to take a boat trip around the Bay of Kotor. Taking a boat trip allows you to enjoy the area’s magnificent mountains and stunning scenery from another perspective. There are some wonderful spots to visit, and so taking a boat trip is one of the most efficient ways to see a number of these places in one day. If you want to take a boat trip then we strongly recommend booking in advance as they’re one of the most popular things to do in Kotor. There are a couple of different trips available depending on exactly how much you want to see and do. Check out our recommendations below of the best boat trips around the Bay of Kotor.

The first option is a 2-hour boat tour which provides amazing views of the Bay of Kotor, as well as giving you the chance to visit both Perast and Our Lady of the Rocks island. Although it’s possible to reach Perast by bus, taking the boat allows you to enjoy a more scenic route. Travelling by speedboat you’re able to see some of the best spots in the bay in just a short time. Tours start from €20 ($23 USD) per person.

Click here to book a brilliant 2-hour boat trip around the Bay of Kotor!

Personally we think it’s worth spending an extra €10 to take a 3-hour boat trip so that you get to visit a few more places. The longer tour gives you the chance to see the blue cave, Mamula Island as well as the caves the army used to use to hide submarines. On top of that you will also get the chance to visit the Our Lady of the Rocks island. The highlight of the longer tour is the chance to swim in the beautifully blue water at the blue cave. Tours start from €30 ($35 USD) per person, which is great value considering how much you get to see in a short space of time!

Click here to book an incredible 3-hour boat tour around the Bay of Kotor!

Boat trips are one of the best excursions in the Bay of Kotor


Whitewater rafting in Tara River Canyon

Another brilliant excursion from Kotor is a whitewater rafting trip through the Tara River Canyon. Stretching for around 80 kilometres, the canyon is home to some steep cliffs, dense forest and over 80 caves. A whitewater rafting trip is undeniably the best way to experience the beautiful nature of the canyon.

Rafting in the Tara Canyon is normally only possible between May and September, so if it’s something you really want to do then make sure to visit during these months. May and early June have higher water levels and so is the best time to go rafting for adrenaline junkies. During the rest of the rafting season water levels tend to be lower, which makes it a good time to go rafting if you aren’t a thrill-seeker and just want to enjoy the wonderful nature!

The easiest way to arrange a rafting trip in the canyon is to book online through Get Your Guide. It’s a full day trip if you visit from Kotor, so by booking a tour all the logistics are sorted out for you. Whitewater rafting tours of the Tara River Canyon start from €84 ($96 USD) per person, which includes all the necessary rafting equipment, return transport from Kotor, breakfast and lunch.

Click here to book a whitewater rafting trip in the amazing Tara River Canyon!

Whitewater rafting trips in the Tara River Canyon are a great option for adrenaline junkies looking for day trips from Kotor


Dubrovnik

If you haven’t already been to the Croatian city of Dubrovnik then it’s definitely worth visiting on a day trip if you have the time. The city’s magnificent Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site on account of being of the best preserved medieval cities in the world. You can easily spend a day simply walking through the historic streets of the city, but if you have time then you should also take the cable car for magnificent views as well as walk along the ancient city walls.

Situated approximately a 2-hour drive away from Kotor, Dubrovnik can easily be visited on a day trip. As buses between the two places aren’t always at the most convenient times, then it’s best to either arrange an organised tour from Kotor to Dubrovnik or rent a car and drive yourself. Tours can be arranged through agencies in Kotor and are likely to cost €40 or more. If you plan to rent a car then it’s easiest to pick it up from nearby Tivat airport and drive to Dubrovnik from there. Make sure that a green card and insurance for driving outside of Montenegro is included in the price of your rental as you will be driving into Croatia.

Click here to check out great deals on renting a car from Tivat airport near Kotor!

Alternatively, as there is quite a lot to see and do in Dubrovnik then you could always visit for longer than a day. If you do plan to visit for a few days then it’s probably cheapest and easiest to take a bus there. Click here to check the book tickets and find the latest schedule for buses from Kotor to Dubrovnik. By visiting for a few days you won’t have to rush and miss things out during your stay, so we fully recommend staying a few nights if you have the time.

For those that don’t know, parts of the popular TV show ‘Game of Thrones’ were filmed in Dubrovnik, and so there are a number of fascinating Game of Thrones tours which visit filming locations. On top of that, there are a number of other great things to do in the city from kayaking to visiting nearby islands.

Click here to see the best tours and activities available in Dubrovnik!

If you want to see more of the country than just Dubrovnik then check out our Croatia itinerary for inspiration.

Aerial view of Dubrovnik Old Town - a great place to visit on an excursion from Kotor


Perast

The Bay of Kotor is home to some charming quaint towns, and Perast is the pick of the bunch. There are only a handful of things to do in the town, but its idyllic setting makes it well worth a visit. One of the main things to do is to take a boat ride to the nearby Our Lady of the Rocks island, which is home to a church of the same name. Boat rides to the island can easily be arranged in Perast and should cost €5 for a return trip. Aside from that the main things to do are take a stroll along the waterfront promenade, take a swim in the Adriatic sea, and enjoy the views from the bell tower of the St. Nikola Church. It’s also worth taking the time to dine in one of the town’s waterfront restaurants during your visit.

Fortunately, it’s extremely easy to visit Perast on a day trip from Kotor. The town is located approximately a 15-30 minute local bus journey away from Kotor town, with tickets costing just €1.50 one-way. Many of the aforementioned boat tours involve a stop at Perast, but if you don’t plan to take one of those trips then it’s definitely worth taking the bus to this lovely town. Even if you do visit on a boat tour, it’s worth visiting again by bus as it gives you the chance to explore the town at your own pace.

Promenade of Perast Old Town - one of the easiest day trips from Kotor


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