While there are various options for your Kotor bucket list, hiking the castle walls is a must-do for the adventure seekers out there. When we began searching for things to do in Kotor, this was the first thing we stumbled upon. We love hiking, Adam especially, and couldn’t wait to embark on this adventure. For information on the details and our experience, along with a list of other things to do while in Kotor, keep reading!
For those that want a bite-sized version of this post, check out our Instagram post: here.
Once we entered the walls of the medieval city of Kotor, it didn’t take us long to find the stairs that led us to the fortress and castle. We went toward the right and kind of meandered down the main street until we came across a sign that led us up a set of steps.
It was right near a plaza with restaurants and shops and, in all honesty, we feel like it’s the natural route one would take upon entering the walled city.
After hiking up a few steps (which took us past someone’s home so don’t be alarmed!), we came upon the ticket booth. The cost: 8 Euro per person.
Time + Distance
In total, the trip (including our journey to and from the tender) was two and a half hours. We felt as though 8 Euro was reasonable for that amount of time. This was especially true when we saw a young man hauling down tons of bright pink trash bags from the trail. By that time, it was already extremely hot. He didn’t even break a sweat.
That day, we walked a total of 6.2 miles. This includes the hike and wandering through the streets of Kotor later that afternoon.
Level of Difficulty
Adam and I have been on various hikes and we know that it’s mildly difficult (or dangerous) when I hesitate to do it. I never felt that on this hike.
The hike comprised of a lot of steps. Some areas, especially on the way down, were slippery – why did they use such a slick surface to build with back then?! – so take it slow.
We both chose to dress for the hike; however, we also saw a lot of people wearing flip flops or other kinds of shoes. Those that chose to dress cute looked miserable at the summit. We both recommend wearing hiking gear, particularly if you’re going in the summertime. We both had to take our shirts off halfway up.
We would both highly recommend this hike for those visiting Kotor. We found it to be an easy hike. There are lots of little areas to explore, in both the castle and the fortress, and the views of the city below are second-to-none. With each step, the view changed, the pretty rooftops falling away to expose views of the blue waters as we rose toward the summit.
The hike would have been a lot easier if it hadn’t been so hot. By the end of it, I was ready to get back to the boat to shower.
It was worth it, though. The views of the city from the castle and fortress is something everyone should see at least once. The photos are incredible.
While the hike was hot, ultra hot (even for the Florida girl), it was worth the sweat and near-tears. Ok, I slipped twice, which always gets me feeling a little anxious for the next step, but – for real – I wasn’t close to tears.
While I needed frequent water breaks, I didn’t feel like I needed a lot of endurance to make it to the top. The steps are easy to navigate and, with each landing exposing more and more of the city below, resting was natural. We would often stop to take snaps of the world below us.
If planning to go on this hike in the summer, we recommend taking a few bottles of water. While our ship didn’t anchor until around 10 am, we recommend starting the hike earlier (if able). The heat in the middle of the day was intense and, in all honesty, when we went out later that afternoon it wasn’t much better. Therefore, we feel that earlier is best. The heat felt no different at five than at noon.
Wear comfortable clothing. It’s going to get HOT! As stated earlier, we definitely lost our shirts during the hike. Wearing workout gear really helped with all the sweating.
Take pictures all along the trail but take pictures of YOU as soon as possible. You will be a mess by the time you reach the summit.
Hint: This is why we are turned away in all of the photos. We did that or stood farrrr from the lens. No one can see the beads of sweat if you’re an inch tall!
Hiking the castle walls in Kotor is one hike we loved doing and it’ll remain in our list of favorites for a while. Want to read small bits about other hikes we’ve done? Check out our Juneau and St. Lucia posts.
For those that aren’t interested in hiking the castle walls, check out our list of other things to do.
Other Things to do in Kotor
Explore the Fortified Town
Prior to hiking and after it (we went back to the ship, showered, and ate lunch after the hike), we wandered through the winding streets in search of beautiful sights, shops, people, and – of course! – cats.
There were a few cats on our hike but most were in the town itself. Most were super friendly and all were ultra cute!
Take some snaps at the cathedral or one of the other, various churches. Head to the Cat Museum. Wander through the various shops. There’s so much to do while exploring.
Visit One (or Both!) of the Islands
As we sailed through Kotor Bay, we noticed two small islands. One is Our Lady of the Rocks and the other is Svete Dorde. These aren’t exactly close to Kotor itself; however, they are quite close to another popular destination within the Bay of Kotor: Perast.
If we had been given the chance, we would have made our way to these two islands (and to Perast); therefore, we feel as though these should be added to your list.
Drink a Niksicko Pivo
This local beer was definitely on our list of things to do in Kotor; however, after that hike we had no choice but to go back to the ship.
It just made sense for us to eat while there (hello, we paid for it after all!). Therefore, by the time we made it back to the fortified town, we were too full to indulge in anything other than water.
Snack on a Krempita
The same sentiment as above can be said about the Krempita. This local dessert, a vanilla custard cake, is popular in a few Central European countries (and Montenegro is one of them!).
The Castle Walls and Fortress isn’t the only hiking trail in Kotor. There is also Lovćen, a mountain with various hiking trails, and a national park. This spot holds the mausoleum and boasts panoramic views (and we bet they’re even better than the views from the walls!) of the world below.
There’s also Vrmac, which overlooks the town of Tivat. It’s an extension of Lovćen, but we aren’t sure the distance from Kotor.
Head to the Beach
Obvi, with the beautiful blue waters in the bay, there has to be a beach day. While Kotor Bay doesn’t feature expansive sand-filled beaches, there are some smaller, intimate ones.
Beware when searching! – some are covered in rocks or pebbles, which aren’t fun to walk on. Adam could totally handle it but I couldn’t.
Who out there has visited Kotor or Montenegro? Did you love it as much as we did?