One of the reasons for visiting this beautiful country was to sail along the Bay of Kotor and to swim in fabulous Blue Cave Montenegro, so my family and I took Montenegro private tour from Kotor, with an organized transfer from Dubrovnik.
My family is quite big, so 360 Monte sent pretty comfortable and fancy Mercedes minibus.
Pick up was quite early, so already by 10 pm we were at the port of Kotor ready to start our Kotor boat trip!
The staff was very polite serving champagne, and our very friendly tour guide was already giving details on the day plan and the surroundings. From the moment we left the coastline, this boat ride seemed like a fairy tale! The day was just perfect – breezing wind and swimming stops were ideal for refreshing this hot August day, while the sky-ripping mountains were reflecting in the glass-like water surface.
Soon we headed out to the open waters of the Adriatic and anchored in front the imposing Blue Cave Kotor!
The cave was just simply beautiful! The kids loved the sparking effect it had, and I recommend putting on the snorkeling gear provided, because you will see much clearly of what is going on under the water, and it is a glowing party there!
Water is a bit cooler then inside of the Bay itself, so we didn’t stay too long, and this time of the year is quite busy with small boats entering the cave, so we went out after only 20 min.
From a natural cave, we went to completely artificial much bigger “cave” – men made tunnel inside of an actual mountain, constructed to hide the submarines and ships from Yugoslavian navy. Incredible and creepy place, to be honest.
Next stop was lunch at Porto Montenegro and some free time to explore.
By the itinerary, we had a scheduled stop to Our Lady of the Rocks, but since we visited this last time we were here with a cruise ship, we decided to skip it. Luckily, this was not a problem, considering we booked a private boat tour, so the captain didn’t mind changing it for us.
We stopped again for the last swim for the day, and as the sun was setting behind the mountains, I felt very grateful for this experience and beloved people around.
Our professional pick-up driver was waiting for us at the dock, this time with a different Mercedes, but we were so distracted with our impressions, that no one even noticed.
Drive back to Dubrovnik was long and the border was jammed but spending this magnificent day in Montenegro was definitely worth it.
Last summer a group of friends and I decided to visit a beautiful country, Montenegro, and our first destination was stunning Boka Bay. In the very heart of the bay - the ancient town of Kotor, we found a charming Old town hostel which offered Kotor private boat tours and Montenegro trips, so we decided to have this, an unusually exciting, experience with them right after our arrival to Kotor.
Namely, we visited a place that tourists usually visit, thinking that it will be just a simple ride and swimming in a cave (it’s called the Blue cave), but no, it was a unique experience that I want to tell you about in this little story of mine.
Our skippers on the boat were very kind, even incredibly nicely explaining everything during the tour, and at the same time making sure that everybody has fun. It was not difficult to have a good time on the boat as we were surrounded by an amazing crew, other travelers, fruits and drinks, and the most beautiful views one can imagine.
We observed the patterns of the hills and their doubling all the time, for the first time ever enjoying that kind of a landscape where a mountain rises from the sea. The beauty of the Montenegrin coast is mesmerizing, so we were not even taking so many photos as usual. This area deserved special observation, we all agreed upon that.
Eventually, upon seeing more, we realized that Boka bay is a careless, most graceful goddess of Montenegro. And swimming there was endearing, in the absence of a better word.
After embarking from Kotor and having the first swim we got to see an incredibly beautiful islet called Mamula. Mamula is an islet with the former prison fortress, a pretty stunning place to see in the middle of the blue waters and wilderness of the bay.
We cruised around the islet with our boat and then continued to the open sea.
After witnessing all the beauty of Boka bay, we swam inside the largest and most popular cave on Lustica peninsula, which deservedly bears the name Blue cave.
Inside, the depth is up to 9 feet and it’s very rocky, but with the most beautiful glare.
We were lucky to witness this natural phenomenon where the light and color play their dance with water in the cave and make the most beautiful show for the eyes and hearts of everyone lucky enough to witness it. The boat can go inside the cave, as it is big enough, so we could easily enjoy the view. Honestly, I wanted to stay there for the rest of our trip, but at one point we had to continue our trip, which took us to a very interesting place which seemed to be a long-kept secret of Montenegro - submarine tunnels built by the Yugoslav Army. We took a break there!
After seeing the tunnels, we went to Porto Montenegro, an exclusive marina where we had a delicious lunch and enjoyed some free time. We spent our free time walking around and observing beautiful yachts, as Porto is a yachting paradise in the Mediterranean.
After leaving Porto we saw another stunning village called Perast with its two little islands. We stopped to visit one of them - Our Lady of the Rocks Island and paid a visit to the church and the museum on it.
If you are looking for a way to get the most out of a day and see absolutely everything in the Bay of Kotor, Kotor Bay Cruise full-day private tour may be the best choice. It definitely was for us.
We were taking many private Montenegro tours during our stay in Kotor, but I must say that 360 Monte Agency definitely runs this business in a very different way!
Our main plan was to book some Kotor shore excursions, but upon arrival to the Old Town, everybody suggested it was much better to see the bay of Boka with taking Kotor boat trips, so we started looking around and very soon we were pulling our hair out with so many options everywhere!
Just before becoming totally desperate, our landlord gave us a leaflet with something that no agency offered - custom made trimaran, 8 hours onboard and more than reasonable price!
This was exactly what we needed, something special that stands out from the mass.
We contacted the office and very quickly everything was agreed and organized.
And just like that, the next morning we were embarking from Kotor port while very polite and relaxed staff on the boat was pouring champagne and sun was rising above huge mountains that were surrounding the bay - it felt like a fairytale from the beginning.
The sea was quite pleasant for swimming even though it was only 10 am, and ink blue water was refreshing both body and mind.
Small villages dating from Venetian times were edging the coast and decorating this magnificent panorama view, and lavish 17th century stone palaces we were starring seemed more like a fiction than reality.
On the other hand, infamous prison-island Mamula was uncovering the dark side of very turbulent history of Montenegro that our tour guide detailly explained.
Leaving the bay and seeing the endless sea horizon was just spectacular!
Short after, swinging on the waves stopped and the place we wanted so badly to see was right there – Blue Cave Kotor!
The boat we were on was too big to enter the cave itself, so we had to swim in, which wasn’t the problem for me, but my wife isn’t such a good swimmer, so the guide gave her life jacket, and went with her carrying water ring for extra safety, so there was no room for panic, these guys are well prepared! Snorkeling gear was also provided, which I totally recommend, as you can see better inside the cave.
Inside was just OH MY HEAVENS!
Breaking sunlight made water glowing, and as you shake your body, the bubbles under seem fluorescent. Water was a bit cooler than in the bay, but super clear so we could see everything!
The only thing I would mind are the other smaller but fully packed boats entering the cave, making noise leaving pollution behind.
I was a bit sad for having to swim out of this blue magic place, but many boats were waiting to bring the tourists, and we got the instructions from the guide to go back.
It was already noon and we were hungry a bit, so the guide took our order for lunch and called restaurant on the phone, which I think was a great move. One hour later we were docking in Porto Montenegro, best marina of the country. The restaurant was nice, fancy as expected, fish was delicious followed with a nice white wine.
After lunch we had some free time to see the town, but we were pretty much in food coma, so we went back to the boat instead.
Only 20 minutes of sailing away, we stopped at Our Lady of the Rocks island, where the tour guide took over our attention with the stories and legends of this holy place talking his way through the artefacts of the church and museum.
Sailing along baroque town of Perast felt like a movie scene, and to close the day, we stopped for another swim, before docking back to the Kotor port.
“How can you ever get used to this beauty?”, I asked the captain while we both looked in the sunset.
He just shrugged his shoulders, clearly not realizing how wonderful this day and this place is.
Yet, somehow, we both felt grateful and happy to be alive.
Okay – this was a challenge. I have planned earlier to go to Montenegro for skiing in winter and I knew that it is super small country, and it is possible to drive from Durmitor’s ski center to the coast in just 3 hours, so it gave me an idea to make this ski-swim challenge in one day!
Stay tuned for this!
First, I needed to organize good Montenegro private tour and find an agency to support and realize my ambition. 360 Monte Travel Agency was popping up everywhere, especially on Trip Advisor, so I took a chance, that later will turn out as an excellent choice! They responded promptly and very easily we made an agreement.
Thank you Marco and Slavco for everything!
So, the plan was to stay at Zabljak for 8 days, and on the last day to pack my stuff, leave my friends, and go skiing very early in the morning. The problem was the opening hours of ski resort, as the cable car starts at 9 am, and that was a bit later then I wanted.
With small hiccups with my check out in the morning, I made it to the slops on time, took the ride up and soon I was at the top, wearing my full ski gear, breathing in this sunny morning and admiring stunning white blanket on top of Savin Kuk.
What a time to be alive!
Sloping down was close to heaven experience and just for a moment I was hesitating to go for another round, but then Slavco called saying we are already running a bit late.
Adrenaline rushed through my veins, so I burst the bubble of imagination and went straight to the minivan. It was already 11am, and in order not to waste time, I had to change to dry clothes in the back of the van, while Slavco took his assignment very seriously and hit the gas!
Montenegro is so beautiful even seen through the car window, just seeing landscape changing with the altitude, especially with Slavco’s stories that follow every village and rock we passed.
Three hours passed in no time, I was totally hypnotized with the view of Boka Bay, sun was breaking in the Adriatic water, and the mountain peaks around looked like we came to Norway. And fool of me thought it couldn’t get better.
Weather at the coast didn’t disappoint, Slavco said I was really lucky to have this semi-sunny day, as in previous days it was raining heavily.
I was happy.
The original plan was to jump and swim as soon as I saw the sea, but it seemed somehow too easy.
Then, I was thinking to book some Kotor Shore Excursion, or any of Kotor Boat Trips advertised, until Marco from the 360 Monte agency didn’t suggest that the best option to complete my adventure is to go to famous Blue Cave Kotor. I took this as a perfect solution, and it was convenient for me that he would organize everything too!
It was already 2 pm, and Slavco had a smile on his face, probably being proud of himself for his admirable driving skills – I must admit, Montenegrins are crazy drivers, but somehow it seems like this guy knew what he was doing, and I felt really safe.
Speed boat was ready for us – and it was only two of us and skipper since Marco arranged a private tour from Kotor. It wasn’t the warmest temperature for speed boat, but we dressed up well, and skipper even gave us local brandy Rakia (super strong when it’s homemade, and this one definitely was) to warm us up, and it did work, just as every time – worming up and lifting up our mood!
Next stop was the superstar of the coast - Blue Cave Montenegro!
I wasn’t sure what got me more, the mountains of Durmitor covered with snow, or this wild merciless limestone peaks rising from the water like walls and ripping the clouds with its height. OH MY!
As soon as we passed Mamula island, the Adriatic horizon appeared, and the sea became a bit rough for the boat. Captain didn’t seem to be upset, so I was pretending to be relaxed too.
All my worries were gone as soon as we entered the Blue Cave – it was more like a portal to the different world, where the sea kisses the rocks in the most romantic way.
“Now or never!”, Slavco sreamed, and the cave echoed.
We were all alone in the cave, since this was definitely the off-season time to do this, and the captain said again that we were really lucky to have this weather in the winter, as normally, this is very risky thing to do.
I striped into my swimming shorts and took a breath and jumped into the freezing fluorescent water.
It was cold, but not unbearable as you might imagine. I didn’t stay for long, just enough to film it on my go pro!
I hopped back on the boat, dried off a bit, and we took the familiar sea route back. I was shaking wrapped in skipper’s blankets all the way, little bit from cold, and much more from the excitement.
Mind is confused, but satisfied and proud. What a day! What a country!
Weather continued to be nice, so we stopped at Porto Montenegro for some nice, well-deserved meal.
I must say, it was a bit funny when the waiters from that fancy restaurant were looking in my wet hair, probably thinking I came from a shower.
It seemed like I woke up in paradise that morning. You know that moment in which everything is just good and your whole being can just exist, without thinking. I believe that's what Boka Bay does to people.
I had a nice breakfast at the hotel when somebody said that first-morning coffee has to be enjoyed in a small place called Letrika, hidden in one of the romantic cobblestone streets of Kotor Old town.
Letrika is the only place in Kotor that serves this kind of coffee. It's ancient charcoal coffee brought by unknown sailors to the town. It was such a special thing to try, just before continuing with the day that it still makes my heart smile.
I am that kind of girl that somehow sees all different shades of water and imagines the precious stones in the shades of what I see. That's why I chose Kotor private tours as a way to explore the fjord and find some inspiration as a jewelry designer, and I saw so much beauty.
I have chosen Kotor private tour as I wanted that day to be slow and relaxed, to feel and experience Boka Bay deeply.
My tour on a custom-made cruise boat began and I got lost in the beauty of Kotor Bay immediately.
Just when I took my notebook, we had our first break for swimming. I was surprised how even on a hot day like that, crystal clear water was almost coldly refreshing.
Swimming surrounded by the breathtaking mountains of the Kotor Bay would have been the most beautiful moment of the day if my private sailor hadn't taken me to my favorite place in the whole wide world.
Now I know that when you wake up like I woke up that morning, a day will be filled with love.
We went around Mamula which is a small island with a fortress that used to be a prison in the past and then... Exploring the unreal is what I remember about our next destination, the mesmerizing Blue cave Kotor.
Do you remember what I told you about the shades? Well, here, I found myself living in my dream. Sunlight, refracted through the sea, is reflected in the interior of this natural cave, producing a magical blue color. A lot of shades of blue.
The Blue cave can be visited only by private boat tours or Kotor shore excursions and it's a spot in Montenegro trip which you should not miss.
I swam a lot in the cave, so after that, we had a lunch break in Porto Montenegro from where we came back to the embrace of beautiful Kotor.
After a whole day on the boat, I slept like a baby and since then I have been working on a collection inspired by the Blue cave in a magical Kotor Bay.
Boka bay as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe was the first place that popped up in my mind when my dear husband asked me to think about our honeymoon destinations. Little did I know that next to the beautiful Old Town of Kotor there will be a small baroque town, Perast, that we’ll be dipping from the boat into the crystal clear Mediterranean sea, and that this magical fjord hides treasure that makes this part of Montenegro even more romantic and beautiful.
Andrew and I were so lucky to spend a week in Boka Bay and to choose Kotor Private Boat Tour as a part of our stay because it was the way to see the place which we didn't know about when we were planning a trip, but it ended up being our favorite and most precious memory.
Kotor Private Boat Tour took us to the Blue Cave, which is the biggest, all-natural cave on the peninsula of Luštica.
It's a natural hall, with 9m high vault, gracefully and enchantingly demonstrating the power and beauty of Mother Earth. There are some places that make you forget where you came from and when our boat entered the Blue cave that's exactly what happened - I felt so safe and mesmerized by the beauty of the world in which we live.
There are two entrances into the cave and our boat went in through the bigger one, discovering another dimension of Montenegrin wild beauty.
During clear and sunny days, the openings of the cave allow the sun's rays to penetrate inside. They bounce off the surface of the sea and, due to reflection, create an indescribable azure blue color on the walls of the hall. The play of the shades inside the cave is followed by the sound made by an echo... making this experience multidimensionally beautiful.
Boat tours are the only way to reach the cave and there are Kotor shore excursions starting every day, but we recommend having a private tour from Kotor, as it is a truly unique experience which made our trip look like the one from the movies. Romantic ones, ones in which life is just so beautiful!
It is possible (and we do recommend) to swim in the cave, which will probably be the most magical swim of your life.
Kotor Boat Tours are taking you to some other stunning places as well, such as Perast town and its cute, small, scenic islands - St. George, which is a natural island, and Our Lady of the Rock that has a special, historic story that we were told by our amazing boat crew. Perast is another place which I would definitely choose as a top romantic destination, not only in Montenegro but globally.
Actually, when I think about it, Blue cave and Perast are my perfect combination. It just happened to be the choice for our romantic holiday, but these places will take your breath away, whoever you are and whatever you expect from your trip.
Our dear Kotor Private Tours crew, thank you for making it happen!
And there it was! Glowing under fresh morning rising sun, dividing light fading sky from ink blue water, emerging under cracked limestone mountain, thousands years old – Old Town of Kotor.
We have just spot the port, slowly approaching with our cruiser all the way to the castle that was dominating the landscape and kidnaping our eyes from anything else around.
Very soon we were at the dock, where among dozens of agog locals sweating in the August heat, waving in rush with names of their guests, was our tour guide, standing calm with easy-to-spot “Mr. Williams and 360 Monte Travel Agency” sign.
This time, luckily, we booked Kotor private tour, as few days earlier, in Dubrovnik, we joined packed bus of tourist, and concluded – it’s just not our thing.
She took us on the journey that gave Kotor very high ranking place in our travel memories.
Passing what looks from the outside like intimidating unconquerable dark walls with very high main Sea Gate, we entered a surprisingly bright and warm atmosphere with smiles on faces all around, including ourselves reflecting them. It felt like we’ve entered straight to a kind hug of the heart and soul of Kotor from frightening armor on the outside.
Stories of our tour guide were only dragging us into this medieval illusion even more, as she told us about many families like Bizanti, Beskuca, Pima - that lived here, while their rising palaces above us were depicturing wealth and reputation required for this “nobility list”.
Suddenly we were squeezed among other tourists in a tiny little street that lead to the next quite wide and spacious square dominated by marvelous in Venetian style - St. Tryphon Cathedral. One of main protectors of the town is buried here since 809 AD, when Venetians brought his holy body to Kotor while recovering from a storm, and as the legend has it, he made new storms every time they tried to get him out of the town, showing he doesn’t want to leave and staying in Kotor ever since.
Sent of freshly cooked fish and mussels, coming from numerous restaurants surrounding, was taking over our senses, but soon our minds went wondering off from food as we entered an actual palace from Grgurina family that is now Maritime Museum of Montenegro.
Great advantage of having a private tour is that you can stop at any item interesting to you and just stare, imagine and feel energy of the space, while the tour guide brings this forgotten parts of history to life.
Music from “Game of Thrones” theme at the St. Lukas square interrupted the story of how the oldest church dating from 1195. actually had two different altars at the same time, and everybody just started staring at the young violinist who was taking over all the tourists’ attention from their tour guides. Clinking coins falling into his hat made his face glowing and red at the same time, while he was trying to minimize his big smile.
You know those places where everything is new, and yet you feel like home?
Yes, those ones.
Our medieval bubble dispersed when we looked at the time! It was just enough to hug our dear host and say goodbye until next time, because there will be one for sure!
We cannot thank enough 360 Monte team for organizing this for us and setting us beyond interesting tour guide, and I would gratefully recommend to try this or other Kotor private tours that they organize, you won’t be disappointed.