Emerald Princess on a Mediterranean cruise
Posted May 24, 2012
Summertimes brings warm weather and exciting street festivals to the shores of Kotor, Montenegro, and passengers on Mediterranean cruises will have several hours to explore the medieval ruins, centuries-old palaces and eerie marshlands. Known for its nightlife, Kotor's seaside streets come alive once the sun sets as pubs, taverns and cafes fill up with locals enjoying an evening with friends and family.
Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kotor is located along Montenegro's most beautiful bay and because of its budding young scene, has seamlessly evolved from a historic district to a hotspot for renowned chefs and chic art galleries and boutique stores.
Stroll through the serene marshlands of Lake Skadar National Park
Located just a few miles from the Adriatic Sea, Lake Skadar National Park is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges and is one of the last freshwater reserves in the country. The nature reserve is famous among locals for its wide variety of flora and fauna that are rarely found in Europe. Saddling both Albania and Montenegro, Skadar is the home to hundreds of varieties of birds - 90 percent of which are migratory. On a European shore excursion, passengers will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take photos of endangered species, including the curly pelican, which nests along the northern end of the lake during the summer.
Surrounding the lake are several historical monuments, churches, monasteries and fortresses that date back nearly 1,000 years.
Breathe in the fresh sea air at Boka Kotorska Bay
The marshlands of Lake Skadar National Park are only a taste of the incredible scenery throughout Montenegro, and at Boka Kotorska Bay, cruise passengers will be dazzled at the breathtaking views. Surrounded by dramatic high cliffs, the deep blue waters of the bay have inspired painters, poets and scientists for centuries. This serene inlet sees a fair amount of rain during the fall and winter months, but after the clouds part, the hills come alive with bright greens, pinks and purples as flowers burst in full bloom.
Four separate towns are strung along the bay like glimmering pearls, each boasting their own unique history, art and culture. Formerly a major crossroad between Montenegro and Venice, Italy, during the Byzantine Empire, the bay acted as a fortress during times of war centuries ago.
After taking in the sights, Princess passengers will climb aboard a small cruiser to Our Lady of the Rocks Island, where they can take a pleasant walk to the Gospa Od Skrpjela Baroque church. According to ancient legend, a seaman created the island after swearing an oath that every sailor would henceforth lay a rock in Boka Kotorska Bay until the islet emerged from the depths of the sea.
Enjoy the coastal vistas at Njegusi
Mediterranean cruise passengers have the option of taking a tour of Njegusi, and after serpentining along narrow streets leading up toward the hillside village, visitors will be treated to stunning views of the Montenegrin coastline. Petar Petrovic-Njegos, considered the most important leader in Montenegrin history, was born in this charming and quaint village. Boasting red roof farmhouses and rolling green hills, Njegusi lends itself to Princess cruise passengers who want to take unforgettable panoramic photos.
Get a taste for Montenegrin cuisine in Lastva
After an exhilarating day touring the shores of Montenegro, Mediterranean cruise passengers will be taken to Lastva, which is perched just above Kotor. Famous for its incredible olive oil, this small village produces not only olive oil, but also mouth-watering smoked meats. Accompanied with wine, these small bites are a perfect pick-me-up before visitors head back to their Princess cruise ship.