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Cruising Article – 2011-06-14

Explore the Montenegrin countryside from the city of Kotor

European cruise destinations

The nation of Montenegro is one of Europe's newest independent countries, but the city of Kotor is one of its oldest and most interesting destinations. When you visit the Montenegrin town as part of a European cruise, you'll be amazed by its sense of history and stunning natural vistas.

Situated at the head of Boka Bay, Kotor is one of the most important settlements along the largest fjord in Southern Europe. This location is famous for its towering limestone cliffs, and the city's dramatic landscape makes it a top destination for those who want to appreciate the beauty of the Mediterranean.

Kotor is home to a wide range of medieval structures that give you a glimpse into the styles of the 12th century, including many houses and churches as well as narrow winding streets. One of the most prominent attractions is St. Tryphon Cathedral, which was completed in 1166. The city is also home to the Maritime Museum, a facility that provides you with an understanding of Kotor's rich and extensive naval history.

In addition to being a top shore excursion destination in and of itself, this coastal city serves as a gateway to many other attractions scattered throughout the Montenegrin countryside. One top destination is Cetinje, which once served as the capital of Montenegro. Founded in 1482 at the base of the Lovcen Mountains, this town is now home to the National Museum. This attraction is housed in a former royal palace, allowing you to see how local kings lived in the 19th century.

Perhaps the most historic town in the area is Budva. Dating back more than 2,500 years, this hamlet is one of the oldest settlements on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. With its narrow streets, medieval structures and stone towers, this destination truly allows you to step back in time.

Two towns near Kotor give you amazing panoramic views of the nearby sea. Njegusi is located high in the mountains and is famous as the birthplace of Montenegrin leader Peter Petrovic-Njegos, while Lastva is considered a top destination for its delicious olive oil and interesting smoke houses.

Perast, a city that had its heyday as a shipping center in the 1700s, is thought to be Montenegro's best-kept Baroque city, giving you insight into how locals must have lived centuries ago.