Montenegro – Up & Down Kotor Bay

Entrance to Kotor Bay from the Adriatic with Mamula Island on the left

There can’t be many places as beautiful as Kotor Bay. One sunny summer morning we hired a boat for the day and sailed from Krašići to the top of the bay, stopping to swim in the Blue Cave, explore old Yugoslav navy submarine tunnels and eat a slow lunch at a lovely, isolated cafe in a secluded bay…




The boat came from Kotor. The tall, bearded captain who worked at the Kotor tourist office, spoke good English. He gave a brief introduction to Kotor Bay and its delights, offered us beer and life jackets (politely declined) and steered the boat from the pier in Krašići and sped up the bay.

The first stop was the lazy fishing village of Rose, a cluster of stone houses and eateries gazing at Herceg Novi across the sparkling waters of the bay. We moored the boat and walked up the steps to Forte Rose Hotel for cakes and coffee in a shady terrace overlooking the bay.

Herceg Novi across the bay from Forte Rose Hotel

Mamula Island with its circular fortress dominates the entrance to Kotor Bay from the Adriatic. The fortress was built by the Austro-Hungarian general Lazar Mamula in 1853. Even though it had a significant strategic importance in the defence of Boka Bay as Kotor Bay is sometimes called, the fortress served mainly as a prison.

We sped past Mamula Island into the Adriatic.

The Blue Cave is about 6 nautical miles from Herceg Novi, on the Luštica peninsula. At the bottom of a 100 metre cliff, the natural cave with a nine metre ceiling has two entrances. The crystal clear and warm water, teeming with fish, glistens blue in the sunlight that penetrates the cave and makes it an absolute joy to swim in.

We had the cafe in the little cove to ourselves. We lazed on the pebbly beach, drank crisp Sauvignon and ate mussels and clams for lunch.

On the beach

The Cafe


Away from the Cafe…

Close to the village of Rose, there are three submarine tunnels and a small naval base built by the Yugoslav Navy during the second world war and now abandoned. One tunnel is out towards the open Adriatic near Mamula Island and two are towards the interior of the bay. The dark tunnels have dead ends but it is possible to swim into them or take a boat in. We explored them by boat.

Naval base

Submarine tunnel

Submarine tunnel

We made several more stops to jump off the boat in to the sparkling blue water to swim and cool off. Nobody was in a hurry to go home and it was late when we returned to Krašići. It was a tremendous day’s sailing and adventure and the Bay of Kotor lived up to all expectations.




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