Wrapping up Montenegro and heading South, June, 2023
We only had a few more weeks in Montenegro before heading South to Greece, and there were still quite a few places we hadn’t seen yet. The weather was starting to warm so it was time to go exploring.
Still inside the Bay of Kotor are the historic towns of Perast is a tourist destination known for its meandering waterfront as well as its proximity to Our Lady Of The Rock, a church built on a man made island of rocks. The lesser visited Risan is known for its ornate cobblestone lanes and the site of a Roman villa whose spectacular mosaic floors remain in situ to this day.
Just outside the Bay of Kotor, facing out to the Adriatic, is a great little swimming beach called Plavi Horizonti. This horseshoe shaped bay has crystal clear water and is just big enough to fit one boat. We spent several days here swimming, paddle boarding and walking along its trails.
Further south along the Adriatic coast is the beach resort town of Budva. Although crowded with jetski’s, para sailing boats and tourists in general, the town does offer a very cute little fortified old town. Entry is free, however for some strange reason, it always seemed quiet in there. Also within close vicinity of Budva is the picturesque island of Sveti Stefan, which is now unfortunately a private resort and not accessible to the public.
We also spent a few days in Bar, the southernmost port of Montenegro. Bar felt less of a tourist town and more lived in. More like the real Montenegro. There was a good selection of shops (including what must be the smallest Ikea in the world) so we were able to stock up on food and all the hardware we could possibly need. By far though, the highlight of Bar is that it is the start of the famous Bar to Belgrade (Serbia) train line. Touted as one of the most picturesque train routes in the world (in the top 3 for Europe), the line runs along giant gorges, high up in the towering hills of Montenegro before slowly descending down towards Belgrade once over the border. The full trip is 476 km and takes 11 hours. It goes through 254 tunnels and over 435 bridges, Including the tallest viaduct in Europe (3rd tallest in the world). To avoid crossing borders and the need for passports, we decided to only go as far as the border and come back on the same train. A total of 8 hours travel (half of which was in our own private compartment). All of this for €10.20 each. However It’s important to note that like most of Montenegro, the train is also stuck in the 1970’s. We had read that it was BYO lunch, water and even toilet paper. In fact we were warned to stay well away from the toilets if at all possible. But wow what a trip. One night while anchored in Bar we heard a local Soccer match. Ian put the drone up for a look just as they kicked a goal!
Our first guests for the season were arriving soon, so we sailed back to Tivat. Breanna, a family friend stayed for a few days and then shortly after Jeremy joined us to see Montenegro and to help with the 30 hour sail down to Corfu, Greece. On one particular morning, we had a pod of dolphins join us in our anchorage. A lovely farewell from Tiavt.