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Travel Report - Montenegro: Bay of Kotor Cruise

Written by  Jun 13, 2016

It is one of the natural wonders of the world; the Bay of Kotor will leave you scratching your head at its sheer beauty, truly unreal. So when the chance to cruise on the Bay of Kotor appeared I grabbed it with both hands. Montenegro is on the doorstep of Dubrovnik, a short drive and you are in the wilds of Montenegro, with its soaring mountains and long sandy beaches. The Montenegro: Bay of Kotor Cruise sounded very civilised.

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Our tour with Croatia Excursions started in the charming seaside town of Herceg Novi where we boarded a speed boat; this was going to be a feature of the full-day tour, plenty of time of the Adriatic. “It is such a clean sea, and calm, how lovely to skim across the waves,” commented a couple from Sunderland to me. They were right, there is no better summer feeling than being on the Adriatic when the sun is shining, and we were going to have a great day at sea.

“We are on our way to the Blue Grotto,” the guide informed me. I felt a little embarrassed; I have lived in the region for eighteen years and never heard of this Blue Grotto. “You will see, it is amazing,” he added. A Blue Grotto in the middle of the Montenegro Adriatic, I was intrigued.

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A small opening in a cliff top, just, and I mean just, high enough for us to squeeze under in our speedboat. We entered what was a large concert-hall like cavern, echoing high stone ceiling and a brilliant turquoise sea. “Now if you want you can go for a swim,” announced the friendly guide. He didn’t have to ask twice. In seconds half of my group was already diving into the warm sea. This wasn’t the only gem of nature we were going to see in Montenegro.

Back onto the speedboats and to our mid-Adriatic rendezvous. Waiting for us on the horizon was a long ship; even from a distance it looked impressive. We hopped onto the excursion boat “Le Couche D’Eau,” with its restaurant, bar, sun terrace; this was going to be our comfortable home for the trip into the bay of Kotor. Lunch was served, very elegant sipping local wine and traditional cuisine as the ship slipped through the Adriatic. We were basically sightseeing and enjoying lunch at the same time.

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Into the bay of Kotor, a World Heritage Site since 1979, and I could hear the gasps of awe as the rest of the group saw this natural miracle for the first time. “I have never seen anything like this in my life, these are the kinds of views that you only see on postcards,” added my lunch partners from Belgium. They weren’t wrong; impressive is just too short a word. He glided onto the manmade island “Our Lady of the Rocks,” a fascinating island with a complicated and interesting history. According to legend, the islet was made over the centuries by local seamen who kept an ancient oath after finding the icon of the Virgin Mary on the rock in the sea in 1452. A brief tour of the church on the island with its collection of icons, paintings and silver works and we were all back on Le Couche D’Eau.

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“Culture, history and remarkable natural scenes, this small country is loaded down with options,” added the couple from Sunderland. All you could hear when the ship sailed towards Kotor was the sound of cameras clicking. The group, well to be honest me included, were filling their holiday albums ten times over.

Docking up in front of Kotor, a historic walled city at the end of the bay and a great place to end our tour, a very well organized tour it has to be said. Walking around the narrow cobbled streets of Kotor we were all left with the feeling that this full-day trip was both informative and satisfying.

By Mark Thomas

The Montenegro: Bay of Kotor cruise is a full-day excursion offered by the Gulliver Travel agency. For more information, including prices, dates and how to book, please visit the Gulliver Travel website here.

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