Kool Kotor Fortress Hike, Kotor, Montenegro

Distance: 3.25 Miles RT

Elevation Gain: ~919-1K FT

Difficulty: Moderate, depends on your fitness level and the heat—gradual and short, but persistent incline of almost 1k ft in 1.5 miles via stone stairs, concrete, and dirt paths

The names Kotor and Montenegro just sound cool don’t they? I anticipated that this might be one of my favorite stops on my RC Mediterranean cruise and it was.

Kotor is a charming coastal village in the country of Montenegro (translated black mountain). It is located on the Adriatic Sea in the Bay of Kotor and part of the Balkans. Montenegro is bordered by Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Albania and Croatia. The population of Kotor is ~13,510.

The ancient Mediterranean Port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications dating back to the Venetian period. Old town Kotor and its fortress nestled up high in the spectacular limestone cliffs are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Three major earthquakes in the last 500 years (the most recent in 1979) have taken their toll on the fortress, but enough remains of the remains to capture the imagination. One of the coolest things to do in Kotor is to hike up to the Kotor Fortress. Spectacular views of the old town and bay below will captivate you on your journey up and down what some locals refer to as the 1,000 stone step death march.

Return by way of Kotor’s old town to enjoy refreshments at any one of the charming cafes and browse the unique shops.

Kotor is also known for its free-range cats, some obviously living better lives than others.

Notes: The hike is completely exposed and entirely uphill on stairs, concrete, and dirt. Temperatures can be hot in the summer. Fee: ~8 euros, while there’s a back way to hike to the fortress where you can avoid the fee station, it’s nice to contribute to the local economy. (Truth in advertising—unfortunately, you will see trash and graffiti along the way. One would hope that our fees would be enough to pay the teenage “gatekeepers” to keep the grounds clean, but apparently not.

Happy Trails!

Warrior 1 at the Fortress, the cruise ship photobombing in the background