Perast is one of the most beautiful little places in Boka Bay, located just a few kilometres from Kotor. It looks like a piece of Venice that has floated down the Adriatic. This tiny town boasts 16 churches and 17 formerly grand palazzos. Perast’s most famous landmarks are actually right in the middle of the waters- two picturesque islands with quite the story behind them.
Throughout history, many have struggled to conquer this place (Byzantine Empire, Venetian and Hungarian, French, Austrian …). Each has left a significant mark on this marvelous, beautiful little place.
Our Lady of the Rocks (Gospa od Škrpjela) sits on a man-made island. The story begins on July 22, 1452: two sailors, returning to Perast from a difficult voyage, discovered an icon of the Madonna and Child resting on a rock in a shallow part of the Bay. Considering the find a miracle, they vowed to build a church on the spot. The sailors dropped stones around the spot where the icon was found, slowly creating an islet and building a small chapel. It soon became a tradition for sailors to drop stones in the water around the chapel before a voyage, to contribute to the strength of its foundations and to ask the Virgin Mother to bring them safely home. The tradition of dropping stones at the site remains alive today and forms an integral part of one of Europe’s oldest sailing regattas: the Fašinada. At sunset on July 22, countless local boats are decorated with garlands and sail out into the Bay to drop a stone around the island.
Island of Saint George is other islet off the coast of Perast in Bay of Kotor. Unlike Our Lady of the Rocks, it is a natural island. The island contains Saint George Benedictine monastery from the 12th century and the old graveyard for the old nobility from Perast and further from the whole Bay of Kotor.
Many small restarurants on the Perast coast will offer you great fish specialties. Often called as the quietest town in the Bay, Perast is definitely something special. And as a UNESCO World heritage site, it is a must-visit!
Their doors are open for all the people of good will.