Kotor has dropped an anchor between the gray mountains and the sea, and veiled its life behind the high and wide ramparts. Its bulwarks seem to have been eternally growing rock tendrils along the hill, up to the old fortress that overlooks the town. It is a dramatic town where the present lives in the maze of medieval churches, cathedrals, Venetian palaces and pillars. Kotor is made up of contrasts – the old squares with modern cafes, the sounds of serenade and live music, the echo of the footsteps down the narrow cobblestone alleys and the lazy purr of cats lying under the balconies with wrought iron railings, decorated with petunias. In the evening, the walls of Kotor are as bright as the torches from a pagan ritual. When the time for carnivals comes, the streets become crowded, the torches become one with the fireworks, and all of Kotor transforms into one big spark.
Once a small and quiet coastal town, today, Budva is a metropolis of Montenegrin tourism and one of the loudest and most packed towns at the Montenegrin coast during the summer. Its life began on the headland two and a half millennia ago and has poured out of the ramparts towards luxurious yachts, new buildings, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs where amazing fun awaits. Budva has its own Hawaii – an island opposite the city with beautiful beaches, ice cold refreshments and seafood specialties.
In the evening, on the promenade along the beach you will be overwhelmed by the loud music that comes from the cafes, the laughter and screams of children from nearby amusement parks, the scent of the sea mixed with the aroma of delicious barbeque, and beams of light from the disco that stroll through the sky. Budva is a big light show.
Halfway between the sea and the mountains lays the Skadar Lake, the bird kingdom and the only pelican habitat in the south of Europe. White great egrets, cormorants and various species of ducks can be seen here. The Montenegrin portion of the lake, which partly belongs to Albania, has been declared a national park. In the summer, the lake is covered by floral embroidery made of water lilies and is torn only where the boats have passed through. Serene and deep, the Skadar Lake is radiant in its docility and is a paradise for nature lovers, open-air activities and a good snack with a sip of wine.
The most photogenic place on the Montenegrin coast is Sveti Stefan, a fortified fishing town on a small island, connected to the mainland by a narrow passage that is leaning on pink pebbles at the shore. The island has been turned into a luxury five-star hotel and is not available to the majority of tourists. However, anyone who passes by will reach for the camera to take pictures of this eye-catching photo-model and trademark of Montenegrin tourism.
Perast is a small town that features one street just near the sea. Perast’s houses resemble the well-dressed members of a choir performing on a miniature scene. They stand and sing their ode to the beautiful bay and the islands in front of them, while being cautiously supervised by the leader of the choir – the Church of St. Nicholas. Although small, Perast has 16 churches and the spirit of Venice in it.