Kotor Montenegro – Cruise Port of Call

Nestled in the limestone cliffs of Mount Lovćen on the beautiful Adriatic Coast, Kotor Montenegro.

Kotorbeaches, shopping, cruise port, cathedral and the best preserved Medieval town in the Adriatic!

We arrived in the cruise port town of Kotor via a gorgeous coastal drive from Dubrovnik, Croatia. The border crossing was a little uncomfortable – read more about the Croatia Montenegro border crossing at the end of this blog.

The waterfront was a perfect place to go for a walk and stretch our legs. Beautiful vistas and friendly people were already preparing for the cruise ship arrival.  After awhile, we headed through the thick stone walls into the old town.

Like most old towns, enchanting architecture, lots of shops, restaurants and ice cream. Beware of the many gypsy beggars and make sure your pocketbooks are secure.

The town is not big, so it is an easy walk – even in the heat.

Cruise Ship Cruiser Info:
For those of you who are lucky enough to be cruising into Kotor, this is a tender port.
How to:
1. Exit the tender area and go left across the little bridge to the park. Walk to the waterfront for tours. Some available tours include the Blue Cave, Kayaking, Canyoning, Budva, Jaz Beach, St. Stefan Island (Sveti Stefan) and more.
2. Exit and go right to the Old Town
3. Exit and go left to get to the swimming / beach area.

All of the above options are within walking distance.

Border Crossing Info:
Huge line up at the border. We wait 45 minutes on the border before we are finally stamped out of Croatia.
Then we are in a shorter line to be stamped into Montenegro. The customs police are very short fused and when they see our passport, ask for ownership. Then they ask for our green card. We have no idea what they are talking about and they are getting angrier. Finally he calms down and tells us it can be BOUGHT at the little shop in FRONT of us, to park and get it – he kept our passports, but he had also calmed down when he realized our naive innocence. I am not sure how we were supposed to have this green card when we arrived, if we were not able to buy it before passing through customs. Anyway, it is proof of international insurance, we buy the GREEN paper (which is white) for €15 without complication, present it to him and move on.

Zagreb Croatia for Beginners

This capital city to Croatia offered us a rude awakening and some wonderful food!  Next stop, Zagreb.

It is a another sunny and hot Thursday and the temperatures are hovering around 38 degrees celsius.  Our last stop was Keszthely, Lake Balaton, Hungary and now, a short 75 km later we arrive at the Croatian border; it is 11:11 am.

We were pulled out at the border, assumedly because I am Canadian; within a painless 5 minutes of some questions and a passport check, they let us go again. A short distance down the road we had to take a toll ticket for highway use, which will be paid when exiting the road.  The final cost for the toll was €6.41.

By 12:30 pm we already arrived at our prebooked apartment. We phoned the guy who was listed as the contact, and then the problems started.  If you want to read about where NOT to stay, read my review.

Cut to downtown Zagreb. We were desperately trying to find a place to park, but could not understand the system, largely because everything was in Croatian. A nice guy sees us trying to figure it out and immediately stepped in to help. So nice when you realize there are still good people out there!  Basically, different colored parking zones indicate whether you can park as well as indicating various price levels.  You find a ticket machine, buy your amount of time and place it in the windshield.  Ticket machines are sometimes hiding ?.

We immediately set about finding a place to try some traditional Croatian food.  Almost immediately we stumbled on Gostionica Restoran Purger – you can read my review by clicking the name.  After lunch, we went to do some sightseeing.

Sights of interest / Must see in Zagreb:
– Republic of Croatia / Marshal Tito Square
–  Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography
– Museum of Arts and Crafts
– National Theater
– Roosevelt Square
– Mimara Art Museum

Now I will venture to say, we probably missed a lot of great sights, and our time was far too short.  In above list is what we managed to fit in before hurrying our way out of the city.

3 pm, full bellies, once again in the car, exiting friendly Zagreb, destination Plivitza / Plitviče Lakes National Park. We have possibly spoke with the one and only asshole in Zagreb when we tried to get check in to our pre-booked apartment – thank goodness we met so many nice people.

Back on the highway, we pull another toll ticket. which costs us 73 kunas / €9.85 exiting the highway.  What are we learning?  Highway tolls add up very quickly.

After almost 2 hours of driving, we arrived at our accomodation for the night, Guesthouse Samolov, just 30 minutes drive from Plitvice / Plivitza.

Tomorrow, Plitviče Lakes National Park!!!