Detailed Guide to Perast Montenegro, Stunning Adriatic Town

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Looking for probably the most lovely cities on the Adriatic Sea? Welcome to Perast Montenegro. This small city on the Bay of Kotor is likely one of the finest locations to go to on this mountainous nation.

Most individuals who go to Montenegro base themselves in additional well-liked Kotor, the city 20 minutes away that attracts the lion’s share of Montenegrin tourism. In reality, it was Kotor that made me first fall in love with Montenegro 11 years in the past.

But for my newest go to to Montenegro, I wished one thing totally different — I made a decision to base in Perast, with a inhabitants of 300 residents. My husband and I spent 4 nights right here, celebrated my thirty ninth birthday, and I found that 4 days in a really small city isn’t overkill. Not when it’s as lovely as this.

Let me present you what makes Perast an idyllic place to go to.

(Planning a visit to Montenegro? Be positive to take a look at my Montenegro Travel Guide and checklist of the 30 Best Things to Do in Montenegro!)

This publish was revealed in September 2023.

A view of Perast, a small town of small buildings with orange roofs, one bell tower sticking up, set on a peaceful calm bay and surrounded by mountains.
The final view of Perast.

Things to Do in Perast Montenegro

First off — will you be staying in a single day in Perast, or visiting Perast from one other city like Kotor? If you’re staying in Perast, you may have a whole lot of time to discover the place.

But if you happen to’re visiting from one other city, I encourage you to go to independently and spend greater than the everyday one to 2 hours in Perast. There are so many cool issues to do in Perast, and it will be a waste to return all the way in which right here simply to go away an hour later.

See under for info on easy methods to get to Perast. Whatever you resolve, give your self not less than half a day to take pleasure in this place.

Here are among the finest issues to do in Perast Montenegro:

The old town of Perast, with lots of stone buildings, trees squeezed between them, and boats in the water.
There are SO many good angles for photographic Perast!

Stroll Perast’s waterfront from finish to finish

Perast Montenegro is a tiny city wedged in between the primary highway and the Bay of Kotor. The complete city is a couple of 1.5 km stroll from finish to finish and will take you round 20 minutes if in case you have an honest tempo and don’t cease — which suggests it may take you an hour or longer if you happen to cease for a drink, for an ice cream, for a photograph shoot.

Along the way in which you’ll go palaces, church buildings, tiny outlets and visitor homes, and another luxurious resort that has taken over the plaza on the town.

Some palaces of observe embrace Smekja Palace, which was residence to the well-known seafaring Smekja household and nonetheless bears its coat of arms on the edifice; and Bujović Palace, which is residence to the Museum of Perast (extra on that under).

As far as church buildings go, don’t miss the Church of St. Nicholas (St. Nikola Church), a Catholic church residence to the well-known bell tower of Perast. You can discover the small chapel downstairs and climb to the highest of the tower for 1 EUR ($1 USD) — there’s a good looking view from up there.

Another church price photographing (however not going inside) is the Church of St. John the Baptist, which is closed to guests however is a fairly little constructing, sandwiched between two taller ones.

Perast is likely one of the most photogenic small cities I’ve ever visited — so preserve turning round each couple of minutes to be sure to don’t miss a good looking angle you didn’t know existed. And don’t assume it’s simply fairly on a sunny day! Some of my favourite Perast images on this publish have been the day we had a morning thunderstorm.

A small concrete island with a chapel built on it, surrounded by boats.
Our Lady of the Rocks Church, with the island of St. George within the background.

Visit Our Lady of the Rocks

There are two tiny islands within the Bay of Kotor, every topped with a chapel, simply off the shore from Perast. One is known as Gospa od Škrpjela (Our Lady of the Rocks); the opposite is Sveti Đorđe (St. George). While St. George is off-limits to guests, boats from Perast go to Our Lady of the Rocks all day.

Our Lady of the Rocks is the one synthetic island within the Adriatic Sea, and legend has it that native fishermen discovered a picture of the Madonna and youngster right here, and determined to maintain returning to drop rocks till the island was created.

Today, guests sail out to the island to go to the chapel. The chapel is roofed with 68 work and frescoes by Perast artist Tripo Kolkoja.

To get to Our Lady of the Rocks, merely head right down to the waterfront and take one of many excursions, which price about 5 EUR ($5 USD) return. If you’re driving to Perast, a number of of the parking heaps offer you free parking if you happen to purchase one of many excursions; you could find out particulars from their parking attendants. (You may guide a non-public water taxi for about 10 EUR, or $11 USD.)

From Perast, you may have the selection of simply visiting Our Lady of the Rocks, or happening an extended boat tour that features the Blue Cave (together with swimming!) and a go to to the submarine tunnel.

If visiting from Kotor, this boat tour features a quick journey to Perast, Our Lady of the Rocks, the Blue Cave, and the submarine tunnel.

If you occur to be in Perast on July 22, Favižana is a vacation when locals throw rocks into the ocean at sundown, identical to the fishermen of legend.

A metal pole on the edge of a concrete platform leading into the bright green-teal-blue Bay of Kotor, jagged green mountains in the distance.
Morning swims don’t get extra refreshing than this.

Swim at Perast Beach

One of my favourite issues to do in Perast was get up and head straight to the seaside for a swim within the clear teal water. With the mountains of the Bay of Kotor rising up round me, this may need been essentially the most lovely place I had EVER gone for a swim.

Keep in thoughts that the phrase “beach” is a little bit of a misnomer right here. In Perast, as in many of the Bay of Kotor, seashores are cement blocks perched on the sting of the water. There aren’t any “real” sandy seashores in Perast.

(I noticed a whole lot of sources on-line declare there was one tiny “beach” in Perast, however I stored strolling the city from finish to finish and couldn’t discover something aside from a small pile of stones on the japanese fringe of city. That may be Plaža Velemira kraj Perasta; truthfully, the rocks have been too massive to take a seat on comfortably, and it was barely large enough for 2 individuals.)

But there’s nothing fallacious with having fun with what you may have! Head to “Perast Beach” (marked on Google Maps) close to the japanese fringe of city, seize a spot beneath some shady pine bushes, and climb the steps into the water. You’ll find it irresistible.

A menu of an oyster and mussels restaurant held over the clear green waters of the Bay of Kotor.
Oysters and mussels, contemporary from the ocean!

Have Oysters and Mussels on Boka Bay

As you drive across the Bay of Kotor, you’ll see numerous seafood farms, some with little orange and white markers set out in neat rows on the brilliant turquoise water. Many of those farms have little eating places connected

I spent my birthday lunch in Perast at Pescatore Oysters and Mussels Farm, which is a couple of 10-minute stroll previous the western fringe of Perast and is marked as “oysters mussels farm” on Google Maps. It’s a ramshackle little constructing perched proper on the sting of the bay.

It’s a easy restaurant, with only some meals and beverage decisions — however you’ll be able to’t beat this degree of freshness! There’s nothing like seeing your lunch be pulled from the ocean.

Inside the Perast Museum, an open book with writing in it on a shiny wooden table.
Original diaries are a part of the Perast Museum.

Visit the Perast Museum

The Perast Museum (Muzej Grada Perasta) is a perfect alternative for a wet day in Perast — or when the solar is attending to be a bit a lot. This museum is situated in what was as soon as Bujović Palace, on the western aspect of Perast, proper on the Strada.

There is a small and quirky assortment right here, that includes native work, mannequin ships, vintage maps, and paperwork associated to Perast’s maritime historical past.

It’s price stepping out on the balcony to get a good looking view of Perast, full with the bell tower, the palaces, and the encompassing mountains.

A hearty plate of charcuterie, cheeses, nuts, and grapes, next to two glasses of rose wine.
Is there something higher than wine, cheese, and charcuterie?

Try Montenegrin Wine and Food at Red & White Wine Bar

On the western fringe of Perast, near the Pirate Bar, you’ll discover a bit place known as Red & White Wine Bar. It doesn’t look that fancy on the surface — however inside you’ll be having top-of-the-line culinary experiences in Perast!

Montenegro has the proper surroundings for wines — Mediterranean local weather, numerous mountains, respectable sunshine — however producers listed below are so small that they’ll’t realistically export a lot. There’s no higher place to pattern the products than proper right here in Montenegro.

Red & White Wine Bar gives numerous totally different wines by the glass — Montenegrin, Balkan, and from places past. Additionally, they’ve a deli and may put collectively a pleasant Montenegrin charcuterie platter custom-made to your liking.

There is a smoked cheese I had right here that I’m nonetheless attempting to get out of my head. I want we had gone 3 times!

A group of your people sitting at an outdoor table at a bar, several people swimming in the water behind them.
Perast is aware of easy methods to get together on the Pirate Bar!

Spend a day at Pirate Bar

By now, you’re pondering that Perast seems like a quiet, low-key place. That could also be true — however on the western fringe of the city, the get together rocks all day. Welcome to Pirate Bar, matey!

This seaside bar (once more, right here a “beach” means wood or concrete blocks set on the water) options music, cocktails, and swimming in Boka Bay. It’s the proper place to sit back for the day, and it’s open from 8:00 AM till 9:00 PM (although I don’t know anybody who has made it via a 13-hour stint there!).

You can drop into the bar, or reserve a desk or day mattress with an umbrella. To reserve one, name the bar or go see them in particular person. Be positive to specify what you need — not all tables have shade.

I extremely suggest reserving a desk or day mattress as removed from the bar stage as potential. One day there was a band performing they usually have been SO LOUD, Charlie’s iPhone stored warning him of audio hazard and we stored swimming distant to have some peace! (But for what it’s price, there was solely a reside band in the future out of 4.)

Perast has the perfect sunsets.

Dine on the waterfront at sundown

Most of Perast’s eating places are located proper on the water, or on the strada dealing with the water, for incredible views at sundown. I like to recommend making reservations upfront if visiting throughout July or August.

Here are a number of nice eating places in Perast, Montenegro:

Konoba Skolji — This was my favourite restaurant in Perast. They make fantastic seafood pastas and risottos.

Palace Jelena — This resort encompasses a restaurant with a superb breakfast, in addition to some hard-to-find worldwide decisions.

Bocalibre — If you’re in a pizza temper, this place dishes up higher pizza than you often get within the Balkans. It’s not QUITE Neapolitan-style, but it surely’s shut.

Restaurant Armonia — We loved some tasty fried calamari right here, overlooking the ocean.

And if you happen to’re up for one thing candy, Moritz has some uncommon ice cream flavors, together with lemon charcoal. (For one thing a bit extra lowbrow, we discovered Mars Bar ice lotions in a number of of the small grocery outlets!)

A small round Perast Cake topped with shaved almonds and set on a plate with a fork.
You should attempt the particular dessert of Perast!

Try a Peraška Torta

If there’s anybody meals it is best to attempt in Perast, it’s the Peraška Torta — the normal Perast cake. This cake is particular to the Boka Bay area, and it dates again to the seventeenth century.

The cake consists of a conventional shell crammed with almonds, butter, eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and liquor (typically rum or cherry liqueur).

The good ending to a meal in entrance of the sundown! I had mine at Palace Jelena.

A boat and people swimming in the bright blue water in a cave.
Inside the Blue Cave in Montenegro, by way of Mike_O on Shutterstock.

Visit the Blue Cave

The Blue Cave is a pure surprise situated not too removed from Perast. At sure occasions of day, this cave lights up with brilliantly blue gentle and makes for excellent images.

Boat excursions to the Blue Cave are a preferred exercise within the Bay of Kotor, they usually often embrace a swim cease, a go to to a close-by submarine tunnel, and Our Lady of the Rocks.

Keep in thoughts that you just won’t have the ability to go into the Blue Cave if it’s too windy. Unfortunately, it was too windy on the day of my journey; alas, I’ll reserve it for one more time.

If you wish to be part of a ship journey to the Blue Cave from Perast, merely go right down to the waterfront; there are many tour boats in search of passengers. If you’re wanting to try this journey from Kotor, you’ll be able to guide it right here.

Men in traditional red and black satin gladiator outfits fighting with swords on a square in Perast.
Shooting the Kokot competition in Perast, by way of Elena11 on Shutterstock.

Attend a Perast Festival

If you handle to time your journey to Perast throughout one of many city’s annual festivals, you’re in for lots of enjoyable! Here are some festivals to remember when planning your journey:

May 1: Adornment of Mage. In this competition welcoming the summer season season, Perast locals arrange a tree on the primary sq. at 7:00 AM and adorn it with bottles of wine and Comorans bread earlier than marching collectively down the road.

May 15: Shooting the Kokot (rooster). This competition celebrates victory over the Turks by putting a rooster on a bit of wooden 300 meters from shore; males compete to shoot it. This is, understandably, a controversial occasion and there’s a motion by animal rights activists to ban it sooner or later.

Last week of June: Perast Music Festival. This occasion options three nights of conventional folks singing performances. Music teams from everywhere in the Balkans attend.

July 22: Fašinada. Perast locals fill their small wood boats with stones and set off to Our Lady of the Rocks. After circling the island, they throw their stones into the water, simply as fishermen did centuries in the past.

Last week of July: Forteca International Film Festival. This competition options free screenings of movies on St. Nikola Square. I used to be right here for the tail finish of this competition in 2023, although I didn’t watch any of the screenings, and it was nice and low-key.

A detailed mosaic with the Roman God Nymphos lounging seductively in a robe.
Risan’s notorious mosaics, by way of Shutterstock.

Visit Risan’s Mosaics

The city of Risan is simply down the road from Perast. It isn’t as fairly and polished as Perast, nor as busy as Kotor, however Risan has one thing particular: historic mosaics which were superbly preserved to this present day.

The city of Risan was as soon as residence to a villa urbana, a kind of city villa that was frequent throughout the Roman Empire. It was constructed within the second century, when Risan was a city known as Rhisinium and was a part of the Roman province Illyricum. The villa fell into damage, however was “rediscovered” in 1930 and has been a vacationer attraction in Montenegro since.

There are so many alternative sorts of mosaics in Risan, most of them patterned in geometric formations. There’s additionally a enjoyable, colourful mosaic of Hypnos, the god of sleep.

To get to Risan, you’ll be able to take the Blue Line Bus, or take the hop-on-hop-off bus that circles between Kotor, Perast, and Risan. Taxis are an alternative choice, and if you happen to’d reasonably get there by yourself two toes, it’s a 50-minute stroll from the western fringe of city.

Orange roofs of Kotor against a gray-green mountain backdrop at dawn.
Kotor is undoubtedly a gem of Montenegro.

Visit Kotor

And lastly, if you happen to’re basing in Perast on your time on the Bay of Kotor, you completely should go to the city of Kotor as effectively. Kotor is the place that made me fall in love with Montenegro — it’s an impeccable walled metropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site two occasions over, and the gateway to numerous enjoyable actions in Montenegro.

My absolute favourite exercise in Kotor is climbing to St. John’s Fortress, excessive above town, the place you’ll have spectacular views. I like to recommend going as early as potential within the morning for the perfect expertise (not crowded, not too sizzling, higher gentle for fjord images, attractive colours).

You may wander via the outdated metropolis, go to the Kotor Cats Museum, store for souvenirs, or simply sit in an outside cafe and benefit from the surroundings.

To get to Kotor, you’ll be able to take the Blue Line Bus, or take the hop-on-hop-off bus that circles between Kotor, Perast, and Risan. Taxis are an alternative choice.

The old town of Perast on a rainy, cloudy day, with overcast skies and boats on the gray water.
Perast is much more lovely after rain.

How a lot time to spend in Perast Montenegro

How a lot time do you really need in Perast? Most individuals solely come to Perast briefly, visiting from Kotor to take the boat journey to Our Lady of the Rocks. If you guide a boat journey from Kotor to Perast, it can solely offer you scant time to see the city.

If you solely have time for a day journey to Perast, give your self a pleasant, juicy afternoon, or maybe even keep till night. Take the time to do many of the issues on this checklist.

On my most up-to-date journey to Montenegro, I stayed in Perast for 4 nights. And it was completely fantastic, and I didn’t get bored. That stated, I had already explored Kotor extensively on previous journeys and didn’t really feel the necessity to return this time.

Overall, I feel spending not less than one evening in Perast can be a beautiful method to spend your time in Montenegro.

Two tiny islands in the still bay on a gray, cloudy day.
St. George and Our Lady of the Rocks from shore.

How to get to Perast Montenegro

How do you get to Perast? First off, it relies upon whether or not or not you may have a automobile. If you may have a automobile, you’ll be able to merely drive to the city. There are parking heaps on both aspect of city, and they’ll usually offer you free parking if you happen to purchase a ticket to go to Our Lady of the Rocks.

If not, there’s free road parking additional down the road. Keep in thoughts that July and August are very busy occasions in Perast and also you may need to attend a bit to get a parking spot.

If you’re coming by public transportation, take the Blue Line bus, which runs from Kotor to Herceg Novi. It’s a couple of 30-minute journey from Kotor, runs hourly (and each two hours on Sunday), and prices 1.50 EUR ($2 USD). Blue Line buses have bus stops on both aspect of Perast subsequent to the primary highway, and westbound (away from Kotor) buses additionally cease proper within the coronary heart of Perast. Keep in thoughts that the bus is usually late and could be crowded.

There can also be the hop-on-hop-off bus in Montenegro, which runs from Kotor to Risan by way of Perast. It prices 25 EUR ($27) for twenty-four hours, which I feel is a bit extreme, however may be price it if you wish to keep away from each taxis and buses.

Speaking of taxis, you will get them on the sting of city in Perast. In August 2023, I used to be quoted 30 EUR ($32 USD) for a 20-minute journey between Kotor and Perast, although the speed ought to often be nearer to 10-20 EUR ($11-22 USD). It’s a couple of 20-minute drive.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any ride-hailing or ride-sharing apps in Montenegro. I sincerely hope this modifications quickly.

As for flying in: the closest airport is in Tivat, Montenegro. Alternatively, you’ll be able to fly into Podgorica, Montenegro, or Dubrovnik, Croatia, however flying into Tivat is the simplest method to get to the Bay of Kotor.

As for easy methods to get round Perast itself: The city of Perast is small and about 1.5 kilometers from finish to finish (round a 20-minute stroll). But there are free golf carts that may take you anyplace inside Perast! They’re particularly good when carrying your baggage to the sting of the parking zone.

Stone buildings in Perast shot from below, surrounded by green trees, underneath low-hanging clouds.
Many of those palaces really maintain guesthouses right now.

Where to Stay in Perast Montenegro

Perast, like different Balkan cities, tends to be extra about residences and visitor homes than resorts. That’s simply a part of the tradition right here within the Balkans; native households have been renting out rooms and residences since lengthy earlier than Airbnb existed.

On prime of that, it is best to know that Perast is likely one of the costliest locations to remain in Montenegro, together with Kotor. But not like Kotor, which has a little bit of sprawl, Perast is proscribed by geography. While there are cheaper cities alongside the Bay of Kotor, I nonetheless assume staying in Perast is price the additional price.

I stayed at Palace Tina, a guesthouse that was easy however good with a pleasant terrace. It’s a 50-step climb from the waterfront.

Here are the top-rated locations to remain on the town:

A long cement block on the bay, people swimming in the water, tall green mountains behind them.
You can take pleasure in swimming climate in Perast as late as early October.

Best Time to Visit Perast Montenegro

The finest time to go to Perast is probably not what you assume. While Montenegro typically and the Bay of Kotor particularly are quintessential summertime locations, July and August are peak season and really, very busy. Especially relating to crowds (the thickest), costs (the best), and parking (essentially the most tough).

If you’re trying to go to Montenegro throughout the summer season months, I like to recommend timing your journey for early-to-mid-June or mid-September to early October. This remains to be excessive season, however not as busy as July or August. If you wish to swim, take note the water can be hotter in early fall than late spring.

But if you happen to don’t essentially should be swimming or sunbathing, I extremely suggest a shoulder season journey to Perast. Think early April via late May, or from mid-October although late November. The climate can be cooler however not freezing, costs can be decrease, and sightseeing can be simply as nice.

The winter season may be very quiet in Perast and far of the city can be shut down.

If you’re excited by visiting throughout a competition, see the dates for the Perast Festivals I listed above.

Kate standing in Perast in front of tiny St. George island, wearing a burgundy tank top and black polka dot shorts.
Had to get a shot on Our Lady of the Rocks!

Perast is ready for you!

I had such a good time in Perast, and I’m so glad that I made a decision to remain right here for 4 days. This city is unquestionably going to be on the checklist of my new favourite locations of the yr.

I hope that you just take pleasure in Perast, too — and if you happen to have been on the fence about the place to remain in Montenegro, I hope you take into account Perast a chance. Because there’s much more to Montenegro than simply Kotor!

More on Montenegro:

More Pretty Towns on the Adriatic Coast:

More on the Balkans:

Have you been to Perast Montenegro? Share away!

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