Last Updated on November 11, 2021 by Nellie Huang
Continuing on our train journey through the Balkans, this is our experience kayaking in Bay of Kotor, Montenegro.
It’s only 10am, but the temperature has already risen to a sizzling 30 degrees Celsius. Fortunately we’re kayaking in Bay of Kotor – a few splashes of water immediately cool us down. Here in the Balkans, the sun rises as early as 6am and stays high above our heads until 7pm. It’s no wonder summer is such a hectic affair in Montenegro. To escape the heat, throngs of crowds flood to the Adriatic coast and beach towns like Budva and Bar get so crowded that holidaying almost seems too stressful.
Thankfully we left the crowds behind and found ourselves a little slice of paradise in Prčanj, a tiny village in Bay of Kotor just a few miles from the busy town of Kotor yet far enough to enjoy some quiet time for ourselves. As a winding water channel, the Bay of Kotor is an inlet that extends all the way to the Adriatic Sea. Its curvy shoreline is sheltered by the towering Black Mountains of Montenegro and lined with some of Europe’s most charming villages.
Despite being quite a popular spot, the bay was relatively quieter than other parts of the Balkans, and we found it to be a perfect backdrop for a few days of relaxation. We spent our days swimming in the sea (just steps from our front door), going for long walks along the coast, feasting on fresh seafood in charming little taverns, and exploring the beautiful fortified city of Kotor.
Table of Contents
How It’s Like Kayaking in Bay of Kotor
But to see the bay from a different perspective, we knew we had to see it from kayaks. It just so happened that my friend’s uncle and auntie run an outdoor tour operator in Kotor called Adventure Montenegro and they organize all sorts of activities in the country including whitewater rafting trips in the Tara Valley and hiking trips around Mount Lovcen. We knew we were in luck, as this was a great opportunity to meet some locals and see the Bay of Kotor through their eyes.
Meeting Locals at Bay of Kotor
That morning, we headed out to sea with my friend’s cousin, Toni, as our kayak guide. The shy and young Montenegrin seemed shy at first, but it didn’t take him long to warm up to us and share stories of life here in Kotor. Despite being only 22 years old, he’s clearly passionate about the outdoors and his own country. “I studied for four years in Dubrovnik, but I knew I wanted to come home. I love it out here, I can’t imagine being away for too long.”
Toni’s family has always loved the outdoors and his parents have worked in the tourism industry for decades, so it was a natural step for them to set up the company almost six years ago. Since graduating from college, Toni has been helping the family business by leading kayak tours around the bay. “To me, it doesn’t feel like work. It’s what I do everyday anyway.”
What to See in Bay of Kotor
Indeed, paddling in the bay was a fun and relaxing experience out in the sun and it also gave us glimpses of the stunning landscape from fresh new angles. At times, we would paddle far from the coast, gliding over the crystal waters and just soaking up the sea breeze.
Other times, Toni led us close to shore and shared stories about local legends and landmarks, such as the myth about the tre sorelle (three sisters) and the origins of the abandoned ancient church perched on the hilltop above us. Over three hours, we paddled along the coast, taking in views of quaint little coastal villages sitting across the bay and admiring the towering Mount Lovćen looming in the distance.
Towards the end of our kayaking trip, I looked out to the mountains that lie inland, the water that shimmered in the horizon, and the colorful villages that peppered the landscape — and I could see why Toni never want to leave this place. I wouldn’t either.
The three-hour kayak trip is priced at €20 per person and departs/returns from the old town of Kotor. Tours start at 10am or 3pm.
All trips can be booked directly on their website www.adventuremontenegro.com.
Disclaimer: This kayaking trip was made possible by Adventure Montenegro. All opinions expressed above are my own.