Friday, March 11th, 2022

Love Hiking & Biking in the Heart of Montenegro

We love Montenegro the country.  We love Porto Montenegro, the superyacht marina and believe it to be one of the best places to moor a yacht in the Adriatic.  We adore staying at the Regent Porto Montenegro hotel where we are pampered in its exquisite spa and we are always enthralled by its delicious dining options.

The hotel boasts five in-house restaurants – Murano restaurant, Library Bar, Onyx Bar & Garden by Beluga, Pool Bar, and Gourmet Corner patisserie – which are among the most elegant dining options in Montenegro.

It would be all too easy to sit back and do nothing except enjoy the service but we also really enjoy exploring dramatic outdoor locations getting and about and enjoying all the delights that the young country has to offer. 

Keeping fit and healthy is today an essential part of a holistic travel plan to refresh, re-energise and reawaken both body and senses.

The dedicated Concierge Team at Regent Porto Montenegro does a great job of helping guests recharge with an active programme of hiking and biking expeditions that take in the natural and architectural landscape. From breath-taking mountain-top views to winding trails, deep gorges, and fantastic caves, the team can guide you to the best of Montenegro.

We love the stone tapestry of buildings that define the towns and fortresses, the churches and the castles.  We travel on foot or on a bike to enjoy the harmonious relationship between the landscape and a diverse cultural heritage shaped over centuries. We love it and find it utterly spectacular.

A handful of old routes highlight the unique beauty of Montenegro.  

There are several hiking trails leading that wind from Kotor Old Town (a UNESCO World Heritage site) from sea level to an altitude of 1,000 metres. The region is rich in history and plant and animal biology, as well as being home to dazzling views.

Along the pathways, Austro-Hungarian fortresses provide a dramatic backdrop to the surrounding abundance of nature. A charming biking route from the Regent Porto Montenegro to Kotor can be accessed either along the flat land of the coast or you may prefer to go via the top line of the Vrmac hill.

We love combining both routes so as to go up one way and down another. 

Kotor Town Walls 

This super scenic mid-morning (or late afternoon) outing can start with a frothy cappuccino and a slice of cake in the Main Square of the Old Town of Kotor to give you a boost before you head to the Stone Walls.

These unique examples of Mediaeval fortification architecture were built in their entirety between the 9th and the 19th century, although the main inner circle of walls was finished from the 13th to the 14th century.

The walls make a continuous defensive ring around the old urban core of Kotor and the steep cliffs of Sveti Ivan (San Giovanni) Hill rising above the town.

The walls are more than 4km long, between 2m and 15m thick, and in some places up to 20m high.

Pestingrad

This vast rock overlooks Kotor Old Town and has the rare distinction of being one of the few such European features that actually overshadows the town it seems to guard below. Pestingrad is a stunning spot reachable by most hikers.

The trail is part of the old supply route whereby people from surrounding areas of Montenegro would, in years gone by,  bring salted meat, prosciutto, and cabbage to Kotor in exchange for hard currency.

The mountain’s peak, with its steep flanks, rises into the Montenegrin sky and towers over Kotor’s rooftops.

  • Hiking time: 2.5hrs to 3hrs
  • Altitude: 1,000m
  • Level of fitness: Intermediate

St Andrew’s fortress (above Perast)

Boka Bay’s second old stone town under UNESCO protection is Perast. It plays host to a collection of 16 palazzos and 19 churches, two of which reign over Boka Bay because of their prime position.

Unlike other old coastal towns in Montenegro Perast was built without the protection of stone walls.

Making up for this is St Andrew’s fortress, built between 1882-1884 behind the town and enjoying the best view of the entire bay. The hiking trail is ideally undertaken by guests with a good level of fitness.

  • Time hiking up: 3 hrs 
  • Time hiking down: 2.5 hrs
  • Altitude: 740m

Vrmac trails and fortresses 

The hill at Vrmac is a natural barrier between Tivat and Kotor. On the top of the hill is a well-kept road built during the Austro-Hungarian empire. A couple of fortresses from that period in Vrmac plus one situated above Mirac called Gorazde used to be linked to the Boka Bay defence system.

The armoured fortress of Vrmac is about 485m above sea level and built in 1894 and, following damage in the First World War, was restored.  

The trail that links these couple of fortresses takes visitors on an unforgettable journey that can also be enjoyed on a  mountain bike, starting either from Kotor Old Town to Gornja Lastva, a charming old stone village pinpointed in the UNWTO Council’s programme of Best Tourism Villages, or the other way around.

The road passes through a beautiful pine forest and offers views of Tivat Bay on one side and Kotor Bay on the other. An exceptional experience! We love it!

The full route of the tour or parts of the tours are available to explore depending on fitness levels and much time guests can spend on the activity. They are ideal for a family half-day out.

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