Monday 18 February 2013

Perast-Montenegro | Ravishing Bay of Kotor and its Coastal Panorama.

Perast is undoubtedly one of the most enchanting resorts of Montenegro situated on the ravishing Bay of Kotor and its coastal panorama is definitely one of the most significant beauties and highlights of that magnificent corner of the Adriatic Sea flanking the Balkans.

Simply the mesmerising view of the charming and scenic islets of Gospa od Škrpjela and Sveti Đorđe a very short distance offshore of the local littoral form together an extraordinary image which could be greatly immortalised why not in a Canaletto painting  immediately transmitting very special feelings facing that marvellous Mediterranean paradise in the Eastern part of the European continent.

That stupendous Montenegrin seaside marvel lies a few kilometres north-west of the centre of Kotor of which is part, south of the appealing Risan and  north of a ravishing promontory occupied by the marvellous Tivat  almost in front of Lepetane beneath Sveti Ilija Gora a local hil of 873,0 metres of altitude overlooking the striking strait of Tjesnac Verige.

Next to the latter you can admire the wonderful bay of Lustica, that historic natural canal where two strings of the mainland are crossed by a spectacular narrow sea arm penetrating in the inland compared  for its extraordinary resemblance to those masterpieces of nature symbols and landmarks of Norway.

That wonder is one of  those marvellous coastal diamonds of the Boka Kotorska , he Slavic name of the mouth of Kotor consisting in southernmost fjord of Europe in the Republika Crna Gora, the current Republic of Montenegro, independent State since 2006 when it left Serbia with which shared the last chronological stages of what remained of the dissolved Yugoslavia after the events of the early 90's.

That scenic marvel in some points appears as a mirage enclosed between a striking stretch and the stunning marvellous landscapes in the immediate inland highlighted by a crown of high hills and mountains behind the inhabited centre making that view simply unique and divine.
The old Perasto as it was baptised by the Venetians is a place which also immediately transmits the nostalgic times of the ancient and noble Maritime Republic of Venice which wrote indelible pages of history in that fascinating land as ruler when the flag of St.Mark waved on the quays of its small picturesque harbour until 1797 when the "Serenissima", the most serene as it is nicknamed that emblematic city of Veneto delivered that beloved domain in the hands of the Austrian Empire led by the House of Habsburg. 

The silhouette of the bell tower of Crkva Sveti Nikole, the Church dedicated to St.Nicholas dominating that town could be one of those you can admire in the lagoon of the iconic city of the Doges but you are in Perast in Montenegro, a land which despite all that shared a large part of its  secular history with the historic ,legendary and glorious Venice. 

That shining  Montenegrin jewel of Montenegro is a perfect destination for an ample variety of tourists, sea and sun lovers with the chance to enjoy wild, intact beaches, very appropriate for a honeymoon and couples in love who can find in that place a more than pleasant romantic haven surrounded by a unique, idyllic Mediterranean atmosphere more alive than ever.

Naturally it is a great place for all those who have in water sports one of their great passion with many chances to practise sailing, diving, swimming and much more and I strongly recommend it for all people passionate of history and art visiting a site among the oldest of the country with a patrimony absolutely unique with a fascinating past that in all its stages retraces events and episodes which elevated Perast as one of the icons and landmarks of that Slavic Republic. 

That charming resort is furthermore is very suggested for photographers who will feel simply astonished facing a multitude of marvels scattered all around that ravishing bay filling a stay with probably a million of pictures, simply appropriate for trekkers because the nearest Dinaric Alps, those wild, rugged and captivating heights offer trails absolutely stunning,

In addition it is simply great for families with children because that resort is an oasis of peace and tranquillty in an uncominated area due to a total absence of industries which makes it also a splendid climatic destination.

For all the tourists fond of tailor made tours that country is simply wonderful because in a fantastic Fly & Drive many are the chances apart to visit all the centres alongside the national coastline and I suggest you apart Kotor, Tivat, Risan and Budva (if you are interested I wrote post about those places) also the interior equally beautiful with cities and towns as the capital Podgorica, Niksic, Cetinje, Plevlja and many others offering a great historic patrimony, taking in consideration that Montenegro is a country not too big.

 Next to all that why not highly recommended extensions to the nearest stupendous Croatia and Serbia, both highly interesting with a lot of wonderful places to visit, the Dalmatian coast with that shining diamond called Dubrovnik is very close and the interior of the Balkans is a mine of treasures all to discover with ancient monasteries and great historic attractions also in small centres.

The presence of comfortable accommodations and a delectable gastronomy which has in its culinary art the typical Slavic and Mediterranean flavours with rooted gastronomic marks left by the Venetians are two other highlights which will delight you. 

The history of Perast is undoubtedly great during all its captivating chronological periods and the current resort was inhabited since the bronze age according to archaeological excavations which took place all around the bay of Kotor with the discover of very important artifacts also in the local boundaries.

Ancient settlement of the Ilyrians, a population who occupied a large part of the Balkan lands until reaching the borders of  central Europe also reaching the current territories of Slovenia, that area of Montenegro was also explored by Greeks, colonised by Romans and Byzantines with a long Venetian influence started in medieval times.

During the times of Constantinople the former centre was an autonomous town before to move under Serbian rule in the late 12th century remaining part of that former Reign until the 14th century keeping the status of a free medieval centre with many priviliges and power due to its active trade and productive activities achieved during the times of the Roman Empire of Orient.

Those periods correspond to the  domination of the Zeta Dynasty one of the most important noble Slavic houses founded by Balša I after the death of the Serbian Tsar Dusan Nemanjić in 1355. 

Five years later with a document delivered in Dubrovnik to the new ruler of Serbia, Uroz, that character declared the independence from that Kingdom and the Balšić as they were called those new emergent Catholic and not Orthodox governors of those lands became since then the direct ancestors of the current Montenegrin inhabitants.

In 1420 started the glorious times of Republic of St. Mark when Venice defeated Balša III, also known as Balša Stracimirović  who was the last leader of that dynasty who after that ceased to exist. 

All that because the mother Jelena delivered the succession to Stefan Lazarević, Prince of Serbia also known as Stefan the Tall who gave just one year later the charge to the successor Đurađ Branković who never claimed that title because gave priority to the establishment of his Principality founded in Smederevo in 1430 which became for a period the Serbian capital.  

That peculiar episode determined the end of the Zeta dynasty which had not a direct link to the family as legitimate successor for the right to claim the sovereignty of those lands and that character who could be the Sovereign lost with its renunciation and lack of interest all the rights to rule Montenegro.

Venice once established its influence developed an unsual but very efficient impenetrable stronghold in Perast to face along that Adriatic coast a new enemy, the powerful Ottoman Empire resisting to numerous attacks by that secular rival.

 The Turkish fleet clashed many times with that Italic Marine Republic from the Bosphorus to the Istrian Peninsula along all the Dalmatian coastline and they met several times as contenders  to have the leadership in that wide geographic maritime area of Southeastern Europe.

Perasto as it was called in those times was considered a key point for the Venetians  connecting the Adriatic to Central Europe corresponding to harbour of the city of Trieste and the nearest Slovenia but also as a relevant transit point along the southern Adriatic hallway leading to the Middle East where the Venetian Doges had created notable commercial businesses.

A first attempt of conquest by the Turks is dated 1638 corresponding to the   battle in the Mouth of Kotor when that site resisted  to a a very massive and intense siege.

The Venetian fleet in that period in Montenegro had many difficulties to contain the powerful artillery and marine army of the Ottomans which entered in the Bay but that port resisted and the Doges Assembly declared Perast Heroic Town, able to face an enemy which had over 8,000 soldiers quadruplicating about  the local population which was not all composed by soldiers.

Since then the Venetian Generals chose in Perast the best guards to defend that centre in the name of St.Mark with the flag often used in many military operations creating there a sort of special corp with selected divisions which fought in 1571 in the famed battle of Lepanto in Greece.

 That place never fell during an incursion and the Republic gave it the honour to keep the Venice Gonfalon, the emblematic Coat of arms of the Serenissima Repubblica Marinara di Venezia, something not very usual during Venetian rule because that delivery was generally given to determined towns or cities deserving heroic merits.

Some years later the epic battle of Perast which took place in 1654 corresponded to  the most heroic defence of that Venetian bastion all time when the Turkish Pasha Mehmet-aga Rizvanagić used a large part of his fleet trying to conquer that stronghold in the bay of Kotor but with unsuccessful results thanks to the strategic operations of the commander Kristo Vicković, a Montenegrin officer enlisted in the Army of Venice

That clash saw from one side the Venetian divisions supported by the Serbian Hajduks, a group of guerrilla fighters hostiles to the Ottoman domain in the Balkans some of them escaped from the territories of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

As opponents the Turks apart the Imperial Ottoman Army  had as allied the feared pirates of Ulcinj,a Montenegrin  town at the border of Albania, mercenaries without a strong national identification, and the Turkish infantry coming from Sanjak in Bosnia. 

Despite the Ottomans attacked from two sides by sea and from the Dinaric Alps that Venetian baluart resisted once again and it was never conquered.

All that was considered a very isolated historic case, a unique heroic defence after many assaults and incursions with a town without fortified walls established at its main entrance and in a place had in that period a population of less than 2,000 inhabitants.

Many eminent historians were and are still highly surprised in their reconstructions and studies for how was organised the system of  defence Perast,  an impenetrable stronghold but very peculiar and unique in its kind in the entire bay of Kotor for the lack of protective bastions, for someone that site was protagonist of a miracle for many others it became a sort of  of myth and legend.

The strategy of the Venetian Governors was in the case of that site to place directly the artillery on the banks of the harbour and the infantry deployed along the arched bay in first line with an immediate evacuation of the population on the slopes of high plateau of Sveti Iljia Gora.

It is certain were developed a series of towers and turrets around the perimeter of of the boundaries of that centre and those check points were in constant contact with signals with the nearest Risan but but they had not the structure of fortresses.

The record, if we can use that word "Record"is that Perast was never conquered by the Ottomans who often conquered towns and cities bigger than the old Perasto, with a superior number of soldiers and with high walls of protection in their main gates
Historically Perast remained until the late 18th century in the hands of the Venetians when the "Serenissima" lost its influence with the advent in that area of the powerful Austro-Hungarian Empire coming i that bay with its fleet in 1797 and officially settled by Governors and Ambassadors of the House of Habsburg in 1799 after two years of occupation by the Imperial army.

Many details during the Venetian rule are highly interesting which also linked that resort with that Republic with strong links.  Although in the following centuries and for historical events Perast became a Slavic settlement due to the presence of many Serbs and Montenegrin citizens Venice with its Doges definitely played an important historic and cultural role for the destiny of several of them.

Many of the ancestors of those populations were received,hosted and protected for over three centuries by the Venetians during the long Ottoman rule in the Balkans avoiding those refuges to be converted to to the Islam permitting them to keep their faith or not to be killed in numerous repressions and during the several conquests by the Turks in those territories of the former Yugoslavia.

The locals felt themselves 100% influenced by that historic Marine Republic,culturally, artistically, architecturally in thoughts, philosophy and identity probably more than Kotor, Budva, Tivat, Herceg Novi and who knows even more than the very Venetian Risan  which was the town which strongly and integrally absorbed the culture of the city of the Doges.

All the inhabitants since medieval times not only spoke Italian taught to them as unitary language but they also were very fluent in Veneccian, the Venetian dialect in vogue as linguistic expression  used in the streets, in family and social places as in Venice and they were very proud to be sons of that prestigious city.

All that became a source of pride for the locals who always lived with the culture and the image of Marco Polo and the great Venetian navigators in their minds and soul, elevating that figure as a sort of idol but also highly regarded were Niccolò de Conti, Alvise da Mosto, Sebastiano Caboto, the brothers Antonio and Nicolò Zeno among others.

The splendour and the history of Venice also deeply transmitted the local artists several inspirations, Venetian painters, sculptors such as Titian, Canova, Tintoretto,Canaletto, Bellini, Mantegna, Giorgione, Tiepolo  were figures part of the Elite of the International  art admired in that land not only to appreciate for their sublime works but also because they were divine inspirations who were able to create a local artistic school just like the venerated Palladio in architecture.

The town was in the Middle Ages a very important centre with traders and merchants coming from all the Dalmatia, Greece,Anatolia, Apulia, Istria and naturally from Veneto.All them frequented that harbour of Montenegro which became a sort of obliged stage during their trips along the Adriatic coastline living the notable social and artistic life as in a little Venice.

The current resort also developed a famous shipyard base for the fleet of the Republic and the Doges ordered to expert naval engineers to build boats and ships providing the local sailors living in the nearest areas who year by year increasing their commercial activities.

All that was a notable aspect about the influence of Venice in that corner of Southeastern Europe with Perasto protagonist.

Another episode that is very suggestive is the conquest of the Austrian Empire of Perast, because the entrance of the Austro-Hungarian fleet was not in occasion of a battle in that but due to the defeat of the Republic of Veneto against that Imperial Army in high sea and not in that bay.  

The glorious Gonfalon of St.Mark never fell in the hands of the enemy but it was kept by the Venetian commanders despite the occupation by the Austrian troops and transported to Venice with honour with the last ship leaving the local port in front of the Regiments of the House of Habsburg.

A very significant episode according to historic documentations is that in occasion of the operations of the lowering of St.Mark flag and the recollections of the symbols of the Marine Republic with the delivery of the town to the Imperial Austria the locals in the main square swore eternal loyalty to Venice singing songs in Veneccian in front of the present Austrian Generals who were simply astonished to see that.

Undoubtedly that was an exciting historic event which recalls how that people felt in in their soul and spirit the presence of something deeply rooted and identified and there was always Venice as distinctive symbol of everlasting love despite that particular moment was the starting of a different life under rule of new occupiers and future rulers.

When the Venetian Captain Viscovich gave the Coat of Arms in the hands of the Religious figures to receive the blessing he transmitted the citizens a phrase remembered in the history of the former town which was in "Veneccian" language : "Tí con nu e nu con ti" which translated means you with us and we with you.

Venice with you and we with Venice, words the locals continued to repeat in a sort of hymn in that occasion and also long time after. All that was extremely lived and felt as something indelible although that historic stage was ending but the symbol of St.Mark with that glorious Lion continued to be alive in the hearts of that people.

During a period the population of Pearst who were waiting for the definitive Austrian occupation which started officially just three months later with a multitude of Austrian soldiers landing in the bay of Kotor until that day they continued to use an artisan Venice flag waving it in the port although all was changing.

All that was probably for the Austrian officers something unusual, very special and as signal of respect and honour they never took off that symbol until the definitive complete occupation and also history as in that episode sometimes shows something of extremely noble between winners and losers.

The historic stage of that  flag depicting the glorious Lion of St.Mark had further more a very emotional end. It was retired and buried under the Church of St.Nicholas with all the honours in presence of the Habsburg troops who respected that in a "present at arm" the highest respect in the noblest military code generally to honour Statesmen, Generals, Officers of high ranking or death heroes.

The links with the motherland Venice although not confirmed in number by prominent and distinguished Venetian Institutions still exists. Part of the current inhabitants, descendants of Venetian citizens continue to use a sort of dialect pretty linked to the old "Veneccian" with some words and typical linguistic expressions reminiscent the ancestors.

A very short French occupation,the Balkan wars and the definitive fall of the Austro-Hungarian-Empire were further historical stages in more modern times for Perast.

The history of the resort is also linked to the events born after the fall of Hapsburg House related to to those times after the first World War with the dissolution of the Monarchy of Montenegro,a period in which that land joined later the Serbian,Croatian and Slovenian Reign.

During the second World War the town was occupied before by Italian and later by German troops for a short period and released after long battles by the Yugoslav Partizani.

After that event Perast was integrated in the new country corresponding to the former Republic of Yugoslavia until the Montenegrin proclamation of the independence from Serbia in 2006, date in which those two last countries of that former State continued together before that separation of what was remained of the former Socialist Republic created by the Marshal Tito in the 40's of the 20th century.

The centre of the town is mainly arranged along and behind Luka Perast, the small and charming harbour with its marina and that place is in its kind an iconic emblem reminding the old times of busy trades during Venice times with also the heroic defences along its banks.

Despite today it is frequented by locals, tourists and fishermen coming at evening with their catch there is around that place an unmistakable air of a glorious past.

One of the emblematic local symbols is Crkva Sveti Nikole, a splendid stoned Baroque Church dated the 17th century dedicated to St. Nicholas which has a history  very particular because due to financial lacks in that period unfortunately was never ended including in its interiors but despite that it was used for worship although unfinished.

The structure has a sober aspect but with very fine outlines and relevant elements as the scenic bell tower reflecting the traditional Venetian architectural style, it is 55,0 metres high dominating the entire resort visible immediately from Tjesnac Verige strait.

That construction elevated on a rectangular plan was established using  various stone blocks, a bit beneath the half of the facade you can see a a circular white clock while in its
upper section over a square base you will notice one on which were inserted  mullioned windows and a long pyramidal roof with a pinnacle.

On the walls you can admire the memories of the heroic Perast with a plaque in honour of the heroes of the battle against the Ottoman fleet. The Church also contains a small museum preserving religious objects such as Christian  crosses, icons, chalices and some paintings.
Not far from that Sacred building in proximity to the ascent towards Sveti Ilija Gora, the hill dominating the centre you can see a group of stone houses in perfect harmony with the rest of the local architecture and other small Religious buildings erected during the Venetian period confirming the strong Christian faith of Perast in the past.

Of relevant historical value are  also a series of palaces mainly erected in the 17th and 18th century among them one of the most important is Palata Bujović, a splendid masterpiece result of a perfect mix of Renaissance and Baroque styles.  

That construction you can see today was the former residence of a historic local figure, an important sailor called Vicko Bujovć and it currently hosts the Perast Grad Muzej, a very interesting exhibition displays in a series of documents, images and narrations of the history of the the current neighbourhood of Kotor  with all its most important historical stages.

The palace suffered some damages during the earthquake in 1979 and due to that  it was largely restored, re-opened some years later and today it still shows the visitor the image of its glorious past.

There are other splendid buildings in the boundaries,one of them is Palata Mathias Zmajević, a building which was the residence of a prominent figure who gave the name to the palace consisting in a former Admiral of the Russian Imperial fleet army in the 18th century.

That Baroque building was ended in 1664 and it was called Bishop Palace because for a period was the seat of the Diocese.

 Many other beautiful Baroque constructions are also part of the historic frame of that site rof Montenegro among the most important worth a mention Palata Bronza , Palata Viskovi
ć, Palata Balović and Palata  Smejka, the latter situated on the waterfront.

Crkva Gospa od Krunice is another historic Church which just like Crkva Sveti Nikole reflects an interesting combination of Renaissance and Baroque architectural elements.  

Erected in the 17th century it contains the rests of the Archbishop of Bar Andrija Zmajević, absolutely beautiful is the bell tower considered one of the most relevant Baroque examples elevated in the entire Montenegro.

Very interesting for its fine aspect is also Crkva Ivan Krsitelj, a very attractive Church dedicated to St.John Baptist probably erected in the late 16th century in Renaissance style, one of its highlight is certainly its stylish facade embellished by a beautiful rose window inserted over a splendid portal. That building was restored in some occasions and today it is pretty well conserved.

Very tiny but charming is another Church called Crkva Sveti Marko located in the street Ulica Pencici dedicated to the Evangelists St.Mark and St.Matthew but also paying homage to St Anne and the Virgin Mary.

The architectural highlights are a scenic rose window established on fine front side of refined Romanesque inspiration and sculptures depicting some Saints among them St. Mark and St.Peter placed on the upper section.

The official Orthodox Church Crkva Rodenje Bogodorice is also part of the local historic patrimony dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin erected in the 18th century on a rectangular plan.

It has a nave and it is a pleasant exaltation of an inspiration of the most traditional Byzantine architecture, in its interior you can admire some beautiful icons, a splendid wooden choir and due to some deteriorations it was restored in the 19th century.

Tvrdava Svetog Kriza is the Fort of the Saint Cross and it is the site in which was kept that famous Venetian Gonfalon, a building dominating the town and it has always represented the defencive symbol of Perast.

The name is from a former Church called Svetog Kriza , St.Cross Church dating back the 9th century and every time in that place is visible the flag of  St.Cross waving overlooking the centre.

That construction despite its denomination is much more a watchtower built in that point for defencive reasons and not only for its position overlooking the coastline as common checkpoint but also to control the land from the interior and it was also called Kasun.

It was originally a simple high walled garrison, from its summit where launched smoke signals during the invasions to stay constant contact with the other watchtowers elevated along the coast despite the major part of them were destroyed.

Kasun played a very important role alerting the population by attacks coming from the interior and it was connected by paths leading to the town practically hidden to the view of the enemy, provided by artillery batteries and a small arsenal.

As you know Venice occupied a long coastal territory from Dalmatia to Istria but behind those coastal territories in the nearest mountainous area of the Dinaric Alps at a very short distance there were several lands occupied by the Ottoman Empire.  

The borders in those times were pretty peculiar and in a few of kilometres there were villages under Venetian rule and there was immediately another one at the border ruled by the Turks despite the major part of the lands in the inland were in that period Ottoman domains.

Tht construction  was also occupied by French troops during the Napoleonic Adriatic campaign in the early 19th century and also Austrian troops used that site as checkpoint with the presence of sentinels but not for specific defencive purposes with presence of artillery, cannons or an arsenal as in the past.

Not far from that iconic emblem you can admire Crkva Sveti Antune, a Church dedicated to St.Anthony former headquarter of the Franciscan order who started to be active in in the 11th century. 

In the late 17th century it changed aspect when it lost its Romanesque profile re-arranged in Baroque style and  during the presence of that Monastic Order it hosted important cultural activities because those monks taught religion and theology, including were established in its interior an important pharmacy and a library with relevant archives later moved later to the capital Kotor.

The sea views of the ravishing Bay of Kotor with its magnificent coastal panoramic sights are definitely apart the long and captivating history of Perast another shining highlight.

Otok Gospa Škrpjela the island of the Virgin of the rocks is a beautiful attraction and it has a very particular and special history. It is an artificial island formed in the 17th century by rocks and stones transported by the Venetian sailors residents in Perast who placed those materials next to a small cliff emerging from the Adriatic.

On that islet unique in its kind you can admire a Sanctuary erected called Crkva Gospa Škrpjela dedicated to the Virgin of the Chisel.

The idea to build that small Religious Temple in that peculiar place was inspired by an image of the Virgin Mary found in proximity of that cliff in the mid of the 15th century and after two centuries the presence that divine image gave an artistic impulse to elevate something unique in Boka Kotorska and it is what you can see nowadays.  

Erected on a rectangular plan with a sober facade and a a small rectangular portal, it is covered by  a red gable roof and flanked by a circular stone bell tower topped by a dome with a cross.

On its side was developed a small building arranged on an irregular square base surmounted by a cylindrical element with large rectangular windows and covered by a large light green dome topped by a pinnacle.

On the right side of that Religious construction was established a low stone wall covering approximately the half of the island flanking one side of the Sanctuary which host a Museum with interesting works in marble of Venetian school, paintings and a relevant embroidered icon of the Virgin Mary and on a side you can see the presence of a small lighthouse erected  to indicate the routes to the ships sailing through the bay.

Otok Sveti Đorđe is definitely another highlight for its scenic position from where you can admire a stunning coastal panoramic view of Perast. That islet dedicated to St.George is a magnificent and scenic iconic symbol of the bay of Kotor and famous to host an old Benedictine Monastery dating back the 12th century.

That Sacred site due to the presence of that relevant Religious seat since medieval times became an intense spiritual, religious and cultural centre destination of future priests, monks,  theologists and also writers.

That stone monastery surrounded by picturesque cypresses visible at distance especially for its charming scenic red roof contains a relevant local symbol, consisting in the graveyards in which rest in peace the most famous local aristocrats and it is one of the oldest medieval religious buildings erected in Boka Kotorska.

The presence of that holy site before to reach the banks of the harbour of Perast was generally an immediate target for the invaders and closely related to that it was s often damaged by pirates, an earthquake and due to all that it was was several times restored.

The current structure consists in two small stone constructions  arranged on rectangular plans one adjacent to the other covered by gable red roofs next to a small bell tower.

In the past that venerated place hosted important artistic works as some relevant paintings and other medieval pieces of art but due to the risks to lose that  patrimony in a period highlighted by frequent assaults and incursions there was a change of place to preserve that  historic treasure.

Perast offers a beautiful coastline to enjoy water sports, a magnificent promenade on which is absolutely sublime to admire the splendid horizon of the Bay of Kotor and another scenic highlight is that marvellous image depicting how the superb azure colour of the sea, the brown, gray of the rocks of the mountains with as verdant vegetation are fantastically mixed  forming an unforgettable scenery.

For those who love excursions and trekking there are so many places to visit at a very short distance from the coast also in the nearest mountains with charming and captivating small villages.

Once you start the ascents there are also several panoramic and magnificent points to immortalise unforgettable pictures, the first before to start the climb is from a street leading to the path close the inhabited centre where you can taking one of the scenic waterfront  facing the islands and that stunning Montenegrin fjord entering in the bay in front of the picturesque headland of Lepetane.

East of the resort approximately 2,0 kilometres from the centre of Perast, I suggest you to reach one of the extreme points of the bay in proximity of Orahovac. From there you can have another unforgettable image of Boka Kotorska with a spectacular sea channel offering you a splendid panoramic view towards Prcanj and the coastline leading to the scenic tip of Dobrota.

Reaching that place along the coastal road corresponding to the E65 Motorway you will be in the innermost point of that sea arm of an absolute beauty admiring how it is narrower in the final section of its course ending on the coastline east of Tivat.

Another great place is immediately in the western outskirts of the resort along the road leading to the nearest Risan. In that point you will be in a rounded peninsula facing a large section of the bay and you will have a marvellous and unforgettable view in a place in which the Adriatic form a sort of triangle with superb views of the bay and another spectacular image from another perspective of Tjesnac Verige and the strait.

I have very good memories of that place I visited in some occasions and naturally if you need some information more do not hesitate to contact me and it will be a pleasure.

The great local gastronomy is the result of several influences of Slavic,Italian, Turkish but also Greek and Central European in particular Hungarian.

 Naturally fish is a divine delight always fresh and seafood too.Very typical is the Brodet, a fish soup very similar to the Croatian  and do not miss the iconic Rizot, a delicious rice with cuttlefish.

Another traditional dish is the Salata ob Hobotnice, an exquisite octopus salad, very appreciated are the local Skampi, superb shrimp among the best of the entire Adriatic coastline, simply excellent are the Przeni Lignje, fried squid, Mussels, prawns and lobster are superb and try the fried carp, another supreme culinary highlight.

The Ajvar is a kind of vegetable sauce prepared with eggplants, garlic, peppers, oil,chili pepper often used to accompany grilled meat, simply perfect with the famous Cevapcici, sort of minced meat cylinders grilled and combinated in a plate with potatoes or salads very common also in the nearest Serbia.

Also very traditional is the emblematic Sarma, one of the most popular plates prepared in many countries of the Balkans consisting in vitis or cabbage rolls filled with minced meat, onion, rice, garlic and vegetables, in some cases it is accompanied by potatoes or also by Polenta, an Italian recipe inherited since a long time ago during the Venetian period.  

Of Italian influence is also a plate called Pastrowski Makarulj, a replica of maccheroni served with a cheese sauce adding salt and olive oil while of clear Greek heritage is the Mousaka frequently present in the local gastronomy. Including you can also find a local Goulash less spicy than the original from Hungary for an inferior use of paprika but pretty similar.

Notable is the quality of lamb meat prepared in different styles, roasted, on spit, skewered, baked and don not miss to taste the local Pršut an excellent ham with a very special taste. 

Of Turkish roots are some specialities very usual in the Montenegrin cuisine as the local Kebab, Baklava and the famed Burek, a filled baked pastry generally consumed with yogurt.

A traditional product is the Pivski Kajmak a cream milk from Pivi. Left as culinary heritage by the Ottomans is also a dessert called Tulumba similar to  Spanish Churros made with butter, sugar, eggs flour, salt, all those ingredients are mixed and then fried.

About wines next to the popular and fine Vranac and Krstac there is also an excellent production of selected local Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, all them are sublime wines with body, very smooth and highly palatable.

Aerodromi Crna Gora of Tivat is the nearest airport situated at just 26,0 kilometres from Perast and in about 35 minutes driving you can reach the resort via Dobrota along the coastal road of the Bay of Kotor.

Perast is a small pearl of Montenegro,very important historical events made the history of the country there, an extremely relevant cultural centre, its tumultuous past depicts that place was constantly land of desire of conquest but that captivating history is also all what give that place the charming image you can enjoy today.

If you are planning holidays to that magnificent country called Montenegro very suggested is a stay in that resort, the scenic picture of the ravishing Boka Kotorska is something unique in its kind and the coastal panorama with that Southern European fjord is absolutely wonderful which will enchant you.

The beautiful historical and natural patrimony of that land is something simply unforgettable on the shore of a bay which is a marvellous creation of nature in the Adriatic so astonishing, great and magnificent in that resort called Perast.

Francesco Mari

Recommended Accommodations in Perast

Hotel Per Astra
Hotel Admiral
Hotel Conte

Recommended Restaurants in Perast

Restaurant Skolij
Restaurant at Hotel Conte
Restaurant Darden

Useful links

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Thanks a lot to read and note.