Today was all about traveling south from Dubrovnik to explore the Dalmation Coast in Montenegro, on our way to Kotor. The previous day we had some time to explore Dubrovnik, and take a Game of Thrones tour. We were ultimately glad that we only stayed for two nights given the crowds and touristic maturity of the city. We were not sure what to expect for Kotor, but we did know it was also another cruise stop (my parents had visited a few years ago).
After an hour continuing through Croatia, we crossed the border to Montenegro to continue the drive down the Dalmatian Coast in Montenegro. Look at those awesome Junipers!
The route we took was called the Adriatic Highway.
The border crossing took a while, I’m not going to lie – and then it took even more of a while on the Montenegrin side (since you have to go through two checkpoints, one for each country). Travel blogs recommend going through Bosnia & Herzegovina to avoid making this particular crossing. But, once through, the views of the Dalmatian Coast in Montenegro was spectacular – so it was worth it for us, plus we had nowhere to be, so to speak.
Today I was driving again and the road was easy, although it was a windy coastal road that took forever, bobbing and weaving along the curvaceous Dalmatian Coast in Montenegro. The windiness began in earnest in Montenegro and not on the Croatian side.
The beauty was stark and dramatic, high mountains right up to the Adriatic – fjords in the Balkans. We took a few photo stops along the way.
When we were about 30 minutes outside of Kotor, we needed a bathroom break and decided to stop for lunch as well. I randomly pulled over at a restaurant that looked interesting, and it turned out to be a slam dunk – it’s called Stari Mlini (Old Mill).
This restaurant was more than dining, it was a whole experience that seemed almost like a resort wrapped around it with the beautiful grounds of the property.
It was fancy and expensive, but we enjoyed a relatively contained lunch of squid ink risotto with cuttlefish and a freshly caught Adriatic white fish, sea-bream. We enjoyed the elaborate process of the waiter de-boning the fish on a separate tray, and wished we had this luxury every time we ate fish.
After lunch, we spent some time walking the grounds.
And taking pictures of the Dalmatian Coast in Montenegro.
We were surprised to see that this restaurant only had 3.5 stars and mixed reviews on Trip Adviser. We thought it was a great find! Here is a panorama of the view from the restaurant’s grounds, which honestly doesn’t do it justice at all.
Instead of going to directly to Kotor, we decided to drive to a location I had researched the night before that supposedly was an olive oil farm. It was about 30 minutes south of Kotor, towards the airport. As expected, it yielded a big goose egg (other than some interesting experiences on dirt one-lane roads), so we decided to take the scenic way along the coast home to make up for it. It took nearly an hour to drive this small stretch of road – the roads were narrow and there was continuous oncoming traffic.
The views were to die for, but the oncoming traffic wasn’t easy.
We then navigated in to the parking lot we were advised by our hotel to park at for 0.90 Euros/hour. It was easy and there were spots – it was called the “Riva” lot. And that was that….we unloaded out bags from our car, walked the 300 meters to our hotel in the old city, and were officially in Kotor.