Dubrovnik to Kotor, Montenegro?

Old Mar 24th, 2022, 01:03 PM
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Dubrovnik to Kotor, Montenegro?

Any recos on the easiest and most comfortable way to do a day trip? I've seen some Viator bus tours that go to 3 towns in Montenegro and got mostly favorable, altho' somewhat mixed reviews. Tours are 12-14 hours long.

I checked local public buses on Rome2Rio but was a bit confused by the schedule. I thought there would be some direct buses between the two cities on Greyhound-like buses but the ones in the pictures appear to be more like city buses and the schedule, as I said, is confusing but it appears that one or two changes are required. Perhaps at the border crossing?

Has anyone done either of these options and can anyone offer any advice? I suppose I could rent a car but I'd prefer to leave the driving to someone else if feasible. TIA

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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 02:29 PM
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Avoid Viator. They are just taking available tours and marking them up.

There are many companies running this typical journey (Herzeg Novi, Perast, Kotor) and they are fine but, drivers from Croatia are not allowed to guide in Montenegro. So you get a driver who can tell you some stuff on the way, but cannot guide you walking through Kotor. The small bus or van tours from Dubrovnik are fine and not too expensive and unless you are going in July or August you can book when you arrive.

if you want something more in depth you can hire a private driver and get a Montenegrin guide when you are in Kotor. More expensive obviously, but then you won’t just get let out in Kotor to walk around on your own. If you are really interested in culture and history, look into a private excursion.

I have never taken the bus and would not want to for a day trip. These tour guys know how to get across the border quickly.. a bus driver doesn’t care about that.








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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 04:17 PM
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Thank you, rialtogirl. After reading your post I did some research and found a number of tour companies offering all of the same tours but costing $12-15 less than Viator. I'm sure I'll find one. I actually like just wandering around and discovering things on my own, even if I don't learn everything I should so a bus tour should work.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 05:05 PM
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Panecott, we hired a private driver to drive us from Dubrovnik around the Bay of Kotor for a day. I chose the places we wanted to see: Budva, Kotor, and Perast. But I do remember that he suggested Herzeg Novi, but I had my heart set on Budva at the time.

I first contacted Julija Antunovic who received all excellent reviews on Trip Advisor. However, she was not available the day we wanted to go to Montenegro, but she recommended her colleague, Stjepan. He was excellent!!! This was in 2019, and at the time he was a 23-year old university student. He is very smart, knowledgeable, warm and friendly. We had an awesome day and I truly believe it is because of Stjepan. He did give us some history of Croatia and Montenegro. But, as rialtogirl states, because he is Croatian, he wasn't able to guide us at each location. We could have hired local guides for each village, but we chose not to because like you, we enjoy wandering around on our own. I don't know Stjepan's last name, but you can always google Julija Antunovic. I don't know if Stjepan is still working as a driver, but as I said Julija got excellent reviews.

If you go to Montenegro for the day, DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT. As we were pulling away from Ploce Gate in Dubrovnik, my husband asked me if I had our passports! I did not!!!! My husband walked back to our apartment to get them. Stjepan did say he was going to ask us about our passports, but my husband beat him to the punch.
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Old Mar 24th, 2022, 11:46 PM
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Panecott, here is an agency you can check out.
https://www.facebook.com/PerlaAdriatica/

They do the tour for around 350 kuna I think. Depending on what month you are going, the groups can be quite small. Not a big bus, this is for sure. They have some photos of the tour on that page. The agency is super easy to find, they are right outside the Ploče gate.

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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 06:46 AM
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Thank you, Karen. I'm curious as to how you enjoyed Budva. A number of reviewers on some tour sites said they would have preferred eliminating it and spending more time in Kotor. I wasn't really familiar with Budva and was primarily interested in Kotor so I'd appreciate your thoughts.

rialtogirl, thank you for the link. I thought Croatia was part of the EU. Does it not yet use the Euro? I tried converting Kuna to $$ but the currency converter site brought me back to Euro so I'm puzzled. Do you know how much 350 kuna is in $$?
The tour on Perla Adriatica looks nice. Also, do you have an opinion on Budva? I'm leaning toward eliminating it for the day trip and focusing on the other two towns but I'd appreciate your opinion as well.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 07:24 AM
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Croatia is in the EU but have not yet joined the "Eurozone." (or Schengen.) They say it will happen next year but I will believe it when I see it. You can use Euros though, in Dubrovnik. Just not in other areas so much.

350 kuna is about 46 euros. And I am not sure of this years price but you could write and ask them. I know it is cheaper to pay with cash.

Budva.. meh.. it is OK, the old town is really nice but the urban sprawl around it not so much. If you had a few days, I would say go for it. If you had a private tour and wanted to add something I would go for the Njegoš mausoleum in Lovćen and a short visit to Cetinje over Budva, But, if you are on one of these public tours they won't go to Budva or Cetinje, most likely.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 08:09 AM
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I thought Budva was fine for an afternoon, although I was mostly there for a night before moving to Sveti Stefan:

https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...22/busy-budva/
https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...-sveti-stefan/

Back then there was a regular through bus from Kotor to Dubrovnik, but it didn't run every day.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 05:17 PM
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We enjoyed having breakfast at an outdoor cafe in the old town and walked around a bit. Budva is located on the water so that was nice; it's beaches are referred to as the Budva Riviera. I would say it is a nice place but not spectacular. Of the 3 places we visited, Perast is our favorite. It's very pretty with its white Venetian architecture and its lovely location on the bay, and it was much quieter than Kotor. I can't compare Budva to Herzeg Novi but from what I have read, a lot of people like Herzeg Novi. Our guide actually prefers Herzeg Novi to Budva but his company doesn't like to change itineraries that clients make because in the past some clients were upset when the driver suggested changes. We enjoyed Kotor but we did not feel we needed more time there. We did not walk the steep walls in Kotor because it was a humid day and we are older and didn't think we could handle the steep climb. We visited a few churches in Kotor and browsed through some shops. Kotor is pretty and is in a beautiful setting. I was happy with the 3 places we visited.

I don't usually regret any places we visit. My only regret, sometimes, is not allocating more time for certain places.
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Old Mar 25th, 2022, 11:16 PM
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There is a nice area close to Kotor with some cafes right on the water, not quite as pretty as Perast, but gets you out of the sometimes crowded, or too hot, or too cold, interior. Go out of the walls, make a right on the main road, when you get to the mall (Kamelia) walk down the road there to the bay, The green market in front of the city wall is fantastic, especially on Saturday, but I think most tours arrive a bit too late for it.

KarenWoo, Perast can be crazy crowded. You went at a good time of the year, timing is everything!
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 05:27 AM
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Rialtogirl, I guess we were lucky with Perast. We were there in September 2019.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 10:02 AM
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Thank you, ladies, for all the helpful information. I'm going in mid-May so I'm hoping it will not be too crowded.

I will probably settle on a tour that does Perast and Kotor and eliminate Budva. I didn't really see any that also go to Herceg Novi but the Perla Adriatica tour has a photo and says it's the first view when approaching Montenegro so at least I'll see it. I could probably stay overnight in Montenegro but I need to spend at night in Dubrovnik before boarding a small yacht cruise up to Split, hence the day trips. I'm also planning one to Bosnia to see the waterfalls.

thursday, I enjoyed reading your blog. Looks like you've had some great travel adventures. TY

I will be posting more questions so I hope to chat with all of you again.

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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 01:32 PM
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Thanks panecott. I'm immuno-compromised and don't know when I will be able to travel again, so I'm very glad I took early retirement so I could travel before I had health problems.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Thanks panecott. I'm immuno-compromised and don't know when I will be able to travel again, so I'm very glad I took early retirement so I could travel before I had health problems.
Thursdaysd, I am sorry to hear about your health problems. I hope you will be able to travel again. You were always helpful to me when planning my trips. And, yes, you have had some great travel adventures. I remember reading one of your trip reports from one of the "stans". Don't remember which one but it was fascinating!!!

Sadly, as we age, we do have health problems. I had to postpone our Croatia trip because I needed hip replacement surgery, but luckily we were able to go about 4 months later, and just before Covid hit. I have a cousin and her husband who now have serious health issues in their late 70's. They are so thankful they did a lot of traveling while in their 60's and early to mid 70's. One never knows what lies ahead.
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Old Mar 26th, 2022, 06:10 PM
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Oh Karen, that was Uzbekistan! My last long trip. I had wanted to get to Central Asia for over fifteen years, so lucky I made it then. Glad to hear your new hip hasn't slowed you down! Carpe diem, always.
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Old Mar 27th, 2022, 04:42 AM
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thursdaysd, I am also sorry to hear about your health issues and hope you will be able to travel again soon.

I am getting up there in years and am recently retired and dread the day when I won't be able to travel independently again, or even with a group - which may be an unavoidable eventuality! I feel like I've lost so much time in the past few years with Covid so I'm hoping to make the most of this and future trips.
I hope there will be more wonderful adventures ahead for you. Stay well, and you too, Karen!
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Old Mar 27th, 2022, 04:49 AM
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Thanks panecott, congratulations on your retirement. I have been saving Alaska and river cruising for when I can't travel the way I like. I wouldn't dismiss group travel out of hand, there are a few good companies and I have used them for places with poor public transport or in the middle of a long trip. Sadly, I don't think I am fit enough for Intrepid and Rick Steves these days.
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Old Mar 27th, 2022, 12:14 PM
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Yes, thursdaysd, you are right that there are some nice group tours out there and I have occasionally taken one for the same reasons you mentioned. OAT has some wonderful trips and doesn't charge a single supplement, which is great. I only traveled with them once - to Tanzania - but I enjoyed it and met a lot or repeat travelers who raved about all their prior trips.
When you're ready for Alaska, may I suggest https://www.petersburg.org/listings/fantasy-cruises, aka smallshipalaska.com.
I took it about 6 years ago. The ship holds only 32 passengers, and we were only 27 on my cruise b/c there were 5 singles, which was great. The owner of the company is the ship's captain so it's very well run. We anchored in small coves at night, went kayaking from the ship, took excursions on the ships two skiffs and avoided the large cruise ships in many ports. The food was outstanding and the cabins clean and comfortable, if not luxurious.

Sorry for rambling on but after a 3 year drought it feels so good to talk travel again!
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