Perast, Montenegro: What to Do on a Day Trip From Kotor

The little town of Perast on the Bay of Kotor makes for an easy (and lovely!) day trip from Kotor. Situated directly across from the Verige Strait, the narrowest part of the bay, Perast is just a 30-minute drive (or boat ride) from Kotor. Read on to discover the best things to do in Perast, Montenegro!

The town of Perast in Montenegro

Picturesque Perast is stretched out at the bottom of the St. Elijah Hill

Perast is most famous for a little island that lies in the Bay just across from the town. The Church of Our Lady of the Rocks on the island is one of the most visited sights in Montenegro. But there’s more to see and do in Perast!

THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN PERAST, MONTENEGRO

Perast was a fishing village until it came to prominence during the Venetians’ struggles with the Turks. Under the Venetians, Perast became prosperous, and lots of palaces and churches were built.

Today’s Perast retains much of that 18th century charm, with palm trees and palaces, bougainvillea spilling over fences, and the beautiful bay just across the street. Perast is part of the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor UNESCO World Heritage site.

The pretty town of Perast in Montenegro

Perast is so pretty!

Located at the foot of the Sveti Elijah Hill, Perast is a breathtaking combination of natural beauty, history, culture, and charm. It’s the perfect place to spend a few hours, soaking in the beauty of the Boka Kotorska. And if you enjoy photography, you will love Perast, because it looks so pretty from every angle!

Here are some things to do in Perast on your day trip from Kotor.

#1 Enjoy a boat tour to the island

The most popular thing to do in Perast is the boat trip to the little island in the middle of the bay. While the destination is of import, the trip to the island (and back) is also fabulous.

As you leave the pier at Perast, be prepared with your smartphone or camera, because the views of Perast from the water will take your breath away. We didn’t even have good weather on the day we visited, and I was blown away by how beautiful the little town looks.

View from boat Perast Montenegro

Pulling away from the pier at Perast

Perast from the Bay of Kotor Montenegro

Perast looks beautiful from the water!

There are actually two islands in the Bay of Kotor, although you can disembark at only one of them. Both little islands are extremely picturesque, so get ready to take more photos!

The Island of Saint George is the island where you cannot go ashore. It is a natural island and houses an old monastery. The second island holds the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks.

Island of St. George Bay of Kotor Montenegro

You’ll pass by the Island of Saint George

Water taxis depart every few minutes from the pier at Perast for the island. We paid 5 Euros per person for the round trip. Our boatman told us we could have an hour on the island, which was plenty for us.

#2 Visit the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks

Gospa od Škrpjela is an artificial island in the Bay of Kotor. It was put in place stone by stone by the fishermen in the area, after an icon of the Madonna and Child was found on a rock on the water. The tradition of adding more rocks to the islet continues to this day, at a ceremony held each year in July.

Church of Our Lady of the Rocks Bay of Kotor Montenegro

The Church of Our Lady of the Rocks

On the islet, you’ll find the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks. Walk around the church to admire it from every angle. Then step inside, where you’ll find beautiful frescoes, many of them painted by a local artist.

Dome of the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks Bay of Kotor Montenegro

The pretty blue dome of the church!

Church of Our Lady of the Rocks Montenegro

The ceiling of the church is covered with paintings

In the sacristy of the church, you’ll see a tapestry embroidered by a lady from Perast. She created it painstakingly, over 25 long years. What’s unique about the tapestry, other than the time it took to complete, is that it contains some of the lady’s own hair, woven along with the gold and silver threads. The altar is gorgeous as well.

Altar Church of Our Lady of the Rocks Perast Montenegro

The altar at the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks

There’s a little museum adjacent to the church: a small room that holds a number of votives and other religious objects. Entry to the church is free but there is a small fee for the museum.

#3 Walk the waterfront promenade at Perast

Walking the waterfront promenade is a must-do in Perast! It takes just a few minutes to stroll, but the views are amazing.

Perast Montenegro from Waterfront

View of the western end of Perast from the waterfront walkway

Views from the Waterfront at Perast Montenegro

The eastern end of the town, from the waterfront

You’ll see boats bobbing on the water at the pier, and the city’s Venetian Campanile rising up from the buildings at the bottom of the hill. From the end of the promenade on the side farthest from the Campanile, you get perfect postcard photos of Perast.

Waterfront Perast Montenegro

A view of the main street of Perast from the waterfront

If the day is nice, you can relax for a bit with a drink at an outside table. Many of the restaurants along the street have outdoor seating right on the water. Pick a spot from where you can get a clear view of the bay and the two little islands, and enjoy!

View from Waterfront Cafe Perast Montenegro

View from one of the waterfront cafes in Perast

#4 Stroll through the town of Perast

Perast just has the one main street, that runs along the water. A narrow alley runs in parallel behind the buildings, and even narrower alleys with steps connect the hilltop to the water.

Steps Perast Montenegro

One of many sets of steps leading up the hill on which Perast is built

You can do a quick walk through the alleys, where you’ll find stone-walled houses and lots of cats! The alleys of Kotor are more interesting and in better shape, although we were told Perast is being restored.

An alley in Perast Montenegro

A cobblestone alley in Perast

If your time is limited, spend it admiring the architecture along the front of the main street, and visiting one or two of the beautiful Baroque palaces that line the street.

The main street in Perast, Montenegro

Walking the main street in Perast on a rainy day!

There are 17 Baroque palaces in this tiny town! They were all built in the 18th century, during the time of the Venetians’ rule. Some are now in ruins, but they still look picturesque!

A baroque palace in Perast Montenegro

One of the smaller Baroque palaces in Perast

Don’t miss the Bujovic Palace, with its lovely architectural detail. It is located on the eastern side of the town. The Museum of Perast is housed in the palace, so you can tour the inside as well.

Perast Museum Perast Montenegro

The Bujovic Palace in Perast

#5 Visit a church, or two!

Perast is also home to numerous churches. Sixteen, in fact, which is a lot for a town as small as Perast! The number of palaces and churches in the town speak to its prosperity and importance in the 18th century.

St. Nicholas' Church Perast Montenegro

St. Nicholas’ Church and bell tower

St. Nicholas’ Church is actually incomplete, but it has an impressive interior. Climb to the top of the 180-foot bell tower for panoramic views over the town and the bay!

Altar, St. Nikola Church, Perast, Montenegro

The altar in St. Nicholas’ Church

St. Mark’s Church is right next to the Smekja Palace. It is not a functioning church any more, but the facade is pretty, with the Venetian winged lion above the door and two statues of St. Mark on either side at the top.

St. Mark's Church Perast Montenegro

St. Mark’s Church is small but beautiful

St. Anton of Padua Church is not on the waterfront, but you can spy its tall bell tower from the water. This is another bell tower you can climb for magnificent views over the Bay of Kotor.

#6 Have lunch at Armonia

We had lunch at Armonia, a lovely restaurant on the main street. The enormous jasmine on the patio wafting its heady scent onto the road had me sold even before we entered. It was rainy the day we visited and so we sat inside.

Armonia Restaurant Perast Montenegro

The jasmine covered patio of Restaurant Armonia

And when we were seated, I looked around and was captivated by the decor! Some of the chair backs feature beautiful fresco-like scenes, and the colors inside are bright and pretty.

Interior Armonia Restaurant Perast Montenegro

The beautiful interior of Armonia Restaurant

Our food was delicious as well, which made it a five-star experience overall. They offer a meat-free menu, and I had some cutlets with vegetables and cheese. My husband had the lamb, and we split a chocolate dessert. All yum!

Cheese and Veggie Cutlets, Armonia Restaurant, Perast, Montenegro

I loved these cutlets and rice at Armonia Restaurant!

Lamb and Potatoes Main Dish at Armonia Restaurant, Persat, Montenegro

My husband’s lamb with potatoes

We also shared a slice of cake later at Bocalibre, a more casual eatery that is also highly rated. It features pizza and sandwiches, and most of the tables were full even way past lunch.

Cake at Bocalibre in Perast, Montenegro

We split a delicious slice of cake at Bocalibre!

#7 Get great views of the bay from the road

The main road that goes around the Bay of Kotor passes above the town of Perast, not through it. There are a couple of turnouts or wide spots where you can park and get out of your car for the most amazing views of the Bay of Kotor.

View of Perast Bell Tower from Bay of Kotor Road in Montenegro

The Campanile of Perast, with the Bay of Kotor behind it

We didn’t do this on the day we visited Perast but stopped on another day when the weather was good. And we got some spectacular photos of the water and the rooftops of Perast.

View from Road Above Perast, Montenegro

A view of the islands and the Bay of Kotor from the road

In season, you’ll also see lots of pretty wildflowers by the road. The viewpoints are definitely worth quick stops when you are driving past!

Getting to Perast from Kotor

Perast is just about 7.5 miles from Kotor, so getting from one to the other is a breeze, whether you have a car or you travel by public transport.

By car

In normal traffic you can drive to Perast from Kotor in just 15 minutes. But it generally takes more like 25 minutes during the day. As a plus, the drive along the bay is super scenic.

There is parking on either side of the town.

By bus OR TAXI

You can take the local Blue Line bus between Kotor and Perast, although we didn’t find the schedule very reliable. The journey takes about 30 minutes. In Perast, the bus stops right in front of St. Nicholas’ Church.

The regular buses from Kotor also pass by Perast, but the bus stop is on the main road above the town.

We took a taxi from Kotor to Perast, and it cost 20 Euros.

By ferry

In season, a ferry operates between Kotor and Perast. We visited in mid-May, and took the ferry back to Kotor from Perast. The ride is beautiful, and takes about 40 minutes.

By Guided Tour

Perast is one of the most popular tours from Kotor. Consider this half-day private tour that combines Perast with a walking tour of Kotor. In Perast, you get some time in the town, plus the boat tour to Our Lady of the Rocks. Or this 4-hour private tour that also combines Perast and Kotor.

How long to spend in Perast

About 4 to 5 hours should be plenty for a leisurely visit to Perast, including the boat trip to the island. Including a relaxed lunch, we spent about 5 hours in Perast, and we found that plenty of time to walk around the town, visit a couple of churches/palaces, and do the boat tour, with an hour on the island.

Combining a visit to Perast with another Montenegro activity

If you are on a very brief visit to Montenegro, in one day, you can combine Perast and Old Town Kotor, with enough time to enjoy each town.

If you are in Montenegro for a few days, with your base in Kotor, you can do a one day trip that covers Herceg Novi, Risan for a brief look at the Roman mosaics, and Perast. This is what we did.

You could also spend half your day in Perast and the other half in Old Town Budva. Any of these options will make for a very nice day in Montenegro!

Staying in Perast

You could actually base yourself in Perast instead of in Kotor while you explore the Montenegrin coast and the Bay of Kotor. Perast is not a cruise ship port like Kotor, and tends to be much quieter. Especially if you have a car, or you are doing private day tours, Perast is just as convenient a base as Kotor.

For an opulent stay in a boutique hotel, check out Hotel Per Astra. With just 11 individually-designed suites, an onsite restaurant, and parking, Hotel Per Astra is the perfect place for a romantic break! Check prices and availability.

The Iberostar Heritage Grand Perast is another luxury option on the waterfront. Opt for a room in the palace part of the hotel, with a water view. Have breakfast on the terrace overlooking the bay. Pure bliss! Check prices and availability.

*****

So there you have it: my suggestions for the best things to do on a visit to Perast, Montenegro. Have you visited? I’d love to hear your thoughts: comment below to respond.

If you haven’t yet visited, I do hope you will add pretty Perast to your itinerary for Montenegro! And if you are fleshing out your list of things to do in Kotor, consider a day trip to Lovcen National Park and Lake Skadar National Park, or a day trip to Durmitor National Park to get a glimpse of Montenegro’s wildly beautiful interior. And plan a visit to Budva, to stroll through the old town and check out some beautiful beaches on the Adriatic!

If you are planning a visit to this beautiful country, I am excited for you: there are so many awesome things to do in Montenegro.

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Discover the best things to do in Perast, Montenegro, from baroque palaces to 18th century churches and the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks in the Bay of Kotor!

About Dhara

Dhara's travel interests are eclectic, spanning everything from natural beauty to art and architecture. She has visited 22 countries, many more than once, plus almost all 50 states of the USA, and has amassed a hoard of cherished travel moments.

6 comments on “Perast, Montenegro: What to Do on a Day Trip From Kotor

  1. I’ve never visited Montenegro before! This is a great list of suggestions to go on my itinerary for when I do! Great post 🙂

  2. Montenegro has been on my bucket list for years and I love the look of Perast so I’m now even keener to go. Your photos by the way are simply gorgeous.

  3. This looks so amazing. We are heading south on a road-trip to Turkey. So definitely on the list. Thanks for sharing such great images. Kx

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